27 Harsh Facts Every New Blogger Should Know About Blogging

Are you seriously thinking about starting a blog?

Here are 27 pitfalls to avoid on your blogging journey. I have encountered all of them since I published my first post in February 2014.

#bloggingtips #blogging #bloggers
  1. Blogging can become addictive and take over your life.
  2. You’ll probably lose touch with some friends because you won’t have the time to keep in touch with them anymore.
  3. Readers don’t find your blog; you have to find them.
  4. Just because somebody ‘liked’ your blog post, does not mean they read it.
  5. Just because somebody left a comment on your blog post, does not mean they read it.
  6. Blogging can seriously stress you out and make you feel guilty (if you allow it).
  7. You’ve more chance of winning the lottery jackpot, than one of your blog posts going viral.
  8. Over 81% of bloggers who want to make some money out of blogging, will never earn more than £100.
  9. Not everyone will agree with what you have to say.
  10. Not everyone will enjoy reading what you’ve published.
  11. Eight out of ten new bloggers will give up blogging within the first year.
  12. Nine out of ten new bloggers will give up blogging within the first two years.
  13. Only 20% of your followers will probably ever read and comment on some of your blog posts.
  14. Blogging can get daunting and tedious when traffic to your blog fails to materialise.
  15. Your blog stats will often plummet, for no apparent reason, making you feel disillusioned about blogging.
  16. You’ll be proved wrong that the post subject you thought nobody had written about before, has been written about many times.
  17. You’ll suffer from blog envy.
  18. You’ll ask yourself many times “is anybody reading my posts?”
  19. You’re a small ‘blogging’ fish in a vast ‘blogging’ ocean.
  20. You will publish at least one post that you wish you had never written and published.
  21. You’ll probably be visited by, and may become the victim of, an internet troll.
  22. Blogging success can takes years to achieve.
  23. Blogging can be a lonely existence, especially during the first few months when nobody likes or comments on any of your blog posts.
  24. Blogging isn’t only about writing. You also have to become an expert in some other fields such as marketing, social media, information technology and law.
  25. If you start a blog, it will be one of over 440 million (and rising) other blogs available to readers.
  26. People, you get to know through blogging, will suddenly disappear without any reason.
  27. If you don’t consider yourself thickskinned, then you’re probably going to get upset by some comments left on your blog.

Are you still thinking about starting a blog, or to continue with blogging?

There are lots of positive sides to blogging, such as the communities it contains and the enjoyment it can bring, but never disregard, forget, or not talk about the negative sides. Talking about them can help you get out of any pits you fall into, so never be afraid to ask for help.

Now I’ve told you about some of the pitfalls, here’s how to avoid them.

You can avoid many of the pitfalls of blogging (some of which are in my list) by taking some of the advice of established bloggers, many of whom publish free blogging tips, rather than going at it alone and thinking it’s going to be all plain sailing.

Once such place where you’ll find lots of blogging tips and advice is on the blog of Chris, The Story Reading Ape’s Blog. Check out the ‘WordPress and Blogging’ section of his ‘How To 101’ index by clicking here

Whatever you do, always remember to keep blogging fun.

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Are there any hash facts about the world blogging that you’d like to share and add to my list?

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325 comments

  1. Very timely, Hugh. After my brother died last month, I needed a diversion, so I spent maybe 150 hours moving our (wife and my) old blog site from Weebly to WordPress and figured that finally we would get some traffic on the posts we had labored over. Crickets chirping. Nevertheless, we remain undaunted. We enjoy the creative process.

    1. I often told my readers that blogging should be all about the fun, Douglas. I think all Bloggers go through that process of feeling very isolated. However, those that put in the hard work and follow the advice of bloggers who have gone on to attract large amounts of followers will also reap the benefits. If there’s one thing I have learned about the blogging world it’s that it is not one-sided. I’m sure the readers and followers will come if you follow good advice. Happy Blogging.

