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What Would You Sacrifice to be a Successful Blogger?

Be A Successful BloggerDid you ever ask yourself what would you sacrifice to be a successful blogger?

I coach a lot of bloggers who struggle with these kinds of things…

  • getting traffic to their sites
  • converting traffic into buyers and clients
  • building an email list
  • knowing what to do with their email list
  • creating great content consistently
  • marketing their content
  • etc

These are things that pretty much define the business of blogging.

You’ll need to master each of them in order to run a successful blogging business.

They are not easy obstacles to overcome.

Yet, to be a successful blogger, overcome them you must.

You know that.

My blogging students and clients know that.

But that doesn’t make it any easier.

The challenges are demanding, time consuming and sometimes costly.

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So that means you need to make sacrifices, right?

I mean, at the very least you’ve got to sacrifice in terms of your effort, time and even money.

That seems pretty obvious.

But it’s not uncommon for a blogger to be pretty shocked to learn that she has to sacrifice to be a successful blogger.

Expectations Get in the Way

You see, people often get the wrong idea about blogging.

They hear that you just start a blog, write some good content on it, and people will come to it.

Well, yes, but that doesn’t mean they come in droves, or that it happens over night.

And it doesn’t mean they will buy your products, pay for your services, click on your affiliate links or whatever else you’d like them to do.

To generate that kind of activity takes time and great effort.

And remember, you need to stay focused on success to achieve it.

It also requires that you know how to give great value to your readers.

These are all things that can be accomplished, but again… sacrifices will have to be made.

The Time Trap

How much time are you willing and able to sacrifice to blogging?

Some of this might depend on whether you’re doing blogging full-time or whether you’re doing it part-time.

A lot of the bloggers I know have day jobs.

So they really don’t have a lot of time for blogging.

That’s too bad because, really, to “be a successful blogger” means that you have to spend a lot of time.

So think about how much time you really have to devote to this.

If you get home from work and only have a few hours to spend with your family, do you really want to be spending a lot of time blogging.

Is that fair to your family, friends and loved ones?

If you have other things going on in your life, do you really want to sacrifice them so that you can spend all your spare time blogging?

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Now it might sound like just writing a blog post once in a while doesn’t take a lot of time, but there are many components to blogging.

Each of them requires your time and dedication.

Content Writing

How many blog posts do you intend to write each week?

And how long will they be?

We hear that writing long-form blog posts is a much more effective strategy than writing short ones.

And you know that if they’re well-researched, and they contain a lot of images and interactive elements like videos, they will rank much better.

But do you really have time to put all that together?

Day after day, week after week?

Blog Promotion

How about the promotion of your blog post?

How much time are you willing to dedicate to interacting on social media in order to promote your blog posts?

You know…

  • post up your articles in different places,
  • with varying slants to catch the eye of your target audience?
  • do it on different social media platforms,
  • sometimes several times a day.


Will you join social media and forum groups and communities so people get to know you?

Are you prepared to visit them daily and get involved in their conversations?

You know that you’ll have to answer their questions in order to establish your credibility.

And you should be posting your own questions, too, to get the conversation flowing in the right direction.

Don’t forget to private message people who seem particularly worth the extra effort.

Blog Commenting

Pro bloggers know that blog commenting is probably one of the most important ways to be a successful blogger.

Do you know how to do successful blog commenting?

On Site

First, you need to constantly moderate your commenting in order to keep things flowing and growing.

Do you keep up with replying to all the comments that people make on your blogs?

And do you take care to make those replies good and meaningful?

Now, be honest…

Are you building relationships or are you just going through the motions?

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Off Site

And, second how about going on other people’s blogs?

Do you get out there and find other bloggers that are worth following?

Do you leave engaging comments on their blogs on a daily basis?

This is how you build a blogging community.

This is how you build a blog following.

And yes, this is how to be a successful blogger.

But it all takes time now, doesn’t it?

Email Marketing

Okay, so let’s say you did a great job building your blog and community.

