We always talk about the feel-good things when it comes to blogging.
The money you can make, the connections you can create, the life of an entrepreneur that waits at the end of the tunnel, the middle finger that you’re waiting to flick to your nasty boss. Etc.
Let’s talk about the annoying parts of blogging today, shall we?
Believe it or not, there are quite a few! Fortunately, they’re nothing you cannot handle with a bit of patience and level-headedness.
1. You have to continually come up with fresh blog content.
If you’re a brand new blogger, you may not feel what I sometimes feel, but I guarantee that one day it will hit you.
Alright, to be honest, it’s not that I have a shortage of topics to write about, but more like, I set the bar a little too high when I first started this blog.
I have always wanted to write about the most relevant topics, be laser-focused on my niche, and write in-depth posts about how to accomplish something specific to that niche.
Which, of course, happens to be blogging for beginners. I always (or at least I try to) write in-depth posts about something blogging related and directed at helping those who’re just starting with their blogging journey.
The problem is that there are only so many things a beginner blogger needs to know. A lot of the time, I’m too afraid to give my readers too much information and overwhelm them instead of helping them. The result?
Now you may be having the same problem. Maybe you have been blogging for a year or two, and now you look back and see that you’ve hit all significant points in your niche.
So, now what?
Don’t overthink it.
It’s simple. Stop overthinking.
My problem is that I’m always thinking too much about what is helpful to my readers and what is not.
Sometimes it is OK to let the readers decide what will benefit them and what won’t. Readers aren’t stupid. When I was learning about blogging, there was an overwhelming amount of information around me. I had to pick and choose which topics would benefit me, and which won’t.
Your readers (and mine too) can do the same.
Also, when I let go of the idea that each and every single of my blog posts have to be a mini-ebook on how to accomplish something specific, I can start writing about the type of posts I’m writing now, as we speak. Yes, this very post!
You see, it is not a post about how to accomplish something. This post is merely my observation regarding things that sometimes I find a little annoying. Overall, this is more like a fun post than an educational post. Maybe some of you will read it and relate to one or two of the points I’m making, and if you do, perhaps you’ll smile and think, yep, me too!
And I’m training myself to think that it’s OK to have lighter material once in a while.
You should think of blogging the same way. You need to hit the critical bits, sure. Give your readers what they need and want. But occasionally, it’s fine to add content that isn’t a step by step, ultimate guide, but rather, something you share to connect with your readers on a more emotional, humane level.
Once you do that, a whole new array of topics will open up to you. And that’s a good thing! It will add variety to your blog and will give not only you but also your readers, a much-needed escape from textbook-like facts 24/7.
2. You get tired of your niche.
As much as I enjoy writing about how to start a blog or how to grow your email list or how to SEO your blog posts, I must say, there are days when I just don’t want to even think about writing about blogging.
Just because you love doing something doesn’t mean you love doing it all the time!
The same goes for your blog too. I guarantee that you will come to detest your niche sometime in the near future. Not permanently, but for a day or two, every couple of months or so, you’ll hate writing about what you have to write about.
There’s an easy solution to it.
Write about something else.
Write on your blog, or write on a different platform altogether! But it’s OK to take a break. We’re not machines, after all. And it’s OK, even welcome, to have a well-rounded experience of writing about different things.
For me, I often write on Medium. It’s fun because I don’t feel like I have to restrict myself to one niche, and I don’t have to promote my articles either. I mean, you can, many do, but that’s just not how I do things on Medium. I’m happy with the traffic Medium brings to my articles, and it helps me make a little money on the side. Not a whole lot, but it’s enough to take care of my morning Starbucks fix every month.
You could do the same! If you enjoy writing like I do, chances are you like to write about all kinds of different things. And if we know something about blogging, it’s that having a niche is vital for growing your blog fast. But that doesn’t mean you cannot write about other topics. Write on Medium, or Popsugar, or Thought Catalog. Or just find a blog or publication you want to contribute to and pitch an article.
3. People steal your content.
Growth attracts all kinds of pests. It’s inevitable.
I read once (forgot where) something ConvertKit CEO Nathan Barry wrote about on this issue, that he really doesn’t care if other people steal his content.
I try to have a similar outlook, but every now and then, when I’m having a bad day, and I come across people boldly stealing my stuff, it’s hard to keep my cool.
Take this recent event, for example. I was on Pinterest, doing some manual pinning from my feed when one of my Pin graphics popped up. I proceeded to repin it when I noticed that the Pin was not linking to my blog, but a completely different blog.
