Blogging Lifestyle

The not so great side of blogging

April 21, 2015
blogging problems

Before I get stuck into this post – I have to say for starters that despite this post being one to look at some of the not so great side of blogging – I am genuinely a positive person. I do love blogging but, as much as it has SO many amazing things. Sometimes it’s worth keeping things honest and having a look at the not quite as amazing sides too. A bit of a reality check on the perception of perfection that is blogging if you will… let me know if there are any you can understand or relate to…

blogging problems

The ‘cost’ of blogging

When I started my blog I had zero kit. I spent nothing on my blog design (granted, it didn’t look the most amazing design, but it worked) I didn’t have a fancy camera or even an iPhone to take photos on. I didn’t pay for my own hosting or business cards or any of that. Now? There’s some sort of belief that you need your own URL, a snazzy blog design, the latest camera…maybe even a vlogging camera too if you want to blog and you tube… plus lights, a weekly stock of fresh flowers…. This list goes on. All of this before you even think of paying for products or whatever you might want to actually start blogging about?!

Personally, I don’t like how this pressure can make it seem like you need all these things before you blog. At the end of the day there are plenty perfectly good blog designs out there that are free, you certainly don’t need to spend loads to get started (however I totally understand wanting to have the best looking blog you can). When it comes to photos, an iPhone, steady hand and some decent lighting (talking natural light not professional studio lights) can be just as good as the pro cameras. I do totally get that being part of the blogging world is that you want the kit, but I do wish this perception wouldn’t put anyone off from trying to blog. Obviously investing in your hobby or career is a totally valid and worthwhile thing to do – but that’s not to say you need these things to start at all. I built up my ‘blogging kit’ over time and I still think that’s the way to do it – don’t let the cost/lack of kit put you off getting started!

Competitiveness

Blogging is a busy field, no doubting that. There are loads of established bloggers and loads more new and great ones starting every day. Gone are the initial days of blogging where there was essentially only a handful of bloggers at all. Now there are ‘tiers’ or ‘big bloggers’ and ‘small bloggers’. There are hobby bloggers and pro bloggers. For pro bloggers, you naturally want to make sure you’re in the best possible position to make sure you can keep doing what you’re doing as your job – it’s your income after all. If you blog as a hobby then you want to work as hard as you can to maybe make it so it could be your job, you want to get noticed, build readers, Either way, you want to be proud of it.

But this can all lead to the feeling that being who maybe at one point were your friends or fellow bloggers are now your competitors. Not to say they’re not your friends too, but in the sense that in the workplace you’re up against a work friend/colleague for a promotion – there’s an air of competitiveness that can be challenging for forming truly supportive friendships. Of course you can form friends, I have some amazing good friends through blogging – but maybe it’s not as straight forward in today’s blogging world as it once was. It’s a real shame really, but I guess it’s the downside of blogging growing to such a vast size… it gets competitive. There’s also not the feeling of support that there used to be – as simple as a RT of a post you liked or sharing your favourite links. Somehow that air of support became viewed as giving a leg-up to the competition rather than just supporting people you share an interest with. I always have the view that there’s plenty of internet to go around and I’ll always be happy to RT or share a link I like or a blog I’ve been enjoying. There’s no harm in it?! I’d love to see more of a supportive culture return to blogging – but perhaps it’s just the fact of things as it becomes more of a profession support gives way to business? I don’t think it should have to, but perhaps I’m being naive?!

The fame game

Can you believe when I first started out I aimed to be an anon blogger? It took a good year or so before I became ok with having my photo on here and even now it’s not something I do daily by any means. But the way blogging developed meant that blogging is every bit as much about the blogger as it is about the products or other content. I’m ok with that and I don’t mind having bits and pieces of my life on there at all – in fact, in many ways the more personal posts are the ones I enjoy writing the most! But for me, fame does not appeal.

Do you have to be the ‘face’ of your blog to be a successful blogger? Maybe yes, maybe no. I can’t answer that  – but I do know that fame or being that sort of level of being recognised is 100% not my goal or motivation. Probably hence why I’m not particularly good at being regular with You Tube! But it does seem wanting the fame side can be a motivation for many now – no disrespect at all. But as someone who doesn’t really want to share every moment of my life I’ve always known it wasn’t for me but there is a pressure to be more of a ‘face’ of your blog… which leads nicely on to my next point.

