Continuing on from yesterday when I talked about my favorite 5 things about blogging, today we’re exploring some of the negatives of this ever changing industry. I’ve been seriously blogging for almost 2 years now (I was blogging long before that but never really did it seriously or to add to my income) and in that time, the blogging environment has changed tremendously. I started from scratch, grew my readership over time without pushing too hard to gain followers and as I mentioned yesterday, this blog is not and never has been my only job, it’s simply a side project I enjoy.
During my time in the blogging world, I’ve come across bullying, criticism and ignorance. I’ve seen bloggers I know and admire be put through the ringer by readers, comments that aren’t meant for anything but to cause harm or exude jealousy and I’ve been there too. The internet is a place that many feel they can say whatever they want without any hint of reality, truth or consequence. It’s always been my belief in the blogging world that I’m not going to agree with everything everyone does or says, but at the end of the day, does a mean, jealous or snotty comment help anyone? No it does not.
And so on that note, there are lots of ways that blogging is hard and that bloggers get hurt in the process. Here are my top 5 hardest parts of blogging from my own experiences.
Perhaps the most vicious part of blogging, people can be just plain mean. Between comments on posts attacking bloggers on auxiliary sites like GOMI and criticism in comments (90% of the time unwarranted), it can be a hard thing to get used to. When someone writes something about you that’s totally untrue but put out there for the world to see, it becomes both uncomfortable and degrading. I’ve started to move forward from this part of blogging (after having it happen to me quite a few times) knowing that the majority of the time, attacks on bloggers have nothing to do with them, but everything to say about the person writing them.
*On another note, constructive criticism in blogging can be quite a good thing and knowing what your readers want or how to make certain things better are always, in my opinion, ok. I love when I hear feedback from readers, but following the golden rule, be nice about it.
The blogging world is full of assumptions. We read someone’s blog and we think we immediately know everything about them. Or we follow them on Instagram and read into things that we see. Unfortunately, that’s the nature of the beast of social media and an online world, but we can also realize as bloggers and readers that what we’re seeing isn’t always the full story. For example, I get the comment all the time, “How do you guys miss so much work to travel?” The whole truth of the matter is that we use our vacation days, the same amount of vacation days that everyone else in the USA gets. We just also use weekends and holidays to supplement our days off. Many times the assumptions we make about people we know online aren’t true at all and it’s worth stopping for a moment and thinking about it, and if you want to know more, just ask.
Blogs are, somewhat misleadingly, incredibly time consuming. And often, readers aren’t ever going to know how much time went into the post they just read. It’s hard as a blogger, who’s put hours into graphics and writing posts to not be able to show off the time it takes and the upkeep that is required if you want your blog to succeed. When new bloggers ask me what is something I would have liked to have known going into this, I always answer that it’s a huge commitment, especially if you’re going to blog seriously.
I mentioned yesterday how rewarding the blogging community is and how many amazing people I’ve met along the way. One downside to this however is distance. There are bloggers, both that I’ve met in person and that I have yet to meet, that I’d love to call and meet up for a cup of coffee. Or times when I’d love to have some of my favorite bloggers closer to where I call home so that those relationships could grow. That’s very rarely the case and for me, it’s something that I think about often.
This industry is complicated and when you first start out, there really is a lot to learn. The truth is though, when it comes to the work it takes to grow your blog, there really is no right or wrong answer. Everyone does it differently and what works for me, might not work for you. But I will say this, blogging is like a race, you need to pace yourself if you’re going to be here for the long haul.