  2. I have been blogging for nearly 5 years and I still don’t feel as though I’ve gotten it down pat. And those details of life that interfere – doing taxes, visitors that come to stay, illnesses such as the flu or an asthma attack, and grandchildren (I’m not complaining about this one. I’d give up blogging for my grandchildren).

  3. A great post, Hugh. You have hit the nail on the head with these points about blogging. You have not mentioned though, how much fun it is and how interesting people’s posts are. I guess that falls under blogging can take over your life.

  4. I agree with all points, Hugh, and am pleased that I am one of the minority who has been blogging over two years, still enjoying it and have never had a post go viral. I think that blogging can take a lot of time. To establish, or become a part of, a community requires one to read and comment on other’s blog posts. While you may like and comment without reading, you’ll soon be caught out by an inappropriate comment (unlike this one that shows I’ve read – right to the end! :)) Thanks for your constant support of novice, as well as established, bloggers.

    1. Agreed, Norah. Blogging can take up a lot of our time. Sometimes, too much. However, it’s the passion for blogging that seems to keep me going. I really enjoy the community and interacting with everyone. I’d be lost without my daily dose of blogging. What on earth would I do with myself? 🤔

      1. Hmm. That’s a good question. Blogging does become a little bit addictive, doesn’t it. I just can’t imagine what we even did without it, Hugh. Perhaps that’s a good thing. 🙂

  5. I must be in the 20% group because I keep coming back for more and leave my 2 cents. LOL! Love your blog, Hugh! Here is a new byline: Visit daily with Hugh and learn something helpful and new! Thanks for sharing all your blogging knowledge! 🤗 😘

    1. You are indeed, Janice. And I really appreciate all the support you give me. 😀 I really enjoy sharing all the knowledge I find out about the world of blogging. I’ll always offer my tips and advice free of charge because it’s my way of saying ‘thank you’ to everyone who supports me.
      I love that byline. It’s great. Thank you so much for writing it.
      Have a lovely weekend. 🌈

      1. My pleasure, Hugh! Thank you for all your insight into blogging. You have opened my eyes and I think my knowledge has increased. Now I finally feel that I think I know what I am doing. LOL! 🤗 😘

    1. I don’t take much notice of who has liked my posts anymore. For me, it’s who leave comments that count and are more important. I have at least two bloggers who regularly like at least 10 of my posts all within a few seconds of each other. Now, they may well have read all of them before pressing the like buttons, but I think I’m probably kidding myself with that thought.

      1. The people who only write, “Great review!” must be copying and pasting. I’ve really narrowed down whose blogs I follow so that I can have those great conversations. Your blog looks quite popular; do you keep up with anyone else’s blogs? Based on this post alone I imagine your content is good enough to draw readers without them expecting you to follow their blog in return. That’s great!

        1. I only follow the blogs that I know I’m going to be interested in reading. I have no problems with unfollowing blogs if they change direction or the content becomes poor. I’m always amazed by how some bloggers tell me that they are ‘too afraid’ to unfollow a blog just in case the owner of that blog finds out. I read and comment on other blogs when I can. I don’t allow it to make me feel guilty if I haven’t had time to read and comment on any other blogs, but I do try and visit a few each day and will only leave a comment if I really do have something worth saying.

        2. That’s an excellent approach. And after blogging for 4 years, I’m surprised by how much a blog can change. There were bloggers I tried to follow and then quit because the content was weak only to try them again a couple of years later and find everything much improved.

        3. Practice makes perfect. I will usually stick with a blog for at least six months. If there’s no sign of an improvement by then, then I will unfollow. However, the majority seem to cease blogging after that first year.

  6. I”d say you are becoming the king of great blogging tips Hugh. And your following only seems to grow, by the amount of comments I see increase every time I visit. here. 🙂 ❤

    1. Thanks, Debby, that’s a lovely title for me. I’ll happily take it. 😀

      I think the subject of blogging always gets people talking and commenting. I love the comments because they are such a big part of the whole blogging experience and (in most cases) prove that people are reading your posts.
      xx

  7. These are all such good points! And I have another one to add: you can easily lost followers by simply not reading over your posts before you publish them. If you’re not willing to take the time to read over your own work, why should others?

