When it comes to blogging there are plenty of mistakes you’re going to make. Any creative endeavor requires practice, patience and hard work. Before your blog becomes successful you’ll fail multiple times. Hopefully, you’ll learn something new from these failures and continue moving forward.

However, a lot of general mistakes are avoidable, fixable and usually are  not the end of the world. But there is one mistake that may instantly put an end to your blogging career, especially if you’re new.

So what is it?

“Buying” into the dream

The single biggest mistake you can make is getting into blogging for the sole purpose of making money. That’s the trap no one is talking about and that’s something that can prevent you from succeeding.

Many who are looking to start a blog are doing so because they are looking for extra income. And what drives that inspiration?

Well, the blogging sphere is full of five figure monthly income reports. Yet, the majority of people don’t understand that these income reports are generated by them. When you look at successful blogs, who make a decent income online, what’s your first instinct?

Most likely you tell yourself that you can do this too. You feel inspired to start your own blog. You go through the process by following their affiliate links, without any idea what to do next. Meanwhile, you’ve already added to their next monthly income report. Rinse and repeat.

Sadly, blogging is not the only creative endeavor affected by this. You can see the same thing happening on YouTube. People tend to go after monetary gain rather than pursuing something they actually enjoy.

Back in the day I used to heavily focus on affiliate marketing. You could not find a single honest review of anything. Because the majority of search results for long tail keywords were filled with garbage reviews to make a quick buck.

I was one of them too. I bought into the dream.

Money and happiness

You see, when you have financial problems you feel like money is everything, and if only you were a millionaire all your problems would go away. Turns out that’s almost never the case. In fact, it’s much further from the truth than you think.

In just a couple of years I managed to make a decent living from affiliate marketing. However, I was not happy. I was not happy at all. I wish I learned this much earlier.

Evidence suggests that past a certain income threshold money does not increase happiness. Generally, it depends on where you live, but most people are the happiest when their personal income ranges from $65,000 to $95,000 a year. In fact, large income can even produce a negative effect where you’ll end up chasing the next toy for a short dopamine fix.

Happiness vs income graph.
Happiness versus income.

So why does this happen? Because what you’re doing to make money is not meaningful whatsoever. I can tell you from experience, it’s not difficult to make a lot of people buy a useless item. How many “useful” items do you own but never use?

And very successful people know this.

I can understand wanting to have millions of dollars, there’s a certain freedom, meaningful freedom, that comes with that. But once you get much beyond that, I have to tell you, it’s the same hamburger. – Bill Gates

So how do you avoid this trap?

Blog with a purpose

The best thing you can do to avoid falling into this trap is to start blogging about something you’re truly passionate about. A lot of gurus will tell you you need to pick a niche with a good income potential, but that is lie. Unless your goal is to sell your blog later, there’s no real reason to do it.

The biggest difficulty with being a blogger is not coming up with content, or creating content. The biggest difficulty is staying consistent and being able to keep going for long periods of time without seeing any progress at all.

There are over 75 million posts written every single month on WordPress.com alone, but how many bloggers do you think quit after a month? How many quit after two months? What about three?

I couldn’t find any official statistics, but I bet the percentage is around 90% percent and it gets even higher with time.

That’s because a lot of people get into blogging by buying into the dream of making a lot of money, quitting their 9 to 5 job, becoming a rock star blogger and living happily ever after.

That almost never happens.

Here’s a highly scientific graph I’ve created to demonstrate how success generally works. Feel free to share it with your friends who are struggling.

Blogging journey illustrated on a graph.
How a blogging journey usually looks like.

Unfortunately, the majority quit at the “no idea what I’m doing phase”. And it’s understandable because this phase can be as little as a month, and as long as a year.

It’s quite difficult to keep going for that long without seeing any real success. That’s why you need to blog about something you really care about. Something that’s constantly on your mind. Something you’re excited to do the first thing in the morning without brushing your teeth first.

Your passion should help you power through the phase where it feels like you’re just talking to yourself and it’s not going to work out. You’re just crazy,  better quit before you waste any more time.

Any blog is monetizable

While it’s true that certain niches are more profitable, or easier to monetize that others, this shouldn’t stop you from creating your own corner on the internet. I don’t care what your passion is, because you can pretty much monetize anything you want nowadays.

There are plenty of ways bloggers make money. Sponsored posts, advertisements, informational products etc. And if none of those work out for you there’s always a way to add a donation button, or create a Patreon so people can support you.

Of course not all of them are suitable for every type of a blog, but at the end of the day not everyone wants to be a rock star blogger with lots of fame and social pressure.

Some of us just want to change someone’s life for the better and a simple “Thank you” is going to be worth a lot more than all the money in the world.

The point is, don’t go after the money, go after creating value for others.

Takeaway

Before starting your first blog I want you to think about why are you starting it. Are you doing it to make money? Are you starting something because you’re truly passionate about this topic?

The journey is definitely not a walk in the park and you should prepare to face constant frustration, disappointment and possibly failure.

If you want to succeed and actually make money in the long term then I suggest before you do anything blogging related figure out how you can provide value to the world without any monetary compensation.

If you already have that sorted out then you’re 80 percent done. The other 20 percent will be creating content and sharing it with the rest of the world.

Good luck on your journey!

What do you think is the biggest blogging mistake one can make? Tell me below!