Now, this wasn’t the first time that it had happened, and typically I don’t even care. I mean, this happens so often that if I started caring about every single stolen Pin, I’d go insane!
But since I was having a bad day, this pissed me off, and I clicked to see whose account it was and what they blogged about. And as soon as I clicked on their profile, blood rushed to my head. There were at least a dozen Pin graphics, my Pin graphics, that this person was linking. They were super crafty too. They had downloaded my Pin image, and cropped the bottom portion where I typically have my website URL, and then Pinned it to their content.
There are so many things going on here!
First, I made that Pin. With premium stock images to boot that I paid for. And it’s my design. AND, this person had over 500K monthly viewers, potentially traffic that I could be driving to my blog!
And you know what? It seemed on the surface like a reputable blog too! With content very similar to mine. You see the problem? This person, whoever they are, went through a lot of work to steal my stuff. They stole my intellectual property, images whose licenses belong to me, and just well… looking at their feed full of my Pin images, on a day when I was already in a bad mood, made me pull a total Oedipus. I contacted the blog about this (and they never responded), I took the time to individually report all the Pins (and thankfully, Pinterest has now deleted those Pins). I also sent a pretty scathing message to the account holder on Pinterest.
Now, should I have gone through the trouble? I don’t know. If they had stolen just one or two Pin graphics, that would have been one thing, but they took way more than that. So I’d like to think that my actions were justified… even if it did make my already lousy day into a worse day.
Assess the situation, then take action only if you think you must.
Technically, I’m with Nathan Barry on this. Getting worked up only harms you.
However, if it’s happening on a larger scale, try to keep your calm. Reach out to the person first if you can. Let the proper authorities know what’s going on.
Sometimes people do things subconsciously. Like, maybe someone designs a Pin graphic that’s very much like mine. And I’m totally fine with that. And you should be too! We are always influenced by other people, after all.
But when someone literally takes your content, premium elements you paid for, and then proceed to crop out your name, signature, URL, whatever… then it’s OK to be mad and take action. Try to stay calm, but do what you can to make sure this doesn’t happen again.
I wish Pinterest had banned this user and deleted their account altogether because my Pins are not the only ones this user had stolen. But that didn’t happen. Still, at least now, the Pin graphics they stole from me are gone, and I’d like to think that whoever did this would now think twice before taking mine or anyone else’s content.
4. You have to deal with haters.
One of my favorite bloggers once mentioned “Getting your first hate comment” as being a blogging milestone.
That’s true, my friends. It’s inevitable, so you might as well look forward to it!
But still, when the moment comes, it does leave a bitter taste in your mouth, even when you know it was always meant to happen.
For example, and I’ll give you a few here, this person took the time to write me back once after signing up to receive my “blog launch checklist” freebie.
She said it was the “lamest thing ever.”
OK, first of all, it’s free. Sure, you had to sign up for my email list, but getting out of my email list only takes a click to that “unsubscribe” button at the end of every newsletter I send out. So why the hate?
But still, she wasn’t the most hateful commenter I have come across. Not even close!
Remember when I said I often write on Medium? Well, on one such occasion, I wrote an article on being a feminist and a liberal. I had some anecdotes to share as well as my opinions. And of course, when you share your opinion on the internet, especially about cumbersome topics such as feminism and liberalism and all that, you get a backlash.
And so I did.
I expected it, but it was annoying none the less.
You learn to ignore haters.
You ignore them. Period.
Nobody on the internet was ever convinced they were wrong in their way of thinking just because you gave them a witty response. Chances are, you’ll make things worse.
So, ignore it.
You can easily install a plugin that requires that all comments must be approved by you before they’re published. That’s what I do. And if there’s a hate comment, and there have been a few times when I had those, just don’t publish them. It’s your blog. Your rules! If someone doesn’t like what you’re saying, all they have to do is not read your blog.
If someone’s taken the time to leave a comment full of hate, then obviously, they have way too much time on their hands. Especially on a blog about blogging for God’s sake! I’m not even writing about my political views here! God forbid if I were to share why I think Congresswoman AOC kicks ass or why Bernie should be our next president.
But no… I’m writing about how to start a blog and how to use Pinterest to drive blog traffic… and some people find something wrong with that too!
What can I even say… except that, when these people do leave unnecessarily hurtful comments that are so obviously out of line, the best thing to do is to… just ignore them.
5. There are no such things as “autopilot” or “passive.”
OK, there are. But not quite… I know it’s confusing.
