Many people constantly talk about the benefits of being a blogger, but rarely do we see the honest truth about how difficult blogging can actually be — particularly in the beginning and growing stages.
Starting a blog is exciting. You’re filled with optimism and hope from reading about bloggers who post income reports that reach 6 figures a month and seem to always be on vacation with their family.
The truth is, it took many of these bloggers years before they got to that point and it was far from being an easy journey.
I wanted to shed some light today on the other side of blogging that doesn’t get talked about much. The side that isn’t all about the wins but is about the sacrifice, the learning, the patience, and the encounters you’ll have to face in order to get to a win.
Hopefully with this information, you can get a better idea of whether or not full-time blogging is the right career path for you to take.
Blogging is really hard work. No matter how good you are at writing, capturing photos, teaching, etc.; it is simply just not enough. The aptitude or expertise you may have will definitely be the foundation of your brand, but the “outwardly” business-related factors are what will play the largest role in your blog’s financial success.
Without content marketing, no one will ever see your work.
Without visual identity branding, no one will become familiarized with you.
Without bookkeeping, everything will really just become one huge disaster.
So, if you don’t happen to have the mastery or the money to hire someone for these undertakings, the only way to achieve them is through self-disciplined extensive learning (until you are able to outsource them).
Now, dear reader. Please do not take any of this as a means of discouragement. I want you to win.
I just want to show you that although starting a business with your blog may seem easy from the outside, it simply just will not work without consistent and diligent hard work. If you are somebody who is afraid of hard work, then full-time blogging is most likely not for you.
However, if you are somebody looking to start a side hustle or looking to start a blog as a hobby, then this is a completely different story and you can totally get away with working part-time hours.
It Won’t Happen Overnight
From time to time, you’ll come across bloggers who were able to quit their job and build their business in under 6 months.
Sometimes this can happen through already being well known through another platform (e.g. Instagram) and shifting into the blogging world, sometimes this happens with seasoned bloggers who started a brand new blog, sometimes it’s hard work, and sometimes it can just be pure luck.
It can be a myriad of things that got them there. And hey, there’s a chance that you could totally get there too.
I just want to kindly remind you that these bloggers are the absolute minority.
For most bloggers, it can take quite a long time before getting to a place where they are financially secure — no matter how much of their hearts, tears, and hard work were spilled into it.
Please just be careful of the “get rich quick” talk and trap. It will most likely fail you.
Sometimes It’ll Get Lonely
One of the upsides of working for others is the ability to socialize in a group setting. The small talk you have once felt deep repugnance for may all of a sudden be… dare I say… missed?
Since you’ll most likely be glued to your computer in your home office by yourself all day, you’ll probably begin finding yourself peering out the window like a sad little puppy and wondering what the outside world is up to.
And a note to my fellow introverts: I know you’ll probably be super happy working from home at first because you live for alone time, but unfortunately, you will not be immune to the loneliness that comes from it. You’ll have to get out more.
There’s Going To Be Many, Many Times When Things Go Wrong
Your computer can fail you, you can lose all of the content you’ve been working on for months, your readers can not like what you wrote, your blog can get hacked, your social media accounts can get closed — there are a multitude of different problems that can and will emerge with your blog and business.
The only way full-time success will be yours is if you learn to be completely and utterly resilient in times of distress. When difficult matters arise, it’s important that you immediately begin working on fixing, changing, or redoing whatever has gone wrong.
One or two blog posts a month when you’re first starting out isn’t going to gain you much readership. There needs to be a constant stream of content happening on your website so your audience can keep coming back for more.
If you’re someone who has a lot to say or talk about, then full-time blogging is definitely a great platform and career choice for you to take on.
Be Prepared To Invest
As your blog expands, you’ll grow out of many free and inexpensive tools that once worked well for you, but no longer can fulfill the needs of your business.
For example, as my blog grew:
– I switched web hosting providers from Bluehost to WP Engine
– I switched from manually pinning on Pinterest to automating them through TailwindApp
– I switched from MailChimp’s free plan to ConvertKit for email marketing
But what you’ll need all depends on what your blog’s focus is on.
– Beauty and fashion bloggers can upgrade their content by investing in a high quality camera and editing software. Perhaps even hire a photographer to do the work for them.
– Business bloggers can upgrade their content by investing in stock photos and education resources.
– Course makers can upgrade their content by investing in a high quality microphone, a course host, or even a web developer that will build the course platform on their own website.
Investments are absolutely necessary. They’ll improve your website, make the user experience a lot better, and ultimately, make your life a lot easier.
People Aren’t Always Going To Be Nice
Not everyone in your life is going to support you and that’s okay. But just how mean-spirited people exist when you leave the house, the internet holds the perfect platform for these people to voice their mean-spirited comments.
Time after time, you’ll come across people who will leave nasty remarks in your comment section, in your inbox, on your social media; and a lot of the time it’ll have nothing to do with your actual work.
Not too long ago a woman left me a comment with something along the lines of that she couldn’t believe how beautifully I wrote, but how much of a “bimbo” I resembled like to her. She exclaimed that she was shocked that my soul seemed to be in a beautiful place but my exterior didn’t match.
Now, friends. I am human. It felt like a personal attack, so I wanted to comment back letting her know that the next time I wrote a blog post about feminism, she would be the first to know about it.
But I didn’t.
I decided to delete the comment and take the high road. And if you come across unkind opinions that don’t add value to the topic at hand, you probably should too.
Not all is bad, however. You’ll be thrilled to know that there are infinitely much more people out there who are willing to root for you and leave thoughtful and friendly comments, even when in disagreement with what you have to say.
There is always more goodness than wickedness in this world, but just be prepared for some of the bad apples.
Companies May Undervalue Your Work
As a blogger, you’ll constantly have different companies approach you to promote their products. It’s always very exciting and flattering to be noticed and have the opportunity to get to know and work with a new brand.
But then you hear the pitch.
The company is asking you to promote their product and in exchange, they’ll give you a discount code to purchase the product you’ll be promoting for them. This seems to be a very one-sided deal so it’s most likely one you’d politely decline.
Another company requests to send you a product in exchange for a blog post that details everything a customer would need to know about the item, alongside your own personal review. Cool! But the product is worth $20. And it takes you a full work day to take photos, edit them, write out the blog post, and promote it. Would a $20 product (and not even $20 in your pocket) for 8 hours of work be worth your time and effort? This depends on your needs, of course. But for many people, no.
It’s understandable that smaller companies have a smaller budget to work with, but there’s going to be a point where you have to say no to working for free or for almost free.
Exposure and products aren’t going to pay your bills so make sure to always value your time and know your worth.
I hope this was helpful to many of you in deciding whether or not full-time blogging is the right path for you to take. If you have any questions or comments at all, feel free to leave them down below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible. 🙂
Love and light,