Is Persistence Key?

For a long time now, I’ve championed the idea that the single most important key to success on the web is persistence. I think that a large majority of the “players” who try out the pro blogging scene want to see instant results and when they don’t, they give up.

Take for example my friend who works from home as a spiritual counselor and Yoga instructor. I offered to set him up with a blog, to handle design and promotion, and to split profits 50/50. He was excited.

I told him several times that you should not expect any major results for at least 3 months. I emphasized that perseverance would be needed at the beginning; that he’d need to stare the “great abyss of trickling traffic” directly in the face for a while, and not give up. I told him that the real payoff comes from establishing yourself as an expert over the long term.

One month into posting, he stopped, cold turkey. He didn’t have the motivation to persist.

I still think that persistence and perseverance are the key obstacles to online success. I also think that the need for these qualities provides greater opportunity for those who have them, because not just anyone can succeed at this game. It takes work and it takes long term vision. Success does not come overnight.

So I’m really big on the persistence thing and how the people who are thinking 3 years down the road have an advantage because most people on the web seem to be thinking 3 months down the road. Someone needs cash quickly? Awesome. I can get a great deal on a blog sale.

Yet, I’m now starting to realize that persistence needs to be selective. You also need to know when to give something up. As a friend once said to me “You’re not a quitter if you stop digging a hole to China.” In other words, some things just aren’t worth doing anymore. The trick is figuring out what to stick with and what to give up.

So what do you think? How does the new blogger figure out when its time to give up? What sort of feedback (from visitors, income levels, etc.) should a blogger be looking towards. How long should a blogger wait before doing an honest assessment of the state of his blogs?

4 thoughts on “Is Persistence Key?

  1. … I started Holiday Pad almost 2 years ago and although I haven’t had any monetary success I have learnt tons! Earning from it wasn’t the primary goal anyway. All my goals have thus far been achieved, and more in fact.

    But due to personal circumstances the project, and my latest project, are in what I am calling a gestational period. When the time comes to step up to the plate both projects will have matured, and will have great content.

    So yes, I am with you on the perseverance tip, with Holiday Pad as living proof.

  2. I’d say that persistence and perseverance work best when its matched with a strong interest. In your example Ryan the guy should be motivated if thats his career path. Maybe he had some issues with writing content so he’s motivated but he’s got some beginners writing block.
    I’d say for some really tough keywords you have to wait at least a year for any SERP results.
    But one example where success might be easier to achieve is something very localized. In your yoga example if he’d SEO the site and his article headline with some local neighbourhood term (ie he gives classes in the North Shore area) he’d likely see some concrete SERP results in a few months (if he avoided the sandbox). Maybe that would help keep him motivated. That might not lead to online revenue but it could help his off-line business and long term it would generate traffic.

  3. Is persistence key, definitely. But it’s far from the only important aspect in the success of a blog.

    Consistence, quality, insight, informative, interesting are other attributes that are key to building a momentum, a following of readers, and the rewards that eventually come with it. To nurture a blog involves a number of things, all of which are important.

    Then again, beating a dead horse never got you anywhere.

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