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“I want to start a blog, but isn’t the market already saturated?”

Is the blogging market saturated?

Debby left this question on the Ask Your Blogging Questions Here post. It’s one I hear often and I thought it was high time I addressed it in this series where I’m answering your blogging questions:

So my question might be too pessimistic, but I am wondering if some of us are getting into blogging too late. Are there just too many blogs out there to really be able to get in on it all?

I have so many ideas, but then I do a little research and see that there are a ton of people already posting on these things. I feel like another blog is not needed.

So how do you make your blog something people need to read? The really successful blogs either look like they had money to put into it before making money or they have been around since the beginning. What are your thoughts? -Debby

Can I just encourage you, Debby? I don’t believe in any way that the market is saturated when it comes to blogs.

I know others disagree with me, but I hold to that statement because I believe that everyone has a unique perspective, everyone has a different writing style, and everyone has their own story. These three things will set apart your blog from anyone else’s in the world.

Think about book ideas and business ideas: there are millions of them out there. And yet, every week, many new books are published and many new businesses are started. Not all of them will succeed, but many of them will make a difference.

There are multitudes of amazing books and stories and business concepts that would have never come to fruition had someone felt like the book market or the business market was too saturated! In fact, some of my favorite books would never have been written and some of my favorite businesses would have never been started.

So remind yourself of this when you begin to feel like the market might be saturated. There is always, always room for new blogs, new books, and new businesses.

Is the blogging market saturated?

However, I want to give you four important words of advice to think about as you contemplate the possibility of starting a blog:

1. Don’t Blog for the Money

While I’ve written extensively on how to start a blog and make money blogging, I cannot emphasize enough how important it is that you have a purpose for blogging that is much bigger than making money.

I’m a firm believer in being smart and strategic. I think it’s wise to find creative win-win ways to make money that also help your audience out. But never, never, never start a blog just to make money.

You will crash and burn if you have no bigger why behind your blogging endeavors than making money.

When I first started blogging here on MoneySavingMom.com, there were quite literally no other blogs that I’d ever found that were matching coupons with deals. Pretty soon after I started, the idea caught on and soon, there were a number of bloggers covering deals at their local stores and sharing great online deals.

Because people found out that there was pretty good money to be made in this field — especially if you did a great job of it — more and more people jumped on the deal-blogging bandwagon.

I saw blogger after blogger start new deal blogs — some starting multiple deal blogs. Many outright said to me that they were really only blogging for the money.

A year or three later, the majority of the bloggers who only started blogging for the money had either shut down their blogs entirely or had confessed to me that they were exhausted, frazzled, and overwhelmed.

Blogging is hard work. Making a living from blogging is not an easy road. And when the frustrations and set-backs and discouragements come, if you’re not in it for a bigger purpose than making money, you’re going to have a hard time sticking with it for the long haul.

I love how blogging allows me to be able to work from anywhere!

I love that blogging allows me to pretty much work from anywhere! Today, I took my “office” to the skating rink and hung out with Kaitlynn while she had an intensive day of figure skating lessons and training.

2. Don’t Try to Be Someone You’re Not

You are the only you on the planet. The world needs YOU — not you trying to be someone else.

Instead of looking at other bloggers and thinking of how you can replicate what they are doing, be inspired by them and then go do your own thing.

Instead of trying to copy others, think about what you can do to set yourself apart. What unique perspective and life experience do you have to bring to the table? What ideas and subjects are you intensely passionate about?

Do not compare yourself to other bloggers. I repeat: do not compare yourself to other bloggers.

This is a recipe for discouragement and defeat or for pride. Whether it makes you feel better than or less than, either way, it’s not good for your heart. Save yourself the fallout and just stop comparing.

Focus on being the best version of yourself that you can be. Surround yourself with people who will encourage you, build you up, and challenge you to improve and grow as a person.

But also, give yourself grace and remember that you don’t have the same gifts, capacity, or calling as others do. And that’s the beauty of us all being unique individuals.

The 3 Most Important Things to Do After You Start a BlogFor more encouragement, read my post on the 3 Most Important Things to Do After You Start a Blog.

3. Don’t Over-Research

There’s a huge advantage nowadays over when I started blogging, because the public at large knows what a blog is.

When I first started blogging, most people hadn’t even really heard of this thing called a “blog”. So before you could tell them about your blog, you first had to explain to them what a blog even was! It was a weird phenomenon to many people and just didn’t make a whole lot of sense.

