5 Ways Persistence Pays For Online Content Creators

Image of persistent tulips

No matter why you create online content, there is something to be said for being persistent.

Persistence is often touted as one of the vital ingredients behind success — no matter if you’re a hobby blogger or a full-time freelance writer.

In this post I’m going to explore five reasons why I believe every online content creator must be persistent.

1. You can make more money

When I first started blogging for clients, I didn’t know how much my service was worth.

The first job I ever completed for a client was something like 50 product reviews at 700 words each for $150. It took me a good two weeks to complete the job. I’d massively underestimated the task.

I took a good hard look at myself and decided to set firm rates.

My rates were fair. They ensured that I was working for a sum I was happy with, which in turn meant that the work I completed would be of the highest standard.

Naturally, people tried to barter with me. At first I went along with it, until I realized there was no need to compromise.

Today I enforce my rates with persistence.

No longer do I bow to demands from clients for X, Y, or Z rate. I work to my own rates.

Sure, work was slow at first when I started to be persistent (and insistent) about my rates, but over time it has allowed me to make more money.

2. Because Rome wasn’t built in a day

About a year ago a friend asked me to set up a blog for him. He wanted to blog about cars and motorbikes. A week or so after handing over the reins to him I asked him how it was all going.

Amazingly, he’d given up.

“I’m not getting any traffic,” he explained. “I’ve got no followers on Facebook or Twitter, and no one is reading what I’ve written.”

Naturally, I said, “Woah! Hang on a minute … your site has been online for a week, your first post only went up five days ago, and you’re downhearted because you haven’t seen traffic in the space of just a few days?”

It turns out he’d read some “make a million dollars overnight with your own blog” ebook. When he didn’t get any traffic in the first week, he decided it was a bit too much like hard work and threw in the towel.

I’m confident that if he had persisted his blog would have been very successful.

On the flip side, I know bloggers who write for their own sites in niches like stock trading and sports betting. Their persistence has driven them to revenues of $10,000+ per month in affiliate sales. Sure, it might have taken time to see their first decent pay check, but their belief in what they were doing paid dividends — literally.

A lack of persistence will shave off 99 percent of your competition. Make sure you’re an exception. Make sure you’re in the 1 percent that does persist.

3. You can impress clients

It’s not often that a client turns around and says, “Nick, I really don’t like what you’ve written for us.” But it does happen from time to time. When a client says something like that there are three ways to deal with it:

  • You can ignore them (not recommended).
  • You can be peeved with them but revise their work to a point where both parties are okay with it. The project comes to an end, but there is a slightly sour taste left in everyone’s mouth.
  • You can be persistent, salvaging what you can from the initial work you handed over and then starting fresh.

You may think you have better ways to spend your time than putting in unpaid overtime to complete a project twice, but it’s good business to make sure every last client is delighted with the work you produce.

Persistence has to prevail.

Now I’ll let you in on a little secret: two clients who were once unsatisfied are now two of my most loyal clients.

Persistence in satisfying clients often comes at a cost in terms of time, but when those people throw bucket loads more work your way, as well as referrals, it’s well worth it.

4. Without persistence, rejection is final.

Rejection is something we all fear as bloggers — and in life in general. (I particularly enjoyed this post on rejection from last week.)

Sometimes I think about where I’d be right now if I had stopped in my tracks every time someone said “No.” I still haven’t worked out the answer.

Every now and then certain posts that I write are rejected by the people who read them. Sometimes people just don’t agree with what I have to say. But this is absolutely fine because we’re all free to draw our own conclusions and formulate our own opinions.

When I see someone disagreeing with me or writing offensive comments about my ideas, I see that as a rejection. If I stopped blogging because people wrote nasty comments, then I wouldn’t be writing this post.

Unless you’re preaching hate, there is no reason at all why you should let the rejection from naysayers deter you from writing and publishing.

Be persistent.

At some point you will connect with an audience that does appreciate and identify with your views and ideas.

I can come up with many vivid examples of times when I’ve faced rejection. I have no doubt that you can too. It’s not something to get worked up about or something that should put you off your quest to be the best — it’s simply a case of turning rejection into something positive.

5. Persistence leads to self-fulfillment

It may sound a bit soppy, but I strongly believe in self-fulfillment.

There’s nothing worse than locking up the office door or closing your laptop and thinking, “What have I actually achieved today?” If no immediate thoughts are forthcoming, you’ve probably achieved very little and are not fulfilling your potential.

