Everyone wants to be a blogger until they realise what’s really involved..
I have only my dear mother to thank for the inspiration for this post. We were discussing stresses and I shared with her some of those that go with blogging. Instead of venting, she suggested that I compile all of my blogging pains into a post with which I am sure many of you will resonate. How many of these problems sound familiar? Let me know in the comments!
1. Writer’s Block
This absolutely has to be at the top of this type of list because I think it affects each and every one of us from time to time. It’s all going well and then BAM! Writer’s block. If it happens to you, fear not, it’s usually only a very temporary problem.
The fix: Make a list of your ideas and keep them somewhere safe, then use them to resolve pain number 15 on this list!
2. Never Finding The Right Free Images For Your Post
WordPress free gallery and royalty-free sources like Unsplash are great, but sometimes the images just don’t quite convey what we want to say. Either we’re left to settle, or worse, buy images from another source. Boo!
The fix: Try different keywords and try a change of perspective. Perhaps you imagined your post with a smiling bouncy ball, but you just couldn’t find that image? Will anything with a smiley do, could you create an image, or could you use something else entirely? If you insist on free images, try to be a little bit flexible.
Do also remember not to be tempted to steal images from a Google search, which can be classed as a breach of copyright.
3. Not Finding Enough Tags
This happens to me a lot, you punch in two or three that seem right, then oh crap… now what? What other tags might be appropriate to your post? Would people even look for that tag? Tags can be a nightmare, but they don’t need to be.
The fix: Research commonly used tags and trends for suggestions, and try to write posts on topics which are trending. Right now, for example, ‘coronavirus’ and ‘lockdown’ are pretty hot, so any post that features them, as long as they are relevant to the post, is likely to be read. In a similar way, anything that talks about the pandemic is likely to be noticed. Also, try other similar words. For example, if you write a piece of dating, be sure to include other tags like ‘love’, ‘relationships’, ‘couples’, and so on.
4. The Cost/Benefit Analysis Of Stock Images
This one pains me because on the one hand, Adobe Stock images are a valuable asset and on the other, at £2.39 a time, the cost of blogging can soon mount up. While there are plenty of great free sources, Adobe Stock is also likely to have something much closer to the image that you were looking for.
The fix: If you’re not making mega-money from blogging, consider using stock images only occasionally, or buying images that you can use on a few posts. Once an image is licensed to your account, it can be used up to 10 times, rendering it more like 24p per post and a little more affordable overall.
5. People Who Treat Your Blog Like A Hobby
There are bloggers who do blog as a hobby, and there are bloggers who, like myself, take our blog much more seriously and put in lots of hard work and dedication, we want to deliver and we want to get good at what we do. For those of us who are serious about our blogs, nothing is more painful than someone who casually dismisses our efforts.
The fix: Just ignore these comments, honestly. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life!
6. Forgetting To Write (Or Not Having The Time)
Ouch! The pain, amirite? You know I’m right lovelies. It’s that time of the week when a post is due and you just haven’t had the time. Work calls, friends want to hang out, your blog has been forgotten again.
The fix: Draft a few posts in advance! If you’re bored on a Tuesday evening, get some writing down. Even if it’s just a few precursory paragraphs, you just never know when you might want to thank yourself for at least having the foundations written!
7. Not Breaking Even
This one is pretty similar to number 4 on the list, but also different. Domains cost money, WordPress packages cost money, Gmail suite costs money. All of that money, and you can be left with something which leaves you dangerously and painfully worse off. Blogging shouldn’t be your sole source of income, but for a lot of people, the costs of blogging per year can be enough to make them decide whether or not they want to continue.
The fix: If you have the premium package, consider setting up a donations money or selling products on your blog. I’m already working on on first book and have plenty of other ideas. While it’s easy to take your total costs and divide it by common goal like 10 sales, try to think about your maximum visits and sales over a much longer period. Selling 5 copies of a eBook every month which is priced at £3 will be much better in the long term than only selling two copies of an eBook priced at £15. Try also to be realistic. Lots of bloggers write books, very few people become big names.
Plagiarism. It’s a word that banes all content creators, regardless of what we do. You put your heart and soul into creating content and someone comes along and ruthlessly claims it as their own. It’s heartbreaking and it has happened to me, and no, I’m still not over it. Plagiarism is bad, people. Please don’t do it.
The fix: If you want to take on an idea, backlink to the author of the original post. Most of us bloggers are super nice people and will be all too happy for you to run on with the idea at the price of a link to our original work. If you’re using text from a book or an image, of course give credit to the source. Above all, please ask for permission before you steal our ideas or work.
If you’re being plagiarised, consider a copy-prevention plugin. I use WP Content Copy Protection & No Right Click as well as DMCA website protection, so the chances of anyone stealing my work now are very, very small.