Pressure

I see this all the time on twitter and on posts. The feeling of pressure as a blogger – to up your game on posts, to post daily, to post first, to post the best photos, the newest ideas. I guess this goes hand in hand with the competitiveness – the constant feeling that if you take a break you will waste all your hard work so far. The pressure will only come with how much you love something – no denying that, and that’s a great thing. But it’s really not fun when a hobby can lead to feeling that much pressure. I’ve always said – a hobby is meant to be fun. If the pressure over rules the fun, take a break – for your own sanity and fun’s sake.

One thing I’ve always said and 100% stand by – is not to take blogging *too* seriously. That’s not to say I’ll always be totally professional and take it seriously to an extent. But for me, at the end of the day – I love it and get to do this as my hobby. I get to write about beauty products and other fun elements of life. I always aim to enjoy it and not take it or myself too seriously. I do love blogging (yes, regardless of these downsides to it!) and never want to not appreciate that it’s a great position to be in. Plus, whilst I have certainly picked up many bits of information or tips and tricks over the years, I’m not a make-up artist, product scientist or expert. I just love beauty and love to share my own opinions.

This pressure point doesn’t even begin to touch on things like replying to emails, maintaining relationships with PR’s, balancing the pressure to blog with pressure from brands or PRs to cover products quickly. I can totally understand why this is a pressure to feel – but after a few years for me I feel I can manage this one. But when I was newer to the blogging ‘game’ I definitely felt this.

Insecurity

This can be a whole host of thins – from ‘why doesn’t my blog look that good?’, ‘why was I not invited to X,Y, Z…’, ‘why aren’t my photos as pretty?… or even the ‘why don’t I look that good in an outfit of the day photo’ or ‘why doesn’t my skin look that flawless’…SO many elements in blogging can really breed insecurity. I don’t know if this is something that a largely female audience is more prone to or not (not being a guy, I can’t really comment)? But I can say that there are times when insecurity creeps in for me – and it’s not a nice feeling. Nobody wants to feel like they’re not good enough in any way. The pressure to put out the perception of perfection across all bits of your online life… leads to the whole ‘why doesn’t my life look like this’, and perhaps not appreciating all the good things in life quite much as there’s something missing if yours doesn’t look quite as dreamy perfect as such and such… I think the wealth of ‘How to’ posts in blogging, whilst I’m sure are all well meaning can also make you question if you’re blogging the ‘right’ way – remember there aren’t really rules, just suggestions and tips. Do what feels right to you and enjoy it!

Is it all bad?!

When you look at this all together – the competitiveness and the insecurity and the pressure all tie in to each other. It’s a horrid little cycle of bad stuff and negativity. Feeling less like competitors to each other might lead to a little more support and maybe less insecurity? But no, it’s not all bad! A little reminder that we’re all doing an ace job – if you post once a month your favourite products or if you post three times a day. If you’re stopped in the street by a fan or if you get a new follower on twitter. If you’re just starting out or hitting mega milestones – you’re all doing a really great job. Just make sure you’re enjoying it – job or hobby. And in the spirit of supportiveness, I’d love to check out and share some new blogs – so please do leave your links below!

Here’s to happy blogging!

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21 Comments

  • Reply Yasmin April 21, 2015 at 1:59 pm

    This is such a lovely post and so honest…

    Its true, the pressure and feeling insecure can be so overwhelming especially for new bloggers – Ive only been doing this for about a year now even though I set my blog two years ago – I felt i was not good enough so took a long break – 6 months to be exact!

    And one day decided that i felt incomplete not blogging and now just focus on posting for fun on things im passionate about and enjoy talking about.

    Thanks for highlighting these, its nice to see both sides to blogging rather than in all its glory. As all the sucessful bloggers do show this.

    Thanks for sharing and Ill definitely be following and reading more from you – love your blog.

    Yasmin
    x
    http://www.yasbeyou.com

  • Reply Caroline April 21, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    I wholeheartedly agree. I used to blog and without sounding ridiculous I consider myself one of the very early UK beauty bloggers in 2007ish, where only handful of us went to the events which were probably once every 2 months – Barry M, Garnier, Maybelline, TBS etc. Now, I don’t remotely recognise the blogging world I fell in love with. I’ve been gone from it for a good 2-3 years because of it all. Don’t get me wrong, I still read some and I admire those who have kept on going since the beginning, but it’s not the same, by any means.

