The Truth About Growing A Blog

Man.

I’m not sure if I’m quite ready to write this blog post.

Last week when I sat down to shoot the YouTube video to go with this blog post, I didn’t know what to say. So I let myself just talk.

And after it was done, I didn’t think I was going to launch the video. I didn’t even want to edit it!

These days, it’s hard to decide what to share online and what to keep inside.

I don’t want to offend anyone. I don’t want to crush anyone’s dreams. But I also don’t want to be silent and feel like I have to hold up a certain image.

The truth is, blogging isn’t for everyone. Being a YouTuber, an Instagrammer, an influencer… it’s not for everyone.

And if you’re only in it for the money, then you’re in for a wake-up call.

THE TRUTH

I started this blog 2 years ago.

At the time, I wasn’t focused on the money. I didn’t want to make money quick.

Heck, I didn’t even want to grow quick. I just wanted to start something that I was proud of. Something that could be an escape for me from the life I was living.

But after a few months, I got sucked into the comparison game.

I wanted to gain more Instagram followers. And I wanted to do it fast. So I spent hours a day on Instagram.

RELATED: How I Gained 1.1k Instagram Followers In 1 Month

I wanted to get more page views, so I learned everything there was to learn about Pinterest.

Whenever a webinar appeared, I signed up for it.

Blogger income report?! I have to know how they grew and how they made their money.

With Pinterest, it’s easy to see these other bloggers succeeding. You see them making over $100,000 a month and you want to do the same thing!

They say that they tripled their pageviews and you have to figure out how you can do the same thing.

It’s toxic.

And exhausting.

And if that sounds like you, just know that you’re not alone. But also know that you have a long way to go.

MY FIRST YEAR – 2017

My first year blogging was all over the place.

The first few months I didn’t really care about growth. I just wanted to create a functioning blog.

I was focused on launching my site, writing blog posts, and learning. It was fun in the beginning.

And then I started to grow anyway I could until I signed up for my first paid course 6 months in.

Then something happened.

Within the next 3 months, my blog started to grow like crazy.

I went from generating 10 subscribers a month to over 100. My pageviews started to grow. I ended up moving into the freelancing world and I actually left my full-time job.

RELATED: How I Went From A Full-Time Employee To A Part-Time Freelancer

And at this point, it was only 10 months after launching my blog.

I thought that I had figured something out that others hadn’t. And I was freaking proud that I was able to grow so quickly.

But I should have known that it wouldn’t last.



YEAR 2 – 2018

This past year has been rough.

To explain… I was able to leave my full-time position and move into the freelancing world because I had signed on a client that would pay me just about the same as I was making with my full-time position at the time.

When I got this client, they said that they needed me for 6+ months.

So I was comfortable making the transition because I knew I still had income coming in each month.

But a little over a month in, it ended.

They said that they couldn’t afford to pay me anymore and that I had to stop working immediately.

I was crushed. But at the same time, I felt like it was coming.

So there I was, 1 year into my blog, jobless, clientless, and soon to be broke.

I ended up taking a few clients here and there to make money to make ends meet. But after working with some not so nice people, people who didn’t respect me or my work, I decided to move out of the freelance writing world and into something different.

Because here’s the reality of it.

I’m still not making enough with just my blog to be full-time.

Shocking, right?

I’ve been blogging for 2 years and yet I’m still not making enough money to pay the bills.

And if you’ve been following me for a while, then you would know that most of my income comes from client work aka freelancing.

Sure some of it comes from my paid products, courses, and affiliate income. But not as much as you would think.

Because here’s the truth…

After my blog grew like crazy for 3 months, it became stagnant for another 9 months.



TODAY

Honestly, this year I’ve been embarrassed to share income reports or monthly reports.

I didn’t want to admit how little money I was making. And how little pageviews I really had.

To some people, 10,000 monthly pageviews may seem like a lot! When I was getting started I dreamed of the day when I had 100 people visit my website.

Now I have around 300 people a day.

But when you go on Pinterest and see that people have 40,000 pageviews, 100k pageviews, 500k pageviews… it gets to you.

And it’s gotten to me.

It’s held me back from sharing some of what’s going on behind the scenes of TheContentBug.

