about blogging

Last Update November 10th, 2014

When you first start a blog it all seems so fun and exciting.

And for the most part it is.

I still get a thrill waking up in the morning and knowing that I can spend the day wherever I like working on my own business, writing for my own blog.

But that’s not to say that there aren’t some really difficult things that happen.

In this post I’m going to talk about a few aspects of blogging that no one tells you about. It’s my hope that by bringing them up now you’ll be better prepared when they do happen.

And hey, this site and its community is always here to help you. So think of this as a positive event. In fact, I’ll end with the most positive one of all.

About blogging: what they don’t tell you

Alright, let’s dive right into this stuff. Make sure you read all the way to the end for a little opportunity.

1. Growth is hard (and hard to believe)

Growing a blog is really hard works. Sometimes it happens really easily (like here on Blog Tyrant where I lucked out and got 5,000 visitors in my second week) but other times it can takes months and months of grinding.

And it’s not just the traffic that we’re talking about. Sometimes that grows fine but growing a mailing list is really difficult. It takes a lot of experimentation and, yes, failure.

The last thing about growth is that it is psychologically tough. You have to be prepared for the extra time and exposure that it brings.

2. Migrating servers is annoying (but not too scary)

If you’ve started out on a free blog then at some point in the future you’re going to want to migrate to your own self-hosted blogging setup. The reason for this is because it gives you complete ownership and control.

Now, this can be a really messy and annoying process if you leave it for too long because you will have a lot of links pointing to pages that are now going to get a new address.

I highly recommend settling in on a solid hosting platform before you go too far along in your journey. It’s just easier.

NOTE: Most good web hosts like BlueHost will help you migrate your blog if you are moving to them.

3. It needs constant work and sales are distracting

We all hear about the passive income streams that the internet offers. But what I think a lot of people misunderstand is that passive income takes work. It takes work to set up but it also takes work to grow.

To give you an example, I might wake up and have a few affiliate sales notifications in my email. It’s tempting to see that and think, “Cool, I’ve made X dollars for the day. I’ll go play tennis.” But as soon as you start doing that your passive income slowly fades away. With that in mind:



This is a quote I am really trying to live by this year. See if I can use this incredible opportunity to really grow my blogs and help more people.

4. Distractions come in the shape of knowledge

Last year I wrote a very controversial article called Why You Shouldn’t Read Blogs. I copped a lot of flack for it because, well, people were reading it on a blog and confused about whether they should stop or proceed.

The point I was trying to get across, however, was that I had found that reading blogs had become a huge source of distraction. It was as if the distraction was dressed up as knowledge. I was telling myself I needed to know this stuff.

Unless it’s literally your job, you probably don’t need to know about all the tech news that happens on Mashable or what social media changes are going on over at Facebook. You certainly don’t need to know the super-important stuff on BuzzFeed every day.

Just set aside a small amount of time each week and then forget about.

5. Finding your voice is crazy important

As we all know, every day there are 100,456,409 new blogs created. And if you want to stand out amongst all that noise you need a solid brand.

Part of that brand is your voice. Our medium is still primarily a written one and thus if you want people to engage with you then you need to sound like your worthwhile listening to.

I still find I’m tweaking my “voice” every time I write. I really want to move away from a “lecture” type scenario and just go along with a bit of blogging chat with my mates. That conversational tone is hard to find but very important.


I got this feedback on Google+ the other day. This kind of thing means the world to a blogger like me who is still trying really hard to get it all right.

6. It’s the same as running any business

If you are going to work from home as a blogger you have to run it the same as any business. That means marketing, sales, staff, accounting, security and all that other boring stuff.

Yes, you can get help with all of that if it isn’t your strong point. After all, you should really just be working on writing and business development.

But it is very important to realize that you need to treat your blogging as you would any business. Take it seriously, especially if it is the thing that feeds your family.

7. You are accountable to thousands of people (+1)

When your audience starts to grow a little bit and you get into the “thousands of readers a day” zone you start to notice your stress levels going up a little bit.

Glen and I have both spoken about that nervous feeling you get before you hit publish. Sometimes it’s a sign of anxiety but often it’s just because you’ve worked for two days on a massive post and you don’t want thousands and thousands of people to be disappointed.

The real accountability, however, is to yourself. If you go out drinking instead of publishing a new article then you only have yourself to blame. If you sleep in instead of working, same deal. When you work for yourself it really is just yourself to keep you motivated.

8. Stress and depression creep up on you in myriad ways (this really sucks)

Some people must imagine that working from home is all cafes and lunch time tennis and midday movies. Well, you can do that if you want but, as mentioned, you won’t last very long.

Actually, working for yourself is more like late night troubleshooting, lonely hours brainstorming creative campaigns and not having any food to eat because you were too busy to shower today and get down to the shop. πŸ˜‰

The thing about all of this is that, if you’re not careful, you can start to get stressed and anxious without even knowing it. Here are some warning signs:

  • Not sleeping
    If you can’t switch off at the end of the day and fall asleep because you are thinking about work ideas then there is a good chance you are stressed.
  • Weight gain/loss
    If you’re eating too much or not enough because of anything at all to do with work then you’re heading down a stressful path that can be very hard to correct. I’ve been there.
  • Relationship problems
    Your husband or wife knows you well. If they are grumpy at the amount you’re working or are noticing changes in you then please pay attention.

It might seem trivial but once these stresses creep in they can be very hard to solve. Think of the iceberg that sunk the Titanic. Stress is a lot like that. You only notice a small amount on the surface but there’s a lot more down below that can cause you issues.

Does any of this ring a bell? If so get in contact with someone like Beyond Blue because it’s more important than you might think.

9. People are wonderful

Something that is so important to acknowledge is that fact that 99% of the people that you meet through your blog are wonderful human beings. This is a tremendous source of energy and inspiration.