  8. I’ve been blogging since 2009 – your 27 harsh facts are certainly an accurate summary of things to watch out for!
    I have a rather low expectation that I will ever be widely read or popular – that has made it relatively easy to say blogging is enjoyable and personally rewarding!

    1. Thank you, and congratulations for blogging for so many years. You must really enjoy it.

      I think many bloggers have the same thoughts as you do, but for many it makes them quit. When the stats and lack of interaction do not materialise, many often abandon their blogs.

      I wish you many more happy years of blogging.

  9. #26 😦
    That is one that I still have a tough time with. I guess I should know better by now but I do have a tendency to let it bother me when someone just up and leaves without saying goodbye. Part of it is worrying that their okay and wanting to reach out to check in on them, while at the same time not prying into their decision that is essentially no one else’s business.

    1. It’s a tough balancing act when it happens, Norm. I’ve actually tried contacting a couple of people who seem to have disappeared from the blogging world without any announcement. However, when I also discovered that their social media accounts had been deleted, I only feared the worse.

  10. Really rings true, you have taken some really key points about blogging. My positive is that there can be a community of like minded people and knowledge to gain from others. Mine is a nature blog and I find it interesting to see photos of nature and writing from all around the world. Think it important to have that focus. Use the blog to become a better writer and really read others blogs that really interest you. That’s my motto but it has been an addictive morning!

    1. Yes, sometimes I can start to read blog posts and, before I know it, the whole day has gone. However, I enjoy reading and commenting on other blogs and I think both are major factors in getting people to pay a visit to our own blogs. The blogging community is certainly one the positives of blogging and I can’t imagine continuing to blog without being a part of that blogging community.

  11. Wow! Look at all the discussions you’ve generated with this post, Hugh. You’ve been busy!
    It’s a comprehensive list of harsh reality, and all true. Still… usually it feels like the blog world is kinder than the real world. Have a wonderful Wednesday. Hugs.

    1. These comments sure do keep me busy, but that’s how I like it, Teagan. I’m sure it’s the same for you? 😀 I’m not sure I’d continue to blog without getting comments. It could be a bit of a #23 existence.
      Hugs to you.

        1. I’ve only ever used WordPress. From what I hear, they are one of the best blogging platforms in the industry.
          I believe that many bloggers who want to make a living out of blogging go down the self-hosting route. I’ve had no experience of what it’s like to blog on a self-hosted site and have heard good and bad points about it.

  12. Hi Hugh
    I’ve made it through my first year, and believe me there were many times I thought about quitting. But I’m still here.
    Let’s see if I make it through year two. BYW I started my blog in January last year, so I have a long way to go.
    I’ve found a lot of support from other bloggers and have yet to meet any trolls.
    Thank you for your list.
    Laura

    1. Hi Laura. Congratulations on making it pass that blogging milestone. I think most bloggers find that first year full of bumps and often end up thinking if blogging is for them and whether to quit. The ones with a real passion for blogging are the ones that will plough on and will pick up advice and tips along the way. I’ve often thought about quitting my blog, but the passion I have for blogging is one of the things that always keeps me going.
      I hope you don’t come across any trolls but, if you do, my advice is to completely ignore them.

    1. Thanks so much, Colleen. Friendships that are built up through blogging are certainly one of the highlights and positives of blogging. And going on to actually meeting some of those new friends is the icing on the cake. I hope we get to meet up one day. 💕

  13. I’ve had my blog for 6 years, but it was a ‘blogless’ blog for the first 4, because I had no idea how to create a blog roll. A kind blogger friend noticed this and fished me out of the clueless depths. I have no idea what kept or keeps me going, but I’ve experienced every one of the items on your list. For me, the most challenging one is not allowing blogging to take over my life. Still working on this one 🙂 ❤

    1. It can be tough balancing our lives around blogging, Tina. I think most bloggers go through that stage but, for many, it’s the passion for blogging that keeps them going. I’ve learned to switch off the computer at the end of the afternoon and spend my evenings relaxing. I’ve tried having whole days without switching on the computer or my phone, but that has proved tough.