NB. If you’ve already been plagiarised, make sure you report it. Nobody deserves that heartache.
9. Silly Typing Errors
I’ve lost count of how often I’ve noticed them, but they really do make a difference to your work. From ‘an’ instead of ‘and’, ‘he’ instead of ‘the’ and double spacing, they all make a difference. People like posts that they can read with ease. If they can’t read you with ease, don’t expect them to stay.
The fix: Proof-read, proof-read and proof-read some more! If you think you’ve proof-read it enough, do it again just to make sure! I’ve proof-read 2-3 times and still found something a week later. The sooner you find these careless mistakes, the less noticeable they will be to anyone else.
10. Dead Links
My ‘Home’ link was dead, I didn’t know about that, so it’s been sat there for months on end without my knowing. When my husband pointed it out, I felt ashamed. Dead links are a problem, especially when they don’t link to your own stuff.
The fix: Try Dead Link Checker. If your site is fairly small, you can probably get a scan and report for free, which tells you where all of your dead links are hiding. I scan my site every month with Dead Link Checker and it has been a godsend! It’s so easy to use, too!
11. Rude Commenters
Not so long ago, PoojaG wrote a fantastic post about some of the frustrations of blogging in which she mentioned commenters who feel the need to be inappropriate. From my own perspective, I occasionally receive spammy comments from readers who are more interested in fishing for traffic than they are in adding to the conversation. While commenting on other blogger’s work will be invaluable to your blog, spammy and rude comments are likely to be removed without caution, which won’t earn you the traffic that you were hoping for.
The fix: Delete! As bloggers, we do fortunately have the right to moderate the comments on our blog without question, so if a comment seems rude, spammy or inappropriate, don’t hesitate to toss it in the trash can! If you’re commenting on someone else’s post, try to contribute genuinely to the discussion, rather than making a generic, meaningless comment designed purely to drive traffic to your blog. Most seasoned bloggers will see right though it!
If you receive a lot of spam, try adjusting your Askimet settings to filter out things suck as links. If you have plug-ins enabled, try LionScripts: IP Blocker Lite to block their IP address and keep them away from your blog. It works for me!
12. Seeing Your Stats Dip And Wondering Why
Going from a few hundred reads to a few dozen can be terrifying, but it doesn’t mean to say that your blog is failing. It happened most recently to me when I decided to split my blog up into a more casual blog and a more 18+ site. I took a hit in my traffic, but that’s fine, it was going to happen. Dips in traffic can happen for a variety of reasons, not all of them catastrophic.
The fix: Usually, the cause of the dip is simple, like not enough tags, poor SEO or not using social media to your gain. While most of these are simple fixes, you might need to splash out on an SEO plugin. I run Yoast SEO to identify where I need to work and how I can drive more traffic to my blog, and you thought blogging would be easy?!
13. Deciding Which Social Media Platform To Use (Or Not?)
It’s fine using social media, but not all platforms are created equal. There are so many great platforms to choose from, how do you decide which one (or how many) works for you?
The fix: Weigh up how popular each platform is versus how likely you are to use them. Your final decision should be based on what you personally will use and how often, not what is most popular. If you create a fan base and then abandon them, you will lose all of that valuable traffic, which really won’t be good for your blog!
With that being said, then despite my efforts, I actually found that no social media platform was driving much traffic to my site in the end. Instead, I focus my efforts purely on SEO!
14. Hand Cramps
While not necessarily Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, bloggers are still predisposed to painful hands and wrists that go with excessive computer use. At their worse they can be debilitating and make you question whether or not you can even go on.
The fix: Over-the-counter painkillers, rest, ice and gentle stretches are your best bet. Also, be sure to take regular breaks and invest in a gel or foam wrist rest for the correct typing position. If you use a laptop, invest in a laptop stand and a wireless keyboard. I haven’t had hand cramps since!
15. No Free Time
When you start blogging, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and feel as though you need to produce content every day in order to be successful. If you don’t write something everyday, you fear, nobody will visit your blog. The consequence of all of that writing and blogging is that you get no time to yourself… coupled with number 14 above!
The fix: The solution sort of ties in with number 6 on this list, you need to plan and schedule. Buy an organiser or print off a planner from Print-A-Calendar to plan out for weeks or months in advance. Doing this can help keep your blog consistent, and buy you some more free time
16. Having a great post idea… then falling asleep and forgetting all about it!
How often has it happened? You’re getting ready for bed and you’re suddenly inspired. When you wake up, you roll out of bed to write your amazing post and you’re suddenly left wondering… what was it that you were you going to write about again?
The fix: Keep a notepad and pen by your bed, or make use of the notes app on your phone. It’s remarkably simple, but keeping notes is for that very reason – for making sure you don’t forget something!
I hope you enjoyed this post. How many of these have you experienced? Let me know in the comments!
Until next time,
Stay safe & have fun,