So You Wanna Be A Blogger? | The Dark Side
But just like in medicine, where every procedure needs an explanation of risks before getting a signed informed consent by the patient, I would be amiss to lead you into the blogosphere without mention of….. “The Dark Side” of blogging.
So follow me my young padawan and let Obi-Wan Xrayvsn give you a glimpse of the forces you will be up against the moment you enter the Blogosphere.
The Dark Side is powerful and the moment you venture into this world there will be things you never knew existed designed to sap the life force from your blog.
Care to take a guess what the average lifespan of a typical blog is?
One hundred days.
You heard correct.
A young jedi blogger essentially succumbs to the dark force in 100 days.
The following is a list of just SOME of the dark side villains you will encounter the moment you change the status of your blog from “Coming Soon” to Live.
Dark side force: The time vacuum.
There is often a strong relationship between time, cost, and quality.
As mentioned in the new years day post, the cost of blogging is negligible.
Therefore with the cost component of the triangle minimized, it only leaves time as the major variable determining quality.
This, above all else, was my biggest surprise when I started to blog.
I had taken for granted what it took to produce content that I nonchalantly read each morning during work breaks before I started blogging.
I could read a typical post in around 4-5 minutes and then move on to the next one.
Care to guess how long a typical post takes me to create for a standard 4-5 min read?
I haven’t actually put a timer on it, but it would be safe to say that 4-5 hours at a minimum goes into thinking of a topic, creating content, finding images, and multiple rounds of editing before I deem it suitable to be published on my website.
It took you 5 min to read a post of mine?
How bout reading that post over and over again 10, 15, and even 20 times before it goes live.
- As an example, the post, “Become a Capitalist, Not A Laborer (Building Your Financial Dam),” had over 20 revisions before it got to its final state.
Many a time I have been feverishly composing a post only to look at the time and 3 hours had passed in a blink of an eye.
Of course the amount of time per post is individualized.
You may type faster (I consider myself to be pretty fast at over 70 wpm) or choose to have posts with shorter content.
But trust me, no matter what, you have to pay the blogging Gods their dues, and their currency of choice is time.
But trust me, no matter what, you have to pay the blogging Gods their dues, and their currency of choice is time. Click To Tweet
Dark side force: The preoccupation with stats.
A) Google Analytics
There is no bigger lifeline of a blog than its stats.
Pageviews are considered the gold standard in how to judge a blog’s success or lack of success.
With a finite amount of advertising dollars budgeted, bloggers are competing to gain the attention of advertisers.
The main way of differentiating yourself from the fray is your blog stats.
An advertiser pays money to reach the biggest targeted audience and the blog with the most page views precisely does that.
As a new blogger entering the arena this can be an incredibly demoralizing experience.
Here you are spending countless hours designing a website, trying to think of content that will attract readers, writing said content, editing the content, and then finally publishing that content…………all to the sound of crickets.
Jim Dahle, of The White Coat Investor, gave me some sage advice when I first emailed him about starting a blog.
Jim said that 20% of a successful blog is creating the content. The other 80% is marketing.
Dahle went on to say that, “you can have the best content in the world but if you do not have eyes on it, does it even matter?”
My blog launch was not typical, as Dr. Dahle was kind enough to tweet out that auspicious occasion which drove 658 page views to my site that day.
I thought I had it made.
Blogging is a piece of cake.
And then the next day came.
Page views went down to 316.
Still not bad.
Maybe I’m not on course to make 7 figures on this blog this year, but you know what 6 figures is nothing to scoff at either.
The rest of the week in page views went like this: 214, 20, 133, 29, and 22.
On my first Thursday post I had a total of 4 users show up (and I’m not entirely sure if Google analytics counted me as all 4 when I checked in periodically).
I will not lie.
I thought to myself what on Earth am I doing?
By this time I had put in over 100 hours into blogging prior to launch so that 4 people could hear my story?!?!?