      Congratulations on 6 years of blogging. That’s a great milestone. I only know of a handful of bloggers who’ve been blogging for more than 5 years.

  14. Great advice, its like a bloggers bible. So many great comments too, seams you somehow managed to reply to them all too. so i’ll just say many thanks! Keep the blogging faith! Following. X

    1. Oh, I always make it a point to respond and/or acknowledge every comment left on my blog. It’s part of good manners to do so and we should never ignore anybody who has taken the time to read our work and leave a comment (unless it’s a comment from a troll, of course).

  15. #30 You’ll get certain people following you and you’ll ask yourself, “Why?” Sometimes I think it’s because they just follow every blog they can find in the hope of dredging up lots of followers. Either that, or they are looking for somethin to nick for themselves because they never like or comment on any post…ever. I’ve been blogging for nine years now, so I’ve seen some weird “followers.” 😨
    LOL you have to love some of the spam comments that say something like: “extremely interesting information in this post. I’ll be following your advice.” LOL your post was a humorous story. 😕
    Great post, Hugh.

    1. I think the ‘follow you, follow me back’ trap happens to most of us, Lyn. Before we know it, we’re following hundreds of blogs that we have no interest in and whose author’s never come and visit. ‘Number collectors’ as I call them, soon disappear when any steady stream of traffic soon dries up. I regularly check the blogs I follow and unfollow those that have not been updated for over 6 months. And, yes, I have seen a few of my posts rewritten and appear on blogs as if written by the author as a brand new post. I have some strict rules in place for myself in following new blogs. It helps me in not saturating my reading list or my email box.

      Congratulations on nine years of blogging. I’m guessing you have seen the world of blogging change so much in that time?

      1. Yep, blogging certainly has changed in that time. So has WordPress — sometimes for better sometimes not so much, but you learn to roll with the punches. The one thing WordPress needs to do — and do it NOW — is give you the option of declining a “follower” just the way Facebook does.

        1. That’s a good point, Lyn. However, I wonder how many bloggers would turn down a follower? I do sometimes wonder why a particular blogger has followed me, but I usually put it down to the free tips and advice I offer.

  16. It’s all so true Hugh!! I can relate to all of these and yet we continue on. One thing I didn’t realise when I started that I’d continually be learning new things and never understanding half of what I’m supposed to be doing a blogger! I liked, commented and actually read all of your post, as I always try to do with your blog but for some reason I no longer get notifications and end up seeing your posts elsewhere! I always manage to track you down though 🙂

    1. I’m still learning about blogging, Deb. It never ceases to amaze me with how much there is to learn. However, I enjoy the learning as much as I do sharing what I have found out.

      Strange about the notification problem. It could be that the email notification button on the ‘manage following’ sites on the dashboard of your blog has been turned off for my blog. It’s happened to me with some blogs I follow. I’ve put it down to ‘gremlins’ given that WordPress has never been able to tell me why it has happened. If it’s not that, then it may be something to take up with WordPress. Whatever, I’m glad you’re able to track my posts down. That tells me that they are being shared. 😀

  17. Well, I have been here at least 10 minutes and counting… lol…Today is my day for reading my favourite blogs and the comments I love your comments Hugh and your posts…Sometimes I like and don’t read at the time just to show support to my favourites…Spam catches most of the trolls and what pleasure do they get I ask myself( infrequently) because I don’t really care…It also seems to catch some of my regulars…Thanx WP…and thank you, Hugh you have helped me out of many a tight spot with your easy to follow how to posts 🙂

