Guest post provided by Melissa Miller
In my life I’ve been no stranger to nine-to-five jobs. They can truly be a mixed bag.
I’ve seen the good, the bad, and the ugly: office collegiality, overbearing bosses, and being trapped inside a fluorescently-lit cubicle.
Having a blogging business comes with its own challenges, of course, but I would never want to switch back (well, okay, there’s a price point at which they could probably get me
It’s not always easy, but like the pioneers of old, I learned to take pride in my self-sufficiency and even in the hard knocks I took. Here’s what I learned through the experience of striking out on my own to make money online:
1. It takes courage to set out on your own with a Blogging Business
Being an office drone can be stressful, but it provides a sense of security that can feel pretty cushy compared to the without-a-wire trapeze act of starting your own business.
I often wonder if all the layoffs that have been going on lately will lead to a new generation of entrepreneurs with nothing to lose, or if the uncertain economy will just make people more risk-averse. Probably both.
In my case, I had been working for a company that went from start-up to belly-up. I decided to plan to be unemployed for at least a couple months, and selectively apply for jobs while simultaneously working on my own freelance career.
This proved to be a great way to do it, so if you’re currently unemployed, step away from the TV! Don’t wait for someone else to give you the opportunity, seize it for yourself.
2. You’ve got to stay lean and mean
Once you commit to starting a blogging business, you’ll be tempted to immediately invest in equipment and other expenditures. This is normal, but keep a tight lid on it. Don’t let yourself daydream to the point where you think, “I can pay off all these bills once the revenue starts pouring in.” You have no way yet of judging when that glorious day will be, or how much you’ll have to work with.
This means: buy a PC not a Mac (unless your business goals are very heavy on graphic design).
Start out blogging platforms that use free hosting services such as WordPress.com or Blogger.com. Use domain mapping to book one URL of your own. Don’t start buying up domains just on spec.
3. Bloggers Blog
This is a spin on an old saying in the literary community: “writers write.”
The upshot of that axiom is that a dilettante poet who fantasizes all day about being the next Neruda and drinks all night is not a writer.
A writer is someone who sits down and relentlessly churns out material. A good writer is also someone who refines and perfects their work through editing, but that’s a topic for another day.
If you want to be successful at blogging, you’ve got to blog. Sounds simple, right? Well, it wasn’t for me. For a long time I indulged myself in the luxury of writer’s block, perfectionism, procrastination, and self-doubt.
Three past blogging attempts that went nowhere, three blogs lying fallow for months. Visitors can smell the scent of decay and abandonment on a blog. Luckily, I got over my hang-ups.
Media tycoon Sumner Redstone famously said, “content is king.” That’s more true than ever today, as people expect instant gratification and multiple updates from their preferred information sources every single day.
Let go of your inhibitions and be the success story you know you can be. There’s no shame in that. In fact this willingness to churn out high quality content is the only way to succeed with a blogging business. It worked for me!
This guest post by Melissa Miller and many of Melissa’s other articles aim to help you understand the challenges and benefits involved in earning an online associates degree and show you a way through the often confusing process. Melissa welcomes questions and suggestions at email@example.com
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