The Ugly Side Of Blogging No One Talks About

Blogging isn't the glamorous, easy money world you may think it is so before you start a blog, check out the ugly side of blogging.

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Scroll through my feed on Pinterest and you would think that tons of bloggers are rolling in money, free travel and products.

Scroll through my feed on Instagram and you would think that most bloggers have fabulous lives, perfect homes and families, and look amazing ALL THE TIME.

Scroll through my feed on Facebook and you would think that a lot of bloggers are oozing self-confidence and that they always know what to say and what to do with their blogs and businesses. And if you pay for their courses and copy their formula, you will have success too. Easy. Peasy.

No wonder the world of blogging has exploded and people are starting new blogs in droves. I mean, who doesn’t want to start their own business, be their own boss and earn a full-time income for part-time hours? Where do I sign up for that? No, seriously, where?

‘Cause I have been around blogging since 2014 and my life looks nothing like what other bloggers are portraying on social media. Literally. Nothing.

And I gotta say, it can really get a blogger down.

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE blogging. Love it. And yes, I do make an income from passive sources, courses and freelance work. But it took me a long time to get to where I am now. I am finally making thousands of dollars every single month and honestly, I work a hell of a lot more than I ever did at any corporate job I have ever had. Of course, the incentive to work harder is there too.

So if you are thinking about starting a blog, this is for you. I want you to be well informed about what your future in blogging will look like before you spend time and money. And I will walk you through how to start a blog, step by step, right here.

If you have a blog and you think you are alone in your thoughts, this is for you. I want you to know that when you are feeling like a failure and want to quit, other people have felt that way too and have pushed their way through their insecurities and doubt.

And if you have lost a loved one or a friend to the world of blogging, this is for you. I want you to know what your family member/friend is going through so that you can better understand why they haven’t done the housework and/or called you in weeks. You need to support what they are going through because there is there is an…

Ugly Side Of Blogging No One Talks About

1. Blogging will take ALL of your time. ALL. YOUR. TIME.
Did I emphasize that enough? I do not know where people got the idea that blogging was a part-time gig. It isn’t. Even when people have 9 to 5 jobs, they still manage to eek out full-time hours on their blogs after hours.

And any blogger that has become really successful and can afford to hire VA’s and assistants to help them, still work more than full-time to keep their businesses thriving and moving forward.

This does not mean that you can not blog part-time. You can. Just know that your blog will grow at a slower pace and it will take longer to achieve the success you are looking for.
2. Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme.
What a lot of newbie bloggers fail to see is that most of the bloggers they deem as successful have been blogging a long time. Usually they have had several failed blogs under their belts before they have hit on the perfect formula that works for them.

You can read about how I was able to get to 60,000 pageviews on this blog (not my first blog) in it’s first 3 months here.

Have any bloggers made it big fast? Sure. Do some bloggers earn tens of thousands of dollars a month? Yes. But for most of us regular bloggers, you can expect to make a decent income from blogging…eventually. It is totally worth it though so stick it out and be your own boss. Follow my start a blog guide here.

Looking to monetize your new blog? Check out this post about affiliate and ad networks that accept new bloggers.
3. You will have a love/hate relationship with blogging.
Blogging may be my passion but it is also my job. And sometimes it sucks. Especially when you have made promises, have deadlines and clients are looking for results. You just want to have a Netflix marathon but you have to get stuff done.

On the other hand, I can re-arrange my schedule or take my laptop with me and do my work poolside with a Mai Tai in my hand. That’s the love part!
4. You will second guess almost everything you do and you will never think you are good enough.
Should I have wrote that? Is that pin good enough? Maybe I should re-do it all.

It has taken me awhile to:

  1. stop fiddling with my theme
  2. stop re-writing my posts
  3. stop swapping out pins and images on older posts.

I always think I can do better, my blog can look nicer, my posts can be longer with more info, I should be funnier, more emotional, share more, etc. And I don’t think I am alone in this. Bloggers are constantly having to fend off bloggers’ envy.

Everyone else has awesome blogs and all other bloggers look like they have their shit together but you, you, will always feel sub par. But guess what? Even the ones that you think have no insecurities, do. They feel exactly how you do. They just hide it better.
5. You will want to quit blogging weekly, if not daily.
Numbers 1 to 4 is why you will always flirt with the idea of tossing in the towel and giving up on blogging all the time. That is why it is so important to create a schedule by setting office hours, get a handle on your social media promotion, set attainable and actionable goals for earning an income and take control of your thoughts of inadequacy.

The best way I know how to combat the “Take this blog and shove it.” feeling, is to talk to other bloggers. They will be able to relate to how you are feeling and give you the added boost and inspiration to continue.
6. You will have that one post that will do really well and you won’t know how to duplicate that success.
You know all of those posts on Pinterest that can tell you how to write a viral post? Ya. They’re bullshit.

