I recently wrote a post talking about starting a blog and what it takes to really commit. Anyone can start one but it takes a lot of hard work and determination to keep it up and make it successful. Even those of us who make a career or second career out of it deal with constant struggles, decisions and bumps in the road. Just like any large project you take on or any job you have, blogging takes consistency and dedication. If you decide that blogging is definitely for you, the next thing to figure out is what kind of blogger you want to be.
The unrealistic blogger. Let's get this one out of the way, shall we? I call the unrealistic blogger someone who has no idea what they're doing when they start blogging and want to make a quick buck fast. There's nothing wrong with starting blind as long as you're willing to learn your way around. There's also nothing wrong with wanting to make money off your blog, isn't that the ultimate goal? Make money doing something you love? There is however something wrong with wanting your blog to make money but not putting the time into it to actually make it happen. These people typically end up envious of other bloggers that have found success and have a negative attitude toward blogs. Just like anything else in life, if you want to earn a dollar you have to work for it. Blogging is a ton of work and that's why I wrote the Starting A Blog post: to show anyone thinking about blogging what it actually takes to make a blog at least somewhat successful. Your intentions are everything. If you think it's an easy road your choosing, you've got another thing coming because never have I worked so hard at something in my entire life.
The hobby blogger. Someone who loves to talk about topics of interest to them with no plans to make blogging a career or moneymaker. Most full-time bloggers usually start out as hobby bloggers. I did. If you would have asked me three years ago if I would give up a full-time job at a well-respected agency and a promotion for blogging and pursuing other interests I would have laughed in your face. But that's a story for another day. There's nothing wrong with hobby blogging. If anything, it's a great way to dip your foot into the blogging world to see if this is something you'd like to keep up with. It's also a great way to connect with people that have similar interests to yours. Sounds pretty good, right? You get all the fun stuff without making a big commitment.
The ambitious blogger. I put myself in this category. The ambitious blogger is a step up from the hobby blogger. They want to make their blog a full-time career and they're on the right track but not quite there yet. Ambitious bloggers have all the right intentions. They're investing time, money, effort, blood, sweat and tears to make something they love work but they're not at the point where they can live off of the money the blog is making. These bloggers usually have other full-time jobs and work 80-100 hour weeks between real-world work and blog work. I'd say I'm somewhere close to 90 and always exhausted. But ambitious bloggers love every second of it, even when it gets overwhelming and you're typing a post while your eyes are forcing themselves shut. I have a really good friend that works 10 hour minimum days, has a 45-minute drive to and from work and is working her butt off on her blog. That's dedication right there. I have a lot of respect for her.
The full-time blogger. This is the dream. At least, this is my dream. The full-time blogger has made their site so successful that they can support themselves financially. Some blogs can do this within a year, others it takes a few years. I truly believe anyone can get to this as long as they have a solid plan and great people supporting them. You don't think the CEOS of the Fortune 500 got to where they were by sitting on their butts eating bonbons all day, do you? You don't think world renowned brain surgeons got to where they were by slacking off? We're in big trouble if that's true. Just like any other career, blogging takes hard work and determination. I can't say it enough. Being a full-time blogger shows that you've managed to create a successful blog, a successful business around your blog and didn't give up. Hopefully in a year or two, I'll be able to put myself in this category. One thing to remember though is that no matter how much success you find in blogging, there is always more work to be done. There's never a light at the end of the road, just another path for you to embark on. That is what I'm most excited about.
Once you figure out this little detail, you can start on your blogging path. Pick a niche, a topic and start writing. Create an editorial calendar, build a social media following, work with other bloggers and brands and make it work. As long as you want it, you can make it happen.