Words on a Page Writings about writing

You need to act

The word 'Success' written in the sand on a beach

A few years ago, I co-organized a blogger’s meetup in Auckland, New Zealand. A new member showed up to one meeting and began telling me and my co-organizer about his blog. He specifically mentioned the large number of daily visits his blog got — a number that many bloggers would kill for.

Then, he asked Why am I not making money from this?

There was a pause, then I asked What are you doing to make money from your blog? That question stopped the conversation dead in its tracks.

If you build a blog, people may come. They may come in a trickle or in waves. Or they might not come at all. But if you do nothing to promote your blog, to find ways to earn money from it then you won’t cultivate an audience that keeps coming back.

The success of your blog is up to you. You need to act. If you want to expand your blog’s readership, you need to make more of the online world aware of your blog. If you want to earn money from your blog, you need to find ways to do that through advertising or sponsorship or selling something that readers want.

That goes for success with other forms of writing, too. I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people complain that the breaks they desperately want don’t come to them, that other writers seem to get all the work. Guess what? Those writers didn’t sit around waiting for gigs or assignments or book contracts to fall into their laps. The world doesn’t work that way.

Those writers put themselves out there. They hustled. They sweated. They made contacts. They sent out a deluge of queries and proposals and pitches. They took chances. They piled up rejection slips. But they stuck to it and made headway.

Unless you do that, the writing success you want will never come your way.

You’ve got to write, apply query, pitch, and then repeat. If you get knocked down by rejection, you need to pick yourself up. You need to walk it off. You need to learn from your mistakes and try again. And again. And again.

As someone once said, the road to overnight success is a long one. Unless you act, unless you start walking down that road you’ll never succeed as a writer.

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