I have several posts that have gone viral. In my little world anyway. But if you ask me to tell you why or how to duplicate it, I can’t do it. Believe me. I’ve tried.

Honestly, it is never the posts I think that will do really well that do. It is always the post you just let flow from you that seems to resonate with the most readers. The posts that you don’t think twice about. Those are the ones that surprise you.

The only suggestion I would have for you is to try to always be your authentic self as much as possible. That is why people read blogs. That is why people connect with you. That is how you build a community of readers. And that is how you get readers to share your posts and potentially make it viral.
7. Other bloggers will lie to you.
Maybe lie is too strong a word. Embellish. That’s it.

Bloggers will fluff their numbers, their income and their perceived influence. And for the most part, those lies don’t hurt you.  They may spur you on or make you green.

But look out for those that feign their experience and knowledge. Those that get you to part with your hard earned money or influence your core beliefs. Those are the ones whose lies are dangerous. You may end up wasting time and money following someone who doesn’t care about how their lies affect you at all.

Be careful who you follow and what you believe as true. It will shape your direction. And you may not like where you end up.
8. Other bloggers will copy you.
I had a pin a few years back that garnered my post 10,000 pageviews literally overnight. Within one week, I had a famous blogger copy the title of that post for their own post. She was too smart to copy the content and put her own spin on the same topic. So I can’t really say that was a copy but other bloggers since then have almost, out and out, copied every single word of that post.

Blog long enough and it will happen. Trust me. You will be plagiarized. And it sucks.

For me, I would rather not know about it because it drives me crazy. But for authors and artists, it hurts their soul and I get that. Never mind the fact it is illegal but obviously the people that do it, don’t care.
9. Other bloggers will use you.
I have seen it. I have felt the sting of it.

There will be bloggers that won’t even give you a second look at the beginning of your blogging journey. Those same bloggers will fawn all over you once you have some success if they think that knowing you will get them a leg up.

You may even make friends with some bloggers who will eventually stab you in the back. That is life. Blogging is a business and some bloggers will do anything to get what they want.

The only way to try and shield yourself from users is to try and find at least one good blogging buddy that is with you from the beginning, that you can trust and that can be a sounding board for you against all the other influences that come at you in your blogging world.
10. People will troll you and leave you nasty comments.
I have been watching the live feed of the anticipated birth of a baby giraffe at a zoo for the last week. I am absolutely shocked at what is being said in the chatroom that goes with it. Lots of unnecessary and unprovoked verbal diarrhea.

People are assholes. They will say stuff to get a rise out of you. They get their jollies that way. I know it is really hard when you feel like they are personally attacking you but you need to have a strict policy of delete and forget or it will eat you alive.

Nasty comments happen and most of the time, they are not really about you or what you wrote. It is about them and their need to be heard at any cost.
11. Blogging is a lonely profession.
I am extremely lucky. I have found several blogging friends that I connect with on almost a daily basis. We regularly chat on the phone as well as text each other throughout the day. It is so great to have someone to bounce ideas off of and to help lift you up when you are down.

But most of the time, blogging is done alone, in your own room, in your own head. You need to be ok with that.
12. Blogging is not for those that need a lot of direction.
If you need someone to tell you what to do every step of the way, then blogging may not be for you.

Bloggers make so many decisions on a daily basis and while we do look to others for input, the final word and direction for our own blogs must come from us. Things like theme, branding, design, content, marketing, maintenance, expenses, etc., just to name a few.

Just know that there is no right or wrong way to blog. That gives you the freedom to make your own decisions on what you want your blog to be and what direction you want it to take.
13. Bloggers wear a lot of hats. I hope you know how to multi-task.
Bloggers do it all.

  • web designer
  • web master
  • accountant
  • brand consultant
  • author
  • social media manager
  • freelancer
  • product creator
  • promotion, etc., etc., etc.

And most of that stuff we learn on the fly, on a need to know basis. It can be very frightening and over-whelming. Until you can hire someone to help you, which may be never, choose the most important tasks and concentrate on them. That is the best you can do.
14. Other bloggers will not fulfill their obligations in share threads.
As the admin for a blogger’s group on Facebook, I hear about this one. A LOT!!!

There will always be those bloggers that don’t follow the rules of share threads and link drop all over the place and never, ever visit anyone else’s blog or share other’s posts.

You can’t avoid them. Spammers are everywhere. The only consolation I can give you is that spammers usually do not make it in the blogging world. Wait five minutes. Another one will be along shortly.
15. Bloggers/Entrepreneurs want your money.
Newbie bloggers be aware! Everyone wants you to part with your money. When you are a new blogger, you are itching to grow quickly and sometimes you are willing to spend to get the knowledge you believe you need like right now.

But honestly, you do not need to spend anything. Everything you need to know about how to blog, monetize and use social media is on the internet for FREE! For reals people. It may take you awhile longer to find the relevant information, but it is there for the taking.