Through Blog Tyrant I’ve met hundreds of readers who have said kind words. Of those people there are probably 50 that I could literally email and ask for help and know that I’ll get a response. That’s quite special – especially when I’m talking about personal matters and not just a Tweet or share.

If you work hard for your readers they will work hard to support you. (Tweet this)

I hope I don’t ever forget that. It’s one of the reasons I reply to every comment I get, even if it takes me bloody ages because you all leave such detailed comments!

Tips for managing all of this

The best thing to do, now that you are aware of all this, is start to put in place some strategies to mitigate any of the bad stuff.

Here are a bunch of tips and resources that I thought might help you:

  • Aim for 10,000 email subscribers
    Your mailing list is protection from Google’s updates. They promote your stuff. Focus on getting to 10,000 email subscribers as a priority. I use AWeber for this.
  • Start a WordPress blog
    I recommend all bloggers who want to take it seriously use a paid host with a WordPress backend. Here is a tutorial on how to get it done in 10 minutes.
  • Establish a routine
    A routine is so important to stick to when you are a blogger. Don’t work all night. Don’t check your emails before bed. It’s not good for your brain.
  • Try the Pomodoro technique
    It was Glen who got me onto this. It’s not perfect for me but a lot of people really love it for organizing their day.
  • Exercise throughout the day
    Studies have shown that you need to move during the day. Get up and walk. Don’t put it off. Steve Kamb’s blog is a good resource for motivation.
  • Solitude and leadership
    This is one of the best articles/speeches I’ve ever read and it has a lot to do with how a blogger works. It’s from the West Point Academy.
  • Find a good calendar app and organize yourself
    This is a good breakdown of the best calendar apps out there that will sync with your email and all those other things. Get organized. Use it daily.
  • A quick anxiety checklist
    Not sure if what you’re feeling is anxiety? This quick little list might give some clues.
  • Start thinking about virtual staff
    See if you can start delegating some of those boring and time consuming tasks to a trusted worker overseas.

Okay, what have I missed?

As always, this is just a list of things to get started on the topic. What other things don’t they tell you about blogging? And what resources would help people reading this? Feel free to link to your articles if you have something relevant.

Top image Β© Danomyte | Agency: Dreamstime.com


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  1. Good post, Glen.
    I liked the part where you talked about anxiety coming from fear of disappointing your readers.
    Keep plugging away!

    1. My name is Ramsay. πŸ™‚

      1. Wonderful first comment. πŸ™‚

        1. Ha ha. Agreed.

          1. πŸ™‚ These accidents happen when readers read – viperchill, Blogtyrant & Smartpassiveincome simultaneously.

            New Bloggers are getting crazy like hell. Just
            Relax & Write Ian

      2. I’m so sorry , Ramsay!

        1. Not a problem at all.

  2. Alexandra Nicola on February 24, 2014

    Yeah people really believe that it is a piece of cake to care of a blog. But they don’t understand what it takes. And yes it can cause lot of stress on yourself, with unbalanced meals like I usually do, or the relationships around you and that includes all of them: boyfriend, family, friends.

    1. What solutions do you have for that Alexandra?

  3. Rob McNelis on February 24, 2014

    I think your writing voice is the reason that the increased posting strategy doesnt bother me. Thats when you know your good. πŸ™‚

    Biggest takeaway for me in this article was that growth isn’t always as easy as you think. Mo money mo problems. Lol

    1. Hi Rob.

      Glad to hear about the posts. I’ve done a lot more than my usual once a fortnight lately. Subscriber numbers and CTR hasn’t gone down though so I guess that’s good.

      Yeah, that’s a hard one I think. There have even been studies that have shown that I think around $100k per annum you happiness starts to go down as you earn more.

      1. Rob McNelis on February 24, 2014

        I believe it. Derek Sivers talks about that a lot in his book. Some people try to build big companies when they should focus on what matters… Happiness

        1. The burden of ownership.. Definitely once our basic needs are met more stuff, more money etc. just means more stress!

        2. Thanks for the article Ramsay, I really appreciate the way you write, I feel the voice you use makes your blog one of the most accessible on the net.

          In terms of managing stress, I’ve found learning how to meditate to be indispensable.

          It’s something everyone can do, and you can develop skills in meditation / mindfulness surprisingly quickly with consistent practice, even if it’s just 5 – 10 minutes a day. It’s important though to remember that meditation has to continue outside of sitting in a dark room with your eyes closed, otherwise if you can’t deal with difficult or stressful situations in life where are your skills with meditation really..?

          I’ve found the easiest way to approach it is to focus on one thing at a time during the day, and to try and be aware of where you are, what you’re doing and how you feel at any given moment, just observing it rather than thinking or commenting your way through the day. Then when you see thoughts, emotions, or other distractions coming up to return your focus to what you’re doing – the same way that you would in a practice focussing on your breath etc. Some people think this leads to passivity, but if you do it right it actually boosts your productivity and helps you engage much more deeply and effectively in life.

          It’s amazing how much someone’s resilience to stress, and ability to overcome anxiety, depression and other challenging or unpleasant emotions can improve with a bit of practice.

          For me it’s been life changing!

          Thanks again for your blog, it’s very helpful!

          1. I was going to include meditation in the list but wondered if it’d sound too out of place on this blog. I think you’re right though. We should all do it. I honestly believe it should be taught in schools. We’d wipe out so many issues within a generation.

      2. Yeah, definitely! They think something like 85% of chronic illness is related to stress. I wonder if everyone learnt to meditate in schools if we’d all live to be over 100 πŸ™‚

  4. No wonder you are such a succesful blogger: this is a great article as always.
    I was trying to follow your advice and not reading blogs but yours is difficult not to read.
    Yeah, when you start afresh as a blogger everything seems great (and it is) but along the way you can come to a point like the one in your article. You struggle to advance.
    Reading this blog post must be a good reason to keep going.
    By the way, you’ve got one of the most appealing sign up foms in the industry. Didn’t use it though as I’ve already subscribed long time ago.
    One quick (off topic) question: what do bloggers do when they retire?

