I have only my dear mother to thank for the inspiration for this post. We were discussing stresses and I shared with her some of those that go with blogging. Instead of venting, she suggested that I compile all of my blogging pains into a post with which I am sure many of you will resonate. How many of these problems sound familiar? Let me know in the comments!
1. Writer’s block
This absolutely has to be at the top of this type of list because I think it affects each and every one of us from time to time. It’s all going well and then BAM! Writer’s block. If it happens to you, fear not, it’s usually only a very temporary problem.
The fix: Make a list of your ideas and as Penny Berry taught me, schedule them. Pan out what you are going to write and when. Not only will it give you some creative ideas for weeks to come, but it will give you plenty of time to plan and prepare your posts.
2. Never finding the right image
WordPress free gallery and royalty-free sources like Unsplash are great, but sometimes the images just don’t quite convey what we want to say. Either we’re left to settle, or worse, buy images from another source. Boo!
The fix: Try different keywords and try a change of perspective. Perhaps you imaged your post with a smiling bouncy ball, but you just couldn’t find that image. Will anything with a smiley do, could you create an image, or could you use something else entirely? If you insist on free images, try to be a little bit flexible unless it’s a product you’re advertising.
Do also remember not to be tempted to steal images from a Google search, which can class as a breach of copyright.
3. Not finding enough tags
This happens to me a lot, you punch in two or three that seem right, then oh crap..now what? What other tags might be appropriate to your post? Would people even look for that tag? Tags can be a nightmare, but they don’t need to be.
The fix: Research commonly used tags and trends for suggestions, and try to write posts on topics which are trending. Right now, for example, ‘coronavirus’ and ‘lockdown’ are pretty hot, so any post that features them, as long as they are relevant to the post, is likely to be read. In a similar way, anything that talks about the pandemic is likely to be noticed. Also, try other similar words. For example, if you write a piece of dating, be sure to include other tags like ‘love’, ‘relationships’, ‘couples’ and so on.
4. The cost/benefit analysis of Adobe Stock images
This one pains me because on the one hand, Adobe Stock images are a valuable asset and on the other, at £2.39 a time, the cost of blogging can soon mount up. While there are plenty of great free sources, Adobe Stock is also likely to have something much closer to the image that you were looking for.
The fix: If you’re not making mega-money from blogging, consider using Adobe Stock only occasionally, or buying images that you can use on a few posts. Once an image is licensed to your account, it can be used up to 10 times, rendering it more like 24p per post and a little more affordable overall.
5. People who treat your blog like a hobby
There are bloggers who do blog as a hobby, and there are bloggers who, like myself, take our blog much more seriously and put in lots of hard work and dedication. We want to deliver and we want to get good at what we do. For those of us who are serious about our blogs, nothing is more painful than someone who casually dismisses our efforts.
The fix: Just ignore these comments, honestly. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.
6. Writing a blog post you think will be popular.. and then seeing it fail
Ouch! The pain, amirite? You know I’m right lovelies. You work so hard and put your all into your work, and it just.. flumps, like a kite with no wind. Tragic.
The fix: Have faith! Maybe that post was very personal to you and few people can relate or understand, perhaps it just wasn’t a particularly interesting topic for a lot of people or you just didn’t use enough (or the right) tags. Leave it up for a few weeks or month then revalue it. If you’re still in love with it and still feel as though it’s relevant, leave it up. If it’s not grown any traction and you’re over it already, delete the post. It’s your blog, and you’re in control.
7. Not breaking even
This one is pretty similar to number 4 on the list, but also different. Domains cost money, WordPress packages cost money, Gmail suite costs money. All of that money, and you can be left with something which leaves you dangerously and painfully worse off. Blogging shouldn’t be your sole source of income, but for a lot of people, the costs of blogging per year can be enough to make them decide whether or not they want to continue.
The fix: If you have the premium package, consider setting up a donations money or selling products on your blog. I’m already working on on first book and have plenty of other ideas. While it’s easy to take your total costs and divide it by common goal like 10 sales, try to think about your maximum visits and sales over a much longer period. Selling 5 copies of a eBook every month which is priced at £3 will be much better in the long term than only selling two copies of an eBook priced at £15. Try also to be realistic. Lots of bloggers write books, very few people become big names.
Plagiarism. It’s a word that banes all content creators, regardless of what we do. You put your heart and soul into creating content and someone comes along and ruthlessly claims it as their own. It’s heartbreaking and it has happened to me, and no, I’m still not over it. Plagiarism is bad, people. Please don’t do it.
