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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  1. This is just as true now as it was when you first wrote it Hugh! I couldn’t agree more and I’ve been at it for quite some time now 🙂 I really didn’t know anything when I first started and have learnt so much along the way. It’s not been easy but it is a fun way to spend my time (and yes it can chew up massive amounts of hours). Thanks for sharing your wisdom and that of other established bloggers. I do worry when people just drop off the radar and are never heard of again, it happens quite a lot these days 🙂 We’re still standing though!

    1. I’ve seen a lot of bloggers come and go, many who disappear without a trace, Debbie. I guess they have their reasons, but it does also beg the question if something not very nice has happened. I’ve seen some bloggers announce on their blog that they are giving blogging up or are going to delete their blog. Of course, that can attract lost of comments, many of which almost begs the person not to finish blogging, and that in itself can lead the person to make a forced decision. It’s something that can go on to cause all sorts of problems. If it were me, I’d turn off comments. I know that wouldn’t stop some emails coming through, but I’d keep in touch with some.

  2. I had to check. My very first blog post was on June 15, 2008. (Different blog) I have found myself to be consistently inconsistent through that time. I am however, tenacious if nothing else. I keep coming back. I DO enjoy it. Each time I return, I have a tiny bit of a “reason for doing it ” change. I have experienced most of these harsh facts, but as the first comment I read said “And yet we continue…” Indeed. Thanks for being here.

    1. You must love the art of blogging to have been participating in it since 2008. For many, getting past those first two years can be hard work. Some do indeed continue, but I’ve seen so many try and never return. It’s a shame, especially for the ones who were really talented at what they did.

    1. They are all something every blogger will come across. Many, however, never realise until it’s too late. The best piece of advice I can give you, though, is to keep blogging all about the fun and enjoyment it suppose to be about. Happy blogging.

  3. So so true! Thanks for sharing and putting the positive spin at the end. I’m still in my first year of blogging and I can see how easy it would be to just stop. But I genuinely enjoy writing it down and getting my thoughts out of my head, so I didn’t really start for anyone else or for followers. I sometimes have to remind myself of this though 👍

    1. Enjoyment is what blogging should be all about. When the fun and enjoyment go out of it, it’s time to take stock and take action. I think all bloggers will encounter some of these pitfalls at some stage (usually during the first 18 months), and many end up quitting. However, there are many positives of blogging, but they can often get shaded out by some of the pitfalls.
      Carry on enjoying your blogging experience and you won’t go far wrong.
      Thanks so much for adding your comments and for the follow.

  4. Thanks for the tips about blogging. I’ve been blogging about six months and have experienced many of the harsh facts you wrote about. I loved reading your post!!!! “One of more than 440 million”… WOW!!!! ❤️

    1. Hi, Patty. Thanks so much for reading and commenting on this post. Those pitfalls are something most bloggers experience, and many end up quitting blogging altogether. The most important thing to remember is to keep blogging fun and enjoyable. Do that, and you won’t go much wrong. 😀

    1. Thank you. You’re comment ended up in my WordPress spam folder (for some reason). I hope comments you’re leaving on other blogs are not ending up in the same place. It’s worth checking, as it’s happened to many bloggers (including me) and only WordPress can fix the problem.

  5. I enjoyed reading this immensely (glad I finally found it, thanks to Rob Goldstein). I’m in year five or six of blogging, and I am amazed at how it’s changed my life. I didn’t blog expecting to make any money (and I don’t, but I don’t like blogs who monetize themselves, or include lots of ads – I don’t visit them). I started a blog because I was writing my first book, and everything I read said “write a blog.” If I’d known how much work it entailed, how many people I would “meet” through it, how it would strengthen and help my writing, and how it’s brought me appreciative and supportive readers, I would have started earlier. I do have to watch myself so I don’t overextend on the blogging (when I’m blogging, I’m not working on my next novel). BUT, I learn so much from my fellow bloggers. And I’ve made such great friends (virtually). Thanks for your harsh facts. But really, most of blogging is just a lovely endeavor.

    1. I agree, it is a lovely endeavour, and it has so much to offer. Like you, I have benefited so much from blogging (started in February 2014) and I would not have published a book had it not been for the people I have met in the blogging world. There is so much support and free advice here that I’ll be forever grateful to everyone who has given me encouragement and support with my writing. However, we should also never forget the other side of blogging and how it can go wrong. I’ve seen many bloggers allow it to stress them out or make them feel guilty, and there are also those who don’t want to do any of the hard work by trying to piggyback on the backs of those bloggers who have succeeded through all the time and effort they have put in. I’ve also had a couple of trolls visit, but the friendship and communities within the blogging world far outweigh the dark sides of what I’ve encountered.

      Thanks to Rob for sending you my way.

  6. All true, and I’d add another: blogging can give you backache (from sitting in one position and blogging for too long. Ouch! 😉 )

    I’m an old-timer at this but I wish I’d had someone like you to help when I first started.