    1. Good to see you, Carol. Sometimes, the comments can be more interesting than a post itself. 😀

      I’m not sure about the method of liking a post just to show you are supporting a blogger, especially when the post has not been read. You’re not the only one who has mentioned that and, I don’t know about you, but I’d never get upset if I suddenly discovered that somebody had stopped liking my posts. If that ever did happen (and it probably does) and somebody got upset with me, I’d be more likely to unfollow the blog concerned. For me, leaving an occasional comment is far more supportive than pressing the ‘like’ button. I admit that we don’t all have the time to read all the blogs posts of the blogs we follow, but that should not matter either. So long as we occasionally visit them, that is all that should matter.

      I’ve begun to see many bloggers now remove the ‘like’ button from their blogs for various reasons. I can’t remember the last time I actually checked who liked one of my posts because I don’t consider it important. More important to me is what I write about, looking after my blogging community, and to continue to be an active member of the blogging communities I choose to belong to. However, that’s me and I know that we’re all different and view things differently. That’s why I always say that what works for me, doesn’t mean to say it’s going to work for you. 😀

      Spam certainly does catch most of the troll comments, but I have had one or two comments from readers who had previously left lovely comments, only for them to suddenly attack me (or other bloggers) personally. It’s one of the reasons I now choose to moderate all comments before they appear on my blog. I feel far more comfortable with it.

      Thanks so much for your comments, Carol. I enjoy writing all my ‘how to’ posts. It’s my way of thanking all those who support me and my blog.

      1. Yes, Hugh, you have a valid point about the liking and I don’t count my likes but love my comments so maybe I should rethink my strategy and keep writing those how-to posts 🙂 They have helped me immensely at times 🙂

  18. The fact about people commenting and not reading your posts gets me every time haha! I don’t get those type of comments so much on my blog but I know some bigger bloggers that get the typical “great post, check out my blog at link” and that’s when you know they have not read one word. I guess another fact would be to weed out those that are just using your blog to get exposure, such as said comment, and not that take it too personally. Another great post Hugh, really glad I found you through Suzi!

    1. I get lots of ‘great post’ comments that contain a link and often a plea to go visit a blog. If I do reply, then I delete the link and ask what it was that made my post ‘great’. I’ve never had a reply back to that question. In October, last year, I published a post about comments which you can read by clicking the link below. It got a huge response and many readers talking about the value of comments and annoyance of ‘link-droppers’ and how to deal with them.

      https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2017/10/16/is-it-time-to-turn-off-comments-on-your-blog/?wref=tp

      In fact, only yesterday, I got a comment on my ‘about me’ page that read ‘Please come and visit my blog. I’d love you all to visit and tell me what you think,” with a link to the blog concerned. I sent the comment to spam as it didn’t even mention anything about the contents of my ‘about me’ page or about my blog.

      Thank you for your comments on this post, Corinne. And thank you to Suzie for sending you over to my blog.

  19. I enjoyed your list…and yes, I read it. 🙂 I will need to keep this list handy (Fortunately I am really only doing this to learn WordPress). But just in case the trolls come out…I will know I was warned.

    1. And isn’t it a wonderful feeling when you discover that other people actually do enjoy reading what you write? I’m sure I was one of the happiest people on this planet when those first comments came in (and they were not from a member of my family or a close friend). 😀

  20. This really is a ‘great post’, Hugh! John Howell beat me to it with his comment about how your platform provider can bamboozle you by doing strange things for no apparent reason. I suddenly found none of my comments were being published on other blog, blogs I’d followed and commented on without a problem for years. Turns out WP had decided I was a spammer. It was soon sorted. And it was another blogger, Beetley Pete, who suggested what the problem might be – and that’s what wonderful about blogging – the support and friendships.
    Thanks for adding MarySmith’sPlace me to your list of recently discovered blogs. See, I didn’t just pop in and hit Like – I read everything you posted! 🙂