You’ve been connecting with people, sharing comments and now you have this huge following.

Maybe you even check-listed your way through my 3 step email marketing strategy.

So now, people are starting to subscribe to your email list.

Yayyy 🙂

Sponsored Ad … 

Build Your Email List …

That’s great because we all hear that the money is in the list.

One of the main reasons you blog is to build that email list and now you’ve done it.

Engaging Your Subscribers

But now you created another time dungeon for yourself.

Isn’t it great to be a successful blogger?


So now, you have to send out emails regularly.

What will you write?

Will your emails be any be good?

What will their point be?

Where are you trying to lead people with your emails?

By that I mean, what are your main calls to action?


What kinds of things will you promote to your email list?

Do not have to join some affiliate program so that you can get good relevant products that you can pitch to them?

Or will you create your own products to sell online?

Maybe you sell your own services?

Do you have time to create a training course or write a new ebook?

Those are great ideas.

But only if you know how.

And if you can get past the dreaded learning curve that most of these things involve.

The Effort Drain

So you can see that all these things taken enormous amount of time.

But for each of the things I just mentioned you can also add that they would require a great deal of effort.

Sure it takes time to write a blog post.

But it’s also a lot of effort.

I mean, writing a blog post is a lot of work if you do it right.

Quick Checklist

So, test yourself.

Did you come up with a good idea?

And then did you research it to see what other people are saying about the same topic?

Have you added relevant images to your blog post to make it visually interesting?

Have you linked out other people’s articles to give your readers a deeper understanding of your topic?

Have you stopped to do a little video on your topic, and inserted that into your blog post?

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All this will make things more interesting for your readers and will probably help your post rank higher.

So, have you done all these things?

It’s Just the Beginning

That was a lot of work, wasn’t it?

Well, you can say that about each of the things you’ll need to be doing regularly.

  • Networking
  • blog commenting
  • email marketing
  • etc

They all take a lot of time.

But they also require a lot of effort.

If you do them right.

And if you don’t do them right, then what’s the point in doing them at all?

Am I right?

The Investment Quandry

Now here’s a sacrifice that all bloggers are keenly aware of.

You have to sacrifice money to be a successful blogger.

Let me ask you this… how do you spend money blogging?

The point is… you have to invest money in order to be a successful blogger.

Now it doesn’t have to be a lot but it has to be something.

And the deeper you get into the business, the more successful you can become.

But then of course, the more money you’re going to find you’re spending.

What You’ll Need

Getting a private domain and web hosting is pretty much essential.

Sponsored Ad


So you need an autoresponder.

But then there are other things too.

If you’re going to do video (and you should), you have a place to upload them.

You know if you put them on YouTube… anytime YouTube feels like closing your account then you lose all your videos.

That’s okay for amateurs, but pros need something more reliable.

So you might need a good professional video hosting service like Vimeo or something similar.

Now, as I mentioned, networking on social media is very time-consuming.

But it is a very important part of blogging.

So are you going to try to do it manually?

Or will you buy an automated service to help you out?


And how about hiring out help?

Will you hire some writers so to lessen your workload?

How about graphic designers to get you some cool infographics, banners or images for your blog?

Professional Development

And I’m not even talking about the training courses that you’ll need to buy to make sure you know how to do all these things.

So you better be ready to make some financial sacrifice in addition to your time and effort.

Most Importantly…

And if all this sounds overwhelming I’ll tell you another financial sacrifice.

It’s actually the most important one you can make and I highly recommend you do… and that’s coaching.

I have never yet met a successful blogger who has not hired coaches.

There’s just no substitute for getting somebody who really knows the business to take you by the hand and show you around.

Otherwise you could spend weeks, months and even years spinning your wheels.

Even then, you may still not really know where you’re going or how to get there.

A good blogging coach is worth his/her weight in gold.

The longer you put off hiring a good coach, the more time, effort and money you are going to waste just trying to figure it all out yourself.

