Starting a Blog: Expectations vs Reality
I am going to do wonders…I will develop a website and write daily content that will top the search engines and attract tons of readers, all captivated by my infinite wisdom and knowledge.
Sounds simple. Doesn’t it?
And so, after my initial excitement at fine-tuning my expectations, I begin to build the dream, I start with designing the site; spending countless hours on an eye-catching design and mulling over logos and images, I create the contact page and even – after numerous re-edits – the ‘About Me’ page until finally it sits on the world’s virtual stage, sparkling and new…and very, very empty.
I manage to write my first post, hoping 456 words is long enough…and gingerly wait for the onslaught of visitors who are eager to read my thoughts.
It’s quiet and really lonely…and my drive hits a wall.
My intentions start to grey out, and my motivation fades, taking with it some of the enthusiasm I once had.
My expectations have just hit reality.
I didn’t expect it would take so long to get a visitor, I didn’t expect to have to put in so many tedious hours to market my site, and I didn’t expect it to cost so much.
I didn’t expect it to be this hard.
So what are your expectations when you think about starting a website and becoming a blogger? What do you want after journaling your inner thoughts to an audience who may or may not be interested in what you have to say?
For most of us, starting a blog is a way we can express ourselves and our opinions; to share our knowledge on a particular subject; and to have our personalities, talents and opinions out there to be admired, gained knowledge from or even questioned.
And there is also the potential of earning an income online from our blogging websites.
But we set ourselves up with unrealistic expectations – false assumptions that ‘if we build it, they will come’.
And what happens when those expectations differ significantly to the real thing?
We start to lose faith that our dream of having a successful blog and earning an online income is ever going to happen for us.We eventually give up, and chase the next big thing we have high expectations for.
If this is you, you are not alone.
It is reality for the majority of people trying to make it online.
So what can we do so as not to fall into the trap of expecting the world tomorrow then feeling like a failure when we end up with a remote island somewhere in the middle of the Pacific?
We change our expectations.
Not our aims – aims are different; they are what we work towards which we don’t expect to have next week.
Expectation is the ‘degree of probability that something will occur’ – Dictionary.com
So it has to be realistic…
You need to change your perception that you will have a successful, thousand dollar, profit pulling blog in a few short weeks. It’s not impossible but highly unlikely.
Ignoring the Hype
It doesn’t help though with the amount of hype there is about earning money online. And I do know bloggers that are now earning a lot of money from their blogs, and many did it within a few short months, but I also know how much hard work and dedication they put into those blogs – they were not handed to them on a silver plate.
Unfortunately, when we see these successes, we don’t see what goes on behind the scenes; we don’t see how many hours they put in at the computer, desperately trying to finish a blog post, or how many pins they created on Pinterest – or how much time they spent in forums helping others so they could build their reputation and market their blogs.
I certainly didn’t.
Instead, I naively expected that by creating a blog and putting up a few posts I would have the sales rolling in and be well on my way to six figures, or thereabouts.
My expectation failed me.
Don’t base your own expectations on the results from others. Take them at face value and build your own results.
Setting Expectations Apart From Hope
Expectations can be dangerous when they are made out of hope, but if they are set correctly, they can also be extremely rewarding, satisfying and motivating.
For example, if I started a new diet on a Monday with the expectation of losing 14 lbs by the following Monday (it has been a great hope more than once), unless I had been stricken with a pretty nasty sickness bug, I would probably only lose at most about 4lbs…thus I would be extremely disappointed and ready to eat that huge chocolate cake!
But if I started with the expectation of losing 2lb, then I would be delighted at that 4lb loss.
Two very different outcomes with the same result: the first would dampen my motivation and yet the second would spur me on to continue.
We need to take this realistic approach when it comes to our online business’.
In terms of blogging, say if your expectation was to have 1000 subscribers on your list within the first month and net around $500 profit, you would be extremely disappointed if you managed 100 subscribers and no sales.
A more realistic expectation for me to have would be to have my blog up and running with all links and opt-ins working, images and keywords optimised and at least two posts up.
In my first month I wouldn’t expect subscribers and I certainly wouldn’t expect sales.
But what a confidence booster if I did get subscribers and a couple of sales.
Expect the Unexpected
As well as setting the right expectations, we also need to expect the many challenges that we will face in our online journey. If you are aware of potential threats beforehand, have the necessary plans of diversion, then you are more likely to overcome them.
In the next post, I will go over some of these expectations you may come across and how to set them correctly.
We all know ‘not to have such high expectations’ but sometimes it helps to have a reminder. It is okay to dream but don’t let those dreams overspill into reality and what you expect to happen.
To have high expectations for a new venture, whatever that may be, is easy to have but it can be a destructive element in your growth, instead focus on your aims and the steps you need to take to get you there.
To your success,