Understand that most of the people that are trying to sell you something and want you to buy their courses don’t care about you or whether you complete their course or whether or not you become successful. They want your money because that makes THEM successful.

Take the time to find the bloggers that do care and you will find real investments in your blogging education. Those are well worth the money.
16. You can not mimic someone else’s success.
As much as those bloggers that sell you courses would lead you to believe, there isn’t any secret formula you can be taught that can ensure your blogging success. And even if you follow someone else’s instructions to a tee, you probably won’t be able to duplicate their success.

Successful bloggers made it because they carved a unique path.
17. Bloggers recommend products because they have affiliate links.
Who can you trust?

Yes, I know. All bloggers toot that they do not recommend any products that they have not personally used and/or like. Ya. Blah, blah, blah. I almost believe you all. (see #7)

Take all sponsored content and affiliate links with a grain of salt unless you really trust the blogger. Like me. lol

This week I was also shocked to find out that certain paid courses, and they are the big ones that cost a lot of moolah, have written agreements within the purchase for the course that you CAN NOT EVER say or write ANYTHING negative about said course. WTF. People. WTF.
18. Bloggers don’t bathe, get dressed or see sunlight…for days.
Straight up. I am pasty white from lack of sunshine, I smell cause I haven’t bathed and I am not sure how many days I have spent in my pajamas. Ah, the life of the self-employed.

Not quite Instagram worthy am I? Rest assured. I am not alone.

But I have to go get groceries occasionally and having to skype with clients or do a Facebook live once in awhile assures that I do put on fresh clothes and makeup once in a blue moon.

P.S. Obviously I could never be a fashion or beauty blogger. I don’t know how you guys do it!
19. Bloggers have trouble sleeping at night.
You know how as women we have trouble sleeping because we are worrying about the kids or are figuring out our schedules for the next day?

Ya, now pretend you are a blogger too.

You wake up at night with an new idea or you are too excited about a new project or you are checking to see how your latest post is doing.

I think I sleep less now then when I had little kids. No exaggeration there.
20. You may have to sell out or check your authenticity occasionally.
Sell out may be a strong phrase for when you begin to do sponsored posts, share affiliate links or have ads on your site. But there may be times that you feel like you are crossing a line and losing a part of yourself in return for earning an income. Only you can decide where that line is. And maybe you do want to cross it.

I have seen it happen. I do not begrudge anyone doing what ever it is they want to do with their blogs but do not try to pull the wool over my eyes by pretending to be authentic when you take great pains to curate the perfect image all the time while promoting products that have lined your pockets with dollars.

Right now, my price is pretty high but rest assured, I can be bought. You can send me a bribe here.
21. People outside of blogging, will never understand what you do or why you do it.
Go ahead. I dare you. The next time someone asks you what you do for a living, tell them you are a blogger. Now take a picture of their face.

Your family, friends and the general public will never, ever understand what you do or why you do it. Mostly because you look like an addict to them and truth be told, you are. At least I am.

I am addicted to blogging. Regardless of all the ugly I mentioned above, I LOVE it and can’t stop doing it. I push through all of the ugly and I hope you will too.

To blog is to exist.

If you understand that, you were born to blog. Go forth and write and create.

Because amongst all the crap, beauty does grow. Share that beauty with the world through your blog.

Nurture it. Protect it. Feel it. Love it. Blog it.

Still want to start a blog after reading about all the ugly in blogging?

You cray, cray fool! lol

Follow a step by step guide here.

Thank you for reading!

I would love to connect with you!

You can find me on PINTERESTFACEBOOKTWITTER, or INSTAGRAM. Or you can follow me on Bloglovin here.

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This post may contain affiliate links - which means if you click on them and buy something, I'll earn a small commission. For my full disclosure policy, click here.

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  1. This was an interesting read. I lost count of how many points I relate to. Thank you for your encouraging words.

  2. Hi, Elena–
    I appreciate your honesty. And you know I had to click on the link to find out what would come up for “you can send me a bribe here!”

  3. Oh how true this is Elena. You have to truly love blogging to keep going with it. I have been disheartened that many times. Now I’m trying to enjoy more of the journey and think less about the destination. Great post my lovely x

  4. Awesome blog post! Can relate to almost all of it. Definitely a lonely path but it gives me a lot of flexibility and a desire to work as my own boss.

  5. I love this post so much! I love that you call out e-books and courses. I always feel like they’ll help me grow but then I see the $500 price tag (!!!) I’ve found so much amazing information just from doing research! And yes I’m typing this un-showered and in my pajamas haha

  6. Totally ugly truths and I can relate to a lot of the facts there. You are right – I have never read a post like this that calls out the not-so-shiny part of blogging so honestly. Thank you for telling me I am not alone and yes, 10, 000 views? You are God!

  7. OMG. Favorite one: You will have that one post that will do really well and you won’t know how to duplicate that success.
    How crazy has blogging driven me? Like, a zillion on a scale of one to ten. Thank you for the commiseration!