If you start a blog now, you have a big advantage because blogging is widely accepted and understood. But it also means that it’s no longer a sort of cutting edge thing.

Because of this, as you go to research topics and ideas, you’ll find that there really isn’t anything new under the sun. What your friends think is your personal brilliant idea has probably been blogged on dozens and dozens of times.

In fact, it always cracks me up when I post something simple — say about making your bed every day — and then get emails from people telling me that they read that idea in a book before and I really should give credit to the author I got the idea from.

Here’s the truth: there are really rarely many truly new ideas. While I’m all about giving credit where credit is due if I got an idea or quote directly from someone else, for most ideas, they’ve been shared so many times in so many ways that it’s basically impossible to say where an idea originated from. And often, I may have come up with the idea on my own, but that doesn’t mean that a thousand other people didn’t also come up with the idea, too, and write about it on their blogs.

I don’t say this to discourage you, but to just remind you that you can’t be concerned about only blogging about ideas that have never before been shared. Otherwise, you’ll be hard-pressed to find material to write on!

Just write from your heart, write what you’re inspired about, share what’s working or what’s not working for you. Share from your own life story and unique perspective.

If you’re going to hold something out as a brand-new, never-before-heard-of original idea, you probably should research to make sure it’s truly not been blogged about before. But otherwise, just be you as a blogger. Give credit to anyone you get ideas from, but don’t stress about always having to cite a source for everything — especially if the idea is something you just learned by trial and error.

Too much research can stifle your creativity. If you go out trying to search to see what else has been written about a particular topic, it can sometimes be more discouraging than helpful — as you’ll find that three or 30 or 300 other bloggers have shared a similar idea, but with better photos or graphics or storyline than you would have ever come up with yourself.

Instead of spending hours researching, I encourage you to spend a lot more time writing, editing, tweaking, and creating than you do researching. In the long run, it will be a much healthier decision for you.

As I’ve said before, “Stop collecting more information and, instead, go and apply what you already know.”

Don't Live Under the Belief of Lies

4. Don’t Let Lies Limit You

Do you feel like you just don’t measure up? That you’re not good enough? That you wish you could be successful and fulfilled in life but you’re met with failure and discouragement at every turn?

So much of the time, our unwillingness to act or our inability to gain momentum has to do mostly with the things we’ve let ourselves believe about ourselves.

It’s long been said that if you believe a lie for long enough, it can become a truth to you. So if you tell yourself for months and months that you’re not good enough, that you don’t have anything to offer, that you shouldn’t start blogging because you wouldn’t do a good job of it, then you’ve probably slowly started to own those lies and let them be believed as truth in your life.

Instead of embracing these untruths about yourself, start calling them out for what they really are — LIES! Then replace them with the truth: you have a unique story and purpose, you are enough, the world needs your gifts and talents.

Be you, bravely!

If you, too, struggle with living under lies and letting them dictate how you live, I encourage you to download my talk on the 3 Lies That Are Stifling Your Success & The Truth That Will Set You Free. I think it will really encourage you!

 

photo credit; photo credit

 

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48 Comments

  • Thank you for this encouragement Crystal! I was feeling a little discouraged about blogging the other day, and a talk with my husband reminded me that I would be doing all these things with my boys anyway – I just have the added fun of sharing then with others now, too! And I believed the lie that I didn’t have anything good enough to share for far too long.

  • Blogging is definitely not a saturated market. Debby, you’ll be surprised at how many niches you can get into when it comes to blogging. Just make sure that you love what you do and the niche/topic that you eventually choose for your blog.

    I have been blogging for 8 years now, and I surprise myself everyday that I still love doing it! 🙂 I guess maybe because a big part of me loves to share to others and that’s also why it makes me feel happy that people visit my blog because of what I offer. Money is of course, an added bonus with blogging. But eventually, like Crystal said here, most bloggers will burn out and quit because they just ‘blog for money’. Like any other business undertaking, you have to love what you do or you won’t last.

    Hope that helps! 🙂

  • Katie says:

    Thanks for sharing all of this advice and encouragement!

    It makes me think how much harder it must have been for you, being a groundbreaker in the market and not having established bloggers willing to teach you the ropes and cheer you on.

    That is a HUGE blessing to those of us just getting started! 🙂

    • I think there were pros and cons to starting back in the olden days of blogging… I sure am grateful for the advances made — including things like social media. 🙂

  • Awmeme says:

    Just curious about how you would go about starting a blog that’s more of an interactive support group and getting the news out about it? I have severe health issues and find that just talking to others with health problems of their own, even if they aren’t the same ones really helps me! It helps me get out of my head and stop focusing on myself. I find many of the “support groups” I’ve found are just focused on one thing. Many are physical support groups as in you go to them…I need an online one as I can barely leave my home most days.

