THE DARK SIDE OF BLOGGING



You see finesse, you see perfection. You see someone's hard work, and sometimes you gloss over it. Blogging can be incredible. It can bring you endless opportunities and a huge supportive community, but there's things the audience doesn't see, the process of creating what you sit down with your cup of tea to read.


Over the past, nearly 9 months, I've come to terms with the darker side of what blogging entails. The pressure, the numbers, the competition, the stress of trying to grow something and create an audience to read what you put the hours into creating. It's hard.

This isn't a sympathy post, I'm not complaining about having a blog, because it's one of the best decisions I've ever made, and I really love what I do, but not everything's a walk in the park.

I'm going to be deadly honest, and admit that when I first started at the beginning of the year, I thought growth wouldn't be a problem, I'd get plenty of views, followers, comments, thinking it would become huge in a matter of weeks. Well, that obviously doesn't happen in the real world. In today's world, there's probably thousands of bloggers who are in the same position, with the same ambition and passion, and would love to grow their little corner of the internet into something substantial. I was scrolling on Pinterest a little while back, and I came across a quote that really struck a chord with me, "Allow yourself to be a beginner, no one starts off being excellent". With me, I'm pretty impatient, and I like to do everything here and now and not have to wait. So me being me, I kept working myself up about not growing as quick as I anticipated, thinking why don't people like me? What am I doing wrong? When in realty, I wasn't doing anything wrong, it just takes time for people to notice, and become invested in you. 

Competition is fierce. We're like the X Factor of the social media world. There's people who are in it for the win, and then there's people who are in it for fun. I think right now, I'm glad I haven't had rocketing views and followers, because it probably would've gone straight to my head, and made me act in a completely different way. I've learnt that growth takes time, not to copy what other people are doing just because they're successful, and to follow what I want to do, and what I feel comfortable in creating.


Numbers. The daemon that constantly haunts me everyday. The time it takes to go from the first initial idea to hitting that publish button can vary per blog post. Sometimes it can take 1-2 hours, sometimes it can take 1-2 days, depending on the content, pictures, and editing. When you spend all this time putting together a piece of work, wanting to share it with the world, be noticed, and rewarded... and it doesn't happen, can really bring down your motivation level, and affect you in different ways. I've seen countless videos, read articles, researched and researched to find a certain way to push my blog and grow an audience. It's overwhelming, the amount of strategies, plans, tweaks you can do to finally be noticed is a bit pathetic. Think of it as getting to work, it's raining and your car isn't starting, so you have to walk. You then arrive at work and the door's locked, so you're going to have to find another way in, you then find that way in and the lift doesn't work, so you have to take the stairs, you're then out of breath by the time you've reached your desk that you don't have the energy to press the on button to the computer. That's basically what it's like. The meaning behind this is that, all these popular ways bloggers use to grow their following may not work for me, and I'm just wasting my time. Something I need to stop doing is continually looking at the amount of followers I have and how many views my latest blog post has, it's driving me slightly insane.



It's no secret that blogging can become a full time job, and you can create quite a comfortable living from it, after a while, and I'm going to be honest and say, that's my goal. I'd love to do this full time, because it's something I love doing, but it takes time. Rome wasn't built in a day (overused, but very apt quote).



I do want to say a massive thank you to each and every single person who has read my posts, commented, followed me on Instagram and Twitter, and overall supported me over the last 9 months. I have certain goals I'd like to hit by this time next year, but let's see where life takes me eh...



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49 comments

  1. Im extremely impatient haha so I was in the same boat as you when I started. But im trying to step back and learn as well

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    1. Same with me now, instead of putting pressure on myself to get a post out every week and grow, I'm just going to do it as and when I can. Thanks for commenting! x

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  2. I definitely experienced a similar feeling in the beginning and my views slowly grew rather than shooting up. But being smaller is nice in so many ways. I've had my blog for around 2 years now and sometimes I see names in my comment section that I know have been there since the very early days and that leaves me with a much warmer feeling than a great view day ever has! Being mainly food focused, my posts always take a while. From the planning, the cooking, photographing and then writing it up, quick posts are rare. BUT that's fine as long as you enjoy it. The blogging line isn't always smooth but it an be very interesting and worth while. Good luck growing! x

