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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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. 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.

      https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2015/10/18/the-day-i-almost-married-lara-croft-2/

      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.

  2. 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 🙂

  3. 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 😀

  4. 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.

      https://hughsviewsandnews.com/2018/01/02/13-free-blogging-tips-for-every-new-blogger/

      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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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. 🙂

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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?

  12. 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.

  13. #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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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. 💕

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