Blogging is hard.
I’ll be the first to admit that I never thought of blogging as a real job. I always wanted to be a writer, never a blogger because that seemed to be a way to cheat the system. No one had to hire you. No one had to like what you wrote. Heck, you didn’t even have to use proper grammar or punctuation! There were no rules and no guides to keep you producing quality content. You could virtually write whatever you wanted, as terribly as you wanted, and post it. Ta-dah! Blogger.
After writing for a lawn care company for a few years, I realized that I didn’t actually love grass. Nope. Don’t love lawn insects or fertilizer. I don’t even keep my own lawn looking good I care so little about it. The job has been great, and for the first time in my life, I got paid to write, but I didn’t have a passion for my topic. After a lot of debate and a lot of researching, I decided that if I did want to write about things I like and I care about, blogging seemed like the best option. I read from several established bloggers that it can be hard but they weren’t very specific. Mostly they said to, “have patience” when you are first getting started. So I decided, while I’m still here, in the hard part, I would write a post explaining what is specifically hard about blogging. For anyone thinking about getting into this, you deserve to know.
Why Blogging is Hard:
- You have to produce original, interesting, well-written content frequently. You might post 3 times a week or only once but anything less than that and you lose people. (If you have any to lose!) No one wants to read a rehashing of someone else’s post unless you can put a new spin on it. No one is around to edit your post for you…until it’s published and then the internet loves to pick things apart! You will hear about missing commas and misspelled words if you don’t catch them.
- You need great pictures, a good looking format, and other visual appeals. You could be an amazing writer or teach awesome things but if people click on your site and it looks honky, they’re gone. If your pictures aren’t ‘Pin-worthy’ then you won’t get anyone to pin them! Most bloggers starting out have some pretty poor visual aids but this is a big area that can determine followers and fans.
- You have to know SO MUCH computer/techy stuff you think it might start bleeding out your ears! This goes way beyond the ability to run some social media sites. You need to figure out how to run a whole website. You need to know what “hosting” means and how to do some basic coding…or at least be able to do some searching and find a site that will explain specific steps to you. You need to edit and create visuals for EVERY post.
- Naming a blog is practically impossible. You will brainstorm and ask people and make lists. You will think and fret and change your mind a million times. You will eventually pick something only to find out that it is unavailable… x 20. You will then look at all your rejects and close your eyes, point at one and go for it. You will then hate the name for the rest of your blogging career. Exceptions to this, rare miracles or businesses that have a very unique name that is also very easy to remember. Regular people, good luck!
- IT TAKES SO MUCH TIME! I used to do laundry. I used to vacuum. I had a clean kitchen sometimes. I did all of those things during naptime. Do you want to guess what I do with naptime now? This. And I love it. I love sitting down to write. But I do neglect some important things in the process. Blogging takes so much longer than writing up an article. You have people to respond to, social media to update, blogging groups to participate in, website issues to resolve or update…
- You have to be creative. Repeatedly. Always. No down time from this. Why even post if you aren’t going to add something worthwhile?
- You will need to find a niche. Yeah. That is hard for some of us. This is what the bulk of your posts will be about. There are beauty bloggers, fashion bloggers, food bloggers, crafty bloggers, advice bloggers…. Figuring out what you want to focus on can be super hard. Enter the mommy blogger. They get away with more than anyone but they still need to pull things together. Narrowing down all of your interests and all of your great ideas into a few categories can feel limiting but it does offer some cohesion. Readers don’t want whiplash.
- You will get bored, mostly of yourself. I often sit down and think, “Why are people even reading this stuff? It’s just me.” You think because your brain has told it to you a million times, everyone else has either thought or heard it. Not necessarily true. But you will get sick of listening to your own little brain voice dictate every post to your fingers. You will feel uninspired and dull sometimes.
- Figuring out taxes and monetizing and everything that goes along with that is NOT fun. It is hard. It is confusing. It can even be flat out frustrating. This one is kind of a bonus because not everyone wants to monetize their blog. Lots of people just write. You are the lucky/smart ones because you don’t have to go through the pain of figuring out all this legal mumbo-jumbo.
Now, the good news. All of these things can be overcome. I almost bailed so many times in the first weeks of blogging because there was so much to learn and figure out! I was beyond overwhelmed. I didn’t think I’d ever learn it all…and I still haven’t. But there are so many experienced, amazing, ridiculously helpful bloggers out there. Many of them offer courses. Some have facebook groups where they answer questions and give feedback. Pinterest is FULL of tutorials and other helps. This is seriously the greatest group of people I have ever accidentally stumbled into.
So for those of you who have told me you wanted to blog, for those of you who have asked me questions – jump in! The water might feel a bit chilly at first but once you start swimming, it will warm right up. I can set you up with an awesome facebook group I’m a part of or I can help you find some courses if you want to go that route. Because, even though blogging is hard, it is full of support and encouragement and help. And what could be better than that?