Lion Spratt Writer/Blogger

My first blog: I hate blogging, but why do I still do it?

Note: Even though I hate blogging, I still wrote this post first of all to let you know how much work it takes, and to serve you as guide that can help you get started on building your new website—or it can make you quit before even starting. (I hope it doesn’t.) I am certainly not in the position to teach you anything about building a website and make money out of it because I am in the 70% of bloggers who don’t earn squat from their blogs. (Well, I do make something but certainly nothing to brag about.)

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission of you click through and make a purchase!

Technically this is not my first blog; I’ve been blogging before on my other website CuckooPress, but this is my first blog on this website as a new and improved blogger. I’ve been writing blog posts for about 5 years now, and I never understood why website optimization tools would rate my pages as poorly written. I would receive a bunch of e-mail offers from many unknown people telling me how they can improve my website for better SEO (Search Engine Optimization) results. I had no idea what they were talking about. Actually, I thought they were spammers trying to rip me off in some way. Maybe they were, maybe they weren’t. Perhaps they were legitimate offers—I don’t know, but I never gave much thought to it, until now.

How I started blogging—a little bit of my blogging history

I started blogging on cuckoopress.com writing posts mainly in my native language Papiamentu. The amount of traffic I received for a blog post was decent and sometimes I would rack up around 30 thousand views in a day. I think my record for a blog post was in the 40 thousand views. Back then, that was freaking awesome to me. I was happy like a pig in mud for no good reason. But views don’t pay you a single penny unless you know how to convert them into cash—and I surely didn’t know. (I still don’t know how to do it, but more on this later.) I was just happy I got traffic on my website. Then I got sad because I realized it was the sex related topics that were attracting the viewers. That wouldn’t be a problem if my page was an educational porn site, but it wasn’t. Remember, I was completely ignorant on SEO (I will explain SEO later), so my traffic came mainly from social media—which is not a bad thing, but it cost me a lot of work and effort for little to no gain.

If the topic was hot, people would share them like a spicy gossip, and that was how I earned about 10k followers on Facebook. But then people started to link my persona with everything that had a dirty sexual content. I didn’t like that, so I stopped writing about sex stuff. People advised me to start writing posts in English due to the unlimited number of people I could reach, but those people know absolutely nothing about how blogging works. Writing posts in English is not what gets you traffic. There are billions of people out there writing articles in good English and their websites are lonelier than a Nun’s vagina.

When I published posts written in English I would get less traffic than a lonely road in the middle of the city Ordos Kangbashi. As it appears to be, my followers either don’t understand English, or they don’t like English or they don’t like posts written in English or they don’t like when I write posts in English. Every time I post something in English I would experience a massive drop in traffic to the point where I got discouraged to write blogs on CuckooPress all together. Of course there were other reasons why I got discouraged, including running out of material, stress, being broke, not reaching any goals, lack of sex, back pain etc.

I learned that traffic is everything, but traffic means nothing if you can’t convert it to cash—unless you just want traffic.

Of course some people blog just for the sake of blogging (hobby), until they run out of things to write or realize how much work and money it costs to keep blogging.

How much money does it costs to blog?

This is different for everybody. It can cost you literally zero dollars or then thousand dollars to keep your website up and running. You can start a website/blog for free with Weebly or Wix, but if you do, trust me, you will soon experience extreme frustration and you will run away screaming to jump off of the Grand Canyon.

Picture of The Grand Canyon just for illustration| Photo Business Insider

A good way to do things is to get your own host with a domain name and installing WordPress through your host. This process alone can cost you either a few bucks if you pick a cheap webhost or some hundred bucks if you pick an expensive one. There are four main factors when considering e webhost and those are:

  1. Uptime – The amount of time your website will be “up and running”. Nobody likes their website “down” for any reason. Most of them will show you a percentage of 99 point something and that’s what really makes a difference. I have personally never experienced any downtime with my current server. They are the best! (Actually after writing this post, I experienced two downtime with my current host, around 10 minutes each. So I take back what I just said.) I also experienced about an hour downtime with Hostgator within three years of being with them.
  2. Load time – How fast your webhosting can make your website load; although this also depends on the amount of media you have on your site.
  3. Support – For when ERR-thing goes wrong.
  4. Price – Self explanatory.