    1. I, too, have been captured by what I call ‘The Spam Monster’, Mary. In fact, it’s happened to me three times and, each time, WordPress was not able to tell me why it was happening. However, at least they got me ‘out of jail’ (so to speak) and it’s not happened for quite some time (I’m touching wood, while I type that). I actually wrote about the whole experience and was amazed by how many other bloggers were (or had) having the exact same problem. The whole thing seemed to trundle along for months. In the end, I think it was Sally Cronin who said she heard it was something to do with WordPress updating the security on their platform. It caused a lot of frustration and I did say to them that it would have maybe been nice to have informed everybody instead of pretending it was happening to you when you reported it. Let’s hope the spam monster has now departed these shores. 😀

  21. Another harsh truth that you will be late to the commenting party sometimes, particularly if it is an engaging post and will feel like you have nothing at all to say because all the best comments have already been made, but will still want to leave a comment if only to let the blogger know you were there and that you care.

    1. That happens to me all the time because sometimes it can take me weeks to get around to reading a post. I will usually still leave a comment, though, something along the lines of “I agree with what Allie said…” and maybe add why I agree with that comment and try and give an example (if I have one). Although, yes, I agree, it can be tough adding something new.

  22. lol 27 times , so right. I think a blogger has to be thick skinned. I was in stitches, just because some like your blog doesnt mean they read it, and then the next , just because someone commented doesnt mean they read your blog. It is quite upsetting know this, when I realised this was going fairly early on in my blogging life I was quite upset. Somethings I do wonder why I blog, but I am almost at two years. Another Fab post Hugh, painfully truthful, but enjoyable too.

    1. Thank you. Yes, you definitely have to be thickskinned in the world of blogging. It took me quite some time to realise that I first came to blogging to have fun and to enjoy my experience here. When the stress and guilt set in, I almost quit. The same goes for the few comments I got which were nothing to do with the post but which went on to attack me (or other bloggers) for who we were. Thankfully, the positives far outweigh the negatives, but we should never not talk about them.
      I’m glad you enjoyed this post. I enjoyed writing it.

  23. Also, I would probably add one around the idea of Trust. Some bloggers have a persona and behind that persona can be something different altogether. As Mulder & Scully once said…trust no one. Well, trust some but don’t trust everyone.

  24. Best advice I ever got from a fellow blogger. Write for yourself not anyone else. It took me awhile to NOT look at my stats every time I posted something new. Now I just write what I feel like and its much more enjoyable. Luckily I am not trying to make a living writing! LOL

    1. You’re right in what you say. Too many bloggers regard their blog stats as far more important than what they actually write about. It usually puts them on the slippery slope of quitting blogging altogether. The only stats I take seriously are the ones that tell me which of my posts are getting the most hits and comments. That tells me which subjects my readers are enjoying the most and that I should write more about that subject – but only if I enjoy writing about it.

  25. It is frustrating when you work hard to create a personal community and then they start to disappear and you have to start again but I have been doing this since 2008 and just can’t stop!

    1. Sounds as if #1 certainly applies to you, Andrew.

      It’s sad about the friends we make through blogging who suddenly disappear. I’ve even tried contacting a few only to find that even their social media accounts had disappeared. It only led me to believe that the worse had happened.

      1. Sadly Hugh, last year that did happen to two people in my blogging circle. The trouble is there is no easy way of knowing. I still feel sad when an old comment of theirs pops up or someone clicks a link to their blog.

        Perhaps everyone should have a concluding post (for whatever reason) prepared in advance.

        1. I’ve heard of that idea, Andrew. Although, like writing a will, it’s something many of us will probably shy away from. I’m not sure how it works, but I think some social media companies will ask for a copy of a death certificate before they delete an account. I wonder if WordPress is the same?

        2. I don’t think I would like my account and all my work to be deleted maybe write a post and ask someone to upload it on my behalf.
          If it came to just stopping blogging I am fairly certain that I would give an explanation.

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