"I wish I had started blogging earlier"
I took a bite of my sandwich and waited. My lunch companion had just started blogging and wanted to "pick my brains".
While ordinarily that privilege requires more compensation than a free lunch, I'd known this person from way back so this wasn't paid consulting. I chewed my food.
"I mean, I'm so late. There are millions of blogs now, so much competition, I'm never going to get established"
I raised my eyebrows slightly. I didn't agree with his statement, but I let him talk.
"I get less than a hundred visitors a day. In the old days.."
"In the old days what?" I interrupted. "Every blogger starts out with no traffic. It takes time. It has always taken time."
Actually, in some ways you are better off today. When I started putting up web pages, most of the general public didn't even have a computer. If they did, they didn't have email, or an Internet connection. It was all starting to happen then, but there are a heck of a lot more potential visitors now than there were ten years ago. So while there may be more competition for those readers, there are many more out there. You don't need much of a percentage share to have a successful site.
"And you are wrong anyway. Some sites do shoot up to major popularity very quickly", I added.
Sure, some of that is blind luck or because they know people or can spend a bunch of money on promotion. But others get there the old fashioned way: hard work and good content. Look at Tip Monkies. Six months after starting they are doing very well. There or others who have done even better. You still can grow quickly in spite of the competition.
Update: You can also die quickly. Tip Monkies is long gone now.
"Most of those 'millions' are junk", I opined. "If you look at your real competition, the ones that really have fresh, original content that's worth reading, it's a handful or two. Stop worrying."
Many more of the millions fade away very quickly. Blogging is hard work. It may be easy to dash off the first dozen or so posts, but after that, it's honest work. A lot of people give up, leaving graveyard sites that will probably disappear for good when their domain name expires. If you are one of the few that stick with it, you'll succeed if for no other reason than outliving your competition. That assumes that you do have at least some talent, of course. Junk is junk no matter how much you post or how long you keep posting it.
We finished our lunch and chatted about other things, blogging and not blogging related. As we stood up to leave, I had one last thought:
"You aren't late to the party. In fact, the party really is just getting going. It's going to get bigger and bigger over the next decade, and if you keep on doing what you are doing, you'll get where you want to go. It's just barely started, really".
Links last checked 2015/03/30
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