The greatest feeling for me as a writer is self-fulfillment. There are various ways in which writing helps to make me realize my own self-fulfillment:

  • I like that my writing helps people
  • I like that I’m putting my talent to good use
  • I like that I’m making a difference (and at the same time paying the bills)

There is no other feeling quite like that of self-fulfillment, and you’ll never achieve it if you’re not persistent.

But there’s a fine line …

Remember, persistence is an admirable trait that’s almost certain to lend you success … but there’s a fine line between being persistent and being a nuisance or a pest to clients.

With that in mind, now is the time to audit your persistence.

Do you flit from one idea to the next on a regular basis? Do you let negative energy from others put you off what you’re doing? If so, you, my friend, need to become more persistent.

It almost always pays off in the long run.

About the Author: Nick Whitmore is a published journalist, blogger, and Managing Director at ContentWriting.org. Read more from Nick on his blog and on Twitter.

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Comments

  1. I really liked the way you touched the sensitive point related to being paid for writing. And I have to admit, you caught me by surprise when you described this job you did for this client of yours writing product reviews, wow, that is a lot of work. But we have to start somewhere, right?

    Although my favorite part of this article was about self-fulfillment.
    I loved when you said “Persistence leads to self-fulfillment” this is so true. Unfortunately just a few people are able to realize that.
    I loved reading your post. Thanks.

  2. This is good advice – not because it works (it does) , but because it oozes integrity.

    Regards blogging, mine is a company blog in a pretty niche field. I have probably the lowest stats of anyone who would bother. However, one or two people do appreciate my efforts (I certainly don’t do it for revenue) and it helps me formulate my thinking.

    But the best reason for persistence is that quitting always precedes failure
    Perseverance precedes success.

    Christian or not – this is awesome guidance ..

    Romans 5:3-4
    More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope,

  3. Couldn’t agree more about the whole rate thing. That is something that I struggled with for a long time. Now, I don’t care. If people like my work, they will want to work with me no matter how much I cost. If not, that’s fine. Someone else will fill their shoes at some point.

    In the beginning it is tempting to negotiate. But, once someone knows that you accept a lower rate, you won’t be able to ask for a better one.

    Persistence is key. How many people have given up right before they were about to do something great? Who knows, and that particular person will NEVER know.

    Personally, I won’t give up. Instead, I will push harder and stronger. I’ve heard plenty of times that people seem to think that blogging is the answer they’ve been looking for. They have some brilliant idea that people will flock to.

    Sometimes, maybe. But, most of the time, your brilliant idea is an old one that has been tried numerous times before. That’s why you have to stand out somehow. Take a different stance on it. Be different.

    Thanks for the reminders,

    Josh

  4. Right On Nick

    This is a one of those topics, which fall under the category of.

    “I know I am supposed to be doing this but…. excuse, excuse, excuse.”

    I actually resonated with a few of these points and have been through some of them personally.

    The biggest stumbling block I see with persistence is the excuse of ” I don’t have any time..”

    I have been a victim of this from time to time.

    This year I have tried a few things to combat that excuse. I have been doing something crazy but effective.

    I get up a 3 am. (pause for effect)

    And then retire by about 8:30 pm.

    I can you saying that’s crazy, it’s way too early. But that’s when its most quiet, the brain is most clear and you can think with out distraction.

    Plus it seems to have bought me more time as I am more effective and I am able to persist in getting the things that are important that i keep putting off.

    Like apply what i have been learning in the “Authority Program form copyblogger.com” (wink, wink)

  5. Good work! Thanks for this thoughtful article.

    “A lack of persistence will shave off 99 percent of your competition.”

    Time to make like an investment banker and be the 1 percent!

  6. This is why I’m sub’d. Thanks for the encouragement Nick- in my endeavors I experience success and failure, but the failures have been the best learning experiences. Giving up is not an option and agree it feels great at the end of the day knowing what you’ve accomplished.

  7. Hi Nick,

    Right now I’m doing a client project that I worry might get a revision (in fact, I’m doing part of revision).

    However, your writing reminds me of the value of over delivering and making sure the client is satisfied.

    I’m still in the early stages of my career as a content creator, so I will do my best to apply persistence in the form of pursuing more projects and making sure each project is of high quality for the stakeholders involved.

    Cheers,

    • Dan,

      If that happens, take a deep breath, get your head down and do that revision for your client. It’s a real pain no doubt, but you’ll feel a lot better knowing your client is over the moon with what you’ve done for them.

      Good luck! :)

  8. Loved the article, and I fully agree with it. I’m not yet in money-making with my blog and I don’t think I’ll be soon, but from the very beginning I realized that I MUST persist in writing blog posts both for my blog and for the customers even thought so many things are trying to stop me or put me down…

    And as you said in the end, somehow you need to make sure that you’re not a pest to the customers or readers, or else – with all your persistence – they will leave you and not recommend you anymore….. All in all, a great read.

