I received a great question by email last week:
“I realize there are thousands of blogs out there and the majority of them do not make money. I’ve also heard that many are saying that blogs are passé but I rather enjoy reading them and from all the comments they receive I would say there are many others that also still enjoy them. What’s your opinion? Is it too late to start a blog that could be successful?”
I wish we could be instantly transported to my favorite cocktail place so we could really have fun digging into this question, but as a consolation prize, I thought we could talk about it on the blog today.
The best time to start anything was five years ago, but starting today is a good backup plan.
Sometimes it can feel like the world is moving so fast that by the time we discover what we love, we’re already behind. It reminds me of my favorite scene in the roller-derby movie Whip It:
Iron Maven (Played by Juliette Lewis): Hey, guess how old I am.
Bliss Cavendar (Played by Ellen Page): [guessing] 27?
Iron Maven: [not at all touched] Oh, that’s sweet. I’m 36. Guess when I started skating. I was 31. ‘Cause it took me that long to find one thing that I was really good at.
The one thing no one tells you is it’s a little terrifying when you find something you love.
It’s not a “The call is coming from inside the house” kind of fear, but more of a “Tremble and feel awe! Behold your passions! Also, no pressure, but if you screw up at these, then you’re officially doomed. Have fun!” kind of fear.
In my world, the best response to the fear showing up and bullying you is always curiosity and action.
Followed by naps and mojitos, in the order of your preference. But first, curiosity and action!
Truly, it’s not too late to succeed at what you love. It just isn’t.
If your definition of success is making a living off your blog, then monetizing a blog isn’t as easy as installing Google Adwords. But it’s also not impossible – not by a long shot! I’ve seen it done many times, and by people who are as human, wonderful and imperfect as you and I.
Figure out who you want to help, and then find a simple blog design template with as little obsessing as possible. Start posting and discover your opinions. Keep writing and work one-on-one with the people you want to help. Offer incredibly helpful services and products instead of just ads, and make sure your paid partnerships with advertisers are creative, true to your personality, and in line with how you help your people. In short? Make what you do count.
And whenever you hear the little voice that says it’s too late? Or that you can’t share your work until you get a degree, or interview a million experts?
Know that’s the voice of your boring, run-of-the-mill, “The call is coming from inside the house” fear. Then breathe deeply and pick a goal you can knock out of the park within two weeks. Your fear won’t know what hit it.