I am not going to rank all the web hosting companies since I have not tried them all. You can blindly trust HostingFacts for the awesome job they did on the ranks. BlueHost (Affiliate link) seems to be quite popular and seems to rank number one on this list. They offer a “hard to beat” promotional rate on the first year ($3.95 p/m through my affiliate link), which is about 48 dollars for a whole year. After the first year you will be billed at the regular price of $7.99 p/m which is about $96 a year. Next to web hosting, you also need a domain name. Bluehost offers you a free domain for the first year, which is pretty standard. After that you will be charged around 24 dollars for a domain name and privacy protection. If you have money, that’s good, if you are broke like me, that would be damn expensive.

They also offer free SSL certificates—which is highly needed if you intend to sell anything on your website—to keep sensitive information about your buyers encrypted. Read more about SSL here.

I have tried Hostgator before and they were good, but they do rank the highest in renewal cost. There are webhosts who are certainly higher, but I simply couldn’t afford Hostgator. At some point I was paying around 140 dollars a year for the baby hosting plan. That’s damn expensive to me.

Dreamhost(Affiliate link) is another one who ranks pretty high and if you don’t mind not having a Cpanel, it’s actually the best choice. The lowest plan is at $2.59 a month for 3 years. Renewal price is the same. You get 1 website and a free domain in the first year and free SSL. Domain names go at $9.99 at registration and than $15.99 to renew. Not bad at all.

Shopping for a .com domain.

A lot of people purchase their domains elsewhere from where their hosting is and while this is possible, it will cost you a little bit more work to set up your website, not to mention when you decide to change of web hosting. So buying a domain from GoDaddy while registering for web hosting with Hostgator like I did before is possible but it’s just not convenient. By the way, GoDaddy is not the cheapest. NameCheap is the cheapest Domain Name Registrar to me, with an annual fee of about $11, while Bluehost has an annual fee around $12 for their .com domains.

After Hostgator emptied my pockets for three years I switched to NameCheap (Funny story, I am promoting Namecheap here, but they rejected my request to their Affiliate Program.) As a webhost, Namecheap doesn’t not rank very high, but it certainly does to me (perhaps I am easy to please.) Namecheap helped me with my transition from Hostgator to their hosting service and they made it effortlessly and 100% free (BlueHost charges $99 for this, and no other service offers this for free.) They are also always there when I need them for support. Their cheapest plan is at $30.88 a year. (You can currently get it for half the price for your first year.) Domains are at $8.88 the first year and $10.88 at renewal. SSL is unfortunately not free, and costs around $8 extra. (You do get is free for the first year you buy a new domain.) So my annual cost to keep both of my blogs alive are around $60.

I like Namecheap and they have around 3 million customers around the world with pretty good reviews. You can read a full in depth review about them here. People might dislike Namecheap due to its speed that’s not the highest and this can definitely cost you a lot of money if you have tons of traffic on your website. The reasons I chose Namecheap are the following:

  1. Hosting plan is $30.88 per year, and I can host 3 websites with it. No other webhost can beat this. Period!
  2. That’s it…..just 1 reason.

What I don’t like about Namecheap

The things I don’t like about Namecheap is that I get only 20 GB SSD Disk Space whereas most other web hosts offers either 50 GB or unlimited space. But after 5 years of blogging I never had a disk space issue, so—whatever! I also don’t like that they rejected me for the affiliate program. That one hurt my feelings.

Bottomline, I am fine with Namecheap. They can certainly improve, but at that price point, I am happy with what I am receiving.

To conclude on web hosts

If you have the money, I would recommend you either Dreamhost or Bluehost, those two are the best! (Bear in mind that Dreamhost does not have the common CPanel. They have their own Web Panel, but if you’ve never worked with Cpanels, you probably don’t know what I am talking about anyway, so you won’t miss it.)

How can you convert traffic to cash?