  9. I have a quote about persistence on my bathroom counter where I see if everyday. It truly is one on the most important traits you’ll ever learn in your life. Most good things in life don’t happen overnight. They take time and experience.

    As a writer, I truly feel that most people have at least one book in them, but most people don’t have the persistence to do what it takes to get it published. For me, time boxing in 48 minute increments has made all the difference. I try to do at least one or two sessions a day. It certainly has been my secret to getting things done.

  10. You could really add another point to this: staying persistent proves that you can weather any storm. When you’re around a few years after you met someone at a convention and your fellow “writers” aren’t, that person will know who to go to when they need writing work done.

    (Also, the “you” in the last paragraph of #3 needs to be “your.”) :)

  11. I enjoyed your article, Nick. Thanks so much.

    An idea emerged while I read it, that persistence and thick skin make great partners.

    Which is to say keep going and don’t take things personal. Money, progress, and rejection are not what make us tick (although the $$$ is helpful, yep).

    Your drive to help people, use your talents, and make a difference could easily summarize a writer’s creed. And they are the very things that keep us going.

    Being dispassionate over the things that we have little control over will help us to press on, too. E.g., if I can’t write my way into your heart, why should I let it it discourage me from doing what I love?

    Easy to say, hard to do (especially for a people-pleaser like me). Yet, if we can focus our passion on what matters most – writing awesome content that makes a difference in our world – the rest will take care of itself one way or another.

    Food for thought. Thanks again!
    Dustin

  12. Online content creation is a long term game.

    Instant/overnight success is a myth, Many of the people who’ve had “overnight” success have actually been creating content for a long time – many of them have learnt lessons from failing multiple times.

    If you’re not willing to stick it out for more than a few weeks/months, then you may as well not start at all. It takes patience and persistence to be successful, but if you do the right things, then success will be all the more likely

  13. You can’t expect persistence out of someone who doesn’t have passion for what they do and I think that’s the primary reason why people quit. When I was just reading articles on blogs I felt that writing articles are really easy, but only when I started blogging (it’s been just a week) I realized that it’s not an easy task. A must read article for beginners like me, thank you.

  14. Jacqueline Stone :

    Love a post that articulates perfectly what I know, but what is encouraging to hear from someone else!

    Thanks.

  15. “If you knew there was gold, would you keep digging?” My favorite question to to find out whether persistence has got any pulse left.

    I agree, most people break down just before they break through. Made the mistake a couple of times myself. People who don’t persist only do so because they have no clue what they’re missing.

    When, like the rising day,
    love sends his early ray,
    what makes his dawning glow,
    changeless through joy or woe?
    Only the constant know.

    (from the song “Eileen Aroon”)

    • It’s a fine line: how do you recognize when something is a dead end and when you just need to dig a little bit more to find the gold? I say listen to intuition. If you’ve been at it long enough, and if your work has come from the heart, you’ll know. And if your intuition says keep on digging, don’t give in if fear tries to dissuade you.

  16. You raise an interesting point here which is: Knowing when to stop and to keep going.

    I think another important point to raise is that the process of success needs people to first know what success is first. It’s not just looking round to see what looks like success in others then trying to copy it. You have to realise what it means to you personally. For example, I don’t want fast cars. I want to be able to go to the cinema whenever I want. It’s not that I can’t afford it now, I just don’t have full control of my time. To me success means having full control of my time.

    Another vital component to persistence is confidence. Having the confidence to keep on at tasks until the results you want turn out. Or the confidence to say: This is working the way I’m doing it now. Time to step back and try another way.

    This has become clear to me a good year following my giving up my first blog. A valuable lesson learned. It takes some realistic auditing of your progress, as well as seeking advice from more experienced people you trust.

  17. “When to stop and when to keep digging” is the topic of Seth Godin’s book The Dip, which is a very fast, short read, but also one that I found very illuminating.

    In a nutshell, he argues that you want to quit the wrong things quickly so you can get to the right thing and dig in. But of course, there’s some art in knowing which is which.

  18. This is huge, in fact it is the only thing that matters for a blogger, or any online presence for that matter. You cannot succeed until you “take relentless action” – Tony Robbins.

    And the killer parallel is that you can quit, but it lasts forever! If you give up there is no moving forward. That is probably the number one reason people never realize.

    What the hell is one week going to bring you? The short-term gratification is the route of failure; if not, it’s a good start.

