This is a guest post from Andrew Rondeau. It is part of The “Bad Ass” SEO Guest Blogging Contest.

There is a huge amount of blogging advice available to all of us if we are willing to search and put the effort into finding it but…

…When it comes to blogging, have you ever had the feeling that you are completely out of your depth?

Sometimes, running a blog can feel like swimming for the first time.

You start out all enthusiastic and then just as you think you’ve nailed the first few strokes, you start to sink.

Getting set up with WordPress and taking the plunge to write your first blog post is exhilarating. You get to pick your theme, your images  and you launch your very own voice out in the big wide world.

If you’re lucky you may even attract some comments.

You are on a roll (blog roll?!) and you are fired up with enthusiasm.

Then you have to do it again and again and again.

After a few weeks, the beauty of it fades.

You may have packed in your ‘real’ job and made the jump to full time blogging. The money isn’t coming in.

You are getting nagged by your spouse who doesn’t understand how much time you are putting in to your new business venture, and why you aren’t seeing immediate results.

You wake up early every day and spend up to twelve hours at your desk hammering away, developing your free product and writing posts, commenting on other blogs and joining forums.

You don’t know which way to turn.

You do some research to try and sort things out.

You find yourself wading through a myriad different offers.

Link optimization.

Keyword analysis.

Blog design.

SEO.

Plugins.

Getting Traffic.

List building.

Article writing.

Social Bookmarking.

Selling, relationship building, affiliates, joint ventures, squeeze pages, add-ons, widgets, backups, security, copywriting, gadgets, hard drives, online storage, software, hardware, shareware, malware, outsourcing, making videos, creating products, membership sites…

It’s tough, isn’t it?

You begin to wonder why you got in to this whole business of working for yourself.

People aren’t reading your blog. You haven’t made any money yet.

You’re tired.

Someone offers you the chance to go and visit them abroad, and you turn them down because you’re scared of leaving your new business venture for just a moment, in case the dream opportunity comes along and your services are finally acknowledged as the superb thing they are.

You’re fed up.

You’re working longer hours than you ever did when someone employed you.

You sleep less, because all the stress of what you are going through plays itself over and over in your mind, you get stomach upsets because you can’t chill out, and every minute you spend away from your business feels wasted, as if you are messing about relaxing instead of making your job work.

Those around you can’t understand your situation, they think that working for yourself should be easy, you’ve got what you always wanted, right?

You should be able to choose what you do, when. You should be sitting back and relaxing, watching the money pour in, because you are now your own boss and everything has changed.

Right? Riiiight!

You and I both know that this isn’t the case. You wonder what the answer is.

How do you reach the dream?

The one involving sun-loungers, lay-ins, leisurely checking of emails?

Is there a solution?

Is it better to go back to paid work for a company, or stick with your blogging business?

I believe there is a solution but it takes several months of hard work, determination AND following a plan of action that is proven to work:

1. Get your head right. Tell yourself this is going to take a few months of hard work as there is no ‘silver bullet’ to making money on-line but your hard work will be rewarded.

And you can only do a certain number of activities at one time – you can’t do it all!

2. Research. Spent time researching to choose a niche that sells on-line and perform some keyword research to ensure people are searching to overcome problems in the niche.

3. Set up your WordPress blog. Get the domain, install wordpress, optimize it for SEO, add all the ‘must- have’ plugins required and improve the security of your blog.

4. Blog design. Get a theme and design your blog with your customer in mind.

5. Learn how to write brilliant blog posts (for SEO and your customers) and publish them for maximum Google Luv!

6. Create a free product and start building your own customer list.

7. Drive traffic via commenting, back-linking, blog carnivals, guest posting, social bookmarking, article marketing

8. Start to build relationships with your customers.

9. Get into affiliate marketing.

10. Start creating and selling your own products.

11. Outsource.

You want to create daily, weekly and month plans of the tasks you want to complete. You will feel less overwhelmed and in control if you can see what you want to accomplish today, this week.

You aim is to make progress in your on-line business every day. Whether that’s by writing an incredible blog post or driving more traffic or developing your product.

What’s your plan for today, this week, this month?