    1. Yes, very true, Val. Everyone should take a break at least once an hour and walk around for at least ten minutes. I find it also helps to refresh the brain.

      I remember reading the first blogging tips post I came across. It was like finding a piece of treasure. I’ve gone on to share what I have learned from other bloggers, although I do realise that what works for me may not work for somebody else. However, I enjoy sharing these tips and am always delighted when readers tell me how helpful my tips and advice have been.

      1. Yes, it’s great helping other people. I used to do that in an older (different) blog, many years ago, but sort of let it go… I have been wondering about adding a few ‘tips’ to some of the posts in my current blog, the stuff to do with images… haven’t done it yet,though. 🙂 Oh, and I wish I could remember to take a break, but my selective OCD sort of keeps me glued…

        1. Blogging is very addictive. I’ve always said that providing it stays fun and enjoyable, then to keep doing it. I’ve also started to take days away from it. These tend to be what I’ve discovered to be my quiet days in the world of blogging. I’ve noticed a pattern emerge of when it’s busy and when it’s not. For example, Fridays seem to be my quietest day for ‘likes’ and comments on my posts.

        2. That’s a good idea, planning according to activity on the blog. I’ve always done it the other way round – do a new post when it gets quiet! Maybe I should adopt your way…

  7. I agree with so many of these points, Hugh. I certainly agree that it can take over if you let it and make you feel guilty, but it should be a pleasure, not an obligation! 🙂

    1. Yes, I agree, Judy. Fun and enjoyment are what blogging should be about. If it becomes anything that causes us problems, then it’s time to change the way we blog or to quit it altogether. There are plenty of ways we can still keep in touch with friends we’ve made through blogging.

  8. -grin- ‘LIked’ and read it too. I’ve been blogging for a long time now [by internet standards], but I would have stopped long ago if not for the people. I’ve made genuine friends, and we’re all part of a community. Long term goal, yes, but definitely worth waiting for. 🙂

    1. I agree. The spirit of each and every community in the blogging world really does make it a great place and an enjoyable experience. And the opportunities it brings for meeting new people is one of the best things about it.

      1. Yes, that opportunity to meet new people is a huge part of its charm. In the real world I’m mostly an introvert, but through my blogging I’ve learned to reach out to people. In the process I’ve made some incredibly good friends. To me, /this/ is the social in social media. 🙂

        1. I’m a committee member of a group that has been organising an annual bloggers get together (The Bloggers Bash) since 2015 in London. I’ve met lots of bloggers through the event and have become very good friends with many of them. If it were not for blogging, I’d never have met those people.

        2. That’s wonderful! I’ve only met two online friends in real life – one from blogging and one from gaming – and both turned out to be really, really nice people. Oddly enough, despite the awkwardness of those first few moments, we were soon chatting in RL just the way we would online. The transition was almost seanless. Love it.

    1. True, but I wonder if that is because we haven’t met them face to face? Even with lots of followers and a community, I think blogging can still be a bit of a lonely experience for some. However, on the other hand, many people continue to get great enjoyment out of it (including me). 😀

  9. Yes it can be a harsh business. I’m struggling with blogging due to time restraints of working fulltime. I hope to cut down my hours soon so I have more time for blogging and writing. Very informative post Hugh thanks for sharing. 🙂

    1. For me, it depends on two things, Robbie. First, the title of the reblogged post. If it grabs me, then I’ll start reading it. Secondly, if the blogger reblogging the post has not given a reason(s) as to why they are reblogging the post, then I’m not likely to read it. Whenever I share a blog post on my blog, I always give my reasons why I am sharing it. I think it’s more likely to then get read if I’ve given valid recommendations and a good introduction rather than saying nothing about it.

  10. This is the perfect guide for new and not so new bloggers, as with your other helpful tips I’ve been following. I have no intention / hope of making money out of blogging, so that’s one stress removed! Enjoy is the most important aim. If one person reads my blog and makes an intelligent or amusing comment that shows they have read it properly – well it’s all been worthwhile!

    1. I agree. A blog may have had thousands/millions of hits, but how many of those visitors actually stayed and read a post? From what I can tell, we only get a rough idea if somebody leaves an intelligent comment.

  11. That’s interesting, about how many people start blogs and then give up. I wonder if it’s because they discover they didn’t have anything much to write about after all? I have a friend who wanted to start a vegan blog but gave up because she thought it didn’t offer anything new. I thought it was still worth doing, because everyone’s experience is unique.

    Ages ago, I saw this heartfelt tweet from a chap who blogged about where he lived, ie, Panama, and was really hacked off because he had no views. He said, ‘I don’t understand, it’s a fascinating country, why doesn’t anyone want to read about it?’ I suspect with him it was a simple matter of not putting on hashtags like #Panama and #Travel on his tweets. It’s so important to direct your blog to the people who will want to read it!

    My most read posts are walkthroughs for the one video game I play. After that, it’s the ones about writing. As for people who comment without reading, you’re so right. I see so many comments that just say, ‘great post!’, and I’m damn sure the people haven’t read it.