Learn More About Donna’s Top Tier Mentoring ProgramTop Tier Coaching

What Would You Sacrifice To Be A Successful Blogger?

So have you weighed all the sacrifices of having a good and successful blog?

Do you think those sacrifices are worthwhile?

Are you prepared to make those sacrifices?

Have you made any other sacrifices that I haven’t covered here?

I’d love to hear your comments below and of course encourage you to share this article on your social media sites.

So how about it.

What would you sacrifice to be a successful blogger?


Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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27 Responses to What Would You Sacrifice to be a Successful Blogger?

  1. Ramona January 1, 2021 at 4:45 pm #

    I have a hobby blog sharing my passion for writing and reading, and have been curious about detracting myself from what I value, in order to make an income from my blog. Thank you so much for the honest assessment of all the time it takes. I knew about the promotion and social media required to be a “successful” (which in this article means “financially successful”) blogger, but I now see that there is so much more. I can now realistically compare blogging to “traditional” income opportunities, and make an informed decision. I’m leaning toward traditional so that I can continue to pursue my passions, have a calm lifestyle, and focus on family and friends. Congratulations Donna on your success, I so appreciate your information and the comments!

  2. Faizan Ali March 30, 2020 at 4:32 am #

    I have sacrificed a lot and top of all, I had quit my job to start working on my blog.
    And from that day I never repent on my decision.
    Blogging is such an amazing thing, if you are not creating a blog for money then still it’s your voice that people want to hear.

    After creating a blog you eventually transform yourself from individual to an influencer.

    Faizan Ali recently posted.. Pinterest Strategy: How to get more traffic from Pinterest

  3. Robbin Simmond October 16, 2018 at 6:23 am #

    Hi Donna,

    You have covered this topic very well and really this is the life of bloggers.

    As a blogger, we sacrifice many things as you have mentioned like time, money and many other things. If you have just started a blog then you need to be patient until your article getting rank in SERP and we don’t know how much time it will take. And also before starting a new blog or a blog post first, we do proper research on it and then write an in-depth article and this also takes time.

    Thank you so much for sharing this great article about a successful blogger.

  4. Emenike Emmanuel
    September 4, 2018 at 7:27 pm #

    This is a masterpiece, Donna.

    Honestly speaking, to be a successful blogger is not a day’s job. One must sacrifice so much. Even replying blog comments is a huge job on its own as this consumes our time.

    But the truth is, if one isn’t ready to sacrifice for at least 80% of the things you listed here, growing a successful blog will be being a pipe dream to that person.

    Since I started paying so much attention to different blog promotion models, I saw a dramatic increase in our business. Though it cost me huge money but I didn’t run at loss.

    Thanks for always sharing great value

    Emenike Emmanuel recently posted..Profitable Online Businesses You Can Start In 6 WeeksMy Profile

  5. Tarique Amir August 28, 2018 at 5:02 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Success in any field requires lot of hard work and determination. Everyone wants to be successful but in order to achieve it one has to pay the price for it. As a new blogger after reading good posts from Gurus like you I have released one thing that “There is no substitute for hard work”.

    Your post gives excellent in-depth information which is very helpful to take one’s website forward. I will work on your suggestions and hopefully I should be able to find my feet in this community.

    Thank you for the guidance. Keep up the good work.

  6. Sajid Akhter August 28, 2018 at 4:53 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Excellent post! It is so important to be persistent with your work no matter what you are doing and it is no different when it comes to blogging. One has to be passionate and focus on their goals. We need to work on all the aspects you have discussed in this post to make it work. Building relationship as you said is paramount in every field. It helps create awareness and trust among your community.

    Thank you for sharing this post. Have a great day. 🙂

  7. Dan Guillermo
    August 27, 2018 at 7:43 pm #

    Wow! What a list. When I first created my blog I thought It all sounds simple, but as you mention the “time trap” is something that I have struggled with. I find that I am consistent with my content for months then life gets in the way and before you know it, I’ll go months without writing new article. Time is only half of it, you also mentioned the “effort drain” (great choice of words) which is spot on. I have written articles that I have yet to publish because of everything else that goes along with it.

