The Ugly Truth Behind Successful Bloggers

You’ve probably read the stories, where a blogger tells you all about how wildly successful they are. How they “fell into it” and started making money overnight, or got crazy traffic right from the beginning. And there you sit, looking at your four pageviews today wondering how in the hell they did it.

Was it luck? Was it timing? Was it freakin’ magic?

Because there has to be some secret sauce out there right? I mean, there has to be.

I’ll be the first to tell you that you’re not alone in feeling frustrated with these stories. So are other bloggers. So are other successful bloggers.

Maybe that comes as a shock to you, but trust me, we all feel it, and I think we are all sick of it.

Now don’t get me wrong, it’s completely possible that once you reach a level of success that you kind of forget all the struggle to get there. It’s possible, and yes, some of us did just get lucky or started at the right time in the right niche.

Since being an entrepreneur and/or a blogger can be lonely, I thought it was important to share this with you, and even more important to share the voices of other bloggers on this topic.

So what makes successful bloggers?

I started blogging before blogging became a thing and did it for fun. I had a free blog and was paid $60 to write about an Alzheimers walk. I was young and my blog then did not look like what my blog looks now. I stopped blogging because it was tiring and I wish I did not stop. It was really easy to earn before.

Blogger P

This just goes back to the basic principle of successful blogging.

Create content that people want and let those people know that the content exists.

If a blogger is getting a ton of traffic it’s because of that principle above. On Pinterest and other platforms you can trick people into thinking you have the content that they want but that’s not a good long term play.

I think there are so many bloggers now working in a small cluster of niches that they don’t realize they are competing with each other. They tend to look at their blog in a vacuum as if they are the only ones trying to get people’s attention.

If it was easier for some bloggers back in the day to make it big it was because they could stand out from the crowd just by being mediocre.


You have to ask how do you stand out? Why is your mediocre content supposed to get more views than the other mediocre content?

To more directly answer your questions:

1. We tend to have a bias against things that we’ve done ourselves. What I mean is that because we can do them we believe they aren’t that difficult to do.

We also struggle remembering the journey if there really wasn’t many obstacles to overcome.

If we were able to do something then it couldn’t have been that special, right? But it is.

This is a big problem in the how to blog world because people like to say “blogging is easy” and in theory it is easy, but it’s easy to forget the mindset issue, mental hurdles, and complications with time that plague many people.

2. Nobody stumbled into anything with no effort. The people that succeeded did so because they consistently churned out content.

Whether they saw that as a grind or not is a different matter, but it’s the ones that remained consistent in putting stuff out there that people loved that saw success.

Because they enjoyed doing it they made it sound like it was a piece of cake but as many of you know, being consistent is one of the most difficult things with owning your own business.

Blogger (also) P

15 years ago, this was entirely possible. Back then, I was a kid and ran a graphic/web design site. Within 2 years, I reached over 1 million page views and was ranked at the top of Google for the keywords associated with my work (Neopets stuff, if that rings any bells). I had a massive audience who kept coming back to see my latest designs. This was with zero marketing, other than a visible watermark on my designs. There were a few other sites out there doing what I did, but not many.

Today, there are WAY more places on the internet where people can find what they’re looking for. Even if you’re lucky enough to stumble into a niche before it skyrockets in popularity, you’ll soon be overtaken by people who DO know what they’re doing.

Blogger C

That’s how it happened for me. I’ve had a blog since 2005 and it was just for fun until I realized how much traffic Pinterest was bringing. I tried full time but that isn’t for me. So it’s just still on the side—I work on it when I can—and I make about $2000 a month with it.

Blogger L

After thinking about some more … the thing for me when I hear stories like this (I also have a YouTuber I love whose apparently put up one or two videos, no business plan or strategy or anything, and got a HUGE huge following immediately) is that I think, “Oh, well maybe I don’t have the looks/skill/personality/special angle/luck/whatever to be in this business.” If the successful people take off almost immediately without even trying to and I’m working my tail off and barely getting anywhere, maybe there is a “type” of person who can do this, and I’m just not that type, and that no matter what I do, I’ll always be struggling. I think intellectually I know that is *probably* not true, but it does worry me.

Blogger J

OMG I have soooooo many thoughts here.
1. Yes, some people got lucky. I know a bunch of them.
2. Some get lucky now/recently.
3. It was much easier to get lucky if you’re an early entrant. and, this is usually true of every industry.
4. We almost never hear about all the ones that failed or gave up…and they are the majority.
5. Yes, there’s much more competiton (and funding now). While I got in on the earlier side (not early and certaininly not monetizing early). But I can see a LOT more competition…every ear.
6. If we believe that over timeyou can grow and learn and get more things done, those that started earlier have the benefit of time. It’s just like saving for retirement. It’s much easier if you start in your 20s vs your 50s because you have so much more time to bulid compound interest.
7. Blogging is HARD. and, it’s slow. but, it does compound. I believe this is true for most people.
8. Think about her objectives there – prob to sell more hosting.
9. Yes you can start new blogs now and do well. Look at all the niche sites that roll out all the time. Yes, it may take a coupel of years. but, I would never launch another (as I’m planning to do) if I didn’t think it was possible.
10.Food for thought for you. One of the biggest thngs that can make a difference is your NICHE. (mine was hard, BTW). But think about that. I’m going to build additional blogs in the furure…different niches.(not sure what yet).

Blogger D

So you can see, all bloggers and entrepreneurs have different stories to tell and have their own journey to follow. So don’t get bummed by someone else’s success. They aren’t you, and you’re freakin’ awesome. So you do you and make it happen!

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