    • lizajane says:

      I don’t really have any ideas on how you would get the word out about your blog, but the fact that the support groups you’ve found meet at a physical locations and you want to start an online one sounds like you’ve found a niche. I’m 100% positive you aren’t the only one struggling with mobility issues, so it sounds like a great idea!

    • I would LOVE to find a group like that! I would totally follow you! 🙂 If I were you, I’d get your blog/website started, and then start spreading the word on social media. I’d personally go to Facebook and politely start introducing myself to others who have pages that are similar. Even if you find a page that’s just focused on supporting people with one specific illness, you still might be able to network there. You can send a private message to the person who manages that page and ask if you might be able to collaborate. And you can leave comments on that page logged in under your “website name”, and not your personal name. (Does that make sense?) For example, my website is Let’s Do Some Good Today. I love packing shoeboxes for Operation Christmas Child, so I follow OCC’s page. And sometimes I leave a comment or suggestion, but Facebook will allow me to post as “Let’s Do Some Good Today”. It catches people’s eye, and they click on my Facebook page. Now, I’d be careful doing this – it would be easy to start coming across like a spammer. 🙂 But I feel like an occasional comment, especially one that’s directly related to what that group is focused on, is a great way to network with those who would be interested in your content. Does that make any sense??

      • Have you considered just doing a Facebook Page or a Forum? Both would be great options for this sort of thing. If you know anyone online (or offline) who is looking for similar support, encourage them to join and ask them to share with their friends. You could also leave comments as Kimber outlines above, write guest posts for online sites related to your health issues, email offline support groups and let them know you exist… be diligent about getting the word out, providing a safe haven, and encouraging others to participate and that’s usually the best way to grow.

  • Yvonne says:

    This was such an encouraging post. You spoke right to my heart and I’m going to set some time aside to listen to your talk. Thank you!

  • Thank you so much for the encouragement Crystal! I have really needed it recently. As often as I hear not to compare myself to other bloggers, it’s an easy trap to fall into. Especially thinking someone is funnier, or a better writer, or whatever. My husband is very encouraging in this regard, though, and helps to remind me of some of the small successes I’ve seen.

    I do really love blogging and have enjoyed the community. It really so wonderful to receive feedback and hear that others were encouraged by a post or helped by an idea or loved a new recipe.

    As far as not blogging for the money, this is certainly not why I started. However, it is a lot of work and does require some monetary investment so I do hope that at least one day my blog can bring in enough to cover the costs.

  • Thank you for this post! This was encouraging to me, even though I’m not a blogger. I recently started an Etsy business, and I’ve been struggling with some of the same things Debby mentioned — feeling like the market is over-saturated, that there are so many people who are much more talented than me. I am going to check out your talk on the lies we believe, too!

    • I JUST recently had a long talk with a gal who has a booming business on Etsy selling skirts. She told me how so many people aren’t willing to put in the time and effort it takes to really build a strong business and brand on Etsy, but that if you stick with it, keep trying new things, keep learning from others, and keep focusing on doing a great job, there is so much possibility on Etsy.

  • I’m so excited about this series, Crystal. Tomorrow I’m giving a workshop at a local homeschool conference about blogging and online writing. My first power point slide reads “Saying there are too many blogs is like saying there are too many books.” It was fun to come to your blog this morning and read that others feel that way too. Thanks for the encouragement.

  • kariane says:

    Thank you for sharing this, Crystal! As a new blogger, I find this very encouraging. So far I’m loving my own little blogging adventure, and really enjoying sharing things that I’m passionate about: Mindful Food. Mindful Family. Mindful Home. Mindful Life.

  • Diana says:

    This was a great article to read, I so needed it. Point #1 helped me make my decision… I had started a blog earlier this year while I was off work on medical leave as I had so much time on my hands and it was a dream of mine to start a blog. I LOVED working on my blog and I had so many friends and family enjoy my posts. I was waiting to hear if I was eligible to go for my life saving surgery (bone marrow transplant) and after waiting so long, I became discouraged about a month ago. I just found out this past Monday I’ll be going for my surgery (Yippy!)

    I’m be in the hospital for a minimum of 3 months and will be off my regular work for at least another year… working on my blog makes me excited and eager to get out of bed in the morning. It’s going to take a bit of planning and strategizing during my hospital stay, but if it gives me something to work towards. I feel the passion coming back and I’m excited. Thank you for this post!!