    1. I’m not sure why, but your comment ended up in my WordPress spam folder, Terry, Grr!

      I agree with everything you said in your comments. We are all unique, and just because one person has written an article about being a vegan, it doesn’t mean that nobody is going to read what you have to say. I hope your friend will reconsider her decision.

      As for the chap who lives in Panama, I wonder if he was engaging with other blogging communities? Whenever I get asked, “how do I get as may comments on my blog as you do,” or “how do I get more readers to my blog?” I always reply to the questions with “do you read and comment on other blogs?” The answer is usually “no, I don’t have time to do that.” There, I think, lays part of the problem. Getting ourselves out there and leaving comments on other blogs gets you noticed. You’ll soon see a steady stream of visitors but, of course, it takes time and a lot of hard work to build up a following.

      I wasn’t aware that you played video games. The only one I ever completed was Tomb Raider, but it did cause me a few problems.


      As for those ‘great post’ comments, they are usually a sure sign that they’ve not read your post, especially when the same person leaving the comment leaves the same comment on lots of other blog posts.

  12. I’m still a little fish in a huge pond. Luckily no sharks have come along yet and I’m still enjoying my little pond. Wish I had more time to swim and play though. Time is definitely my problem!

    1. I think, for many, it’s a problem, Marje. I certainly wish there were more hours in the day to do everything I want to do, but then even those extra hours would probably still not be enough. As my Grandmother used to say to me “Life is precious, enjoy every moment.’ 😀

      1. That is so true Hugh. I remember my dad saying just the same thing to me many years ago. As you get older you do appreciate all those moments and special days so much. I am really enjoying my middle years! Grasping every opportunity I can. Lol xx 🙂

  13. Wonderful post, Hugh. Loved reading it all the way though. ‘You’ve more chance of winning the lottery jackpot, than one of your blog posts going viral.’ Haha, I think this is so true. I’ve actually won a small amount from playing the lottery a couple of times over the years, and have had only one blog post go Viral – but that was a results of being featured on Freshly Pressed back then (now called Discover). Even if a blog post goes viral, doesn’t mean it will keep getting traffic over the years, and it can feel more like fifteen seconds of fame.

    So agree that the average life span of a blog is about a year. I’ve also seen a lot of blogs come on for a few months which I find interesting, only to realise the blogger decides to decide that other things life are more important than maintaining a blog. In reality, there is a life outside of keeping up a blog…a life which you may actually learn much, much more.

    Definitely agree wit the point on being an expert on marking and IT apart from writing and publishing online. Blogging is also about engagement and interactions on various platforms and forums. I also think that many of us need to become experts in fields in the real world – so we can get a job, pay the bills and actually continue blogging 😀

    1. Congratulations on being featured on ‘Freshly Pressed’, Mabel. You’re right in what you say. Even if we’re lucky enough to have a post go viral, how do we then keep readers coming back to our blogs? That fifteen seconds of fame is amazing but, like a rollercoaster ride, you’re gonna come down a dip at some stage. The most important part of blogging is to keep it fun and to keep the enjoyment. If they leave, then it’s time to rethink what we’re doing.

      I’ve taken an extended break from blogging to get on with publishing my first book. It was the only way I knew I would actually get around to publishing it. But, even though the break did me a world of good, the pull to go back to blogging remained strong (maybe because of the enjoyment and fun I got from it?). 😀

      Thanks so much for your comments on this post.

      1. It was long time ago when I was featured on ‘Freshly Pressed’ – almost five years ago and that was when my blog started. It is a good question, how to keep readers coming back. It is all the more challenging when many blogs don’t last more than a year. I think if we are honest with our words and give back to the community by visiting blogs, its helps.

        I think you were always meant to be a blogger, Hugh. You can’t escape the clutches of the blog world 😀

  14. Goodness me! Enlightening stuff … although I’ve only been doing this for three weeks now, I feel as though I’ve learnt a lot already. It’s definitely addictive, but I’m enjoying getting my brain to work. But I don’t like the way I keep looking at the stats. It’s just tempting really. So instead, I’m trying to focus on just posting some helpful, daft but real events, thoughts and everything else and keep my fingers crossed that someone out there finds them beneficial. Fab post and thank you!

    1. Just about every blogger I know has said that, for the first 12 months, the stats were addictive. Most then go on to stop worrying about the numbers and concentrate on the content of their blog. Some of the stats (such as which posts are receiving the most views and comments) are excellent, but I wouldn’t worry too much about any of the others. It would be awful if you became one of those bloggers who ‘lives by numbers’ rather than the words.

      You may also find this post, that I published in early January, helpful.


      Good luck, and Happy Blogging.

      1. That’s great advice, thank you. Interesting about social media and the amount of traffic that it brought in. I’ve been wondering whether to go down that route but have been hesitant. Many thanks for taking the time to respond – it’s appreciated.

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