    1. Zimbrul, you can always read my blog! πŸ™‚

      I don’t know what they do. Are there any retired bloggers?

  5. Wow! That’s a great one!
    I really find your posts inspiring, helping me to create a routine to success!
    I write about sewing, so I’m living in a parallel universe, far far away from your, but I feel like I can use your tricks pretty well in my niche.
    Maybe I feel like you’re a real person? I don’t know!
    Please go on writing your tips and sending them directly to my email… love to see your teasers in my inbox!

    I think my hubby would agree about the last point before the video…

    By the way, I could really use some more help on the scheduling side, I find hard, as a working mum of a 5 years old daughter to identify a spacetime all for my blog. I often feel like I’m not a good mother if I try to take some time for me… but maybe it’s only me!

    Thanks for sharing your thoughs, Ramsey πŸ˜‰
    MammaNene @ SergerPepper.com

    1. I have a dear friend who is doing her PhD while raising a little girl. She told me that she thinks it’s important for her daughter to see her working and being independent and so on. So perhaps it’s not so bad to take time?

      I wouldn’t know though. I’m not a father! πŸ™‚

      1. Well, it’s hard!
        She knows that I work (outside home) everyday, all the day. When I’m home, I’m often working on pc and she asks: “Why aren’t you playing with me, why are you always working?” and I feel bad πŸ™
        But I agree with you, it’s not bad take some time!

        Thanks πŸ˜€

  6. All very excellent points Ramsay. I like your point #3 about constant work and passive income. I think that is a common misunderstanding that people have and those unrealistic expectations lead a lot of people to give up when they find out it’s not going to be as easy as they were hoping.

    1. Yeah it’s so true. They say that one in two small businesses fail in the first year but bloggers don’t seem to remember that they have those same hurdles.

  7. Justine Smith on February 24, 2014

    New subscriber here! First of all, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for this blog and sharing your knowledge with us! I heartily agree with the commenter in #5; reading your posts really does feel like chatting with a friend.

    I fully agree with #1 and I think it is definitely one of the most difficult challenges because as bloggers we aim for perpetual growth and not some magical number. I suppose I feel like there’s always something else I should be doing to grow my blog but sometimes I’m not sure what direction to go in (but that’s where your blog comes in!)

    #5 is also crucial. For people to want to return to your blog, you have to have a unique take on what you’re writing about in addition to unique voice. Great post!!

    1. Welcome newcomer!

      I’m so glad you’re enjoying the stuff here so far.

      Thanks for leaving such a great comment. It’s what makes this site worth reading. The comments are always better than the articles!

  8. lisa | renovatingitaly on February 24, 2014

    Well you can always email me for help Ramsey if you want an Italian holiday xx
    You are like a buddy I’ve never met, one that keeps me going and gently reminds me to get back to work sometimes. I’ve followed you since I started blogging (might not show it in my actual blog) and I’m getting to the point of stepping up to the next level. Who knew it would come to this. When I can finally say I’m able to live with income from my writing you’ll be the first person to know about it xx
    ciao ciao lisa
    PS whilst I don’t have a ‘resource’ to share perhaps you’ll take time out to have a coffee with me instead xx
    My blog is moving towards inspirational, dreams can come true and we are living proof that it is possible even with no money and kids

    1. I came so close to coming and visiting you when we were in Europe last year but Italy was just so expensive to get to from the UK compared to the rest. One day!

  9. Lynne from Design The Life You Want to Live on February 24, 2014

    Hello Ramsay,

    I’ve been following your blog for a long time now, and don’t often comment. I’m a blogger. Ha! Not enough time to read blogs. Okay, I lie… I read them, a lot. I’ve learned a TON over the past couple of years.

    My question to you is what to do when you are doing most of the things listed and still not meeting your goal? My goal for 2014 is to monetize my site.

    You are right, it takes time … to grow your voice and grow your traffic with raving loyal fans too. I one billion percent agree.

    I was wondering if you could give me some ideas for my blog?

    Design the Life You Want to Live

    … It would be so GREATLY APPRECIATED.

    I have about 80,000 page views /month
    2,000 email subscribers
    10,000 twitter followers
    Comments per blog post range from 50-200 comments.
    I blog 2-4 times per month.

    I just opened an Ecommerce section on my site to sell iPhone and samsung cases that I have designed. I have barely sold any and they are GORGEOUS. I have no idea how to market my new store or how to really gain from affiliate marketing.

    Soooorrrry for the long comment. Wait. I just said sorry. I’m definitely Canadian 🙂

    Thanks in advance,
    Keep doing what you are doing !!
    PS. One of my goals this year is to also write a post for COPYBLOGGER. Are you going to SMMW2014 ?


    1. It’s midnight here. This comment deserves a deeper look so I’ll get back in the morning. In the meantime some of the Tyrant Troops might take a look.

    2. Cut down your “most popular” to 3 or 4. I like your cases but I have a Nexus 7.

      1. Lynne from Design The Life You Want to Live on February 24, 2014

        Good point Paul, I will do that right now and see how that goes. πŸ™‚



    3. Hey Lynn

      You have a fantastic looking site and I just read your post on cancer – it was pretty touching and I appreciate you putting it out there.

      I would like to give you some feedback – your blog needs a product landing page for whatever you want to sell. Pages like that are distraction free and have one goal in mind ie making the sale. Your site is beautifully designed but it is a little bit distracting so a landing page would be great.

      I also recommend advertising to your readers via email and asking them to share the advert to anyone they think would like it. I mean they care about you and you seem to have fostered a good community and support. Just don’t over do it with the hard sell and no one will mind being advertised to.

      You can also create a post specifically about your product to share the passion you have for it and ask others to share it with people that might like it to get the word out, and like with the email marketing no one would mind if you are up front, honest and excited about what you are offering.