    I love this article because it really pinpoints many of the things people do not consider when starting a blog. I surely didn’t think of all these things when I started.

  8. Praveen Verma
    August 22, 2018 at 3:18 am #

    If you want to be a successful blogger then you have to give more and more time on your blog. Setting up a blog and writing content is not enough. There are many other things to do after starting a blog such as content promotion, building up an email list, building a strong networking in the blogosphere, social media optimization, guest post, commenting on others blogs and much more. If you start a blog and want to be a successful blogger then you need to make an effort to give more and more time on your blog rather than other less important tasks.

    I am very happy to read this post. Thank you so much for sharing this post with us.

    Have a great day ahead.
    Praveen Verma
    Praveen Verma recently posted..Top 10 Must Haves in your Check List before Launching your StartupMy Profile

  9. Glenn Shepherd
    August 21, 2018 at 4:55 am #

    Hi Donna,

    What a great post – so true and so very important!

    Many people think that blogging is about simply putting up a bit of content on a website and that’s it. But there is so, so much more to it than that, at least if you want to do it properly.

    The unfortunate thing is, just as with so many things in life and as in so many aspects of making money on the Internet, people aren’t willing to put in the work. That’s why your question is such an important one, because to be a successful blogger you need to make sacrifices.

    This is why so many people use things like content spinners and try to put everything on autopilot. Okay, that might work if you want to use the ‘throwing spaghetti at the wall’ approach, but it isn’t blogging. Blogging is like a career all on its own and requires real, diligent, dedicated work. The thing is, though, it can be one of the most rewarding and profitable strategies when done right. I’ve turned my hand to many things over many years and I don’t consider myself to be a top blogger particularly, but I know how to get results and it’s through my blog that I’ve made most of my money online. In short – it works!

    Thanks for the great post, Donna. As always you have hit it out of the park! 🙂

    Glenn Shepherd recently posted..Are You Suffering from this Potentially Deadly Business Disease?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 9, 2018 at 6:39 pm #

      Hi Glenn

      Yeah we all see people try the spinning and the automated ways of blogging you don’t we?

      It really doesn’t work.

      Successful blogging is all about building up relationships and being authentic.

      And automation just doesn’t do that for you.

      Like you say, blogging can be profitable.

      But you have to keep up with it consistently and be ready to sacrifice whatever it takes.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Top 5 Highly Insightful WordPress SEO Techniques That Work Like A CharmMy Profile

  10. Paul August 20, 2018 at 8:57 am #

    One best is blog commenting. The mistaks i made during the unsuccessful years of my blogging career was that I did not interact with my readers via comments. Most times when my readers make a suggestion i don’t bother to reply them and over time I noticed that the readers did not come back again. I have now decided to take blog commenting serious, it allows your readers have a great relationship with you.

    • Donna Merrill September 9, 2018 at 6:37 pm #

      Hi Paul

      Well you certainly learned a valuable lesson.

      Keeping up with comments on your blog is one of the most important parts of blogging.

      It show your readers that you a real person and not just some faceless text on a web page.

      Now it’s time to put in some extra effort and catch up 🙂

      Good luck with it.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How to Make Your Blog the Cornerstone of a Profitable BusinessMy Profile

  11. Bhawna Kaushik
    August 20, 2018 at 5:47 am #

    Hey DONNA Ma’am,

    Really awesome post, It is going to be 1 year since I started my blog as a hobby. I am not doing this for money, it is about passion and fulfilling my hobby.

    I think I have changed a lot in 1 year. Earlier I had this idea that it is going to be simple but as much as challenging it maybe. It is full filling and I have made some very nice friends.

    And talking about the question to what i would sacrifice? I think my GYM. 😛

    Anyways Keep up the good work Donna Ma’am
    Bhawna Kaushik recently posted..28 Amazing Documentaries You Must Watch Before You DieMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill September 9, 2018 at 6:35 pm #

      Hi Bhawna

      You may be blogging just for fun, but you still need to sacrifice a lot to keep up with it.