  • Reply Lisa @ukglowology April 21, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Hi Jen. Great post and something to think about. It is easy to get carried away with blogging and to give in to pressure to blog more, get more expensive kit, become quite competitive… I think for many, the idea of being able to maybe, possibly, one day blog for a living is a big push into the land of insecurity too! But, that’s not to say if it’s something you love, love, love and you’re willing to put in the hours and hard work it’s a fabulous opportunity – as long as, as you say, you keep doing it because you really enjoy it. I personally find it difficult to blog regularly as my life is so hectic but I would like to try and get more organised and up my game because I do enjoy it and love interacting with some great blogger friends I’ve made. I’m a magazine writer ‘by trade’ and have been for over 20 years, so I’d like my blog to also be a showcase for my writing to help me gain more commissions. Who knows what the future holds for us bloggers – I just hope, as you say, we stay supportive of each other and do it for the fun!
    Take care, Lisa @ukglowology xx

  • Reply Trona April 21, 2015 at 2:52 pm

    Interesting post. In the time that I’ve been blogging it’s changed hugely and even more so I think in the last several months with the impetus of several books etc being published. people seem to be clambering for it, more retweets, more followers, more more more. I still blog because I like the community I’ve found myself in, I genuinely love sharing things I’ve been trying, doing, eating etc and I love reading about other peoples’ experiences too.I really hope this still remains and it’s not all about numbers.

    I’m at http://www.ayelined.com

    Trona @ Aye Lined

  • Reply Kat April 21, 2015 at 3:07 pm

    Such a lovely post! Thanks for being honest, even thought i’m still fairly new to blogging, I must admit I am feeling the pressure a little and am already looking at redesigning my blog! I think your right about not taking it too seriously 😀

    http://katsbeautytales.blogspot.co.uk/

  • Reply Emma April 21, 2015 at 3:34 pm

    Really liked this post. I think for new bloggers like myself, it’s made me really think about where I want my blog to go and why I’m blogging in the first place. I hope one day, more than a handle full of people read my blog but for now, just getting even 1 comment on a post really makes my day and as long as I’m enjoying what I’m doing, then thats what counts.

    emmatheakerx.blogspot.co.uk

  • Reply Stephanie Silv. Lui April 21, 2015 at 5:01 pm

    Totally agreeing with you there !!

    You should do what makes you happy and feel comfortable! But sometimes, experimenting with different things and different ways can expand your horizon too! Don’t take it the wrong way though. Take it easy, have fun with it and enjoy it instead (:

    Thank you for writing this lovely post!

    http://stephlui.blogspot.com

  • Reply Jessica April 21, 2015 at 7:25 pm

    This is such a refreshing post!

    There is so much advice these days on tips and tricks to tech to become an ace blogger that I sometimes I feel it kills all the fun of sharing a latest love.

    Loved this!

  • Reply Sabrina April 21, 2015 at 7:52 pm

    This was a really interesting post! I’m a new blogger and I can relate to some of the things you said about insecurity – I only have my Iphone to take pictures with so I constantly wonder if my photos are any good, but on the bright side I’m really enjoying blogging, I love writing and engaging with other bloggers. Same as Emma I’m happy even with just one comment on a post and I’m not blogging with fame and free stuff in mind! I sometimes wish I’d started my blog sooner as I’ve been reading beauty blogs on and off for about five years and only just got round to it! There are so many blogs out there now that it can be a little overwhelming but I think there’s room for everyone and the best thing we can do is support each other :)

    http://www.sabrinajaine.blogspot.co.uk

  • Reply Anonymous April 21, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    I just started my own blog as a hobby but I do relate to the issue of the cost of blogging, I’m personally having a lot of fun trying to take god pictures using only sun light. I see a lot of people buying fancy kits for blogging thinking it is essential… Getting better and growing everyday is essential and fun but people should stop thinking having the best thing on the market is absolutely necessary!

  • Reply Anna April 22, 2015 at 12:19 pm

    that was such an interesting post to read!!

    SOLDADURA

  • Reply Anna April 22, 2015 at 12:23 pm

    OMG I’m sorry ahaha I am doing homework while reading blogs (oops) and I didn’t notice I wasn’t posting my website :S

    this is my website: https://aspoonfulofnature.wordpress.com/

  • Reply Inma April 22, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    One very positive thing about blogging is that there are a handful of bloggers who every now and then will post something really honest like this, to burst the bubble of perfection that surrounds blogging. A heartfelt thank you.

    I started blogging last Christmas so my blog is in its infancy and I do it as a hobby, but I could relate to most things you said there with the exception of kit, as I mostly use my iPhone and natural light. It is very difficult to come by some genuine support and friendships, which is something you really crave at the beginning. I have probably found one or two people that I regularly talk to but one of them I knew through my full time job anyway. Chatting to her, talking things through, really helps, and I would love to have more blogger friends. I am in my thirties and with that comes less insecurity sometimes, but also a struggle to fit in the blogging scene, as people tend to be quite a bit younger.