  • April says:

    Hi Crystal,

    This post really helped me with part of blogging, but there’s an even bigger part that I have been dying to ask about. I want to blog, and lots of people I know have said I should start. The only problem is I’m incredibly apprehensive about sharing information about myself and my family online. I had Internet safety drilled into my head when I was younger and now it’s sort of holding me back. Did you have that problem? Do you know someone who did? How did you/they get beyond it? Any advice would me more than greatly appreciated. Thanks!

    • Alicia says:

      This is eXACTLY my question and concern as well! I’d love any input on this !

      • I always encourage people not to share any information you don’t feel comfortable sharing online. There are many ways around this… you can use a pen name, you can make up pet names for family and friends (I’d just encourage you to disclose that names are changed on your blog), you could choose not to share pictures or only share pictures where faces aren’t visible, you can just not share certain details — like where you live, etc.

        If you don’t feel comfortable sharing something, just find a creative workaround for it. I’ve seen many people do many different things in this regard

        Some things I strongly encourage:

        1) If you have kids, be very, very careful about the pictures you put out online. Make sure they are fully clothed, etc.

        2) NEVER share pictures of your home or your neighborhood on your blog or any social media channels. This is just common sense.

        3) NEVER give out information via email or blog comments if you feel like someone is “fishing” for information that they don’t need to know.

        4) NEVER share things about your kids/job/friends/family that you aren’t 100% comfortable with the entire world knowing. You never know who might be reading your blog.

        5) If you are going to meet a blog reader, always verify that they are who they say they are and always meet in a public location with someone else with you or where someone knows exactly where you are.

        6) Always remember that everything you put out anywhere on the internet is forever out there until the end of time.

  • Kelly Cox says:

    Encouraging post! PG! I am really passionate about my blog topic, debt-free living, the Lord and all things HOME. It would be nice to make some money but I really hope that this will be a bit of a ministry too. I’m praying big and doing lots of trial and error. Thanks for this encouragement and also, I too love the statement from Angi about too many blogs! 🙂

    • Laura says:

      Love you heart behind this, Kelly. I totally agree, wanting people to leave feeling encouraged, like they’re not alone and hopefully knowing a bit more about the character of God. XO

  • I love this post!! I decided, when I began blogging, that although I’d love to some day earn enough money from my blog to be able to give more generously (and, in my wildest dreams, to hire someone to clean my house for me while I write … wouldn’t that be the BEST??), for now, I’m not worrying about earning money. I’m writing from my heart about things that I’m passionate about. I’m looking to encourage people to serve more and to be kinder. And I find my “paydays” there. Blogging is hard work, for sure, but if you’re passionate about what you’re writing about, it’s an amazingly fulfilling hobby that might, someday, turn into a wonderful job. Keep writing, writers! 🙂

  • Anna says:

    This was exactly what I needed to read today! I have been dabbling with personal blogging on and off for several years now. I am not wanting to set out with the exclusive goal of making money, but I do have goals concerning growing my embroidery business and I’d like to have a personal connection with people through a blog. However, my biggest hurdle is the notion that what I want to say and share is not going to be loud or interesting enough to make an impact.

    I’m swamped with volunteer work for the next few weeks, but I think I have the courage to start down this path again. Thank you!

  • Too many times I have not published something because Iater saw someone else already did. I must have dozens of unpublished post in my draft folder because of this.
    My favorite piece of advice is “be you bravely” thanks for that!

    • I’m cheering for you and hoping that you’ll have courage to pull those unpublished pieces out of drafts and share them with the world!

      • Thank you so much Crystal! You really did just bring tears to my eyes. I desire so badly to help people with my site and I did start out for the money but a few months back my hubby and I had a heart to heart talk about the fact if I never make a single dime from my site I would still want to help moms and since that moment the whole focus of my site has changed but there are many days where I feel like “I can’t publish that” for the fear of unknowingly copying something that’s already been done and I always go back to the book of Ecclesiastes where Solomon is saying that what has been done will be done again because there is nothing new under the sun and somedays that can be so discouraging but I love how you mention that yeah, it’s been done, but it hasn’t been done the way I would do it and that is very motivational so thank you. Have a blessed day!

  • Your posts are always so positive 🙂

    There are a lot of personal finance blogs that suggest finding a niche in order to make money blogging. I follow those sites for the information and advice about money. We are fighting our way out of debt and towards the goal of financial semi-independence. However, I blog about so much more than money, because our journey is multifaceted. I strive to stay true to my original purpose in starting the blog – documenting the kaleidoscopic nature of our adventure.