    1. We are all a little nuts aren’t we? It’s what drives us I think, to continue. I mean, why else would we put ourselves through all this??? Lol

  8. Blogging really is more time consuming than I ever anticipated, but it’s also more fulfilling than anything I’ve ever done. I’m brand new, and I’m sure there will be days when the new wears off and I’m like “Why am I doing this?” Isn’t every job that way, though? Might as well feel that way about something you truly love!

  9. HI! For all the downsides (and upsides) that you mentioned here, it was really motivating and encouraging knowing that I’m not alone in my blogging journey. It’s so true. As much as this is a 24/7 gig, I keep doing it because I love it. Thank you for the awesome post, and your genuine heart shines through. Keep up your amazing blog!

  10. I’m in the planning stage of my second blog — after several years of being “offline” in the blog world. I love how raw this is! If only everyone can be so truthful, we’d be informed and amused always!

  11. All I can say is loooveeeee! I’ve only been blogging for a little over a month but I have either been through or seen all of these! I must admit that i’m addicted already and through all of the hardships, I still love it! Thank you for keeping it real!

  12. As a blogger of 7 years I must say you are talking the truth… Blogging is a great thing, but it takes work.
    Blogging to help promote my business was the place I started, now I have a few blogs that are fun. Cause you got to love what you do…
    Thanks for such an awesome post…

    1. Thank you for reading! I do agree that you have to love blogging to carry on. Some years are sparse for traffic and compensation and you have to have a reason to carry on.

  13. Thank you for this post! I feel like it is some of the best/ most honest advice I have heard since I started blogging. I just started my blog 2 months ago so I have a lot to learn, but I am determined to be one of the successful ones despite all of the hard things about blogging that you mentioned.

  14. Appreciate the post. So so true. I wish more new others would read it before getting started. I almost fell victim and of course I’ve discovered the truth.

  15. As you know, I’m only ten months into this journey and I already eat, breathe, and sleep it. I had to giggle at your saying no shower and not knowing how long you’ve been in your pajamas because that it is soooo me lol. Joking aside, I do shower daily, but I usually put the same pjs right back on. Haha. And you’re right about people not getting it. My blog doesn’t make money yet but I put my heart and soul into it just as if it did. Blogging IS my job and writing is my passion. Thanks for everything you do to help all of us out Elena. I feel so fortunate to know you!

    1. You are so welcome! I love getting to know other bloggers and building a community. I am so glad you are enjoying the journey and hopefully one day, you will be rewarded…maybe with new pj’s at least!

  16. I love this article, but I have to disagree that people think that if you’re blogging you’re an addict. On the contrary, most people take me as being lazy and “why can’t you get a real job?” Most people have no understanding of how hard it is to blog and share your message on a consistent schedule…especially when you have no money and you’re doing everything manually (i.e. no Tailwind, etc). So when you need to post to Instagram or Twitter during your kid’s game because THAT’s the right time you get looks like “Seriously? Right here on the soccer field?” Sometimes from your own husband. Cheers to anyone who can keep it up and find reasonable success! I haven’t found it yet, but with the Lord’s help maybe I will. Thanks for the great post! Loved it!

    1. Well it seems you can’t win for trying! Lol if they only knew how hard you worked, they would know you are not lazy! Keep at it and you will see results. Thank you so much for dropping by and reading.

  17. Hi Elena, Thanks for this great post. I’m a beginner blogger and I’m so related to most of your points. Be honest, I’m getting tired to read those blog posts saying make profit from blogging, though some of them are inspiring, not all… today, I’m appriciated to read the truth of blogging in your post. Love it!

    1. I am hoping that the trend to display your income, which I might add doesn’t happen in any other industry, is dying down. I loathe them and think it puts too much pressure on bloggers and it also makes people blog, just for the money. You want to just make money, go set up a website. You want to connect, share and learn from a beautiful community, start a blog. Just my 2 cents.

  18. Great post! I understand this so perfectly, specially the part of wanting to give up, I have almost gave up twice, but here I am doing what I love! I wish I had more time for my blog, specially to share it, studying takes a lot of my time! kiss^^

    1. Who am I kidding? If I could get away with grocery shopping in my PJ’s I would. lol I hope your dreams of a stinky existence come to fruition.

  19. Dearest Elena! !!
    Over the last 6 mos. I think I’ve read everything to be read on blogging …..I made the decision. …YESTERDAY!!! To crap or get off the crapper….and here you are!!!!! This, by far is the best, favorite, appropriate post ever! Thank you SO much….You are now officially my blogging godmother. (I just sniffed a tear of gratitude, lol) the shoe fits and I’m running with it! Seriously, I can’t thank you enough. I look forward to seeing you in the awesome kingdom of blog!
    PS. after reading this I felt it necessary to assure you I am the least Disney person that exists on this planet. ..godmother, kingdom lol….I have a steep learning curve huh?