Well, let’s just say that it takes a long time to get to a place where things are on autopilot, or all of your income is passive.
So, in the beginning, it never feels like you will get to a point where things are running on their own.
For example, the sales I make with my templates are passive, sure! Technically they are. But it works because I promote them like crazy, and I am constantly creating new products. And that’s a lot of work.
Or take affiliate marketing, for example. Sure, they’re passive too, but for people to click on my links, I need to create content and then promote my content. And I have to make sure these are quality content because if not, my readers won’t buy from me.
I think one of the reasons why I hated it when I found the aforementioned thief (see # 3) is that they were stealing some of my Pin graphics that lead to some of my most popular posts and also posts that drive the most affiliate sales. They created blog posts very similar to mine, added their own affiliate links, and then had the galls to use my Pin graphics to drive traffic to their content. Not just one or two, DOZENS!
I mean, I’m working my butt off here, writing blog posts and creating products on weekends and weeknights and during the wee hours in the morning. Give me a break!
Keep in mind that you’ll have to work hard to get there.
The goal is to create a passive income stream and run things on autopilot, sure. But if you’re a brand new blogger, you must be ready to work your butt off. Let go of the ideas you had about things running on autopilot because for that to happen, you need tools. Tools that cost money. And if you’re a brand new blogger and not making money from your blog yet, you likely cannot afford these tools.
But if you do, congrats!
Even so, it takes a while to figure out precisely what works and what doesn’t, so even if you start off with a substantial capital on hand, it will still take months, if not years to learn your business inside out so that you can harness the power of automation to your benefit, and not the other way round.
The same goes for passive income. Once you’ve made a name for yourself and people are familiar with your brand, then you can take a break and go on a vacation and forget about having to create new content regularly, and still make money from your blog/business. That’s the passive income dream, isn’t it? But to get to that point, you must first put in years worth of hard work and effort.
As I keep saying, if you want easy money, blogging ain’t it! Change your expectations early on so that you don’t end up being disappointed.
6. People closest to you will disappoint you.
This isn’t true for everyone.
And this isn’t something I can relate to either.
But many have told me that’s how things went down, so I thought I’d share it here and give you my two cents.
You see, people have lots of opinions. But most of them are unfounded.
For example, some people will say that blogging is dead. Chances are that these people don’t even know what blogging is, and yet, they give you their opinion.
Some people also don’t quite understand what blogging is. They think it’s a hobby. Well, maybe for some, it is, but for most, it is much more than that. So, when you prioritize blocking off time to write blog posts or create Pin graphics, instead of watching a movie or a show or play games, these people would take it personally, or downright undermine the work you do.
The worst part? Usually, these people are the closest to you. Like, your parents or your partners or your best friends.
This is disheartening and disappointing. But well, it’s what it is.
Have a proper talk… or, don’t say anything at all.
I can give you my solution, but I don’t think it’ll help. None the less, I’ll share it.
People don’t need to know what you do.
Now, I say it may not be helpful to you because I’m an outcast. I don’t socialize with people. Due to past experiences and trauma, I’m not very close to my parents or relatives. I don’t ever tell them anything unless they need to know it. Like, I’d notify them if I move and have a new address, but what I do after work, who I associate with, or what I think about the current political climate is none of their business.
The two or three friends I do have, know this, understand this, and they keep their nose out of my business.
But I understand that I’m in a unique position here. Maybe you have a partner who isn’t understanding. Perhaps your best friend who you share everything with undermines what you do. Just know that you’re not alone. I may not know what it’s like, but from the number of women (and some men too) who’ve shared their painful experience with me, I can tell that it’s definitely a big issue that affects a lot of bloggers out there.
Thankfully, times are changing, and people are more used to unconventional ways of making money, as opposed to going to college and getting a job. Most people these days are also starting to understand the need for a side-hustle. So yeah, things are getting better. If they’re not in your household, I’m sorry. It must be painful! But know that you’re not the only one, so try to keep your calm, sit down with your loved ones and explain to them what you do and why you do it.
If they still don’t get it, well, try to negotiate some kind of live-and-let-live sort of outlook, if possible. Otherwise, just do your best.
This post tuned out to be more personal than I had intended for, but well, I decided to keep these little anecdotes instead of editing them out. I know I don’t often share personal things, but maybe it’s OK every now and then.
Don’t hate me too much for it 😉
So, what kind of challenges have you faced in your journey as a blogger? Let me know in the comments!
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