    • I’m so with you on the whole multifaceted thing… plus, if I had to only blog on one very niche topic, I’d get bored quickly. That’s why I’ve given myself permission here to just blog on anything that falls under the heading of “intentional life, family, finances, and/or business”. 🙂

  • Crystal,
    Can I thank you specifically for #3? Just 30 minutes ago I was driving in the car by myself with tears welling up in my eyes because today I saw a blog post with the exact title of a post I had written not long ago. I’m sure it’s totally different because you are right, we all have our own experiences, viewpoints, personalities, and lifestyle that is going to make each post unique even if the post is titled the same.

    I was feeling so frustrated because you are also right in saying that everything really has already been written about before. I actually said, out loud (I always talk to myself out loud in the car) what hasn’t already been written about?

    #3 spoke to my heart today. Thank you for encouraging me to keep on keeping on. This made my entire day!!!

    • I am SO very grateful! Keep writing, Jennifer. The world needs your words!

      Also, just to encourage you, there are many movie titles and book titles that are the same. In fact, I’ve sometimes seen three different books titled the exact same thing and that’s for *published* books. So unless you have some crazy, long, weird title for your blog post, it’s probably been used before or will be used. And that’s okay… because the posts themselves are probably very different.

  • Laura says:

    Love your response, Crystal. I think every reader is going to connect with each blogger uniquely. So while some may say that blogs are fading, I’ve found that there are still plenty of people (like myself) who read them and love them. What I love about blogging is that each person’s individual experience and voice sets them apart and can speak to various audiences differently.

    Also love how you mentioned to just be yourself! Everyone else is really already taken, so we might as well live into the person that we were created to be, using our own stories, sense of humor and style.

  • Ajeena says:

    I just recently started blogging and I feel like I’m all over the place with different topics. Any advice?

    -Ajeena
    http://www.perfectingjoy.com

  • I have appreciated your wise words for many years. As I launch a new blog, I’m grateful for these tips and inspired that regardless of how many MILLIONS of wonderful posts and pins there are out there, I might still be able to encourage someone with my unique perspective. Thank you for encouraging us! I will always promote your blog and your products because of how much your writings have blessed my family and friends over the years!

  • Maria says:

    I am a fan of your blog since 2012. I learned a lot. I’m inspired to create one in the future. I have a question, how to be safe in blogging? I mean blogging is a real life sharing to a huge crowd online. Do you have any tips or security measures?

    • Here’s a comment I shared with another reader who asked a similar question:

      I always encourage people not to share any information you don’t feel comfortable sharing online. There are many ways around this… you can use a pen name, you can make up pet names for family and friends (I’d just encourage you to disclose that names are changed on your blog), you could choose not to share pictures or only share pictures where faces aren’t visible, you can just not share certain details — like where you live, etc.

      If you don’t feel comfortable sharing something, just find a creative workaround for it. I’ve seen many people do many different things in this regard

      Some things I strongly encourage:

      1) If you have kids, be very, very careful about the pictures you put out online. Make sure they are fully clothed, etc.

      2) NEVER share pictures of your home or your neighborhood on your blog or any social media channels. This is just common sense.

      3) NEVER give out information via email or blog comments if you feel like someone is “fishing” for information that they don’t need to know.

      4) NEVER share things about your kids/job/friends/family that you aren’t 100% comfortable with the entire world knowing. You never know who might be reading your blog.

      5) If you are going to meet a blog reader, always verify that they are who they say they are and always meet in a public location with someone else with you or where someone knows exactly where you are.

      6) Always remember that everything you put out anywhere on the internet is forever out there until the end of time.

  • SallyAnn says:

    you have a unique story and purpose, you are enough, the world needs your gifts and talents.

    Thanks so much for these words of encouragement Crystal, I really needed to read them today. I’m new at the blog thing and this post was very inspiring.

    Sincerely
    SallyAnn

  • I just bought a course to how to increase traffic and I emailed the author about if I should do a mix of mom blog and how to blog l, blogs.. and she said that mom blogs ate over saturated and the blogging blogs are popular too and she recommends to just have one website to manage. I found it weird coz she’s a mom blogger but she totally contradicted herself about the mom blogs and made me doubt myself if im gonna make it. She said its saturated but u can still it doesn’t sound convincing but hey imma do myself and focus on me “law of attraction ” right

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