    1. Thank you so much and I am so glad that my post brings you some clarity and hopefully free time. lol Blogging should be fun. Remember that.

  20. Such a great post. Having a mutual addiction with some pretty talented writers/bloggers feed pretty great actually! Thanks for this one. I’ll be revisiting it often and smiling!

  21. Elena, I saw on Facebook today that this post has been plagiarized. I’m so sorry about that. As a photographer, I know how awful that can feel. However, I wanted you to know that it also brought me to your blog and I absolutely adore it. Along with my wedding photography I decided to start a blog this year. Your content is fun to read and inspirational. It is a shame when people take inspiration too far and turn to copying. Keep doing what you’re doing. You and your blog are lovely and I’m now a new fan of your work 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your support and for reading my post. If you ever have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask. I wish you great success with your new venture!

  22. Such a great post! I’ve wanted to quit daily….as you say…lol. I also find I’ve become such a recluse. .. my friends don’t understand blogging so I just don’t seem to be able to connect with them anymore.

    1. You have to get out in the real world too my friend. It will force you to shower. lol Thank you for reading, and don’t quit. Stick it out and the rewards will be great! In new friendships at the very least.

  23. Now even I do feel the girl did copy your post and remade it like a school homework. Your post is really well detailed written, I am sure it will be an eye-opener for most of the people who are not aware of scams and are dreaming of anyone can get rich through blogging.The clarity of post shows how much involved and passionate you are about blogging. And yes, this is also encouraging for the slow bloggers to put some real efforts to be something. Keep it up 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your support! I absolutely love blogging and share everything I know with my readers. I encourage bloggers to stick to it and be authentic. Now that’s ironic! Lol

  24. What a breath of fresh air. No unicorns and glitter. Unvarnished, naked truth. Love it. I’m a writer who hates the required “social media platform”. Blogging can be quite brutal. LOL! Nice to “meet” someone thinking what I’ve been thinking.

  25. Hello Elena
    Thanks for sharing this very informative and well written post.I think most bloggers do not openly talk of the dark side of blogging because they are afraid of failure, most bloggers follow the money first instead of trying to help so a blogger who`s been blogging for a month wants to tell you how to succeed by selling you one product or the other.
    How do I sell a product to anyone that will make them successful if it has not yet made me successful so many find it`s easier to sell/publish delusions.
    Having said that, I think to succeed in blogging, we SHOULD FIRST HELP before selling and this is where most bloggers go wrong.
    Really informative, thanks for sharing.

    1. Helping other bloggers is so rewarding. It proves that we love blogging and that we are here for the long haul, and don’t bail when the money dries up. Thank you for visiting and taking the time to comment.

  26. This might be the most comprehensive post on the dark side of blogging I’ve ever seen. Kudos!
    So, you’re saying I can just throw up Bluehost links everywhere and call it a day? 😉

  27. I loved the rawness of this post! Everything is so true, especially the Pinterest and going viral part! Keep up the awesome content girl!

  28. All of these points resonated with me so hard. Especially when you said bloggers wear many hats. So. True. You got a new follower out of this post.
    I’ve learned more about web design and marketing in the past couple of months than I have in my entire life. It’s exhausting. I’m exhausted. And I only post once a week, because that’s really only about as much as I can handle. I’m an affiliate but I rarely do any promotion yet because I’m looking to build my following more.
    Sigh. Such is the blogging life. But I love it.

    1. It can be exhausting but so worth it when I get a comment like yours! Just think, all of this new learning keeps our brains young. And don’t wait to promote. Even with a small following, you can make money with affiliate links. It has more to do with reaching the right audience. Quality over quantity. Thank you so much for visiting and taking the time to comment.

      1. Thanks for the advice! It’s hard to know what to do when. I used to think blogging was just writing, but I’ve been proven so wrong. But I think the discouragement we go through as bloggers gives us the confidence to succeed in life in general. We know how to market ourselves and our work, and not everyone knows how to do that.

  29. I am pretty addicted to blogging and can relate to so much of this! I know there are some pretty dodgy people out there sadly, but there are some wonderful bloggers too that we have in our community. That is what I love about blogging the most, the close-knit community that help and support each other 🙂

  30. “Try telling people you are a blogger” yeah, that’s a whole conversation I don’t have the energy for. Frankly, even my pathetic stabs at “I’m a writer” have taken the wind out of my sails. Because the follow up is “how many books have you written?” and I’m like, “Nevermind, I want out of this conversation please.”

    1. I must make more of an effort to spread myself around. I am pretty sure I am going next year too so I will definitely spend some time with you.