      There is also the option of affiliate links to make some money or leasing advertising space on the site – I am not sure if you are interested in that but the options are there.

      Advertising on social media is also a fantastic idea – facebook is great for that just make sure you use a nice image for your product.

      As a slightly unrelated note you need more lead capture opt in boxes around your site with a clear call to action which highlights the benefits of joining. You have a fantastic blog but you can do a lot better than 2000 subs – if you cant squeeze them in there have you thought about using a pop up ? They are effective but can be a bit distracting.

      If you want any more details on anything here of just want to chat please feel free to contact me on twitter @paulbacklj

      Hope this helped a bit πŸ™‚


      1. P.S my apologies on getting your name incorrect Lynne

      2. Lynne from Design The Life You Want to Live on February 24, 2014

        Much appreciated Paul !!

        I have a product landing page from my header called SHOP but maybe I could highlight it again in the sidebar.

        Landing page : Do you mean have a whole overall site landing page on my homepage rather than blog post summaries? I have thought about doing that as well, but thought that it could be a very drastic change. Not sure. Or do you mean a separate landing page/blog post that leads to the products?

        I like your idea of approaching my readers. I follow the 80/20 rule of give give give and then ask 20% of the time. Maybe this is the perfect time for that. I did send out one email that gives blog subscribers 15% off of the phone cases. I sold some then.

        Facebook and Pinterest are a great place too. I agree. I was thinking about doing a contest to really ramp up interest.

        Lead capture boxes : Is there a plugin, or one that you suggest? I would love to do a lead capture box with a photo, and a spot right on the photo where someone can enter their email address. I think Ramsay has it. If I remember correctly, Ramsay.. was yours a picture of you on the couch and we could enter our email right on the spot (?) As far as pop ups go, I thought that could be okay if they weren’t the annoying pop ups. I understand that there are some that only pop up as the reader is about to leave the site.


        Thanks a million for all your help !!!

        1. liz@lifedreaming on February 24, 2014

          Lynne, LOVED your site design and layout.

          One simple thing I’d suggest is to move your opt in box above the crease. I had to scroll down to sign up (which I did as I’d like to follow what you’re writing) and I’m always happy to scroll but I prefer to have the sign up box at the top right in my direct line of sight – makes it super duper duper easy.

          I agree with Paul about doing some posts that tell people about the products you sell and why you LOVE them. You have a big enough following that gives you some authority and social proof so go for it. His suggestion to send an email to people highlighting the gorgeousness of your products and inviting people to buy them can’t hurt. If you really want them to love you then give them a small discount as loyal readers.

          I’ve been putting together a file of headers with opt in sections from a pile of different sites as I want to get one designed and there are so many designs. Happy to email it over to you if that would help. [email protected]

          Good luck.

          1. Lynne from Design The Life You Want to Live on February 24, 2014

            Thank you Liz ! I’m emailing you right now xx !!

  10. Debra Lloyd on February 24, 2014

    You make several excellent points here Ramsay, but the one that I see most bloggers and start up online businesses struggling with is treating a blog or website as a business.

    Everyone loves to count up their sales and say “look how much I made while I was sleeping” – but in truth that’s revenue not progit so it’s not an accurate statement. To have a clear picture of how any blog or site is doing you need at a minimum to keep a basic Profit & Loss Statement. As boring as this can sound to our creative right brains, you’ll come to love your P&L once you realise it (or your chosen accounting system) helps you pin-point exactly what makes you money and what does not – which in turn helps you do more of what does and ditch what doesn’t make money.

    Another benefit, if you ever come to sell a blog or website is having that level of detail and verifiable history (when supported by 3rd party documentation) significantly increases the value of a blog or website. It’ll also make it much easier and faster for you to find a buyer.

    Thanks for pointing out the not-so-glamorous side of blogging, but when it’s run as a business it can be both financially and creatively rewarding .


    1. Awesome and super helpful comment, Deb. Thank you so much. I completely agree about the stats for selling a blog BTW.

      1. Debra Lloyd on February 24, 2014

        Just following your lead Ramsay – I also agree with what you say about not getting distracted spending too much time reading under the guise of education. Having said that, time on Blog Tyrant is always a smart investment πŸ™‚

  11. Another point I’d make is that traffic can go down as well as up – hence the importance of building your list and social media followers.

    Google has become ever more fickle, and it’s tempting to think you’re “hot stuff” as you see your search engine traffic growing with every new post.

    But sooner or later Google will change their minds, and you’ll likely see a drop in traffic from them.

    Diversifying your traffic sources and building up your list as soon as possible should be – as you say – a priority.

    1. Absolutely. I still seem to make this mistake over and over again with the SERPs. Oh, I have an affiliate ranking well. Time to relax. Not.

  12. Thanks for this, Ramsay. I agree! It’s kind of a roller coaster at times. As far as motivation to post, posts per week, how much time I can put into it all. It all ebbs and flows, but I am still at a point where I am thankful for my blog and even if I am only encouraging one person or helping them in some way, it really is worth it.

    I’m not chasing a magic # of visitors number for me anymore. Instead I am at a point where I am grateful for the readers I DO have and want to build that relationship with them!

    It’s a unique platform. For instance, to see 500 people in a room together that you’d be speaking to in real life would be a LOT for me (and crazy scary), but in the virtual world it doesn’t seem like much. It IS though. So, even if it’s just 10 people coming to your blog, that’s ten real life peopl! So, keep on keepin’ on all your bloggers!

    1. Wow, that is a scary thought. I defo don’t want to see 500 of you all in a room. That would be so intimidating. Ha ha.


      1. Haha! My fear would be LACK of noise from my poor public speaking. #cyberworldiswhereitsat

  13. Hey Ramsey

    This a fantastic insight into being a blogger. I am on that journey myself now and I think #9 is already apparent.