    Sophie
    www.glowsteady.co.uk

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    1. Exactly! I think I'm just going to stop looking at the numbers and take pressure off of myself, and if my views dip, then so be it. I'd rather put out a post that I love, rather than get one out for the sake of it! Thank you! x

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  4. It can be frustrating and difficult to manage expectations. I know I’ve on occasions been upset by my perceived lack of page views, etc but ultimately my writing isn’t about that. I won’t go into all the details here, but if you get a purpose out of what you do then everything else becomes less important.
    There is definitely a saturated market when it comes to blogging and blog content so it can get lost in the crowd — which can impact likes, follows, visitor numbers, etc but authenticity is the ultimate draw, and if you have that (which even as a brief visitor I can see that you have) then patience is the key — so easier said than done though, I get it, haha!

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    1. Yeah, I'm starting to get the feedback I want which gives me a sense of worth in a way, even though I'm still not where I want to be, It's a start!

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  5. I am so impressed that you came out to speak about the dark side. This is what people do not understand. They always see the glitters and the glory but the hard work and consistency is not so easy.
    Thank you for sharing.
    Happy Sunday.
    Have a lovely week ahead.
    https://www.melodyjacob.com/2019/09/the-best-skin-moisturizers-for.html

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    1. Thank you! I think it's so important to let people know the realities of blogging and how it's not amazing all the time.

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  6. Everything has its own dark side. Sometimes, growth is hard and the key is to keep working at it. I don't find competition in blogging - at the end of the day, we are all here to support each other. There is enough room for success for everyone.

    Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me

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    1. Well said! Everyone should support each other!

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  7. There's definitely a decent amount of competition, but I find that if you manage to join the right blogging community then it should be nothing but positivity and learning from others!

    Have a great week :)
    Amy x Wandering Everywhere

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  8. This is definitely something most of us can relate to. I remember when I started blogging, things weren't moving as fast as I wanted and it was depressing/annoying at the same time. I had to stop and remember why I started my blog in the first place. It is a saturated field, but what is for you will be for you. Keep going, Jared. :-)

    https://www.missymayification.co.uk

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    1. Exactly! I try and tell myself to stop looking at the numbers because whatever happens, happens!

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  9. It's a shame blogging has been so stressful for you! I hope it gets easier for you soon! for me, my blog is a hobby so i can relax, post when I like and not worry about numbers :) It's a nice way to spend my time when my kids are asleep - reading blogs and writing up posts :)

    Hope that you are having a great week :) I've got a scarf giveaway on my blog right now :)

    Away From Blue

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    1. Thank you! It's 100% getting easier now that I put less pressure on myself! I'm starting to post whenever I like which makes it a lot easier!

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  11. Dude, this post is pure facts.
    I've been blogging for public consumption for 3.5 years and it's nothing like the days of LiveJournal. People are hungry for success, money and growth. I think one of the things that upsets me are opportunities rewarded to those who use dishonest means to feign growth. I definitely struggle with stats and being obsessed with them. I check them every day! I watched a Youtuber's video this morning. She was expressing how frustrated she was that her videos weren't getting a lot of views. It made me think. I love writing and sincere comments about the topic make my day. It's hard to keep going if money/success is the main goal.

    Athina

    Www.blackpistachio.co.uk

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    1. Yeah I completely agree. A lot of people only do it for the money, and not for the audience. Now that I've put less pressure on myself, I'm not getting as obsessed with the stats anymore!

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  12. It can be really hard to grow engagement, especially with lifestyle stuff. Commenting on other people's blogs and Pinterest are meant to help!

    Alice | Alice In Wonderlust

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  13. I totally relate to the struggle, but onwards and upwards - you got this!

    Tx. // Tajinder Kaur

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  14. It does take a lot of time to create a blog. But, it is a learning process and helps to grow as a writer. Thank you for sharing and Happy Holidays!

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  15. Hello,
    very happy to say, your post is very interesting to read. I never stop myself to say something about it. You’re doing a great job. Keep it up.