Once again, I am in no position to teach you how to make money from your website. I can only tell you what methods are there and why I hate them all.
There are mainly six ways you can convert traffic to cash:

1. Selling a product or a service.

If you have substantial traffic coming to your site, you can sell products or services.  This is the only way I have convert traffic to cash, selling books and—yeah just books.

Why I hate it?
Where I am from, people don’t buy books as much as they buy party tickets, lottery tickets, fake hair, fake nails, butt implants, motel rooms and condoms. I have to work my ass off to sell one single damn book.

2. Adsense/Mediavine

You know how you search for a product online, then visit another website and see ads of that exact product you were searching for? That’s how Adsense works and honestly, it creeps me out. If you have a website with a lot of traffic you can place ads on the pages, and get paid whenever someone click on those ads.

Why I hate it?
I don’t hate Google ads—I despise them. I despise seeing them and I despise using them on my website. In my humble opinion, it makes websites look trashy. I also don’t want to see ads of products I can’t vouch for its quality on my website. Since I hate seeing them I am less inclined to make this a cash generating method. However I am the only stupid person refusing to use them, because they do generate money if you have a lot of traffic. If you see me changing my mind about them, mind your own business.

3. Selling advertisement space

If your website has substantial traffic you can approach companies to display their products or services, or if you are lucky, they may approach you asking you for advertisement space.

Why I hate it?
As an introvert with terrible selling skills, I am not approaching anyone to sell no damn ad space, and I have never been approach with such offer either.

4. Sponsored Posts

This is called backlinking—where you write a featured post on a famous website, and they create a backlink to your website as the author of the article. You probably sold that article to the website generating cash, and you also receive traffic from their audience. Also Google may rank your website higher on SEO results when you have backlinks like this. (Again, I will explain about SEO later.)

Why I hate it?
I don’t really hate it, but I’ve never got an inspiration for an article that I would publish on a third party’s website. They usually require the article to be about a certain topic and it must have this and that, and I was never in the mood to write an article like that.

5. Dropshipping

Dropshipping is when you sell a product you don’t have in stock and have another company handle the shipping. You just create an account with a dropshipping company like Oberlo—or can also be Ebay and Amazon—then create your online store which is your website and let clients buy products you promote from your website. When you receive an order, you subsequently place the order with your dropshipping company and they will handle everything else.

Why I hate it?
I haven’t done dropshipping because even though you don’t really need to deal with your customers, you must deal with possible complaints and returns, which sounds like a nuisance to me. Haters are everywhere, so it’s highly possible that you would have to deal with a grumpy unsatisfied client. Also, like I mentioned before, I also don’t like to sell something I cannot 100% stand behind its quality and durability. I cannot sell you a product I have never tried out, tested or highly reviewed, and I also have a problem with niche picking which I will explain next.

6. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing is very much like dropshipping, except you don’t actually sell the product yourself. You just promote a product on your website or social media (like I did with Bluehost in this post), and use a personal link to market a specific product. If a customer uses your link to buy that specific product they may receive a discount and you receive a commission.

Why I hate it?
I don’t really hate this one either, but you do need to have a niche, which I am not good picking. A niche is just a product type, area or field you concentrate on. If you have two different niches, then it’s advisable to have two different websites, and I don’t want to do that. I can’t seem to pick a niche either. I don’t like to be restricted to one niche. If I were to chose five different niches, than I should have five different websites. Having five websites is like having four side chicks and a wife and I can barely handle one. It’s expensive too.

Are you still with me, or do you need a break? I certainly need one, so I will take a hot chocolate break and I will continue in a few minutes.

Chocolate break
10 Minutes later…

Now, let’s talk about why I hate blogging!

I must say, I hate 95% of everything in life. I am not a hater; I am just a misfit, that’s why I hate almost everything around me. I especially hate how people compete with each other in order to feel worthy in a society and to keep making money. I hate it all, probably because I am terrible selling myself which is highly necessary to thrive in life. I don’t like doing it.