    Having said all that, as you say, there are wonderful things as well, but if I had one wish it would be for being more connected to other bloggers. I am making a conscious effort at the moment to reach out through reading and commenting on lots of blogs. Not necessarily to grow readership of mine alone, but to genuinely connect with others.

    Inma x
    sunshineandglow.blogspot.co.uk

  • Reply Naomi April 22, 2015 at 10:34 pm

    I Agree! The competitiveness is unreal now but those who work hard and show dedication will get somewhere, as with any job :) xx

    http://Www.ohhellomango.co.uk

  • Reply Posh, Broke, & Bored April 23, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    Totally agree with the ‘Cost of Blogging’! I’d like to add to that, there’s also the ‘cost’ of what brands/companies/advertisers think is a ‘free meal/ free holiday/ free experience bla bla bla’. First off, receiving something for ‘free’ in exchange for a blog post (with no writing fee) is anything but. There is the cost of unpaid leave if you have to take time off work, you know, the ACTUAL 9 to 5 paying job, transport costs (those Ubers don’t pay for themselves!); the time it takes to research, photograph, edit, write the blog post then promote it on social media. So yes, it’s NOT a ‘free meal’ – we’re paying for it in other ways! I’m happy to blog about something I genuinely enjoy, but it gets my goat when I get invited to events and said invite comes with “BY CONFIRMING ATTENDANCE YOU ARE AGREEING TO BLOG ABOUT THIS TO OUR SATISFACTION”. Um, no. x

    Jasiminne | Posh, Broke, & Bored

  • Reply Sarah April 27, 2015 at 10:35 pm

    Hi, I am totally new to the blogging world. Only posted 15 times so far but really enjoying it. Love your writing and the styling of your blog. It’s very inspiring! I would love for you to check out my blog and give me some pointers. Not to worry if not I will still continue following your blog anyway.

    Thanks S X

    http://www.myhapinessproject.blogspot.com

  • Reply Lisa May 31, 2015 at 11:22 am

    You raised some points here, and I definitely agree with everything you said. I started blogging three years ago on/off and I started from nothing myself. I think its a good thing you raised that alot of bloggers do get pressured to have a certain look and feel to their content, also doing things like posting quite frequently etc. If you do it as a hobby go at your own pace its the best thing you can do for yourself. After all you blog for yourself and to join the community for fun! I think a lot of people forget that along the way, and I did too at some point. Its nice that you shared this with your readers!

    • Reply Jen May 31, 2015 at 11:23 am

      Thank you! I totally agree with everything you mentioned – so important to remember why you started blogging…for fun!

  • Reply Jasmine June 4, 2015 at 9:19 am

    As a blogger who blogs just as a hobby but would one day like to “go pro” all of this rings so true.
    I’m a firm believer that bloggers should always support each other, and I totally agree that you don’t lose anything by retweeting or sharing something you actually enjoyed!

    I myself have also fallen victim to the insecurity and wonder why some bloggers get this new product and I don’t and so on! This definitely helped me remember I’m not the only one who feels this way! Thanks for writing this amazing article!

  • Reply MizzJ June 6, 2015 at 9:12 am

    This post was so refreshing to read. I’ve been blogging a long while and while I feel happy with my success, it also never feels like “enough” when you see how quickly others grow, or what others are getting. It’s not always that I just feel envious, but just want to know what I’m NOT doing that they are to get what they have. Maybe it’s nothing and it’s just dumb luck! It’s so tough to not go down that spiral, which is funny b/c most bloggers I know started it for fun and love of beauty and don’t want to be competitive, so where is all this competitiveness coming from?

  • Reply LiAnn - Sparklecrack Central August 13, 2015 at 9:49 pm

    I also miss a sense of blogging community. I’m a hobby blog, and I never intend to try and make it my job (I could never get it up to the level where it would pay me as much as my current job; and even if I did, I would then have to find a new way-to-relax hobby. Too much work, not enough payoff.) I miss smaller social networks. I miss people getting together in chats online to talk about beauty and makeup and nails and the cool new things they’d learned/found, rather than about “what’s the best lighting for your blog pictures.”

    It’s very easy for me to ignore the “got to be first to post” mentality, and the “must buy all the new things” mentality – largely because I am not a pro blogger, and have no inclination to move in that direction, and totally understand why it’s there in those who are or want to become professional bloggers. But I do miss the sense that more people were blogging because they genuinely loved makeup and MUA and nail art and soforth, and were happy to chat with other people like…well, like people. That seems to have evaporated because everyone’s too busy.

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