Listen to all the hoopla out there with everyone screaming from the rooftops that you need your own blog and you could be forgiven for starting to get rather paranoid.
After all, if you have yet to set up your own blog, what do these people know that you don’t?
The truth is that blogging is just to “cool” and so “fashionable” right now that you’re only seeing one side of the argument.
True, blogging can be an amazing way to grow your traffic, build relationships online and make some extra money, but it’s not without it’s problems.
In the interest of fairness, therefore, I thought it might be interesting to discuss the problems, downsides and issues surrounding blogging.
That way if you’re considering setting up your own blog right now at least you’ll have a far more rounded and educated view of exactly what you’re getting yourself into – without all the hyperbole.
With that said, let’s take a closer look at the downside of starting a blog…
Success Comes Slowly
Blogging can be one of the slowest ways to build an audience and make money online.
There are a number of reasons for this.
Firstly, it takes time to grow the traffic levels that you’ll need in order to really become an authority in your niche.
When your social media accounts start from zero it’ll likely take months – if not longer – until they’re capable of sending significant volumes of traffic to your blog.
SEO can also take time.
While you may get lucky and find that you successfully win a few top-rankings in the first few weeks or months of blogging it’ll likely take a lot longer until your blog starts to build up the levels of authority necessary to rank for slightly more competitive (and high volume) keyword phrases.
It is very difficult to rush this process without relying on questionable techniques and putting your whole venture at risk of receiving a penalty.
Lastly bear in mind that it will also take time once you do start to receive traffic in order to build up your list of subscribers and regular readers to a meaningful level so that you can be assured of further content amplification, not to mention monetization opportunities.
In all honesty when you start a blog you should expect it to take you months of effort before you really start to see the pay-off.
If you start to earn anything significant before the six month level then you’re very lucky indeed and many bloggers find it can take a year or more before a blog really starts to produce some kind of meaningful results.
Lack of Results Can Demotivate
Starting a new blog can be a very exciting experience. I still get tingles as I prepare to launch a new site. The first few weeks can be full of excitement as you publish your first few posts, start networks on social media and get to know other bloggers in your niche.
The problem comes some months later.
Sooner or later many bloggers experience a significant drop in their motivation, mainly due to their lack of results. After all, as a new blogger you will likely work hundreds of hours (litrerally) setting up your blog, creating content and promoting your site before you start to see any real return on that investment.
It can be all too easy as the weeks roll on to look at all the time and money you’re pouring into your blog, sacrificing evenings, weekends and vacation time in order to keep on hustling – and hopefully keep growing your online footprint.
Then one say you go to turn on your computer and you realize that blogging has become an obligation rather than a pleasure. You’re attempting to force yourself to write a new post or promote your site when, quite frankly, you’re sick of the sight of it.
Don’t worry – not only does it happen to the best of us, but even if you know its coming sooner or later you’ll still be hit by it. The key, of course, is to find ways to push through to the other side – even if it involves taking some time away from your computer while you start to live life for a little while.
The internet is sadly littered with unloved and forgotten blogs where a blogger has reached this point and given up altogether. All their hard work is left to rot and fester until finally the domain expires and all that effort goes up in smoke.
Don’t let that person be you – aim to stay the course no matter what it takes.
Repeated, Consistent Effort is Required
Blogging, by its very nature, requires consistent effort to be applied.
New posts must be written and published. One must remain active on social media and in the comments section of your site. It is these small actions, repeated day-after-day, month-after-month which allow you to slowly, subtly grow your audience and so build a successful blog.
Very rarely does a blogger “hit a home run” and go from nobody to established authority in a matter of weeks.
Another downside therefore is that blogging does require such consistent effort. While one might launch a static website and then forget about it for weeks or even months at a time as it continues to perform, a blog that gets forgotten for a matter of weeks is in danger of losing its momentum.
Once you set up a blog, and assuming you want to build it into a successful resource that will draw traffic and make money online for years to come, you’ll need to be willing to invest time and money into it on a consistent basis.
Now, truth be told there are tools which will help with this process. Tools like Buffer and Tailwind will allow you to share social media updates all day long, even when you’re away from your computer. But comments will still need to be moderated and posts will still need to be written.
If you don’t have either the available time or the self-discipline to lock yourself away in your office several times a week to write, share, network and promote then your blog is unlikely to ever become a raving success.
Be aware of the time-requirements before you set up your blog or you’ll soon find yourself getting disappointed with the results.
There Is A Lot of Competition
The competition is more intense in some niches than others but the fact is that pretty much no matter what niche you select you’re going to have to crawl and climb and clamber your way to success.
Whenever you start a blog it is important to appreciate not only how much battling you’re going to have to do in order to be successful and outcompete the wealth of other blogs in your niche but in addition how important having a unique angle really is.
To help you beat your competition it can pay to have something unique about the slant of your content. Such a unique selling proposition (USP) can help you to stand out from the crowd.
There’s A Lot More Than Just Writing: You’ll Need To Wear A Lot Of Hats
Of all the groups of people who consider starting a blog, one of the commonest groups I come across are “writers”.
Whether this group consider themselves poets, novelists or simply enjoy the process of writing there is often a nasty surprise awaiting.
You see, sad as it is to admit, building a successful blog is about so much more than simply writing. Indeed, it could be argued that even being an effective writer or poet won’t necessarily prepare you for writing effective blog-posts; a process which is rather different to producing other types of written content.
While it is possible to pay freelancers and service-providers to help you set up, maintain or run your blog it is still wise to at least understand the process you are trying to outsource. In this way at least you will have an idea of how to instruct your outsourcer, and will know the difference between a good job and a bad job (so protecting you from getting conned!).
Just a few of the non-writing tasks associated with blogging can include:
- Technical aspects of setting up WordPress, plugins, themes and web hosting
- Content marketing to help boost the traffic your blog is seeing
- Building a social media following
- Creating effective social media posts to share content with others
- Link building and SEO
All of this is a lot to take on board (though if you’re new to this it’s a lot easier than you might think right now – and it can also be a lot of fun).
The point is to be aware that the solo blogger needs to wear a lot of hats over the course of a week and you should expect this in advance. If all you do is simply write blog posts – without any of the promotional or technical activies that work alongside producing epic content – then your blog is likely to take time to become a success.
It should be said that I am a huge fan of blogging. I suppose that if I wasn’t I wouldn’t have set up this site to begin with. I, for one, love to blog and definitely think that the weaknesses of blogging are greatly outweighed by the benefits.
That said I thought it was only fair to reveal what I see as the downsides of blogging. Hopefully this rather more balanced view than you may see at many other blogs will help you to make an informed decision about whether or not setting up a blog really is right for you.
What do you like least about blogging? What do you outsource – or what do you plan to outsource in the future? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below…