To blog effectively (if you want to be a successful blogger who makes money out of blogging), you must take a few things into consideration:

1. You need traffic.

To effectively gain traffic, you need to create “Search Engine friendly” content and/or somehow create a massive e-mail list. For search engines like Google, you have to consider keywords search which is the amount of times a certain topic have been searched for in a month. If you write about “Why dogs poop a lot” and nobody has ever searched for that, of course you won’t get traffic through search engines. If you write about “How to make a million dollars”, you will see that millions of people have searched that and this can increase your chances of being displayed in a search result.

Your blog post must be “Search Engine friendly” (You have to learn SEO).

Google (the most used search engine) uses very smart algorithm to search the internet to find relatable content to what people have searched in order to present them in a ranking order. You probably have realized yourself by your own behavior how you Google something and you only consider the first 5 results to be relevant. As you go lower, you tend to give up and just refine your search keywords. Nobody EVER checks the 2nd result page to see if they can find anything relevant to what they were looking for (like we used to do when we used other search engines like Altavista, Yahoo, Ask etc.) So it’s important to be in the top 5 search results to be effectively visible.

Of course, Google changes its algorithm all the time, so it’s not wise to rely on this for traffic. You can go from fame to lame in just a few days. This is why many websites uses many tricks you get your e-mail address, so they don’t have to rely on search engines for their content to be seen.

All About SEO!

There are many ways to make your page Google friendly, and I must say, I hate it them all. First you have to write your content in a certain way, otherwise Google won’t like it, and it will never appear in a search result. Then you must take into consideration things that will be to your advantage or disadvantage. Backlinks for example can be good or bad, depends on how you do it. If Forbes features you in a post, it’s good. If you and your friend interchange links, it’s bad and Google might penalize you for that making your page disappear from all search results. (I wish I knew this before.) There is also the amount of words you use; long post are better indexed by Google (I mean really long posts, like 4000 words or more). However, you must keep your paragraphs short.

In order to use efficient SEO you must eventually invest in certain tools that costs a LOT of money—in any case, money I don’t have. I am talking here about hundreds or thousands of dollars. Of course, if your website generates thousands of dollars, you wouldn’t mind investing a couple of hundreds in tools that would help you generate more. I am among the 65% bloggers who haven’t deciphered that formula yet.

Creating good SEO in a way that Google displays your website at the top of search results is in my opinion another way of competing with other people who are basically doing the same. That’s why it’s important to pick a niche, because it is simply to your advantage when it comes to monetization of your website. If you pick one of the top three niches (that contains keywords that are Googled frequently) you have more chances of creating more traffic, consequently making more money.

The top 3 Niches are:

  1. Wealth – How to make (more) money (especially online) either through investing  to create a passive income or selling items.
  2. Health – How to live healthier, losing weight etc.
  3. Dating and relationships – everybody is looking for love or seeking advice on how to date more or improve relationships.

However, you don’t necessarily need a lot of traffic to create a decent stream of income. If you sell cars for example, one sale might generate $1000 commission. If you sell five cars a month, you are generating $5000 a month. I am a terrible salesman, so I am not going to do that. I only want to do things I am passionate about so it won’t feel like work or a chore or just hell to me.

I also don’t like emailing people— I am always thinking I am bothering them. Probably because that’s how I feel when I receive too many e-mails from website I like—let alone those that I don’t like.

So what the fuck do I want to do, you might be asking!

Quite frankly, I don’t know—I really don’t fucking know. You might be thinking, “Why don’t you vlog then?” Well, I hate that too, but that’s another topic for another day.

Lion Spratt Writer/Blogger
Me in my hometown Curaçao writing this post for you!

If you want to learn more about SEO, there are a lot of people who sell SEO trainings. I don’t know them but you can google them. You can get some knowledge about it for free too. For example Tommy Griffith from ClickMinded gives solid explanation about it in a just 37 minutes video.

If you want to learn how to make website content more “Search Engine friendly”, watch Miles Beckler’s video on Youtube.

If for any reason you want me to build your website for you, I would be honored. Don’t expect too much fancy stuff though. I can only do basic things, but it’s something. Just send me an e-mail and we can talk.

Boy, this was the longest post I have ever written in my life. I will never write such a long ass post like this again. (Don’t trust me on that. I hate blogging, but I do love writing.)

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