It might sound silly. But for a blogger or online writer, getting started isn’t the hardest part. The true stress of being a blogger comes when despite pouring all your soul and heart, it doesn’t reward you enough.
How do you keep yourself going when you already know all the tricks, and they refuse to work for you anyway? How do you keep yourself motivated when the big wave you are hoping for never seems to come?
You look around and see all the people who never believed in you. They are doing well. And you are not. The promise you made to prove them wrong? It seems to be nothing but a bad joke.
Stop right there!
Don’t go down that rabbit hole. Do these instead.
Embrace the reality
I get it. Who doesn’t want to go viral and earn thousands on every other thing they publish? There’s nothing wrong with it. Oh, wait. There is.
It pushes you down into a vicious cycle of pain and despair:
▪ You come up with an unrealistic expectation
▪ It lures you into something you neither enjoy nor are good at
▪ And finally, when you don’t get anything nearly as attractive as what you expected, you lose hope
Let me spell it out. Blogging isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. I don’t know if it ever was, but it certainly isn’t anymore. You can’t just put out whatever you want and expect to get paid top dollar for it.
You have to do your time and build your credibility from the ground up. And it may take longer for you than some lucky ones out there.
Don’t get too attached
It is going to hurt. But if you want to survive, you better understand it sooner rather than later. Jari Roomer said it the best:
All in all, once you’ve finished an article — let it go. Let it get 40 views or 40,000 views. You’ve done your work, now it’s time to let the article do what it needs to do. Move on. Focus on the next article. Get started on the next piece of work.
I know. It’s easier said than done. When you create something unique, you want it to do well. You want others to love it as well. And when it doesn’t pan out as expected, it breaks you.
Guess what? That’s part of the deal. It will happen to you more often than you would like. But there’s nothing you can do about it.
You can’t plan a viral article.
Yes, you can break down all the essential elements of virality and incorporate them into your work well.
But you can’t make it catch on. That’s up to the audience.
And if you want to win them over, you might have to act upon some unlikable pieces of writing advice.
Egg, basket, you know the rest
The worst thing about your online writing venture not paying off is that it messes with your financial stability. You can’t let that happen to you.
If you want to work around it, you have to diversify your earnings streams.
Sure, writing can be an essential piece to that. It can even be the central piece. But if you make it your only playing piece, you make yourself vulnerable; and, even worse, desperate.
It can damage your ability to generate engaging content, further risking whatever revenue you are earning from there.
Here are the two most accessible options you have at your disposal:
▪ Option 1: Get a job that will allow you to explore the niche you usually write about in your blog. For example, if you write about tours and travel, you can take the role of a travel guide.
▪ Option 2: Find clients who can benefit from your writing services. Using the previous example, figure out who can make some use of your travel blog experience.
Not only will it help you stay afloat, but as you climb up the ladder, you will have far more interesting sets of practical insights to level up your content and provide more value to your audience.
I know. It doesn’t sound that impressive. But you can’t make it as an online content creator if you starve yourself to death on the journey.
Of course, nothing will help you break out of your scarcity mindset if you are not ready to grow out of your comfort zone.
Make no mistake. At the core of everything you do, every word you put out there, there’s one boring question that defines if you will make it or not.
Would it benefit your audience? Would it solve their problems?
If you look at the most successful online writers, they come in all shapes, colors, and ethnicities. But they all have one thing in common. They all are good at solving problems.
No. It doesn’t mean that those bloggers have everything figured out. In fact, they aren’t any smarter than you and me.
It’s just that they put themselves out there more often than most people. They take on challenges, find themselves in sticky situations, and learn their way out of problems.
You need to do the same; if you want to earn your place at the top.
Speaking of which…
Learn, don’t envy
Have a look at Twitter. Go, and scroll through any blogging Facebook group you want. It’s a reverbing echo chamber of sheer hopelessness, confusion, and pure rage towards those making more than the rest.
I have said it before, and I’ll say it again.
You don’t outrage your way into a better life.
Yes. When things are not going your way, it might look like the game is not fair. To be honest, it isn’t. Nor will it ever be.
The only way to survive and possibly win an unfair game isn’t to rant about others’ unfair advantages over you but to find your own unfair advantages to level the playfield.
It’s not rocket science.
If you want to be good at something, you have to be willing to learn from others who are better at it. You can’t do that if you find yourself offended by their success.
Want to know something ironic about anxiety? It doesn’t help you solve the very issues they are caused by in the first place. It takes your deliberate actions to make things better.
No. I’m not one of those guys who will ask you to denounce your natural human emotions and follow whatever I say. But keeping it together (especially when things are going south) helps you make the right calls at the right time.