But this year I’ve struggled.

I’ve struggled to grow my blog, to grow my email list, to grow my YouTube channel, to grow my income. But I’ve also had some major wins.

I launched an ebook. I launched a productivity planner. The Blog Biz Bundle and even The TCB Vault. (If you want to learn more about those, click here)

All of those things I brought to life in 2018 and I’m darn proud of them.

WHAT YOU SHOULD KNOW

So here’s the cold hard truth… growing a blog isn’t easy.

If you follow successful influencers or YouTubers, I encourage you to find out how long they’ve been doing what they do.

Some of my favorites have been doing it for 5+, 7+, 10+ years!

And knowing that gives me a little courage to know that I’m on the right track.

No one’s success happens overnight and you can’t expect yours to either.

So keep your head up. Work your butt off. And don’t ever give up on your dreams.

Because sure it may be a long and hard journey.

But if you’re doing what you love and being true to yourself, then I can honestly tell you that it will be 100% worth it.

XO, Cath

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KEEP READING…

When you decide to start a blog or start an Instagram with the intent to become an influencer, you are opening your life up to a whole new world. You are putting your life out there for everyone to see, experience, and criticize. I've been blogging for 2 years now and I think it's time that I share my real thoughts on blogging. Have you dreamt of leaving your boring job to do something that you actually love?! Maybe you want to become a blogger, start your own business, or finally move to New York City to become a dancer. Whatever it is, you deserve the opportunity to make money by following your passion. Are you tired of trying to grow your Instagram account? Do you want to drive more traffic to your blog but don't know how? Well major news flash: Instagram is not it! After battling with an unhealthy relationship with Instagram, I've stopped trying to grow my Instagram account and I'm sharing what I'm doing instead to not only engage with my audience by also grow my traffic. #thecontentbug #instagramstrategy #instagramforbloggers #blogstrategy #socialmediastrategy


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

The Content Bug - Cath Headshot 4

Cathrin (Cath) creates content that encourages bloggers & online entrepreneurs to be themselves, chase their passion, and create their success online. 1 year after started her blog (TheContentBug.com), Cath left her full-time position working in the digital marketing industry to pursue her dreams of being her own boss. In weekly blog posts, sporadic YouTube videos, and constant talking on Instagram stories, Cath hopes to spread her story and be an inspiration to others who desperately want to change their lives.

If you want to grow your blog fast or make money blogging quick, then you've got a rude wakeup call ahead of you. Here's the cold hard truth: growing a blog isn't easy. You won't become a successful blogger overnight. And if you want to make a lot of money blogging, then you probably won't get there for several years. Today I felt compelled to share my struggle with growing a blog as told by a full-time blogger. #bloggingsecrets | make money blogging | monetize your blog

6 responses to “The Truth About Growing A Blog”

  1. Grace says:

    Thank you Cath for sharing this heartfelt post. It’s the true reality of things. Blogging is not as easy as it’s portrayed. It’s hard work and takes time.

    • Cathrin Manning says:

      You’re right, Grace. It’s definitely not as easy as it’s portrayed and I’m glad that I have a platform to be able to share an inside look at what it’s like for many bloggers.

  2. Christy says:

    Thanks for your post! I’ve only been blogging for a little over a month. I had no idea how much work would be involved. I’m loving it so far and trying to remember that I’m learning each day and not to get overwhelmed by what all that I still need to learn.

    • Cathrin Manning says:

      I remember feeling the exact same way, Christy! When you start a blog, there are a lot of things that you have to learn and a lot of hats you have to wear. Look at it as a beautiful journey and take it one day at a time. – XO, Cath

  3. Lizzie says:

    Thank you so much for writing this post, I’ve only been blogging for a few months now and sometimes I feel like I will never get there! I think looking back at the things I’ve done and being brave enough to do is something I try to remind myself of regularly. It helps keep me motivated to keep going. Thanks again for the encouragement

    • Cathrin Manning says:

      Hey Lizzie!

      You’re right. Getting started is the hardest part. And every little step you take into the unknown is only going to help you and your blog grow. Don’t give up and keep working hard! It may take some time but it will be worth it.

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