The Hard Work Myth: The Missing Piece of the Puzzle

The Hard Work Myth: The Missing Piece of the Puzzle

So you have your blog set up. You have a great idea and some business direction. You’re excited about this! You’ve seen the big guys (and girls!) raking in massive incomes… now it’s your turn. Right?

Well, sort of.

A lot of success stories gloss over an important piece of the puzzle – and that’s a real shame, because you need to know about it. You also need to know about a few other myths revolving around how long it takes to make money with your blog.

Here’s the first: It’s not about “hard work” or “sticking with it”. (Although that helps.)

Let’s take a little walk, shall we? *offers internet arm*

The Recipe for Success

There are two types of bloggers: those with realistic expectations and those with a pipe dream. There’s nothing wrong with either one, because they’re both equally delusional.


Both have the same chance of success when it comes to making money with a blog.

We’ve all read blog posts where people tell you that it takes hard work and a lot of diligence to make success happen. If you follow that advice, you’ll have realistic expectations and won’t pray for overnight money-miracles.

That’s an important part of the puzzle.

But that doesn’t mean success will happen after patiently working at your dream for three years, any more than it means that someone with a pipe dream isn’t going to make it despite all odds.

Both might. Both might not.

Over the years, I’ve found that while hard work and stick-at-it are vital, they’re actually not the main reason for success. They’re more like a casserole bowl.

What you really need is some freakin’ good ingredients, a recipe and some hungry people to eat your dish.

Now, a lot of people have the bowl and the ingredients, and most people know where to find hungry people.

But a lot of bloggers are totally lost on the recipe.

In fact, they often mistake the ingredients for the recipe.

Just because you know how to write good articles and promote them to people doesn’t mean you can make money.  And that’s where the problem lies.

To be truthful, it took me several years to realize this myself:

  • Good articles don’t make money.
  • Lots of traffic doesn’t make money.
  • A packed list of devoted readers doesn’t make money.

It’s that recipe that makes you cash – your plan. It’s knowing how to put all that stuff together and direct it towards an outcome that turns a profit.

That’s why success isn’t about hard work or sticking with it for long enough. With the right plan, you can make a million dollars tomorrow.

I’m not kidding: I know a guy who went from $30k a year to over $5 million in just a few months. He did that because he had a bunch of ingredients and figured out a plan that no one had thought of yet.

So where should you put your energy?

We all need to really work on our recipes. Most of us know how to write good articles with great titles and great SEO tactics.

But not enough people know how to pull it all together to sell their product or a service.

How can you figure out your plan? Understand what blogging is meant to achieve. Why is it there? Why should we bother with it anyway?

My answer: to create the outcome.

  • The point of blogging is not to get 100 comments on every post.
  • The point of blogging is not to get a huge amount of email subscribers.
  • The point of blogging is not to be flooded with traffic from Google.

Blogging is about achieving an outcome.

If you run a wedding photography blog, you might not need 2,000 new visitors every day to make $100k a year. You might only need 10 visitors, if a few of them hire you for a $4,000 wedding shoot.

What about someone who sells software to corporations? Do they need tens of thousands of visitors to turn a profit? Or do they just need to get in front of small numbers of owners and managers?

Knowing your desired outcome is the key – and then you write your recipe for success by building a plan to achieve your outline.

So what’s YOUR outcome?

What do you hope people will do when they visit your blog? Do you want them to buy your product? Get curious about a future product? Do you want them to hire you for consulting or for your services? And how many clients do you need? How much do you want to make?

You need to know this desired outcome before you can develop your plan.

And you really need to develop that plan. Without that piece of the puzzle, your quest to make money might last a really, really long time.

Like, forever.

Post by Ramsay Taplin

Ramsay Taplin blogged anonymously as the Blog Tyrant for two years before revealing his identity in a 420 comment love-in. He's sold blogs for 5-figures and works from home in his pyjamas. He hopes you'll join the couch-based blogging army. Say hello on G+.