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.


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

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Author: Hugh W. Roberts

My name is Hugh. I live in the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom. My blog covers a wide range of subjects, the most popular of which are my blogging tips posts. If you have any questions about blogging or anything else, please contact me by clicking on the 'Contact Hugh' button on the menu bar. Click on the 'Meet Hugh' button on the menu bar to learn more about me and my blog.

325 thoughts

  1. 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.

  2. 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).

  3. #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.

  4. 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. 😀

  5. 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 🙂

  6. 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.


      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.

  7. 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). 😀

  8. 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. 😀

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. All 27 points: Bingo! Number 5 made me smile. Sometimes it is so obvious that they only said something in order to show up. Most of all when they only show up for leaving a link to their posts… lol! I had not thought that so many give up blogging within the first two years.

    1. I was surprised in my research at the number of people who actually even start a blog, Erika. There are millions of abandoned blogs cluttering up cyberspace, many of which have less than 5 posts on them. I suppose it’s a little like all those unfinished books that sit on the hard drives of people’s computers (me included). 😀

      1. That may be right! I think if I had not been introduced to blogging (and had started at all) I might have ended up with only few posts too. I think it is about figuring what blogging is about!

  15. I think including blogger I have been posting for nearly 10 years, and only started learning about gaining readers / friends this last 18 months. I have come to enjoy interactions away from social media. I found myself nodding and smiling at your 27 points. Nice post Sir

    1. Thank you, Neil. I only know of one other blogger who has blogged for more than 10 years. You must certainly enjoy the art of blogging to have been blogging for such a long time. I’ve only been blogging for just under four years, but I’m still learning about it.

      1. I used to build my own fan websites back in the Dial up days. Blogs evolved from content management systems. I guess l have been making content for pleasure for over 20 years

  16. Reblogged this on and commented:
    These 27 harsh facts stand true for new bloggers, old bloggers, all bloggers. Hugh shares the reality of blogging in the following post.

  17. “4. Just because somebody ‘liked’ your blog post, does not mean they read it.” Every single harsh fact resounds with me but this one pops into my head with every like- I know that someone is reading but I also know that some are not. Definitely need thick skin for this! 🙂

    1. Agreed, Kat. As I’ve discovered from some of the comments left on this post, some readers will simply press the like button to show they’ve visited. Some even say they will come back later and read the post after liking it, but I wonder how many actually do?
      Thanks so much for reblogging my post.

      1. I guess everyone has their own system when it comes to reading and commenting. For myself, I don’t hit the like button unless I’ve read the post and like it. If I want to make a comment and don’t have time right then, I leave the post open and don’t hit like until I can comment because I know that the odds are great that I’ll forget to go back and comment.

        I really appreciate your tips on blogging, Hugh. I feel like I’ve lost focus and I want to get back to basics. These posts really help! 🙂

        1. I’ve stopped using the ‘like’ button as often as I used to and now only use it if the post I have read has been a thoroughly good read that has gone that extra mile. I found myself ‘over liking’ too many posts and asked myself how often it was that I actually checked who had liked my posts. When I realised it’s something I no longer looked it, it made me really think twice as to the purpose of the ‘like’ button. I agree with what you say, though, in that everyone will have their own system on why and how they use it.

          Glad you’re finding these types of posts useful, Kat. I enjoy writing and sharing them.

  18. The best part of blogging are the friends you meet along the way 🙂
    Even though I’m a writer, I often don’t have much to say so I’ve opened my blog up to guests which helps gain a lot of connections within the industry!

    1. I agree, Jacquie. I’ve made some great friends along the way on my blogging journey. I’ve even had the pleasure of meeting some them in person.
      Guest posting can be rewarding for both the host and the author of a guest post. It’s always worked very well for me.

  19. All of these are spot on Hugh! I have one more to add. If you do not understand what you are doing, you can potentially mess up your blog so badly that you have to start again. If you are self-hosted be careful what you muck around with!

    1. That’s a great point for those that choose to go down the self-hosted route, Judy. I’ve heard as well that all that matter to some self-hosted companies is getting money out of its clients. You’ll phone them with a problem and they’ll offer you a solution that ends up costing you more money. At least with WordPress, there’s no extra cost unless you upgrade your plan or have to buy more storage for your media. Thanks so much for your input.

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