    People need to start considering adjusting their mentality by focusing on longevity. It’s so true that only the strong survive and in the arena of blogging especially. With so many blogs going on out there it’s no wonder people give up. I truly wish they wouldn’t waste the space for BLOGS THAT MATTER.

    Ryan

  19. There is a fine line between persistence and pushing the envelope as they say.

    I think most people appreciate someone who is persistent as long as it’s carried out in a professional fashion.

    I have had people tell me, as they are signing up for service or buying a product from me, that they appreciated my follow up and persistence. That they would have pushed the project to the bottom of their priority list if I hadn’t continued to follow up.

    Persistence most definitely produces results.

  20. Or get out while you can. Like Seth Godin once said in his book The Dip, (I’m paraphrasing here) If your NOT willing to go threw the dip, quit while your ahead. If your NOT willing to push threw to become the best, why bother?”

    Seth and you have a great point.

  21. I work in oDesk as a writer and editor and I tell you, it’s really crazy how people undervalue themselves. I’ve met some who are charging $2 for every 500 words, when they could have easily charged $15 or more! They don’t realize their value, seeing only the copy-paste competition out there who charge less than a dollar. If you compete on price, you will really lose.

  22. What a powerful blog post! It is close to my heart, because I believe that persistence is the key to any achievement, and perhaps even more so than natural talents. The reason is that so many of us under-use our talents – because of lack of self-belief, or perhaps just occasional laziness (and I am speaking for myself here), and in most cases it is simple grafting that takes us where we want to be,

    Persistence is a habit which takes time to develop, but as we get used to persevering with our tasks, it gets easier every time we face a task or a challenge.

    Thank you for such an insightful post!

    Galina

  23. Like you say, Rome isn’t built in a day.
    Persistence is key. Most people give up too early.

  24. Hi Nick,
    Thank you for such inspiring post, yes persistence and patience is the key to success. we must keep learning from our mistakes and keep improving as no one is perfect we all makes mistakes and faces failure in our life, but best thing to do is to improve your self in such a way that we never face the same situation again in our life, we must take our criticism positively and answer those critics with our work so that the people realize our real ability and praise us in the end.

  25. Very thorough and helpful article Nick! “Rome wasn’t built in a day” is especially insightful, but often overlooked. Persistence is very important. If you’re continually creating
    consumable pieces, you will attract more visitors and deeper reader engagement. And, your visitors are more likely to become your permanent readers.

    Fresh content will not only attract more readers but will inspire other sites to link to your content and thus will also improve your search rankings. Continually updating your site with good content is one of the most important things you can do to ensure the long-term success of your site.

    Even recent Google updates have shown that, it’s all about building a long-term relationship with your audience and educating them with interesting & useful content. Building a community doesn’t happens overnight, afterall.

  26. Love that you included the example of your friend who gave up too soon. I get so frustrated for would-be bloggers who don’t think realistically about blogging.

  27. I’m all for persistence and it’s necessary in content marketing.

    But I’ve also learned that more is not better. When you have a winning piece of content, get the word out. If it’s structured to earn revenue as a pre-sell or encourage people to become email subscribers, invest money in promoting it. Make each piece of content work for you.

    Therefore, write each piece of content with the intention it will be epic and a winner and achieve some goal – whether it’s revenue, email subscribers or otherwise.

  28. Persistence makes the heart grow stronger. No wait…that’s not it… Persistence with content makes your website stronger. It’s not easy producing content that gets read, picked up and buzzed about all over the internet. Keeping at is the only way to hit a homerun to counter balance your content duds and buzzworthy strikeouts.

  29. Hello Mr. Whitmore,

    Rome was not built in a day. I agree. What is terribly wrong is that type of message: “make a million dollars overnight”. Even real internet marketers sometimes indulge in this. They use a little more sophisticate messages like: “I made my first dollar in just 6 months. Two of my students did the same.”

    This is an ugly lure or bait to catch prey (suckers). The internet is haunted by messages like this and no wonder your friend was cheated.

    When you put too much weight on social proof and you see a message like this everywhere, you start to believe it is true.

    For me this is the equivalent of a murder. You kill people time, money and energy with false promises.

    On the other hand this is what so many people want: fast, easy success.
    They don’t want to hear about hard work and Rome and investments etc.

    The rest is simple. You give your audience what they want and make money. :) :)

    Have a wonderful day

  30. Just a very well written inspiring post….going to share with my small group of followers! Thanks for writing!

  31. Completely agree!

    Sometimes you reject, when the success was in a step from you. If only you had a persistence, you’d succeed of course.

    Yes, it’s important feature to become successful not only in blogging, but in every activity.