She said this in response to my greatest concern about professional blogging: I stated that the most difficult thing about earning a living online is that I live with an abundance of uncertainty. Kate pointed out that uncertainty is often a good thing.
Having thought it over, I realize she’s right.
When I first started LifeReboot, I knew there was no guarantee that it would become popular. After all, there were already over 70 million weblogs in existence, with one new blog being created every second. In a world already filled with blogs, what chance did I have of standing out from the rest?
It was with this reasoning that I started small. LifeReboot was originally hosted on a shared server that cost only $10 a month. At the time, it didn’t make sense to invest any more than that: I had no income, no idea how long it would take for LifeReboot to gain an audience, and no guarantee that it could gain an audience at all.
I was therefore surprised when after only the first month, I wrote an article that ended up on the front page of Digg. The inexpensive hosting plan couldn’t handle the resulting traffic spike — and my account was suspended.
Consequently, I learned that if I wanted my site to be viewed by thousands of people at once, I couldn’t restrict LifeReboot to an entry-level hosting plan. An upgrade was necessary — I needed to give the site some room to grow.
For its second stage, LifeReboot was hosted on a high volume server that cost $75 a month. Initially, I was reluctant to spend that much because frankly, it was terrifying. There was no guarantee that the site popularity would continue to rise, and it seemed more likely that the site’s monthly earnings wouldn’t even cover its own hosting cost.
It would turn out that the site popularity did rise — considerably. Imagine my surprise when two articles were featured on the front page of Digg back to back. A week later, another article was featured — but since the article contained images to help illustrate my point, the resulting traffic actually caused the high volume server to crash.
Which brings us to stage three. Over the past several days, I have been migrating LifeReboot to a dedicated server that costs $250 a month. The process is finally complete, but once again, I am terrified.
I never expected to be investing this much this soon. In all honesty, perhaps moving LifeReboot to a dedicated server now is too soon. After all, there’s no guarantee that the site’s monthly earnings will cover the new hosting cost…
…but as Kate has advised, nothing worth achieving is guaranteed. In her case, she used this mentality to stay true to her goal of getting accepted into medical school. In my case, I’ve taken risks with “to-be-determined results.”
What about your case? Remember, you can guarantee your actions, but you cannot guarantee the results of those actions. All I can say is that if you have a strong desire to do something, even when that something seems terrifying, then I believe you’re probably onto something worth achieving.
Thanks for your comment Kate — it is a real gem of advice.
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