    The amount of positive experiences that I have got so far is incredible – this also ties in with anxiety and pressure, people need to know they are not alone and can turn to others for help and support.

    I think there’s no shame in asking others in your field or your `mentors for help and guidance – it helps relive the stress and gives you a boost.

    When I was running my supplement business it was the most stressful experience, I did feel like I was alone and no one cared but that was partly my fault – I think if you do all you can do do a good job for yourself and your audience you should not feel guilt or take some negative feedback to heart.

    I also want to say if you ever feel like you want someone to speak to and you are feeling the stress I’m more than happy to help out in whatever way I can.

    Thanks for this insightful post, its a bit different but I really enjoyed it.


    1. P.S if you can remove the link from my name ( I made an error)

      *Done* (Ramsay)

    2. Loving your comments around here lately Paul! Where’s your gravatar?

      Thanks again. Really appreciate the input and the offer at the end there.

      1. Thank you πŸ™‚ and its my pleasure man.. and yes I need to set it up just being lazy..


  14. Lawsuits & Trolls

    1. Urgh.

  15. I am fighting my way with 1 and 9 :(….but my hopes are still on πŸ™‚

    1. You got support here!

  16. 1. I love knowledge and the hardest part for me is to write instead of reading articles like this.
    2. Consistent growth is hard. I have two expert review blogs. One deals with Lawn Tractors (spring and summer traffic) and the other deals with snow blowers (winter traffic.) Dealing with seasonal traffic is really hard because Google does reward consistent and regular blog posts.
    3. It takes 2 to 3 years minimum to really become a recognized expert so make a plan to stick with it for the long haul. But once you get there even Google will recognize it.
    4. People are wonderful but remember one thing. “Out of 100 people you meet, 2 you want to make your best friend and 2 you never want to see again.” Don’t let the last two get you down.
    5. Blog Tyrant, Neil Patel, Seth Godin and Bernadette Jiwa are four people you must read and follow.
    6.Don’t spend money on the latest “buy this and I’ll make you rich” plugin, book, formula. The best information is free.
    7. Get off of shared hosting. I won’t tell you what hosting service to use. Ramsay can do that.
    8. Write for the long-tail but above all pick who you want to write to (find your voice). Pretend they are sitting across the table from you when you write.

    1. Great list Paul!

      Do you make money selling those lawn tractors? I always wonder if people would buy big items like that online.

      I agree about shared hosting. It’s a topic I want to approach here on the blog at some point because I think a lot of my readers are ready for VPS environments. It’s just a big leap skills wise.

      1. My goal is a million in sales this year.

        I don’t sell directly. All the sales are affiliate sales through trusted big box store sites so there is no worry for the customer. I am very up front and open about that. I also help them with issues after sale. Because of that sales are up 2500% (Yes, 2500) over last year.

        A very interesting thing is happening. The 40-55 year old male that wouldn’t even touch a computer 2 years ago is now doing all of his research online. If you build a trusting relationship with him he will buy the big ticket items. Women are already used to buying online and only want the reassurance they are buying the right product for their needs.

        And…people have no problems buying anything from Amazon. Just remember it’s not the amount you sell on Amazon, it’s the number of items. Mix it up and find little things people want besides the large ticket items. It’s always a treat when those $2500 sales come in and your performance rate is at 7% or higher.

        Yes, VPS is the way to go.

        1. If you are doing that much in sales through Amazon surely you could make some direct relationships with the brands? Amazon’s commission is so small.

          1. Agreed, I’m negotiating with two companies right now to market their products directly.

  17. Excellent post. Glad I found it on twitter today. Good timing as I am doing a lot of writing at the moment. Great read to start the week and just what I needed. I am very guilty of Number 2 (my blog is in migration…again), but I have finally turned that job over to professionals so that I may concentrate on the creative. Additionally, your video was a very powerful add-on to this article. Well done. Thank you!

    1. I did worry that this post was a bit grim for a Monday!

  18. Thanks for this post Ramsay. It seems you may gone inside my brain and extracted my thoughts and used it for this post.

    I am still trying to figure out things…the stress factor is high but slowly becoming aware of what it will take.

    Your writing comes straight from the heart.

    1. Thanks for letting me inside your brain! πŸ˜‰

  19. Steph Martel on February 24, 2014

    Hey Ramsay!
    I loved this post because it reminded me of one of my favorite lessons of blogging: keep it simple. When I appeal to my audience about personal pieces of my life that we all struggle with, I get a better response.

    One thing I have noticed along the way is that just like any other job, it’s important to have a group of individuals that you connect with. They make it easy to lean on in times of need and also to bounce ideas off of. This usually comes in the form of social media these days (G+, Facebook), but I’ve been trying to dig in a little more to specific communities. I feel like I’m making more authentic connections, the interactions are deeper (which makes for more fun and interesting conversations).

    A tribe, a troop, whatever you want to call it, having some people out there that can prop you up is very helpful! Just my 2 cents πŸ™‚

    1. liz@lifedreaming on February 24, 2014

      Really nice site you have Rachel. Just followed you on G+ as it’s beginning to be one of my fave social media spaces.


      1. liz@lifedreaming on February 24, 2014

        sorry Steph, got your name wrong which I blame on having a really bad flu and brain mush !!

        1. Steph Martel on February 24, 2014

          Haha Thanks Liz! Hope you feel better soon πŸ™‚

          1. I love you guys!

  20. Ahmed Safwan@ To Start Blogging on February 24, 2014

    Great post Ramsay.

    I’d like to hear more about outsourcing from you. Did you do it? What do you outsource?

    Of course, I’d be happy for your detailed answer in a post. I know how you love details.

    1. Hey mate. How are you?

      I have a video and post with Chris Ducker coming up very soon on this exact topic. I think it will be out early next week.

      Is that alright?

