When I have friends, neighbors and even strangers find out about 2 Kids and a Coupon, one of the common reactions is that they think that they want to start a blog too. I also regularly get e-mails and messages from readers asking questions about starting a site. We’ve had a lot of these lately, which have inspired me to put together a few pieces of some of the things that I wish someone would have told me before I started my site. Here’s the first segment, watch for more coming soon!
Blogging is a Lot of Work
You may be thinking that you can do better than a lot of blogs out there and starting your own. It can be a fun hobby, and even a business, however you need to be prepared that it an extremely great deal of work. Most of those who are successful work 60+,80+ or more hours a week and are online constantly. It is lots of blood, sweat, stress and tears. It is time away from your kids and family. For every blog that is successful, there are hundreds if not thousands that have failed. If you think you’ve got what it takes to make it “big”, you’re going to need to be prepared to work for it. A LOT.
Deal Blogging is Even More Work
One thing I was unprepared for about featuring deals and coupons on my site, is how many there are. Not only are there lots to feature every single day, they also never stop, and you’re going to need to work at it constantly. This means you update your site throughout the day and on weekends, holidays and vacations. Unless you have someone who you really, really trust to step in, you don’t get a day off or a break without your readership suffering. If you’re not prepared to do so, another type of blog might be better for you.
Your Name Can Mean Everything
Did you know that I’m regularly declined for opportunities just because I have the word “coupon” in my title? Your name can mean a great deal, and not only does it need to be catchy and memorable, but you need to think it through. Just because you write about a subject now, you might want to shift focus later and you don’t want to limit yourself by the title or website domain. There is currently some discrimination against blogs with frugal type names that include words like coupon, frugal, save, etc., and you may want to avoid geographic designations in your title. The world wide web opens up a huge readership and you don’t want to limit yourself just by giving the impression that you ONLY cover a certain regional area or a particular topic.
Running Advertising or Sponsored Posts is not Selling Out
While many people blog solely because they enjoy it, the truth is a majority do it because of the income. This is a way that many people supplement their family’s incomes and there is a variety of way to earn from blogging. Some of my favorites for advertising are Escalate Media, Logical Media, Flex Offers and MySavings. You can also earn income from Social Spark doing paid reviews & posts, as well as from tweeting with Sponsored Tweets. I’ll be sharing additional ways to generate blogging income in a future segment.
Companies Aren’t Going to Work With You Until You Get Readers
Just because you have a blog, doesn’t automatically mean you can get free stuff or make money. You have to have content. Lots and lots of content. Content gets you readers, which eventually will get you opportunities. You aren’t going to be able to score a primo sponsorship with a big company right off the bat. Spend some time and grow your site. The rest will come.
There Are Lots of Amazing People Who Will Help You, But Don’t Expect Them to Do Your Work for You
Since I started 2 Kids and a Coupon, I’ve virtually met so many very amazing people who have helped with support guidance, ideas and contacts. I try to pay it forward, and help other newbies where I can, however when you’re looking for advice or help from other bloggers, be realistical and polite. You can’t expect someone to hand you every resource or do your work for you. You are going to have to put in the time and earn your stripes like everyone else. Many bloggers are willing to help, myself included, but be considerate when making requests or asking for advice and understand that there are contacts and things about our sponsors that we are not allowed to share, especially with a total stranger. I’ve had bloggers who I don’t even know expect me to turn over every “hot” contact I have just because they want it, and others call me very impolite and even profane names because I refused to write their blog for them or contact sponsors on their behalf. If someone does help you, try to do something to help them in return, or at very least please remember to say thank you – there are so many who don’t.
Good luck & happy blogging!