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
- stop fiddling with my theme
- stop re-writing my posts
- 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
- brand consultant
- social media manager
- 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
I would love to connect with you!
You can find me on PINTEREST, FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM or Follow my blog with Bloglovin.
Join my support group for bloggers here. Join my Pinterest group board here.