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One Online Business Advice to Rule Them All

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One business advice that rules over all other business advice | The Side Blogger
If you’re planning to start a business online—whether it’s starting a blog on your WordPress website, or a blog on Medium, or a YouTube channel, or an Instagram influencer account, or a Canva template business—regardless of its nature, there’s one simple rule that pretty much trumps all other rules.

Show up consistently for at least two years without expecting anything in return.

Allow me to expand on that with context and a few examples.

Let’s say you’re starting a blog and you wish to make money from it. Be prepared to work on your blog for at least two years before you make any significant income. And by significant income, I mean a sum that will motivate you to continue working on your blog.

For me, that sum was $1,000 in one month. I made that after a full year of blogging since I launched The Side Blogger. No, $1K isn’t enough to make a living off of, but it was enough to give me the motivation I needed to keep working on it. But from there, the growth and income were more or less exponential—to a degree—based on the time I put into it.

The same was true with my Canva template business. It took me six months to make enough sales where I felt motivated to continue on with this business. Similar to the blog, the income was somewhat exponential from there.

YouTuber Ali  Abdaal often mentions how being consistent for a long period of time gets the wheels turning. Not quite in those words, but that’s the gist of what he often shares on his videos about online income.

One hand-lettering artist and entrepreneur—Sean McCabe—used to say the same thing: That, if you show up consistently for two years, people will find you.

Maybe it’s the algorithm. Be that Google or YouTube or Instagram, if you continue to churn out content consistently, the algorithm might start thinking that you have something of value (or interest) to share. Maybe that’s why you get a boost in traffic and conversion.

Maybe when people see that you have a lot of content and you show up without skipping, they trust your professionalism and commitment.

Maybe it’s karma… I don’t know. But that’s just how it is with online businesses or online anything, really.

My point is, if you’re starting a brand new [online] business in 2022, don’t set your eyes four months down the road, or even six months down the road. Set our eyes somewhere around the two-year mark. If you start making a considerable income before that, then great! Congrats! You’ve made it. But don’t give up before the two-year mark.


That said, of course, you should also have a go-getter attitude. You need to not just show up with mediocre content, but do your best to put out your best possible work every time. You can also learn tips and tricks to make income faster. Whether you’re learning from free resources or paid courses, that depends on your financial situation. Learning the right way of doing things can significantly cut down on the time it takes to make a splash.

Those are all true.

But, what I’m trying to say is that if you have nothing else—no knowledge of any business strategy or money to invest in courses or ads or the likes—then focus on just this one thing:

Create the best possible content and then put it out there, regularly (aim for weekly) for at least two years before you decide to throw in the towels.

If you can do that, I guarantee your life will change completely. Not just your business or how much money you’re earning, but you, yourself, will come out the other side a different person.

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Maliha
Maliha
Maliha created The Side Blogger as an experiment to see if turning a blog into a profitable business was a possibility for moonlighting side bloggers. Turned out, it is! Learn more about Maliha and TSB here. If you've found this blog helpful, you can support TSB here.
11 thoughts on “One Online Business Advice to Rule Them All”
  1. Hi Maliha,
    Your words of wisdom may also be stated differently, because I come from a background of investment portfolios AND there the wisdom is that a return on investment requires first and foremost an investment in time, why?
    Becausetime is money and after that investment has been made and only then onemay expect a return. So consistent investment of timecreates the climate for a return on that investment !

  2. Agree so much with this post, Maliha! Thanks for the important reminder. I learned this with my first blog — starting way back in 2008. I didn’t have many readers and it wasn’t monetized, but I just kept at it. In 2013, an editor at the History Press found my blog and asked me if I wanted to write a small book. I know the blog world works a lot differently today, but the principles are the same: consistency and showing up are key!

  3. Hey Maliha, I did not realize how much I needed this pep talk! I am in a bit of a slump with my blog now, and I have been writing frivolous updates on Substack instead. Substack is becoming such an escapist side blog for me haha! Okay, I shall work harder on new content for my main blog in the coming weeks. Wishing 2022 would be a better year for you, Maliha!

    1. Haha, but you know, if you continue to escape on Substack for two years, even that may start to look like something 😉

  4. Hi Maliha, I so agree with you! It took me years to make money from my blog. You have to write consistently and network with others online as well. It takes a tremendous amount of time and effort. It doesn’t happen overnight as some may say or think. Thank you for the honestly in this blog post!

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