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  16. I think when people start blogging they either run from the dark side of it or get too wrapped up in it. It’s so difficult to handle, especially when you’re new and have so many expectations. Loved this post, so happy I found your blog.

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  17. Never have I ever read a more perfectly put post! This is exactly how I’m feeling right now and you explained it all so well, I think it can be so pressurising and there are so many people trying to do the same thing but it’s about being original and keeping focused on what makes you happy. Being completely honest I would love to do blogging as a full time job too because I love it so much but like you said we need to realise it takes time. Thank you for this post!
    Laura x

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    1. Awh that's so kind! It's so much pressure especially when so many other people are doing the same thing, and for me I sometimes felt like I had no chance. But we've got to keep going, and write about what makes us happy!

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  18. Very insightful post. We hear where you are coming from and we also like the realisation that you should just write what you want to and grow your audience by staying authentic and original. What works for some doesn't always work for us. We at T.B.C are very new too. There are three of us and we literally started in February. We were going to blog about our profession- we're all actors/writers/drama teachers but our industry shut down pretty soon after we came to blogging. But we are happy with just rambling daily and working it all out. It will come. It has to. Trust the process x

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    1. Thank you! Exactly, trust the process and if you love what you're writing about then we'll all get where we want to be! x

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  19. I feel you on the number game; it is easy to be roped in to staring at numbers without gratitude and comparing yourself to people who you know have bigger numbers.

    I have found that, since all things have light and dark sides, it works if I block out comparison from my mind as best as I can (it still sneaks in sometimes), and do the best I can to make my blog something I am proud to read.
    Thanks for sharing!

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    1. Exactly! I'm trying to stop looking at competition and focus on writing about what makes me happy! Thank you for commenting!

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  20. Great read, as a new blogger, this is encouraging. Helps me to keep motivated. I doubt my blog is the sort I can make money from. But any advice on this would be appreciated. Thank you again

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    1. Motivation is something I struggle with a lot. But keep going, you'll get there!

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  21. Wow thank you so much for sharing ❤ I relate to this 100%, I just created a blog two months ago in March and I am making progress but I am incredibly impatient. I'm starting to learn to enjoy the journey to make progress 🤗

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    1. I'm the same, I'm so impatient and I just want everything to happen straight away! Sometimes, like you said, just enjoy the process which is what I'm doing now to stop me getting annoyed just because something isn't going the way I want to!

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  22. A very honest post I must say. Thanks for sharing this journey since it's something we all go through. Personally, I think I'm gonna take it easy. The full time blogging job may come or may not but we have to remember why we started blogging in the first place. It's a pure joy of writing and sharing moments with others.

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    1. You're so right! I've started to really slow down, take it easy, post when and what I want and I've really benefited from that!

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  23. I completely understand what you mean about blogging being stressful. Especially when algorithms change and my numbers start decreasing. Like Pinterest.

    I guess it's all part of our growth as bloggers to be worried about numbers at first :) But even if I don't have explosive views I do love the effort I put into my blog. So I think that makes blogging worth it :D

    Mari xx
    https://i--am--mari.blogspot.com/

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    1. At the start I was so stressed that I wasn't getting huge numbers, but now I've learned to just post when I want and about what I want! Thank you for commenting!

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  24. I wish every would be blogger would read this after getting hyped up about the get rich schemes that are getting promoted. You are a phenomenal writer and I found myself shaking my head in agreement right from the start.

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  25. This is spot on perfect. I'm on the side that I choose to do this not necessarily for money. I set no expectations right now. The first 6 months has been taken up with just learning the process. I feel like there are two outcomes, 1. It becomes a life long journey to create or 2. It becomes just an online journal. I still have hope that my persistence will gain a following.

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  26. I get what you mean about the dark side of blogging. I think in the Philippines for instance, bloggers have sprouted left and right because they're in it for the money and they think it's easy. But yeah, it's a lot of hardwork. I was once so conscious of numbers, views, comments, shares and followers and I got disheartened when I wasn't getting much. I had to remind myself why I was blogging in the first place - it's my creative outlet and I blog for fun, to share and tell stories. Anything else is a bonus.

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    1. Exactly, you always have to remember why you started in the first place, instead of being obsessed with numbers! Thank you for commenting.

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