The world of blogging is a competitive field, full of hoops to jump through and obstacles to get over, none of which are so apparent when you first begin. Let’s face it, the picture is idyllic. Waking up at 10AM, making a delicious cup of milk coffee or a cappuccino, preparing some breakfast, having time to enjoy yourself, getting ready, turning on the laptop, reading some emails while eating breakfast and somewhere around noon deciding that it’s about time to get some work done. It sounds like anyone’s dream.
Pouring your heart down on paper- or in this case, your keyboard, posting, answering comments– it seems there is could be nothing more pleasurable. The truth is that as with any occupation, there are some aspects of the job that no one shares with you, the doe-eyed newbie that still has dreams, hopes, a vision and is set on changing the world. Commendable as it may be, keep in mind that not everything that shines is silver. So before you decide to create your very first blog, make sure that you are prepared for what will follow.
1. Internet Addiction
The truth is that there are some downsides to writing content or blogging, the top of my list being the fact that most of us bloggers become addicted to the internet in about a week. So much so that we can’t enjoy normal life without a smartphone, tablet or laptop in handy to check whatever needs checking. “But that’s all natural”, you would say, “no one would dare take a business man’s cellphone or organizer away”. There is truth to your argument, granted, but in all fairness, there are no business men or women that can’t solve their job during the day and enjoy their evenings without giving work a second thought. Sadly, this is not the case with bloggers. New comments, posts made by competing writers or sites need to be checked immediately and this can greatly influence the quality of life of not just bloggers, but also their friends and family.
It is true that at some point, writing ceases to be just a form of self-expression and turns into work, but when everything you write is scrutinized through social media by each and every subscriber you have, social media turns into a chore and it can have a deadly impact not just on the writing itself, but also on your self-esteem, ability to disconnect from work and freedom to produce fresh ideas for your evergreen posts. The great balancing act that bloggers constantly have to achieve is to use social media only to the extent that it offers them an edge without taking it personally.
2. Lack of Discipline
Internet security and passwords can be an absolute mess, especially if you have gotten to a point where your blog is doing extremely well. It’s safe to assume that at some point in your writing career, you will be able to monetize off your creation. But this also means that some people of questionable morals will relentlessly try to hack into your Twitter, Facebook, WordPress or Blogspot accounts. Passwords will therefore be miles long, encrypted, and downright crazy, so much so that at some points, you yourself will not be able to remember all of them. I would recommend a trusty pen and paper that you store neatly in your wallet (which should never leave your side ever again).
Formatting and pictures are also an irreplaceable component of your post, because let’s face it, we are a society of convenience, and why should someone read when they can get most of the information out of a cleverly placed picture, Infographic or video. The effort is in trying to sort through the hundreds of suitable pictures in order to find the exact one that could perfectly fit. Consequently, your computer or laptop will be full of pictures you have no idea existed and that are absolutely impossible to organize.
3. Caring too Much
Mean comments and spammers will also turn you into a person you never thought existed. When starting out, each comment, no matter how long, short, irrelevant or beside the point, made you gleam with joy, because it meant that you were making a difference. You were being heard. As this initial phase wears out, you will soon find that mean comments will become meaner, people will become absolutely rude and spammers will have no other preoccupation other than disturbing you at the most ungodly hours anyone can think of.
And your attitude will also slowly shift towards a small, evil person that emerges to save you from such internet users who seem out to get you. Guest authors may also become a problem, because many of them are only interested in back-links, and not with providing high-quality content. So once again, you will have a little head-aches to solve.
Obviously, there will also be positive comments, but it is usually the negative ones that cut through us like knives. The whole idea is not to take them at heart, and focus on what you are doing. It is only natural for people to comment negatively, it’s human nature.
But never fear- amidst all this turmoil, the wonderful world of writing will still show you silver linings now and then, just enough to always keep you going exactly when it seems that it’s not worth it and you want to quit. So hang in there just enough to reap the benefits of what you are doing, because when you’ve managed to become an expert in the niche you have chosen, all will have not been in vain.