      1. I was about to ask the same thing. Can’t wait to read this one when it’s done. Thank you!

  21. Zafer Cengiz on February 24, 2014

    Since we are humans who are obliged to solve the puzzle of “communication” in at least 2 direction- The main dilemma is to formulate easy & understandable messages that fits the audience.. Which is vital since the individual performence is restricted as to “how far it is realized?” Besides: Knowing is a very wide phenomena that starts from getting introduced, to endless varieties of experiencing in depth..! Result: Life is quite hard for poor humans to utilize the fantastic brains for the simple must of society as “to communicate” amongst temselves..!?

    1. This is far too deep for me this morning! Let me wake up first. πŸ™‚

  22. The last few points would really be helpful. This is a perfect article with a call to action for readers. The rare thing about this article is that the call to action is not for benefit of the writer but for the benefit of the reader itself. And that my friend, is a really kind gesture.
    This article is obviously going to help a lot many bloggers. keep up the awesome work! πŸ™‚

    1. I do benefit from it as well. I get a lot out of these comment discussions. It’s my favorite part of running this blog.

  23. Alexandra Hernandez on February 24, 2014

    You make very good points!

    I think it’s really important to point out the commitment it takes to upkeep a good blog!

    1. Thanks.

  24. liz@lifedreaming on February 24, 2014

    well done again Ramsay and I hope I might be in the 50 people you’d feel free to email.

    I’ve been doing a lot of work offline this year to do some serious work thinking about how I want to grow my biz globally and what that means in terms of social media and blogging.

    There are going to be some big changes from the end of March as well as hundreds of incremental changes and actions.

    One of the BIG things for me is to have an attitude where I take myself and the biz seriously AND have clear and conscious actions EVERY DAY.

    Every action will be clearly linked to biz and marketing goals that I’m developing with some paid external help and some free mentors in March.

    And the goals are linked to the Big Why – why I do what I do = my passion and purpose.

    Making all that as clear as possible acts as a huge motivator and kicks the ‘E’ Factors into high gear.

    E Factors are the energy, enthusiasm and sheer expenditure of effort, time and money you’re prepared to put into your life and the things you love.

    When all that connects then the day to day grains of sand make sense and can even be enjoyable.

    It’s when I lose sight of why I am doing the things I do that I can get blue and depressed and lose energy.

    AND – I’m really really good at rewarding my efforts and taking time to loll (which can also be madly creative) or walk my Coco dog or have lunch with a friend over a bottle of wine.

    Blogging is just part of a much larger biz and marketing strategy if you’re building a business and income streams.

    Being clear about why, how, what, when and where you’re doing it helps sooooo much.

    Thanks as always Ramsay for a really thoughtful post.

    Take care

    1. Absolutely. You’re in my top 5.

      1. liz@lifedreaming on February 24, 2014

        That’s fab. You and you’re blog are number one.

        I do love the crew that make comments. I learn from them as well as you.

        I also get to have a gander at some really lovely sites and have met some great people here.

        Off now to work in Cork. Have a great day Ramsay.


        1. Yeah the comments here are the best. I love seeing all the blogging connections taking place.

  25. This is an awesome list you put together! I must print this baby out and keep it in front of me at all times. It will ensure to continue to put out good content for my readers.

    1. Glad you enjoyed it.

  26. Doug Wojtczak on February 25, 2014

    Hi Ramsay,

    As always your post is excellent!

    I find myself dealing with point number 8 often. I have found myself falling into the traps of not eating and not sleeping recently. I have many things that I want to do and I am having to force myself to eat and sleep. Even something simple as drinking a lot of water throughout the day, like I have done for years now, is taking a back seat because I get so involved in what I am doing.

    I have to say that I do this because of point number 9. People are wonderful and the few that I talk with through my blogs make it all worth it. If what I write can help just one person, it is worth the lack of sleep and food.

    It’s times like now where I read your post at 1 pm today and I told myself that I would comment with what was on my mind before I went to sleep. It’s now after 1 am and I haven’t gone to bed yet but I had it in my mind that must comment.

    Thanks for the helpful tips also. I haven’t put the time in to build my email list over the years but your first tip me made start the process today or yesterday. I have heard many times that “you should build your list” but seeing that first tip up there made me take some action that I should have taken back in 2004.

    Thanks again.


    1. You’re welcome Doug. I’m glad my stuff is hopefully helping some people. Thanks for all your kind words around the place. Means a lot.

      Now sleep!

  27. Wow, Ramsay! I love this post! So honest and great tips for a heads up. Thanks from a new reader πŸ™‚

    1. Thanks for being a new reader!

  28. Wow…you hit all of my issues right on! I love writing and that’s the last thing I try to fit into my day, which usually doesn’t happen. I definitely need to re-prioritize my tasks.

    Thank you so much for the great information!

    Happy Blogging!

    1. Glad you enjoyed it Marcia.

  29. Lynne from Design The Life You Want to Live on February 25, 2014

    Hi Ramsay

    You were right, some of your peeps wrote and helped me out here. Thank you !!!

    I’m crossing my fingers and toes and hoping that you will write me and give me some hot to trot ideas on really taking my blog to a new level of monetization.

    Big hugs from Canada to Australia ! PS. I’ll trade you snow for sunshine πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Lynne.

      Beautiful site.

      The main thing I’d try to do if it was my blog was consolidate the message. There is lots of great content but I can’t really find the purpose.

      Simplify your sidebar down to one or two things and bring your optin form to the very top. Do you have a follow up series that introduces people to your stuff? Do you regularly feature shop items in blog posts? Have you asked your subscribers what they’d like to see most and then developed a product around that?

      Just a few ideas. Also, there was a yahoo pop up on your shop page. Is that supposed to be there?

      1. Lynne from Design The Life You Want to Live on February 26, 2014

        Thanks Ramsay !

        That is super helpful !

        I will simplify my sidebar and I just bought leadpages today to have better optin options.

        Follow up : I have an auto responder for subscribers that introduces them to my stuff.

