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Being an influencer/blogger/content creator/freelance writer is a novel career path to pursue. It’s a job that only existed recently, and despite its lucrative ways of earning money, is still being frowned upon by many. Producing unique, helpful content for anyone’s disposal is unfortunately branded as NOT a “real, serious, or sustainable form of livelihood.” Having this tarnished reputation and stigma on the blogging industry puts a heavier burden on any blogger as if the entire process isn’t already hard enough. Aside from the struggle of proving the world wrong, the majority of new bloggers quit before six months because they don’t find joy in what they’re doing.
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NOT EARNING ANY MONEY
Like most bloggers, I decided to start a blog to hopefully generate a sustainable stream of income. I was like any other aspiring blogger who spent many hours obsessing over income reports and blogging success stories that frankly don’t tell the truth. It was then I realized it wasn’t that easy to make money that I loathe those who deceived novice bloggers. It’s not impossible, but as for me, I didn’t earn any money in the first few months.
GETTING LITTLE TO NO TRAFFIC
Anxious thoughts lingered in my mind whether I was doing it right. I had lots of unrealistic expectations about my blog without putting in enough work yet. I was also overwhelmed with the drastic changes and sacrifices it required to succeed in blogging. I also compared my blog with others too much; I almost lost my writing style. I discovered persistence to the craft and consistency were the ingredients to boost traffic.
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HOW I GOT THROUGH MY FIRST 6 MONTHS OF BLOGGING SUCCESSFULLY:
I BUILT MY BLOG AROUND MY PURPOSE
Before committing to start a blog, I practiced self-awareness and evaluated my interests and priorities. I figured writing stories and sharing advice was both my passion and a strategy to earn money. As a 20-year-old only child from the Philippines, I wanted to be the older sister I wished I had. To give heartfelt advice to people in their twenties was my purpose for creating Life Begins At Twenty.
I FOCUSED ON PRODUCING CONTENT CONSISTENTLY
Out of all the blogging advice I heard, the one thing I believed and followed [religiously] was creating unique, niche-based content. Before people can appreciate and consume my content, I needed to work my way up by gaining their trust. I published high-quality blog posts consistently 2-3 days every week. I also heavily promoted my blog posts on several social media platforms every day.
I REACHED OUT TO OTHER BLOGGERS
One thing I thought I’d never do when I got into blogging was to put out my name to the world. I always hated the idea of fame and popularity since I finished high school. I was skeptical about sharing my story and life out in public. The blogging community was the amazing support system I surrounded myself with to help me with my questions and reader engagement.
I DID NOT PRESSURE MYSELF WITH STATISTICS
One thing that stopped me from giving up is not to get hung up on the arbitrary definitions of success and self-worth. I constantly checked on my blog’s statistics, but I didn’t put the pressure on myself. I accepted the fact that I’m still starting, and a part of the struggle is having to be patient even when results aren’t showing. I understood there are more successful blogs out there with a lot more credibility and expertise in their niches, so I needed to stand out among them.
I ALLOWED MYSELF TO LEARN WITH HUMILITY
I started my lifestyle blog with a personal and collaborative goal to help out people in their twenties. I was once that (and frankly still am) annoying novice blogger who asks simple questions that other seasoned bloggers find ridiculous. Starting from scratch, I took advantage of the vast, accessible information and researched how to rank in Google. I didn’t let other bloggers’ success make mine mean any less by focusing on my productivity and engagement.
The first six months of blogging are the hardest because it takes sheer will, patience, and passion to make it through. Not all people have any of these qualities, including me, but I was determined to do the work. Any aspiring blogger or influencer can do what I’m doing (balancing school and a lifestyle blog) as long as they execute their plans and never give up. Until now, I’m continuing to make all my blogging goals come true, regardless of how long it would take me. I refused to give up simply because I love what I’m doing and I’m looking forward to enjoying more of what the fruits of my labor have in store for me.