I meet with new bloggers that seem to have this magical perception that with little effort or investment they can start writing a few blog posts and the world will appear at their virtual doorstep.

If you think blogging will be a cinch and you’re about to start a blog to promote yourself. Stop.

It’s not your fault, people selling blogging courses use rather misleading headlines such as “blogging is easy” or “5 dead simple steps to an influential blog”. I’m not pointing fingers but in reality building and maintaining blog strategy is not easy and often underappreciated.

Thanks to a handful of open source tools such as WordPress, starting a blog can be a low-cost investment, but it will require a significant time commitment. Because there’s no magic button, some give up before the fun even begins.

Most people won’t see the actual power of blogging because they won’t make the initial effort to even try. Just coming up with a name and what to blog about is challenging enough to disqualify most, not to mention learning any new skills.

If they’re able to surpass the initial hurdles, some will write a few posts but fail because they don’t follow through or have a solid plan for keeping it up. Not prioritizing your blog writing efforts is a sure bet for failure. Sadly, I’ve experienced this on some of my own endeavors.

What pains me the most is when people give up on blogging because of unnecessary hurdles caused by not knowing the correct way to set themselves up for success. Or worse, they don’t understand how blogging fits into an overall digital marketing strategy.

Anyone can write a blog post and publish it to the web, but the ability to acquire readers and build authority online requires marketing strategy. Blogging and content creation is one part of a larger marketing strategy and only when the entire ecosystem is deployed, then blogging becomes a marketing tool. Without promoting your content, blogging is simply just a personal journal on the web.

Attend: Content Academy Blogging Workshops

A select few will go on to reap the rewards of blogging because they make it a priority and find opportunities to sustain their efforts through monetization.

It’s highly recommended to identify an income source that will come from your blogging efforts. Revenue could come in the form of advertising or by using the publicity to sell other services or products. Regardless of the model, the ability to make money from your blog is essential. Without it, your blog is just a hobby and not a sustainable business model.

The need for a blog monetization plan comes from personal experience. I loved blogging about country music – and it could easily be just a hobby – but I couldn’t sustain my blog because it became cost prohibitive to maintain while not providing income. If I had identified a steady income stream from the beginning, then I would have been more motivated to continue to produce high-quality content and not had to pay out of pocket for maintenance.

Take the time to plan for your blogging success story and make it your job to adhere to that plan. Acquire the right tools and knowledge before you embark on your journey and remember that it takes commitment to endure.

All success is born out of action. - Barbara Corcoran Click To Tweet

You too can join a rather small pool of successful bloggers as long as you dig deep and decide this is something you need to do for yourself.