        Features : I haven’t featured my products in posts yet. I just started with products but I think it’s a great idea to feature them. Nice!

        I love the idea of asking my readers too. I’ll do a survey monkey reader poll. Good one!

        And whaaaaaaa, a yahoo pop up? Nope. I didn’t know about that one. I will look into it now. Eeeeek. Thanks for letting me know.



        PS. I have a hot tip for you πŸ™‚ Have you ever tried the comment reply notification plugin? Ohmergerd, it’s awesome. People who leave a comment are notified when you reply to them. It will become a fave plugin for you, for sure! That way, readers don’t have to subscribe to receive all comments in the blog post.

        Leave a comment on my blog and I’ll respond. You’ll see how magical it is. Ahhhmazing πŸ™‚

  30. Alfred Halvarson on February 25, 2014

    Interesting thought; I started out blogging for myself and got a bit flustered when people started following along. This piece reminds me of why I wrote–and should still keep writing–in the first place. Thanks!

    1. Perfect!

  31. I’m damn sure that I’m going to rock my blog on because, this post increased energy to do so.
    Especially, I got this to-do-power from the quote in photo format by BlogTyrant in which you have talked about sowing the seed. Thumbs up! Thanks again

    1. Thanks so much Abdul!

  32. Contented Traveller on February 26, 2014

    I think that you covered all the bases really well. What I have learnt in the last 9 months is incredible. What I have still to learn is totally daunting. The ‘voice’ is mega important and perhaps a changing one as confidence and understanding grow. I have no idea why growing an email subscriber list is important but will now look into it.I would have loved a checklist of things that apparently are important but that I have found out about by reading so many blogs, like back links. I actually am revelling in my virtual life:) Top article and keep them coming. Regards, Paula

    1. I’m glad you’re looking into the mailing list. That is so important.

  33. lisa thomson on February 26, 2014

    Hi ramsay, thanks for this wonderful post. I just linked to you from Copyblogger. Everyting you mention is soooo true. I’ve been blogging for over 2 years and traffic has grown but I would love to get more subscribers. I’m making some changes to my homepage which I hope will spice up and simplify the navigation for readers. Anyway, it’s a slow grind as you say but my passion for my subject keeps me going.

    p.s. reading the right blogs is the key to success and the comments are where I learn lots of great stuff for blogging success. right here for example,lots of great stuff.

    1. Lynne from Design The Life You Want to Live on February 26, 2014

      Hi Lisa !!!!!!

      We read the same blogs πŸ™‚ Ohhhhmergerd. I agree, you are right … reading other blogs and comments really does help all of us grow.

      So awesome to see you here too !!!!!

      Big kiss,

      1. Love the comments on this blog. You guys are all amazing!

  34. lisa thomson on February 26, 2014

    Thanks Lynne! I love finding you in bloggy places. I found copyblogger through you so big hug for u and x.

  35. Very nice write up. Thanks a lot. Wow … you got 5000 visitors in your second week. Impressive! Shows again that blogging about blogging is still popular … hehe.

    I blog for fun and not to make money … this solves a lot of the issues you mentioned. Keep things simple.

    1. Actually, it wasn’t really because of a topic about blogging if I remember correctly. πŸ™‚

  36. Ramsay – are you sure about that 100 mil new blogs per day statistic? If so, that’s a LOT of blogs.

    1. Nah that was just me being too lazy to research and wanting to make a joke. πŸ™‚

  37. Matthew Kaboomis Loomis on February 27, 2014

    Hi Ramsay,

    I really appreciate the blogging expertise you provide….I’m going to check out the Pomodoro technique (which I’ve never heard of) and the speech on solitude/leadership.

    Thanks again,

    1. No worries Matt. Glad you liked it.

  38. David Black on March 1, 2014

    As ever Ramsay, you’re right about all of this!
    I run a blog for an international fan club with thousands of users – a couple of months ago I accidentally deleted the whole thing. It took me two days to get back on line – that’s what I call stress – certainly no relaxing in cafes.

    Thankfully I got it all back up and running but it did teach me about backing up.

    Best cure I find is a gin and tonic.

    Having said all that – I still love the freedom of being my own boss and making my own decisions.

    Thanks for another useful post Ramsay…

    1. That sounds really stressful…

  39. I’m still trying to figure out which one sucks…haha. Thanks for all the very best things you have told here.

    1. The one about depression.

  40. Sky Nealon on March 4, 2014

    Hi Ramsey,

    Thank you for sharing such wonderful insights about the reality of blogging, as a newbie/ new reader who just started blogging, you really opened my eyes to how much work is involved both physically and emotionally. I will certainly try out the Pomodoro technique which I have never heard of until today from your blog post.

    Now, I hope that you don’t mind me asking this… but how did you get 5000 visitors in the second week? And was it scary when you first started this blog?

    Kind regards

    1. Hi Sky.

      The flood of traffic came from a post hitting the front page of Delicious.

      It was a bit scary!

  41. Graham Smith on March 5, 2014

    Hi Ramsey

    Thanks for all these point i am thinking of starting blogging and i think i was meant to read this post,, i know it will not be easy, and will have to put in the hard work as you must with any new business !!!!


    1. Thanks Graham. Glad the post helped you learn a little bit about blogging. Hope it goes well for you.

  42. Wow, this was a real eye opener for me. I’ve been stuck in bad habits before (esp when I first started working from home), and if it weren’t for being able to get into a routine, I don’t know where I’d be today.

    Very interesting about exercising during the day. I run three times a week but first thing in the morning. I’m thinking I should start doing this midday instead.

    Fantastic post, thanks!

    1. Nice one Marcus. Let us know how you go with the running. Nice to see how people go about their blogging I think.

  43. Slavko Desik on March 6, 2014

    And people think this is easy.
    Distraction in the form of knowledge is the biggest problem for me. My SEO list on Twitter alone is big enough to keep me out of work for an hour or two.
    Depression anxiety creep to me in the form of manic-like symptoms. One moment feeling like you are going to conquer the world, the next fearing that everything might tear apart and collapse. And such is the volatile nature of online businesses.
    Btw, the Anxiety video is spot on.

