When you first heard — perhaps right here on BAFB — about the burgeoning freelance blogging market, you leaped in with high hopes. You were already counting the income that would pour in from your favorite type of writing.
A couple of months later, the enthusiasm is smothering under a pile of discouragement. Jobs are few, rejections are daily, income is thin. And you’re wondering: “How did I ever get into this? I’m going nowhere. Why not cut my losses and quit?”
Though you may be tempted to think that every other freelance blogger is showered with high-paying work from the start, you’re actually in the majority. Most writers, including blog writers, belong to humanity’s pool of “creative” minds that ricochet from big dreams to big disappointments, taking stories of (extremely rare and often only apparent) overnight success as guarantees, and equating anything less with failure.
Don’t believe it! You may be making more progress than you think.
Created equal but not identical
Contrary to impressions given by many “how-to” articles — even many written by established freelancers — a surge in income and clients isn’t the inevitable quick result of becoming a freelance blogger.
If you’re lucky enough to be a natural entrepreneur or an expert on a high-demand topic, things may work out that way; but many of us need to grow in other areas first.
The one thing all full-time freelance bloggers have in common is good writing skills (okay, some Internet skills are also necessary). Everything else — topic focus, working hours, writing style — is unique to the individual blogger.
So, trying to copy perfectly a successful blogger’s career-building story, on the assumption that their result of $4,000 a month within six months is thus guaranteed to become yours, guarantees only disappointment.
Blame the legendary “butterfly effect”: One flap of a wing (one small difference in attitude or approach) is enough to unleash a chain reaction leading to a tornado (perceived failure of the whole project).
Every blogger needs to work out his or her own best approach, and decide how to measure progress. Obvious progress indicators include a record of guest posts or a growing bank account, but there are many other ways to keep track — even if you feel you’re not getting anywhere yet. [Read more…]