Tip For New Bloggers: Be Patient!

by Peter Anderson on August 1, 2012

I‘ve been blogging now for 4 and a half  years, and in that time I’ve watched tens if not hundreds of new blogs spring up from out of the bloggy ether.  New sites launch bursting with enthusiasm and dollar signs in their eyes, and most hope to make their blog into a nice fat second income.

They blog for a few months, and try to monetize their sites with a few Adsense and text link ads. But after 4 or 5 months and minimal return for their efforts they quickly flame out and disappear into the ether from whence they came.

So what happened, and why aren’t most successful?  Much of the time, they just weren’t patient enough!

Key For A Blogger: Have Patience

I’ve found that one of the key attributes for many successful bloggers that I’ve met is patience.  They stuck with their blogs even when they weren’t making a ton of money at the start. They created a nice looking site and published high quality content several days a week on a regular basis – week in and week out.  They stuck with it through the thin early months, and even when they weren’t making even minimum wage for their time spent at the start – they stuck with it.   They had patience and dedication to create a go-to resource that would help others.

When talking to a lot of my blogging colleagues it seems that there is a very real 6 month flame out period that a lot of newer bloggers encounter.  They stick with it up until that point but then just get sick of it, or don’t feel like they’re making progress, so they quit.  If they had just stuck with it a bit longer, however, many could have turned their blogs into a real asset!

Many successful bloggers, myself included, didn’t start making any real money until somewhere in the range of 6 months to a year – sometimes longer.   I remember talking to another blogger when I first started out, and he told me how he had made $1600 the previous month from his blog. I couldn’t believe it, I could make my mortgage payment with extra money like that!

While I wasn’t making money like that at the time, I stuck with it for 6 months, then 12, and now 4.5 years.   Most months I’m now making 3-4 times the number I was in awe of back then. Why? Because I stuck with it, had patience and did my best to educate myself on how to make money online.

How To Avoid Flaming Out When Your Patience Is Thin

So what are some things you can do to avoid flaming out before your site starts to gain traction?  Here are some ideas for things that worked for me.

  • Treat your blog like a business, not a hobby: I’m convinced that one reason I’ve done well with my site is that I’ve treated it like a money making venture from the start.  I posted on my site 4-5 days/week every week.  I treated it like a second job, and wrote even when I didn’t want to.  I tracked my expenses and income and was motivated when after a few months the income started to creep up.
  • Keep things fresh:  Brainstorm ideas to write about, keep a notebook handy and jot down ideas as they come. Be creative and come up with blog series around a certain topic.  Use an editorial calendar to schedule post ideas.
  • Write in spurts: I will sometimes set aside time on a Saturday or some other night when I’m free and just write several posts all at once for the coming week. That way I’m not as burned out by constantly writing every day.
  • Accept guest posts or hire freelance writers: If you are burned out on writing consider accepting guest posts from other bloggers, or hiring a freelance writer to write for your site.
  • If you need to, take a break:  If you are really getting burned out, don’t be afraid to stop posting for a day or two, or even a week.  Get refreshed and start up again when you’re ready!
  • Don’t give up!: Even if you feel like giving in, don’t do it. Stick with it, be patient!

Slow And Steady Wins The Race

While it would be nice for everyone to be able to start a blog and right away make thousands of dollars a month, the reality is that it usually isn’t that easy.  I can take months or years of hard work before it begins to pay off.  Just stick with it when the going gets tough, and a few months or a year down the line you’ll be glad you did!

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A while back I wrote a post on this site talking about how important it was to backup your WordPress site on a regular basis.  Why should you be backing up your site on a regular basis?  There are a variety of reasons. Your site could get hacked, you could have an update of a plugin or WordPress go wrong,  or you could have a host “accidentally” cancel your account.  All of these things can be catastrophic if you don’t have a backup of your database and site files.

The problem is setting up regular backups to run isn’t always an easy process, especially if you’re not very tech-oriented.  A lot of the plugins that are supposed to make backing up easy either don’t work very well, don’t work at all, or take a masters degree in computer science to figure out how to setup correctly.

backup buddy review

I had been using a backup plugin for the last 3-4 years that worked OK, but it had problems from time to time. There were times that it would just stop firing and backups would stop happening.  I had the backups being emailed to my Gmail account as well, and sometimes they would just stop sending when the file size was too large.   That backup solution also only backed up the database, the site files I had to manually back up on a regular basis, and since it was a manual process it tended not to happen as often as it should.