      1. Ah, thank you Elena, that would be lovely. The bash keeps on growing each year and I always have good intentions to chat to as many peeps as I can! Look forward to chatting next year. 🙂

  31. This is so true! but guess what? In spite of everything, I do love blogging. I love the independence! 🙂

  32. Fun post, if more than a little depressing at times. 🙂 The parts where I was nodding in agreement. Oh wait! That was most of the time. Still, I’m hooked. I enjoy it.

  33. Oh yes, I can relate to so many points on this page. I’ve been blogging since 2010 (for my business) and learning how to monetize about 1.5 yrs ago. Because I have over 100,000 pageviews a month (thanks to all my hard work from before), it helps, but the monetizing has been slow and I have to figure out how to accelerate and get out of my plateau (at $1,500/month). Oh, and I also get really annoyed by all those bloggers that are selling all those courses and making so much money off of other bloggers. And, I see so much of the same stuff out there. I like that I don’t blog about that. (I’m rather niche and blog about hardwood flooring and a bit of decor). I repinned this BTW.
    I’m lucky in that I have a local friend who’s a blogger (met her in 2009 a year b4 I started blogging…and yes, I didn’t get it back then). We’ve stayed in touch a bit over the years and over the last 8 or 9 months, get together every 2-3 weeks to help each other. We now have a good group of local bloggers (maybe 8 or 9) that have been getting together once/month since January and that’s been awesome, too.
    Onward and upward.

  34. I started out blogging 9 years ago, but have been on and off on my blogging. I hate that my brain refuses to write my thoughts down, I sit before the computer and have all kinds of notes and then nothing. Nothing comes out. I’m trying to figure out how to silence my inner critic and boy she is one stubborn critic.

  35. Thanks for your honesty….it feels like an uphill trudge through mud with rain boots most days. I go back and forth between wanting my freedom and a regular paycheck! Glad to have found your beautiful blog (it is gorgeous!) and discover another mid-life blogger! Cheers to you…off to read more!

  36. so funny that you said the bit about messing with your theme… I can’t seem to stop, AND.. I looked at your page and all I can think about is how I want to copy it! ;). Great post!

  37. Great post and i resonated with the majority of your points raised. Sleepless nights, fun, self doubt fun, stats obsessed, fun. It’s a mixed bag. And I think ‘trust no one aside from the link from your brain to the keyboard’

  38. I can relate to all of your points. There are days that I just want to quit blogging but there are days when I look forward to it as well. Blogging allows me to be creative and share my experiences and thoughts with others. And I hope that what I share in my blog is inspiring to others. At the same time, I’m new at blogging and have not experience as much you have. I do really appreciate your warnings! Kiddos for you, for being so candid and honest!

  39. Interesting read, I didn’t think it would be easy to make an earning from blogging. Though I am doing it for pleasure and sharing our travel adventures, not monetary gain. Well done you for succeeding in a tough arena.

  40. This was such a refreshing post & perspective. I find I constantly second guess if I’m good enough to continue. I’m always comparing and worrying about what everyone else thinks when I know I should just be true to me…that’s what does the best. Plus, so glad to know I’m not the only one NOT living the glam life. The reason my Instagram feed is severely neglected. Who has time for that?! 🙂

  41. I can relate to every word of this and have only been blogging six months! Although some of these things haven’t happened to me yet, I feel I may be sucked into the blogging world and not be able to stop. I’m trying to balance it because I have kids to raise and don’t want to miss their childhoods.
    I still want to quit some days but I just can’t do it. I feel I’ve had enough success so far to keep going. Other days I curse myself for ever starting.
    I like your advice!
    Skinny and Single referred me to you. Funny how we met.
    – joanne

  42. You made me think hard about trying this blogging endeavor…Lots of pros and cons to it and I realize its a lot of work. More than I thought it would be …..I’ve been reading more blogs and finding out what I enjoy reading and what i want to show other people….Thanks for the eye opener and you are going on my favorites

  43. This post is GOLD! I just started my blog 6 months ago and I literally do not remember what outside looks like! 🙂 Thank god I found a blogging buddy who I speak to on a constant basis. This has been my only interaction with the ‘outside world’ as of late.

  44. The ugliest side to blogging I’ve experienced is lack of readership. I work very hard on my short stories and other writings, but they’ve generated only sporadic interest.

    1. Isn’t it odd that you hear bloggers say that they don’t read blogs? Say what? It is terrible that you have trouble finding an interested audience. Don’t give up. It just may take longer for them to find you.

      1. Thanks for the words of support! I write from life instead of a particular genre so I don’t fit into a marketable category. But I also write, produce, and direct a show for Community TV so that should get me noticed. ☺

  45. Excellent post that truly captures the life of the career blogger. Personally, I’m a writer / author who blogs, thus see it as a marketing tool. I have toyed with the idea of turning it into a side career, but now, after reading this, I’m hesitant. I hate spending the day in my pyjamas and need a shower, shave and workout first thing every day.
    Thanks for sharing your in-depth review.
    Now – get back to blogging!