      Blogging always requires effort.

      Sounds like you’ve been putting in that effort in order to keep your blog going for a year.

      Keep rolling with it, but please… don’t sacrifice the gym 🙂

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How to use Calls To Action on your Blog for Profitable ConversionsMy Profile

  12. Cori Ramos
    August 15, 2018 at 10:51 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    This is a fab post! The one thing I’m sacrificing is time and it’s sooo worth it! There are times I’m up early or working late – like tonight. 🙂 There are days when I’m too tired but I remind myself about my goals and why I’m it in the first place and that pushes me through. Another motivator is that I’m finally seeing the payoff. 🙂

    Except for family, I think anything is worth the sacrifice if it results in a thriving business.

    Awesome stuff as always Donna!

    Cori Ramos recently posted..How To Create Customized Watermarks For Your Images In PicMonkeyMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill August 16, 2018 at 3:47 pm #

      Hi Cori,

      Wow that’s some real dedication there, girl!

      I can so relate to that.

      Nothing feels like work when you’re loving it right?

      Late nights, early mornings, long days… whatever.

      And one of the reasons you’re able to do all that is because you always keep your WHY firmly in mind.

      You always know WHY you’re sacrificing the way you do… and that’s what keeps you motivated.

      And, yayyy… the results are happening, too 🙂

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Welcome – How Is This Blog Different?My Profile

  13. Lisa Sicard
    August 15, 2018 at 9:51 pm #

    Wow Donna, you really tell it like it is here! I cannot tell you how much I’ve sacrificed sleep throughout my blogging career.
    Getting up at early at 3 or 4, before going to the day job when I had that, and then sometimes working until 11:00 at night. There are just so many tasks involved.
    Add in services, etc and it is a lot of hours. You must have a passion for it to continue blogging.
    I don’t even want to think of the hours I’ve spent on social media, but I rarely watch any TV.
    I believe with any success comes some sacrifice. Great piece and topic Donna! Have a great rest of the week.

    • Donna Merrill August 16, 2018 at 3:27 pm #

      Hi Lisa,

      Yeah, I think any blogger has gone through all these kinds of sacrifices.

      The thing is though… if you love what you’re doing, then it doesn’t feel like drudgery.

      That’s why every new blogger is well-advised to begin by blogging about their passion or at least something that they’re very interested in.

      That makes the late nights and early mornings actually feel rewarding, instead of draining.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Write an About Me Page That Will Increase Your BusinessMy Profile

      • Anil Agarwal
        September 29, 2018 at 2:19 am #

        Hi Donna, it takes a lot of struggle, hustle and ton of time to be able to see huge success in blogging. Not only blogging but you take any field, it takes consistent efforts to see ripe fruits.

        Blogging involves in so many things such as email marketing, SEO, content creation, promotion, networking and a ton of other things and you’ll have to manage most of the things by yourself.

        And then there’s Google updates that take away all of your traffic overnight (if you’ve messed up with any content or technical related issues). That’s why it’s so hard to succeed in blogging and make profits for the long term.

        That being said, I’ve been blogging for over a decade now and saw so many ups and downs and I can say one thing for sure: how you manage your time and how you’ll adopt to the new changes and updates is what keeps you ticking.

        I personally recommend finding a blogging buddy if you’re really serious about building a money making blog in the long run. Make sure you both are committed towards building a blog that actually helps others and makes profits for you.

        Apart from that, you can also consider outsourcing or hiring someone to manage your day to day blogging chores like content creation, SEO, email list building and so on as soon your blog starts generating decent income.

        Thanks for sharing your thoughts Donna, keep up the great work.