A Better Backup Solution

Backup WordPress EasilyA few weeks ago I was talking to a blogging colleague, Tom over at CanadianFinanceBlog.com, and I asked him what he was using to backup his sites.   Since he runs multiple sites his backup solution has to work well, or else he’d be in trouble.  He told me he was using Backup Buddy from PluginBuddy.com as his main backup plugin.  It’ s a premium plugin, but there’s a reason it costs money. It works, and it works well.

On Tom’s advice I went ahead and bought a developer’s version of the plugin since I needed multiple licenses for all of my sites, and installed the plugin that same day on 11 sites.  I’m glad I bought the plugin because it has made the backup process so much easier and pain free than it was before.  Let’s look at some of the things it lets you do.

Database Backup

The main reason I’m using Backup Buddy is because it makes it simple and easy to do regular backups of your site. How easy?  After setting up your backup locations in initial setup, all you need to do to backup is hit a button to backup the database, or another one to do a full backup of the entire site.

Full Site Backup

Doing a full site backup was tough for me to do previously because some of my sites have large databases, and tons of content to backup.  They were just too large and other plugins were choking when scheduled backups happen.  Backup Buddy had no problems with it and actually completed a backup pretty quickly.  It can store a backup locally in the WordPress, or remotely archive your files.

Scheduled Backups

One key thing to have with a backup plugin is scheduled backups.  With Backup Buddy you can schedule backups for your whole site, or for database only.  I schedule regular nightly database backups, and then a weekly full site backup.  You can set the backups to happen at whatever interval you want it to be at, daily, monthly, twice a month, hourly, whatever.

You can also set how many backups you want the plugin to save so that you don’t run out of space.

Off-Site Backups To DropBox, Amazon S3, Email

Another great feature of the plugin is that it will allow you to backup remotely with your Amazon S3 account, Dropbox, an FTP site of your choice or by sending a backup to an email address.

I’ve used it with my Amazon S3 account that I was already using for my CDN, and it has so far worked seamlessly.  You just enter your login credentials, where to back it up at the service and set it as a backup location. Then when you’re setting up a scheduled or manual backup, you can choose that remote location as the backup location.

I’ve also got email backups setup to send to my Gmail account where I archive backups for a certain time.

You can check your dashboard to make sure the updates went through.

Migrate  Or Restore Your Site

Another great feature of the plugin is that it will allow you to migrate your site to another server, or if you’ve had problems with your site, restore it to the same server.  Restoring from a backup is a super simple process.  All you have to do is grab their import php file, put it in the same directory as your full site backup, and then browse the url of the import file, and it will walk you through restoring the site.  Simple!

I know of others who have used this plugin when buying sites from other people. They install the plugin on the remote server, do a backup, and then restore/migrate the site to their own server.

Malware Scan

Finally the plugin does a malware scan of your site for you using Sucuri Security.  You just go to the malware scan link, and it  will scan your site for malware, tell you if your site is blacklisted. Very helpful, especially if you think your site may have been compromised.  And if it is compromised?  Just go to one of your previous sitebackups to clean things up!  Piece of cake!

Conclusion

I think Backup Buddy is one of my new favorite plugins for WordPress users, I’m not sure what I did without it!  It gives you a simple and easy to use backup and site restoration solution that most likely save you if you ever have your site hacked, files corrupted or otherwise lose your site files.  It’s well worth the small cost.  I’d highly recommend it to anyone who wants to ensure the safety of their site files and database data.

Backup WordPress Easily

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How To Block Spam On Your WordPress Site Before It Becomes A Major Issue

February 14, 2012
how to block spam in wordpress

Spam on WordPress blogs has become a significant issue that can cause some serious problems. Here’s how to get rid of spam on your website, and stop the spam-bots cold in their tracks.

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One thing that I constantly struggle with as a webmaster is adding new content, functionality and advertisers to my sites without compromising the user experience, or slowing down the load time. I’ll be the first to admit that some of my sites are currently a bit too slow on the load time, and it’s something […]

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