The fix: If you want to take on an idea, backlink to the author of the original post. Most of us bloggers are super nice people and will be all too happy for you to run on with the idea at the price of a link to our original work. If you’re using text from a book or an image, of course give credit to the source. Above all, please ask for permission before you steal our ideas or work.
NB. If you’ve been plagiarised, make sure you report it. Nobody deserves that heartache.
9. Silly typing errors
I’ve lost count of how often I’ve noticed them, but they really do make a difference to your work. From ‘an’ instead of ‘and’, ‘he’ instead of ‘the’ and double spacing, they all make a difference. Reading work by bloggers who write worse than they text is painful enough, to then read a post you’ve written which makes you look like you let a preschooler loose on the keyboard does nothing for your blogger image.
The fix: Poof-read, proof-read and proof-read some more! If you think you’ve proof-read it enough, do it again just to make sure! I’ve proof-read 2-3 times and still found something a week later. The sooner you find these careless mistakes, the less noticeable they will be to anyone else.
10. Similarly, dead links
My ‘Home’ link was dead, I didn’t know about that, so it’s been sat there for months on end without my knowing. When my husband pointed it out, I felt ashamed. Dead links are a problem, especially when they don’t link to your own stuff.
The fix: Before deleting a post, take a moment to check that you haven’t linked to it anywhere. Deleting the post without deleting the link will lead to that disastrous dead link, which in turn makes you look a bit disorganised.
11. Rude commenters
PoojaG wrote a fantastic post about some of the frustrations of blogging in which she mentioned commenters who feel the need to be inappropriate. From my own perspective, I occasionally receive spammy comments from readers who are more interested in fishing for traffic than they are in adding to the conversation. While commenting on other blogger’s work will be invaluable to your blog, spammy and rude comments are likely to be removed without caution, which won’t earn the traffic you were hoping for.
The fix: Delete! As bloggers, we do fortunately have the right to moderate the comments on our blog without question. So if a comment seems rude, spammy or inappropriate, don’t hesitate to toss it in the trash can! Try to contribute to the discussion in a comments section, rather than attempting to steal traffic to your blog.
12. Seeing your stats dip, and wondering why
Going from a few hundred reads to a few dozen can be terrifying, but it doesn’t mean to say that your blog is failing. It happened most recently to me when I decided to split my blog up into a more casual blog and a more 18+ site. I took a hit in my traffic, but that’s fine, it was going to happen. Dips in traffic can happen for a variety of reasons, not all of them catastrophic.
The fix: Usually, the cause of the dip is simple, like not enough tags or not using social media to your gain. While both simple fixes, sometimes it takes a different approach. You can read my post on my old blog for more great tips here.
13. Deciding which social media platform to use
It’s fine using social media, but not all platforms are created equal. I deleted Twitter off of my list as it’s never done anything for my blog, but Instagram allows me to share photos of things going on and Facebook allows me to share my goings on via page status updates. Not only, but Facebook remains the most used social media platform there is.
The fix: Weigh up how popular each platform is versus how likely you are to use them. Your final decision should be based on what you personally will use and how often, not what is most popular. If you create a fan base and then abandon them, you will lose all of that valuable traffic, which won’t be good for your blog.
14. Hand cramps
Oof! By now it’s definitely starting to settle in. While not necessarily Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, bloggers are still predisposed to painful hands and wrists that go with excessive computer use.
The fix: Over-the-counter painkillers, rest, ice and gentle stretches are your best bet. Also, be sure to take regular breaks and invest in a gel or foam wrist rest for the correct typing position.
15. No free time
When you start blogging, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and feel as though you need to produce content every day in order to be successful. If you don’t write something everyday, you fear, nobody will visit your blog. The consequence of all of that writing and blogging is that you get no time to yourself.
The fix: Plan and schedule. Thanks to Penny Berry’s top tip, I now print off a planner from Print-A-Calendar which I use to plan out my posts in advance. I also now make Tuesdays, Thursdays and weekends blog-free days, giving me plenty of time to rest, plan future posts and do other things.
16. Having a great post idea.. then falling asleep and forgetting all about it!
How often has it happened? You’re getting ready for bed and you’re suddenly inspired. When you wake up, you roll out of bed to write your amazing post and you’re suddenly left wondering.. what were you going to write about again?
The fix: Keep a notepad and pen by your bed, or make use of the notes app on your phone. It’s remarkably simple, but keeping notes is for that exact reason – for making sure you don’t need to worry about forgetting!
I hope you enjoyed this post. How many of these have you experienced? Let me know in the comments!
Be Bold, Be Bright, Be Beautiful,