I might as well go down the hall and grab 4 people and have the same effect for less than 5 minutes of my time.
There was a temptation to just end it there and cut my losses.
I can easily see how blogs that last 100 days or less succumb to these ominous thoughts.
I then quickly revised my blog monetary aspirations:
- To steal my own tweet:
Ok last thing I want to do is brag but my blog is on track for a 5 figure profit this year (unfortunately 2 of those figures are on the wrong side of the decimal point) #killingitwithgoogleadsense
— xrayvsn (@xrayvsncom) June 30, 2018
(follow me on twitter: xrayvsn@xrayvsncom and you will be rewarded with many more insightful tweets like that)
Prior to blogging I thought Amazon Alexa was just a black cylindrical shaped object that allows someone to connect to the internet.
But similar to the Sith Lord GA (Google Analytics), this different version of Alexa too can create feelings of hopelessness in our young jedi blogger.
Through some secretive algorithm Alexa determines where you stand in the universe of blogging, ranking you both globally and domestically based on the past 3 months of activity.
So what do bloggers do with this information?
When I first heard of my Alexa score it was based on a 2018 April/May snapshot put in a post by Dr. Dahle (I came in #20 out of 52 physician bloggers with an Alexa Rank of 3,448,580 globally (432,194 in US), which to be honest I was happy with as my blog was about a month old at the time).
- If you are curious of my current Alexa score this link will give a live update: Alexa Score: Xrayvsn.
Just starting out and finding that there are literally 10s of millions of blogs ranked higher than you can be intimidating.
Again perseverance is the key to diminishing the power of this dark force.
Dark side force: The Joneses
Damn the Joneses!
This family has been blamed for everything bad financially in America.
The Joneses are the cause of lifestyle escalation across the country as everyone is trying to outdo the other.
And were the Joneses happy to be the measuring stick for all in the physical world?
In typical Jonesesian fashion, they had to leave their mark on the virtual world as well.
No matter what level you take your blog to, there will always be a blog that has better metrics than yours.
I admit I have succumbed to the siren call of this dark force many a time.
- Why does this blogger get so many comments on his or her blog and mine are less? (I think the only cure for this is indeed to get the most comments, so it really is up to you to cure me)
- This blogger just featured in a major platform (such as Rockstar Finance) and mine didn’t?
- How did this blogger get so and so to advertise on the site when I got passed over?
- My email subscriber list is minuscule compared to theirs, why doesn’t anyone want to subscribe to my site? (if you haven’t subscribed kindly consider doing so in the right side panel).
Just like in real life there is always someone that is higher up.
You can either be miserable and always try for unattainable happiness or you can be content with what you have already achieved.
There is no exception. Even in Blogging.
That concludes part II of the “Become A Blogger” series.
Stay tuned for subsequent posts that will continue to shed some light on the world of blogging and possibly inspire you to join our ranks if you haven’t already.
If you can’t wait to start blogging and want to jump in before next week’s post, consider getting a domain and website from Bluehost (which formerly hosted my platform).
If you do click on the link below or right sidebar I do receive some compensation.
I have not had any issues with Bluehost and think there are reasonable plans for anyone:
Siteground has now been hosting my platform for the past week.
I have to say that I have been incredibly impressed with their customer service.
Originally inertia prevented me from switching hosting plans because I thought the process would be quite onerous but nothing could be further from the truth.
SIteground offers free professional transfers of your website and only required 2-3 steps on my end that were accomplished in less than 5 minutes.
The performance metrics (page loading speed, etc) have improved dramatically since the switch which was the intended purpose for this transfer.
If you are considering a website from scratch, starting with them from the beginning could certainly be a valid option.
If you are in search of financial help, please consider enlisting the service of any of the sponsors of this blog who I feel are part of the “good guys and gals of finance.”
Even a steadfast DIY’er can sometimes gain benefit from the occasional professional input.
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As my email subscriber list grows it validates my decision to start this blog and to continue to try and provide worthy content for your eyes.