    1. I need you to be my morning motivator! And I think you should give the side career a go. You never know. Don’t listen to my ranting. lol

  46. I LOVE this list! I’ve blogged for years but never really jumped in seriously until now and I’m finding so much of what you said to be true. It’s a great thing to know going into it!

  47. This post ABSOLUTELY spoke to me. I’m on the wrong side of rookie blogging but loving the adventure. My wife is still hesitantly supportive of my new “crazy habit” but I can already see the dubious stares.
    Thank you for the reassurance, and the guidance. I have a very shallow pool of knowledge regarding the blogosphere thus far but I’m a quick learner and most importantly, I am in love with blogging.
    I’ve recently sent a request to join your Pinterest board, anyway you can add me?
    Gabe- (Almost) Unsalvageable

    1. Hi Gabe. I love when my family calls my blogging a hobby. NOT. Let me know if you didn’t get an invite as I sent out tons yesterday.

  48. It sounds like such a lot of work for very little gain! I love bloging and many times have wished I could do it full time and make a livin from it!
    Now i have woken up to the fact that only some people are able to make it work for thm 🙂

    1. The gain does increase as the years go by. It really is all about creating the community first and that takes a lot of effort and time.

  49. Made me chuckle…it read like the checklist of my days (apart from the bit about making any kind of income)… except I do have to dress as I work seven days a week too. Elegance went out of the window when the blog moved in though…

  50. Last weekend I participated in a blog thread and commented on and shared several blogs and not one person visited my post. Not. a. single. one. And I wondered why I try so hard. But then I remember that if I’m going to write anyway I might as well keep putting it out there for the people who do engage. And of course the friends I have are priceless! Great piece Elena.

    1. It is such a shame when you take the time to fully participate and see absolutely no return. Well, I think you and your blog are awesome!

  51. Great post, Elena, and a very extensive overview of the pros and cons of blogging. If I could somehow make minimum wage with my blog in a way I feel comfortable with, I’d jump on that. For the last year and a half, though, since the day I started my current blog, it has been fun, but hard work for little return. I don’t actually want to make money with it, just get a following of readers who our interested in our adventurous lifestyle.The best part? I’ve gotten to meet some like-minded bloggers in person after getting to know them virtually through our blogs. 🙂

    1. I agree with all that you have said Elena. Bottom line: you have to love blogging itself –full stop. I do also agree with Liesbet, that meeting like-minded bloggers (and some who become real life friends) is an amazing blogging perk!

    2. I love your blog and find your lifestyle fascinating! Maybe one day you will be in my neck of the woods. I would love to meet you!

  52. Folks earn $$ with their blog ??? Who knew ? You have so many valid points here, this is a brilliant, candid piece. Blogging 101. I especially love your thoughts on the posts that are most successful…they are never the ones with planning, forethought, etc, but the ones that flow, almost organically. Authenticity matters, and comes naturally when we write from the heart.

  53. Fantastic post. All true.Blogging becomes a full-time job and takes over your life. You have to learn to dial back every so often. I’ve been tempted to quit but then I’d lose all my writing buddies. Sigh. Again, great post! 😀

    1. I’ll go with that Elena 😉
      I get so much out of readers enjoying the progress with the Gray mare, it’s a boost, really. I know better than to quit my day job for now though 🙂
      But I should add, since others commented on that, that YES, I have blogged in my pajamas. And it’s wonderful!

  54. Hi Elena,
    This is an awesome post and so relatable! I am new to blogging (started in january) and I have since then realized it is not as glamorous as it is portrayed to be. Don’t get me wrong, I love it! But it does have it’s downsides and you described them perfectly. Thank you for letting me know I am not alone!
    Love, Christianne

  55. This needs nominated in the Blogger Hall of Fame when its erected! You completely nailed it on every topic. Now I’m off to reply to everything sitting in my inbox that has been left untouched since last week :(.

  56. Reading this unshowered with a checklist of grind-y (not in a good way) social media tasks. It has been 7 days since I wrote anything and still I am at the laptop. I had one pin that has gotten me 250,000 views. It is not even close to my best post. I try to break it down into a formula and can not. It is a long road here. Plus my Amazon affiliate account got hacked so the only source of income I have from the blog is frozen. Perhaps forever.

    1. Oh no! I hope that gets straightened out soon. That is an amazing count for one pin and yes, it is frustrating when you can’t figure out how to duplicate that success.

  57. I agree with so many points you’ve made I wouldn’t even know where to start with replying to them. I shared it everywhere(really not lying lol)

  58. Yep…too much ugly for me…couldn’t let the rest of life pass me by so I stopped (not to mention starting a new job). I may get back in it soon…but just for the love of writing…whether 1 person reads it or a bajillion. Very well written, Elena. Ii admire your stick-to-it-iveness.

  59. Thank you for being honest with this. Blogging is not for the feint of heart…especially if you think you’re going to make a living as a blogger. I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve quit.

