“The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody has decided not to see.” ―
When you first start a blog you may think it’s going to be all sunshine and rainbows but there are less than pleasant aspects to blogging as well. Blogging can be frustrating and disheartening at times. It can make you want to pull your hair out or leave you upset and you might think about giving it all up. It happens to the best of us, and if you stick with it long enough you’ll probably experience it for yourself. Let’s touch upon some of these sore spots which I’ve uncovered during my time as a blogger.
Most People Don’t Care About Your Personal Life
Let’s be real – there are going to be some bloggers out there who you will become friends with and they’re going to be excited for every single little thing that you post. You might even make friendships that resonate even outside of the blogging community and that’s awesome.
However, in my experience, I’ve noticed that if you’re looking to become the type of blog that everyone can get behind, you need to dial down those personal posts to a few times a week at max. By personal posts, I mean those types of posts which are basically tributes to your life. When people are searching out interesting blog posts to read, unless they are already a strong follower of yours, they tend to gravitate towards posts that offer them something in return. Everyone’s time is precious and most people look to blogs as a way for them to expand their minds, they want to learn from you. So, the posts that are most popular are usually those posts which give something back to the reader. Informative posts. Reviews. Researched articles. Etc. That’s not to say that life posts can’t be interesting, but they have to be from a very unique perspective about a topic that they’re unfamiliar with. Use them sparingly.
If you start posting too much personal stuff, just watch your views/readership plummet.
Prepare to Be Judged
Unfortunately, this rule doesn’t only apply to the blogging world, but the real world as well. When you expose your entire life to a group of people online, on social media or in real life, prepare to be judged by many. Some people are going to admire you and think you’re wonderful, and some are going to just pick apart your flaws.
We’re all just reaching for success in our own ways, or writing for personal reasons, but it reminds me of something that I’d once heard a while ago…
When it comes to being successful, there are three types of people in this world:
- There are those who seek to become something impressive by working hard on themselves, working hard on their goals, their careers and never giving up even in the face of adversity. Determination, blood, sweat and tears make them. They are confident enough with themselves to also be supportive of others.
- There are those who seek to become more impressive than others by trying to light everybody else’s work on fire. They find flaws in everyone’s personality and they nitpick because they are really insecure. If they can destroy other’s perception of anyone else’s accomplishments, then it makes them feel more accomplished in comparison.
- Then there are also those who just don’t care about being successful that much.
No matter what you do or how you do it, you’re going to be judged occasionally. It’s life and human psychology is a funny thing. People may take things personally that were never even intended to be taken in the way that they were received. People might not like you because you’re different. People might not like you because they think your blog is better than theirs. You might have the same name as their ex boyfriend or something stupid like that… People are funny creatures… Just prepare to brush off the odd conflict or hurtful statement. Don’t let it ruin your blogging experience.
Your Audience Has A Mind Of Their Own
This one is less disheartening, but just kind of a funny thing that I’ve noticed since starting in the blogging realm. Some of my favorite posts or poems that I’d written have not ended up being my most popular and well-received posts, but others that I thought were alright or “filler” posts ended up taking the spotlight. Which just goes to show that I don’t really understand my own audience at times as well as I think I do.
For example; Kristian and I recently collaborated on a story which we both thought was pretty damn good. Very dark, tragic and gruesome at times, but well-written. We nailed this from two perspectives and it brought us a lot of views and some terrific compliments, but compared to many of my other posts it was not liked nearly as much as I had expected. Some of my viewers told me that it was a bit too dark and graphic for them. *Shrugs* This happens sometimes. I wouldn’t change the write-up because it made both of us excited to write it and no matter what happens, I still have to write what I enjoy. I’ve built this blog for my amusement first and darkness seems to consume me!
On the other hand, one blog post that continues to surprise the hell out of me with how well it’s done is an article I wrote about the benefits of journal writing. I had never expected this one to do so well, but it continues to impress me. It’s also one of these slow growers which still continues to get me views to this day for some reason. This is one of the pleasant surprises of the blogging world!
Sometimes There Is Drama!
I don’t plan on mentioning any names here, because I’m above that. But, there have been a handful of bloggers which have brought drama into my life while blogging. Either via my personal e-mail or straight to my blog with negative or hurtful comments for one reason or another. Not everybody comes into blogging with the goal of building each other up, to respect differences or to live and let live. Some people just want to stir the pot or to put it bluntly, be an asshole. They don’t know the right way to diplomatically deal with other humans.
I’m quite an empathetic person too, so sometimes when I’m riled up it takes me a day or two to calm down from it and shake it off. I hate that bullshit. You may notice that in some ways, there are “cliques” in blogging just like there were cliques in high school. Being the typical misfit or outsider that I’ve always been, I try to stay outside of these cliques but associate in some ways with most of them. I don’t like being limited to a small group of people, and I tend to do better by being a pleasant passer-by. Maybe that’s why I’m a wolf. Personally, I’d rather start my own community with all of the great people that I’ve found along the way.
Akismet Anti-Spam Breaks Down
Heads up to all of you bloggers out there who aren’t aware of this, but Akismet, which is the filter service used by wordpress, sometimes breaks down and adds your comments to a spam list. If you’ve began to notice that your messages have not been getting replies, or if another blogger tells you that you’ve ended up in their spam comments, it’s worth sending Akismet an email about this. I’ve had to do it twice already! Here’s the contact form.
Blogging Is A Lot Of Work
Writing daily posts is not for everyone! More frequent posting usually means a trade-off between quality and production. Although not always the case, blogging daily and still producing great quality posts can take up a lot of your time. Most people aren’t privileged enough to have this amount of free-time in their lives, and in a few weeks when I’m in school, I may not either. I’ll adapt as I need to.
So pace your blog posts accordingly, but try not to slack on the quality. Quality is the most important thing if you want repeat visitors! Once a week is good enough if that’s all you can produce as long as the post is the freaking bomb. The second that blogging starts to feel draining and not fun anymore, is the second that you should take a break, even if just for a little while. Having some scheduled posts can help to get you in times of need, but in the end, a successful blog is often the blog that sticks it out in the long run. So, just don’t burn yourself out and quit.
Even after you’ve got the hang of producing great content, you still need to remember that one of the biggest aspects to crafting a successful blog is reading other’s posts and networking. This takes up a good chunk of time as well! The bigger you get, the harder it is to keep up with everyone.
This post is not meant to discourage anyone from blogging, I still love my blog and I love blogging. I don’t think that I’d quit it entirely for the world, but it’s not perfect either. Like social media, it’s easy to get wrapped up in the drama or by putting too much value on stats, likes or other’s judgement. It’s necessary to create healthy boundaries for yourself and with others sometimes. If it begins to stress you out, walk away and come back to it another time in a better frame of mind. I wish you all the best! Take care.