I started this silly little thing called a blog when my first son was born, as a hobby. My son is now five and I have since decided to take it from “this silly little blog” to ” my business”. When I started hardly anyone knew what the heck a blog was, now everyone and their grandma has a blog. So here’s what I learned along the way. I think this info would of use to a blogger starting just out, or someone considering starting one. #1 It’s not all rainbows and sunshine….it takes so much work and dedication. Full time bloggers work all day everyday. More than forty hours a week. I personally work til 2am sometimes. I do my best work late at night when my kids are in bed. #2 You have to have a good support system and an understanding family. Because it takes so much time you need to manage you time well. You will also need childcare sometimes so you can work interrupted, something I needed to learn a long time ago, after posting some pretty crazy posts. You have to be able to focus and working when hearing mom I need ____, is just going to leave you frazzled and of course with a crazy messed up post. Bloggers who glamourize working at home with kids aren’t being real about it, it’s a challenge and a juggling act everyday. #3 You can’t do it all yourself, even the most technical writers/bloggers need some help. There is so much work to be done. From designing your blog, to coding to affiliate links and other links like products you sell and social media. #4 It takes money, as a money saving blogger, I tried to start this business free. You just can’t *period*. Some folks may beg to differ, but as someone who found out the hard way, trust me on this one. If you want to take it from hobby to business you have to invest some money. It really does take money to make money. You can start out free to get the feel for things, but to step it up, it’s going to take a little moolah. Of course you can start for less than $100 to start, which is nothing though compared to what some full time bloggers make. Upwards of $10,000 or more a month. You need to buy a domain…which you can buy really cheap though godaddy and you need hosting. I have hosting for my other blog mommiesfrugalfinds.com through godaddy. It’s a work in progress, Will be switching to Bluehost soon, most successful bloggers have Bluehost. I will be eventually transferring this blogs content to wordpress. If you start on wordpress you should buy a designer template for better SEO, which basically means more visabity. #5 Blogging can be discouraging. It’s hard putting my heart and soul into this business, I’ve been blogging five years. Only to read stories like one blogger makes $10,000 a month after only one year of blogging as a single mom making $700 a month. There’s no way, I’m sure someone helped in one way or another. She makes the bulk of her income from this story selling books about her life storyvand how her husband left her, and she went from homeless to making well over $10,000 a month. Knowing what I know about this business. There is much more to this story. Like maybe her ex was a doctor and she ended up getting alimony or something, it just seems pretty unrealistic, but I guess there are exceptions. One can assume or speculate, it just blows my mind. Or the story about a crockpot blogger who started a blog and within weeks ended up on the Rachel Ray show, not knowing anything about crockpot cooking she winged it and quickly became an overnight success. In the world of blogging you hear stories like these all the time. It has made me want to quit so many times. Why do I keep going? Because I love blogging and writing and I love helping other moms. I’m not in it to make money, though it would be nice to make $10,000 a month, not gonna lie. #6 Make sure your heart is in it because it takes time to make decent money blogging. If you are starting a blog for income alone. Don’t start a blog at all, go into another field. #7 People are not going to understand this business…like “what’s a blog”? Most people have no idea this is a big business, as well as a platform for other endeavors. You might have to just not tell anyone about it and work on it secretly. There is so much negativity surrounding anything where you make an income online or anything unconventional. If you tell anyone what you do you will usually get a confused or glazed over look. Just smile and move on. Don’t let others opinions or misconceptions bring you down. Just keep doing what you love. #8 The competition is feirce and it’s not pretty. Other bloggers will steal ideas, steal tags or titles and then every blogger in that niche has the same posts. That can be super frustrating. But I just keep going and make sure I follow all competition to ensure I’m posting unique articles. #9 In order to draw readers in you have to grab attention… you have to have a great title for posts and a reason to get someone to read it….just keep your integrity. Many bloggers sell their soul for readers. Just be yourself and be real, that will eventually shine through, making your voice unique and authentic. I would rather have my integrity and no readers than a million readers because of a title that was less than honest or using someone elses idea. #10 You will face criticism and critique and you have to be ok with this. You develop a tough skin from this business. You have to not care what others think and just be true to yourself. There will always be someone who doesn’t like what you have to say, not value your opinions or are just simply mean spirited and bored. Even these people are valuable to this business because the truth of the matter is, if they are reading your content, you are still getting views and that ultimately leads to a higher Alexa ratings… that’s what you want as a blogger. #11 Never stop learning and growing everyday. I learn something new everyday. Study, read, explore, learn and ask questions. I read a lot and if their is something I need to learn (like video editing for example),I watch youtube videos or turn to google. There is always room for growth and improvement. Always strive to make your blog, and your business better. #12 Most bloggers don’t make the bulk of there imcome from blogging alone. Revenue is made from multiple sources by selling ad space, affiliate links, affiliate programs,YouTube channel, marketing programs and products like, ebooks, courses, fitness programs, printables, digital downloads, etc. A lot of bloggers also write for other websites, do public speaking or teach. Blogging is really launching pad for other opportunities and income streams. I’m going to be doing some more posts about this subject..the truth about blogging in the months to come.