  60. Oh shat, girl! You nailed it! I love to see when bloggers write about the non-glamorous side. The hard work. The ugly comments. The copycats. You’re right. It’s not all money making glamor on a part-time basis. I think this is why many bloggers end up quitting after a short time. It takes a lot of damn work! However, it is worth it, right? I mean, all the relationships we form over the years through connecting on our blogs and some that turn into real life friendships. It is a lot of bs but I think the relationships and communities that are formed during are worth more than the pain in the bum nonsense we go through to get there.
    Thank you for sharing this! I’m passing it along. Bloggers and bloggers-to-be need to know this!

    1. It is the connections and the relationships that keep me going. I am looking forward to crossing the pond and meeting up with bloggers in England this summer. That is what it is all about.

  61. Thank you, thank you, Elena. I wanted to say something about trolls. The giraffe preparing to give birth is in my local area near Binghamton, New York (Harpursville, to be exact). It is breaking the heart of many here seeing the comments that are being left on that You Tube page. I suspect owners of Animal Adventure are heartbroken, too. I wish there was a Wikileaks for trolls. Just sayin’.

  62. I love, love, love this post. You made me laugh. I’m going to bed now to think about all the things I should be doing on my blog instead of that fun thing called sleep. Ever since I’ve started blogging, I’ve had trouble sleeping because of all the things you mentioned. But…I still love it.

  63. I understated what you are saying Elena, thanks so much for putting it out there! I love #21 in particular as I just can’t get through to some people about what blogging is, how much I love it and WHY I do it. Thanks for your honesty and generosity in sharing and helping others.

  64. You really nailed this one, Elena! The harsh realities (sorry, Jason) are outlined and explained. I have been overwhelmed lately and even today I asked myself why I blog. I love my blogging community and getting to know so many lovely folks (even you, my dear–in fact I’m getting my taxes together and reminisced about out BAM Vegas trip). I may not really ever stop, but I can dial it back and focus on photoblogging for awhile. Thanks for sharing your expertise and doses of reality with us bloggers!

    1. Oh, I miss you so much! It was so much fun. It is too bad there isn’t another event but honestly, it has brought us closer together so I am glad we had at least one. Don’t ever give up lovely. You have so much to share with others.

  65. Hi Elena – just loved this post – you call a spade a spade and it’s all so true. I’ve written a post (not putting it up for a few weeks yet) on why I blog on a free Blogger site – I have read so much hype on why monetizing is the way to go, and I’m just not prepared to sell my soul – or what I write to make an income from blogging. I love that it is my spare time hobby that is for fun, rather than the beast slowly consuming me bite by bite!

    1. I love that you go against the grain Leanne. Let me know when your post is up and I would love to share it here as a guest post. Bloggers need to see all sides of the coin.

  66. Well at last someone who tells it like it is without all the ‘get rich quick from blogging schemes’. You know of late Elena my thoughts and although it is hard to accept that most bloggers feel the same frustrations it is comforting to know at the same time. Nothing worthwhile comes easily and I’ve been lucky enough not to get trolls. However, my writing is pretty tame I suppose. I’ve just finished your Create a Killer Pinterest profile and am putting it into practice. Thanks again for the straight talking. People starting a blog really need to know the realities of it and that unfortunately, not many of us get to be the ‘next best thing’. Thanks and have a beautiful day. P.S. One of the best things about blogging are the lovely and supportive bloggers you meet who genuinely want you to succeed.
    Sue from Sizzling Towards 60 & Beyond.

    1. I love the relationships that have blossomed from my blogging. Especially with fabulous people like you Sue. I know it can be discouraging sometimes but try to remember and grasp onto one thing that makes you really happy about blogging and do more of that. Hopefully that will bring you motivation and inspiration.

  67. I love this post Elena.. I have come across the jealous bloggers, the ones who tried to play funny with me as some blog posts did well and yes have figured out by now who will do anything to get their shit up. My trick is now to totally be immune to who does what n why – earlier spent time agonizing over it.
    Alsi have underlined my core thought to blogging- I love to write. Period.
    Monetising, if it happens, will see then…. For now just enjoying writing.
    I will surely check out your other posts mentioned in this one. Cheers

    1. It is a great strategy to ignore that which upsets you in the blogging world. Otherwise it is really hard to write the next post, isn’t it?

  68. Two years in and a lot of that is a surprise to me, but I’m not a professional blogger. I have also been extremely fortunate in the people that I’ve got to know in the blogging world, for which I’m grateful. So far, I have never blogged in my pyjamas.

      1. The whole premise for my blog is pyjamas lol! I’ve been all over the place in my pyjama top – much to the horror of some friends, the supermarket staff, the doctor and the postman!! 🙂 (I draw the line at going out in pyjama bottoms. I do have limits…not standards, limits)
        Great post Elena. I keep reading about other bloggers stealing work, and frankly I’m gobsmacked!!

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