This is a doubt which may rise before you actually start blogging seriously to make a living
How difficult it is to maintain a blog over time? How much time will it take to take the blog to a level where it pays my bills? How much sustained effort is needed to keep it going? Will I be able to maintain it alongside a day job or will I have to quit the job to provide more time to it?
These are some, if not all of the questions which may arise in your mind if you are just starting out. These questions are obvious and makes sense but one thing I can tell you beforehand – there is no right and wrong answer to any question.
It greatly depends on how you take it, what your objectives are, what is situation and other things.
Is blogging difficult? Of course it is difficult. Nothing in this life is easy and nothing worth doing is easy. If you want to create a really resourceful blog on a subject, it will take you years, if not decades. You will have to produce really useful content on a regular basis and you will have to keep doing it because you like to do it and want to do little else.
Do not expect your blog to take off in a year or two. It would take at least 4-5 years of sustained effort before you can really reap a healthy profit from your blogs. And the blogging space is really competitive and it will get competitive by the day, so you will have to keep pushing yourself all the time in order to be there. Else, your competition will take over and your blog will slowly crumble up.
This is true for any business, not just the business of blogs. From my experience, it is very difficult to maintain interest over a topic for a sustained amount of time since our brains are generally fickle and hops from one idea to another idea to another, in every 3-4 years.
That said, it won’t be that difficult if you can structure that passion correctly. You have to run the show for a couple of years, build a base line of traffic, build readership, credebility, emerge as a leader and generate revenue out of your blogs. The revenue the site generates can be pumped into the site for producing more resourceful content which will bring more readership and revenue and this process has to continue, so long you want your blog to grow.
It is a never ending process. Do not assume that once you have worked on a blog for 5 years, it will roll on its own. Yes, you will have the money to run it, hire writers and get the job done but at the end of the day, you will have to monitor the business and technology side of things to ensure things are in shape. You have to manage writers, publishing schedules, make payments, tweak the server, tweak the design, plan new things — the list is endless.
I spend around 3-4 hours on this blog everyday after I am done with my day job. I still believe I do not put much time into the blog since a blog is basically a beast – you keep feeding it and it will still want more.
But the key thing to note here is – once your interest comes and you like writing about a topic everyday, the effort will slowly evaporate. You will be putting the hours anyway but it won’t look that hard because now you have mastered the craft to some extent and it gives you pleasure and doesn’t feel like “Work”.
So yes, blogging can be difficult to maintain over time. Till that time when it becomes second nature and you wake up every morning to write content and improve the site everyday. When it becomes second nature, it won’t be that difficult to maintain since now the blog and your soul will unify into one.
Do you spend extra effort in sleeping, bathing, drinking water or food? You do but since it has become a part of your routine, you do not realize the effort that is needed to do those tasks on a regular basis.
The same is true for writing and maintaining a blog. When it becomes second nature and you like writing and improving it, it won’t feel like difficult anymore. It will take time to get there, it can take 5 years, it can take 10 years, it can take even more depending on how much time you are spending on a daily basis, how much you are spending creating resourceful content, how much time you are spending researching and producing things that people desperately want to read and how much time you spend in delivering content which your readers want.
Once you get past that stage, it will become second nature and things will flow quite naturally, without extra effort.