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I made it a point to limit my ‘blogging’ articles to about a 1:4 article ratio compared to finance. This was mainly because while I know a lot of marketing and content, I don’t want to speak about a subject until I get results. With my latest income report, I feel like not only am I exceeding expectations, but all of my theories/work is validated.

Today, I want to get real with you. I want to talk about the things that most other blogging ‘experts’ neglect to mention. If you are a new or seasoned blogger, I think this article will provide some value. Here are the 4 blogging ‘success’ secrets that no one talks about.

Blogging Secret #1: You will fail, a lot

As someone who actively participates in many Facebook groups, the learning curve for new bloggers is incredibly steep. I’m not talking about the people who blog on a free platform and want to share it with family + friends. I’m talking about the people who aspire to make money off blogging.

If you are someone that has no money or no resources, it’s a very high likelihood that you will fail. What do I mean by ‘fail’?

Are you someone that looks at top bloggers that share income reports? You may see that they make $1K, $2K, $5K, $10K+ each month and become motivated to blog and expect to see similar results. I’m sorry, but that’s not gonna happen if you don’t take blogging seriously.

Don’t be surprised that you run into snags several times a week for several months. It could be possible that your blog takes off, but out of the millions of bloggers out there, usually, a slim percentage of them happens to “take off” overnight.

The actual successes are the ones that have failed time after time. They learn, they adjust, and they are patient. If you want to make sustainable money blogging, expect to make a lot of mistakes. It’s part of the process.

Just like any other skill learned, no one is a ‘master’ right out of the gate. The more you hone your skills, the better you become.

Blogging Secret #2: If You Take The Cheap Route, Growth Will Be Slow

Some of the top questions I see on these Facebook groups is, “should I pay for hosting?” or “I don’t have any money to get started, how do I start making money?”.

For starters, you can easily get cheap hosting from Bluehost or use wordpress.com (not org) to get your blog off the ground for free. Or if you are someone that wants to be cheap with plug-ins or not spend any money on marketing tools (ex: ConvertKit, Ninja popups), you are limiting the speed of growth you have on your blog.

There is nothing wrong with that. Saving money at the cost of growth on a blog is a fair tradeoff, especially when starting out. The issue that most people run into is that they think, “my blog is failing” because they might have gone from 10 visits a day to 50 visits a day while expecting 1000 visits a day.

Even if you look at top finance blogs, most of the top blogs started out between 2010-2015. It took them many years for them to build an audience and eventually get sustainable traffic.

A lot of these bloggers have a passion and eventually grew to the point to where they became a way to make a living.  They didn’t focus on maximizing emails, social media, etc. (at least starting out). Over time, they learned and became more capable.

As they became more capable, expectations grew and so did their blogs.

Blogging Secret #3: Pay To Play If You Want To Get Ahead

I know most new and inexperienced bloggers don’t want to hear it, but it’s true. During my initial research phase (and current research on other top bloggers in my niche) I’ve noticed a few things.

  1. Most newer blogs (last 1-3 years) that have ‘exploded’ often had to pay hundreds of dollars to get a jump start.
  2. Top blogs often are spending money on ads to get traffic.
  3. Often blogs pay hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars to join mastermind communities.

There is nothing inherently wrong with any of these. As a matter of fact, if you have the money to invest in your blog, I recommend any/all of these routes.

But when a blog touts ‘growth’ and ‘success’ and provides income reports without mentioning expenses, I get super skeptical. I find this to be the case on a lot of finance and blogging blogs.

Seeing things such as “I made $3999 last month” while neglecting to point out that they spent $2,500 on ads and $1000 on a mastermind community defeats the purpose of showing the scope of each blog.

More About Masterminds

In case you don’t know what a mastermind community is. They are a way for a group of people in a niche (blogging, videos, podcasting) that pay a premium to share how they became successful and to help out others in a particular niche.

One of the biggest benefits of these masterminds is that you can collaborate with industry leaders (as they are likely to have joined a mastermind) and they can pitch your blog/channel/podcast to help expedite growth (repinning, sharing FB posts, retweeting, shoutouts, etc).

Some of you are thinking, “what the hell, that’s bullshit”. I’m not here to agree or disagree with that statement. These are just facts. If someone gave you two options:

  1. Comment on blogs and reach out to industry leaders, build relationships, and hope they link to your or mention your blog after 6-18 months of outreach.
  2. Pay $1000 to have instant access to top influencers and experts give you top-notch help and help promote your blog (assuming your content is good).

You might consider taking the faster route if you can afford it.

Again, this is a tradeoff. I am not taking part of it but that’s not to say I won’t ever take part. I wanted to create a blog, do things my way, and document the process. If there is a point where you see me talking about taking a course or mastermind, it will be in the form of a review.

Blogging Secret #4: Pinterest Is A BEAST!

You have probably seen me talk about my favorite book Pinteresting Strategies that lays out the groundwork for using Pinterest and getting sustainable traffic. It doesn’t matter if you are male, female, college student, unemployed, or an aspiring blogger. But Pinterest has been a major source of traffic for me over the couple months and has been my primary source of income.

While I still use Facebook groups (that are effective), I prefer to tackle one platform at a time before moving onto new platforms. Take a look at my overall monthly view count on Pinterest since late June.

Chart of Massive Pinterest Growth

I’m still learning the ropes on Pinterest. While I aspire to get millions of viewers engaged, going from 0 to over 100,000 viewers in a short amount of time is a great feeling!

Don’t sleep on Pinterest. It takes time and I’m trying some new things that work for me. If you aren’t sure if Pinterest is right for you, check out the Pinteresting Strategies book. I feel like the book paid for itself after my first month on taking Pinterest seriously.

Final Thoughts

I WILL create a blogging series in due time. I don’t want to charge hundreds of dollars for it, but I just want to help give you direction. This article isn’t meant to scare new and aspiring bloggers, but when people say “just start a blog to make money” they neglect to mention that mindset is everything.

If you want to create a blog for fun, then this article is a nice resource in case you want to take it seriously. If you want to blog for profit, take what I say to heart and set the right expectations.

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Blogging Success Secrets