    What I hope for the most, is having the same amount of passion, the way I did when I started this online thing. Guess that’s why I feed my enthusiasm with another project, and another and another. That is an issue worth bringing up as well I think.

    1. Dude. You’ve got my email. Any time you need to chat…

  44. Top Blogger on March 6, 2014

    Great Article. I am a New Blogger. your all Tips is Really helpful for me. Thank you very much for Sharing.

  45. Patti Morrow on March 6, 2014

    I’m a new blogger and I’ve been amazed at how willing other bloggers are to jump in and offer helpful advice. Your tips are excellent, Ramsay, and all seem very doable. I will say that getting 100,000 subscribers sounds very daunting. Heck, getting 10,000 is daunting. Thank you… I’m really looking forward to reading more of your posts.

    1. Yes, I’m still a long way from 100,000 as well.

  46. I really like your blog and this article is so very true. I’m at the point where I feel that blogging is too hard for me. I enjoy blogging and I’d be so happy if I could help even one person with my research and recipes.. but the work it takes..ohmy:D And I am partly afraid of being successful at blogging, it’s unfathomable how many people can potentially read what I have to say.. huge responsibility. But I’ll make it work and I’ll follow the tips you have posted in this blog and.. thank you:)

    1. I struggled with the responsibility, the one person who argued with me, and answering all the questions until I came across this one paragraph from Steven Pressfield’s book “Do the Work”.

      “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

      1. I have never thought much of myself, but you made my day. Thank you! You gave me new energy and may be I don’t need to be afraid of responsibility..because I love blogging and I do my research thoroughly and I only write whats important to me and what I believe in.. may be even I can shine?:D Thank you so much for the support, those words really-really meant a lot!

        1. This is a wonderful interaction here. This is why I love my readers.

  47. Lewis LaLanne on March 7, 2014

    I love that Robert Louis Stevenson quote.

    I also love how you point out that it’s so easy to have money show up one day and think you can take the day off because it did.

    This is crazy that this comes up now because I was looking at your post earlier today where you were asking your audience what they thought would help them with their blogs in 2014 and I was going to comment there, but I guess someone won and you turned the comments off.

    What I was going to say was that what I believed would MOST help bloggers is to have conditions set in place that force them to take right actions and accountability partners that enforce these conditions.

    We all pay our taxes and obey laws (a different name for conditions) if we don’t want to be driven to poverty, or put into a jail cell by our governments.

    Whether we think we should pay taxes or not, or obey laws we don’t agree with . . . whether we think threats of force are good or bad . . . reality says that conditions like this have proven to get people to take actions that keep their lives free from massive loads of drama that are waiting for them on the other side if they don’t.

    So if this system works so well in other realms, why not impose strict success conditions on ourselves that force our goals to materialize?

    Because having rigid success conditions set in place SUCKS compared to playing everything loosey-goosey, shooting from the hip, going with the flow and having no hard and fast commitments to anything or anyone.

    There is an example of a self-imposed success condition that I learned from one of my treasured mentors, Dan Kennedy, that directly applies to what you were talking about relevant to wanting to go play when the money is rolling in, instead of working.

    Many years ago, he set up the condition that every day, he would not let himself go to bed at night unless he’d done at least one thing to help fill the pipeline with money.

    This could be replying to a inquiry that came in from a potential client. This could be writing an article. This could be sending out an inquiry to speak at an event. It could be any activity that directly contributed to future leads and money coming in.

    As far as I know, he is still adhering to this ritual/condition, even though he is semi-retired and doesn’t need the money anymore.

    He believes this practice prevented him from having to endure the feast and famine cycle that most information marketers and consultants find to be the norm.

    Now unlike Dan Kennedy, most people won’t impose success conditions on themselves which means it’s no surprise that they don’t succeed at the levels that they could if they would.

    But what if, in the world of information marketing, someone imposed strict success conditions on the people who bought tickets to their seminars or their products/courses and set up heavy penalties that loomed in the wait if they didn’t give the content their very best effort?

    Someone has. And they’ve become massively admired and successful by doing so for decades now and . . . they’ve also got their minority of haters as the result of using this polarizing concept.

    This is the idea I’m exploring in a post now, that I plan on publishing on this coming Tuesday, March 11th.

    Once again, your content has inspired me and in my excitement, a simple blog comment has morphed into a 2,000 + word post for my site.

    My response here will be a part of that future post but I wanted it to be published here first so that if Google looked, it would show that I was duplicating content from this site instead of the other way around so that it doesn’t cause a problem for you.

    If my logic is flawed and you’ll still have a problem with Google, please by all means, feel free to delete this entire comment, with my love, as I’m more than grateful for, and delighted with the inspiration you’ve given me to get my piece written. πŸ™‚

    1. Lewis you are the best commenter I’ve ever met. Un freaking believable. I don’t even know how to reply!

  48. Dan Sumner on March 7, 2014

    Hey Ramsey,

    Nailed the list buddy great stuff indeed. Any blogger, especially a new blogger needs to stay super focused in the early days. As you well know this is the time when folks give up and throw in the towel.

    I’m loving the management tips especially the fitness and organisation tips. I exercise regularly and still to this day use a diary (yes a paper one) to organise my time. I do have Evernote for when I’m on the move but I still like to write ideas and schedules down.

    Cool post πŸ™‚


    1. Thanks Dan. Glad you enjoyed it.

  49. Monday Must-Reads [03/10/14] on March 11, 2014

    […] 9 Things No One Tells You About Blogging. One of Them Really Sucks. […]

  50. as an Internet marketer, i do not mange any routine. this is the bad point, i will work on this and make my work planed and hope more creative and productive. Thanks for share

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