10 Surprising Things People Don’t Tell You About Blogging
Of all the bloggers I’ve spoken to, they all have stories of things people don’t tell you about blogging. The lessons they’ve learned along the way and that when they look back to the start of their blogging career they had very little idea of the impact (and requirements) that come along with blogging.
For me, it’s not so much about wishing I’d started growing my list from day one, or the traffic jackpot I wished I’d found earlier. It’s about the things that go beyond that – the things you never thought you’d learn or never thought you’d come across.
It’s these 10 things people don’t tell you about blogging that makes you love it and question yourself, and love it again.
Obsessive is probably one of the biggest understatements when it comes to describing how I feel about my blog. I’ve spent an average of 60+ hours per week (sometimes even more) working on building my blog and business. And for a long time that was without generating an income. There’s always something new to learn. A new social media channel to get on, a new design or layout you wish you had. It can be overwhelming.
But once you start seeing results, start seeing people come to your site and reach out to connect with you, it becomes addictive. You want to do more, grow more and create more. Obsessively so.
While the online community is always so incredibly supportive and you can pretty much guarantee a chat with someone at any time thanks to global timezones, blogging can still be pretty darn lonely.
If none of your family or friends have a blog (or even know what blogging is) it can feel quite isolating when you want to talk ‘shop’ and no one understands the lingo. There’s no one to jump up and down with when your first blog post goes viral, and no one to break out the bubbly with when you smash your goals.
You can always try to explain things to your family and see if they respond well. Otherwise finding local blogging groups or asking a national blogging group if there’s anyone close by to where you live might help you find that awesome someone to celebrate with.
It’s Hard Work
So, when I started my very first blog back in 2010 I had no idea what a blog really was, or what was involved. I remember spending hours picking out a pretty design in Blogger and setting it all up, writing my first post and then waiting. I wrote my second post… and still nothing. I had no idea why people weren’t coming to my site and no clue as to how to ‘market’ it.
Most blogs don’t make it past the 3 month mark. So if you’re blog has been around for more than 3 months, then congratulations! You’ve made it past the first big hurdle.
Blogging is hard work. It’s frustrating when you break your site accidentally (like I do, all the time), it’s irritating when you can’t make things look the way you want, it’s disappointing when you post blog post after blog post and don’t see any traffic, and it’s difficult when you just don’t know what to do next.
To create a successful blog it takes time, patience and the willingness to learn – a lot – all the time. You’re simply not going to be successful if you want to only blog every now and then, or if you don’t want to put the effort in, or if you’re not willing to learn. It’s harsh but it’s true.
Your To Do List Will Never Be Done
If I could share with you my to-do list right now you’d most likely be mortified. There will literally never be a day when everything is completely done, and that has taken me a long time to get used to.
There will always be more posts to write, more articles to promote, more connections to make and more maintenance to be done.
You Are Not Going To Make Money On Day 1
Anyone who says they made a ton of money on day 1 of their blog going live is either scamming or lying. You’ll find those who claim to do this generally have some type of following beforehand, or are trying to sell you a product that tells you how to make money on day 1 of blogging.
A lot of bloggers take months if not years to see their first income. Blogging is certainly not a get rich quick scheme – but if you are willing to work hard and learn, then you can certainly make a decent income from it.
The Comparison Trap Is a Real Thing and There’s a Chance You’ll Get Stuck There
Regardless of how popular your blog is, how many viewers you have, how many people are on your list or how long you’ve been blogging for, there will always be someone bigger and better. And that’s okay. While it’s easy for me to write that comparing yourself to others will never make you happy, it’s something I have done often.
The comparison trap is a very real thing and there’s a big chance you’ll experience it. One of the ways I overcome the comparison trap is to list out my achievements and what I’m proud of. By turning the focus back to my own blog and business I am able to see areas in which I can learn and grow.
Sometimes It Feels Like You’re Going Mad Trying To Keep Up With Everything
Okay, maybe more than sometimes. When you’re in the process of establishing yourself in the blogging world, you will quickly learn you literally cannot keep up with everything. It’s impossible. There is always the next ‘big thing’ and a bunch of people telling you that you’re really missing out if you’re not on it.
One of the most recent being the very quick rise and equally quick fall of Periscope. Yes, some people still use it but Facebook Live has quickly taken over.
Start out with the two platforms your readers are most likely on (Facebook, plus one other) and then go from there. Build up these two platforms and then introduce another one. And automate wherever you can. There are some automation tools that run for free and others that cost just a few dollars each month. A very worthwhile investment.
There Aren’t Any Real ‘Rules’ To The Game
Unlike just about every other business and career, there is no ‘blueprint’ to success. There isn’t a set of rules that tell you what you should be doing and when. And even if you do see someone recommending things to do (like me) you don’t have to listen.
What works for one person may not work for another. And you get to create your own rules. Which can be both exciting and daunting at the same time.
The best thing you can do is find what works for you and be consistent. If you don’t like what you’re doing then change it up. You make the rules.
You Will Love It More Than You Know How To Explain
Sure, there will be days when you ask yourself why you’re doing this, but then you’ll receive an email or a message that makes you smile. A reader thanking you. Someone telling you that you’ve made their day. Or a reader saying that because of you, they took action.
And you will soar. It will ignite that fire again and keep you going.
There’s something quite incredible about creating something from nothing – and that’s exactly what your blog is. It’s your own little space on the internet – your internet ‘home’. You will decorate it, invite others to your ‘home’ and protect it fiercely. You will love your space.
It Can Be Difficult To Determine How Personal You Should Be
Whether your blog is a personal, lifestyle, mummy or business blog there’s going to be splashes of your personality and life throughout it. But the big question is ‘how personal should you be?’ And there isn’t an easy answer.
When you’re talking about your family or personal details about your life, how much do you really want people to know? We know that readers make connections with you when they feel like they know you, but do they really need to know about your IBS or your child’s latest bout of the stomach bug?
The general rule for me is that I don’t share anything I wouldn’t be comfortable with my Nan or Mum reading. And I also don’t share anything I wouldn’t be comfortable declaring to a room full of strangers. This usually keeps a lot of personal aspects of my blog in check.
There’s so much to love about blogging, more than I ever imagined possible. I’d love to know what you’ve discovered and your thoughts on the things people don’t tell you about blogging. Let me know in the comments.