  14. Moss Clement
    August 15, 2018 at 5:30 am #

    Hi Donna,

    The concept of making sacrifices to become a successful blogger is worth every inch of it. Without sacrifices you cannot possible make it as a blogger. I recently read Susan Valez’s article where she mentioned going to bed late and getting up early to work on her blog, which reminds me of myself. For example, last night I had to work on my blog until 03:25 am before going to bed. And when did I get up, 07:45am. That’s great sacrifice right there. Why do I do that? Certainly to attain success. It also enable me to have more time for my family during the day and work on other things.

    Thank you, Donna. You did a great job!

    • Donna Merrill August 15, 2018 at 3:40 pm #

      Hi Moss,

      Yeah lots of sleepless nights haha.

      Got to do whatever it takes to move your business forward right?

      The sacrifice as well worth it though when you’re doing what you love and doing it with passion.

      That’s why we blog to begin with.

      And that’s why we’re willing to make the sacrifices that I talked about in this article.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Blogging Is Fun But Can I Make Money At It?My Profile

  15. Gaurav Kumar
    August 15, 2018 at 3:00 am #

    Hi Donna,

    First of all, one need to sacrifice the shy behavior. Blogging is also about networking and communicating. A shy person may find it difficult to create his own community or build relationships with influencers.

    A blogger should also need to sacrifice the greed of money. We all work for money but blogging is about passion. Your passion and skills in blogging helps you make money, not the greed.

    Glad you have shared this topic.
    Gaurav Kumar recently posted..Benefits of Online TradingMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill August 15, 2018 at 3:38 pm #

      Hi Guarav,

      Really not too much room to be shy in this business is there?

      Blogging is all about promotion.

      You have to let people know what you’re doing and how you can help them… in other words, your core message.

      If you don’t get out there and toot your own horn nobody else is going to.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..How to Turn Facebook Live into a Sizzling Marketing ToolMy Profile

  16. Ryan Biddulph
    August 14, 2018 at 8:46 pm #

    Fab post Donna! SSSOOOO worth it LOL, all sacrifices we make. I think of last week; since I am a pro blogger, I did a house sit on the Upper East Side of NYC for 2 weeks. Multi million dollar pad, glam neighborhood and I saw a few actors in the process. Plus we circled the globe for 7 years through pro blogging. But even if success means blogging part time to earn some extra income, anything meaningful you put into blogging is so worth it in the long run. Who I became through being a successful blogger is even more enjoyable than my worldly success, globe trotting, etc.


    • Donna Merrill August 15, 2018 at 9:10 am #

      Hi Ryan,

      I always admire how you never miss a beat. You can be globe trotting or “next door” in New York City and still have your blog rolling and your Facebook Lives going. Not to mention the “behind the scenes” business you are coaching.

      I have seen you grow from your old blogging days until now. You really are the poster boy of how to have a blog that works!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Blogging is the Best Way to Live the Laptop LifestyleMy Profile

  17. Marquita Herald
    August 14, 2018 at 8:25 pm #

    Yikes! I have lost count of the number of times I’ve commented about all the things no one ever tells you about the realities of blogging, but you have done an awesome job of laying all out there Donna! As to your question, I wouldn’t sacrifice anything to be a successful blogger, but that is only because that’s not my goal. I have a blog but for me, it’s a means to an end. Still, many of the tasks you’ve outlined continue to apply if only to remain relevant. I have to admit I really enjoy blogging though, especially all the great people involved, so I’m pretty sure I’d continue blogging even if I were doing it just for personal expression. Thanks, happy to share this valuable information!
    Marquita Herald recently posted..Why You Deserve to Make Emotional Self-Care a PriorityMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill August 15, 2018 at 9:06 am #

      Hi Marquita,

      Even if your blog is not the end goal, it is so useful for many things. I see that you love blogging and you ALWAYS do a great job with it. But it does take time, even though enjoyable. It also takes a bit of financial “investment” to keep it up and running.

      I see blogging not as a means to an end, but more as a door opener for other things like my email list, and a way to introduce my products and services. It is a win win all around!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Blogging is the Best Way to Live the Laptop LifestyleMy Profile

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