Blogging is a diverse activity. Not only does it involve writing blog posts, but it also brings in photography, planning, formatting, social media, and so much more.
As someone who has been blogging for five years, the one thing I can say for sure is that your list of to-dos for blogging increases with time. I started off with small blog posts, and then I found out that there’s something called stats and SEO. There’s something called “readability” i.e how comfortable blog posts are to read. After that, I went on a research spree about metadata and hashtags, which lead me to social media, which lead to a whole range of other things.
But, leaving the to-do lists, what is blogging? What is it like to be a blogger? What do we struggle with, and what confuses us? That’s what this post is about. Today we’re talking about 10 things that show exactly what blogging is like, other than the basic activities.
1. involuntarily treating blogging like a job
- 1 1. involuntarily treating blogging like a job
- 2 2. always telling yourself to not obsess over stats
- 3 3. wondering why a post you like isn’t getting much response
- 4 4. confused as to why a random, sub-par post is receiving lots of attention
- 5 5. feeling guilty for not visiting & loving other blogs regularly
- 6 6. trying to stay true to yourself & also write content that readers like
- 7 7. second-guessing self-plug or self-promo all the time
- 8 8. spending an hour (or more) on making aesthetic graphics
- 9 9. struggling to manage blogging and other hobbies
- 10 10. trying not to be jealous of all the amazing bloggers and their work. and failing.
(If it isn’t already a job, obviously)
Blogging is a hobby—a wonderful one. But let’s face it, all bloggers get hit with the treat-blogging-like-a-job syndrome, whether we like it or not.
The sheer number of blogs on the internet, in every field, means that we’re all fighting for attention. And most of the time, it’s each other’s attention. At some point, we begin to care about statistics and how many views our blogs receive. As we care more, we also put in more and more effort into our blogs. Keeping up with indexes, images, and coming up with good posts every week is not easy. Soon enough, it’s as taxing as a full-time job.
Blogging as a hobby becomes as demanding as a job. You need to be extra motivated to keep up. But, it’s also SO REWARDING. Just watching the final post, and watching it get views and comments is the best feeling ever. You can almost immediately see the results of your hard work.
2. always telling yourself to not obsess over stats
I doubt that there is even one seasoned blogger who hasn’t done this. Stats are a funny thing. It can make you feel like you’re on top of the world, but it can also make you feel like you suck.
Some months, when I’m consistently blogging and putting my ALL, the stats go up and I become SO HAPPY. But when life takes over my priorities, and my blog suffers, the stats shut down and it makes me feel so low.
There are several blog posts that say the number 1 thing you have to stop doing is obsessing over stats. That goes for everyone, whether you’re a new blogger or an experienced one. But saying is harder than doing it, right?
3. wondering why a post you like isn’t getting much response
Have you ever written a super cool post? One that you were excited about before even starting? A post that sounds so fun or great to you that you went all out—editing multiple times, making sure it’s readable, adding anecdotes and jokes, and making sure the images are ON POINT. It’s that post which you expect would go viral, or at least be popular.
And have you seen that post under-perform? It’s the most confusing thing ever! Like, I’ve spent three days perfecting the post but WHY AREN’T PEOPLE LIKING IT. Let me know your experiences in the comments because I’m sure some of us will have this in common.
4. confused as to why a random, sub-par post is receiving lots of attention
I think I can say that most of us have definitely had this moment. One of those posts that you simply wrote to post something, which you didn’t proofread or even add proper images to. You simply wrote it and hit publish. Why is THAT receiving tons of attention? More than other, better posts?
Sometimes, it’s just so weird. One of my posts which had barely 300 words and 2 images, which wasn’t even proofread, actually went on to be the first link in a popular google search term! I was baffled. It still continues to bring in views from search engines, and I’m STILL not sure why.
5. feeling guilty for not visiting & loving other blogs regularly
This is one thing that I always struggle with—not being able to regularly read other blogs and comment. I do read pretty often, but I don’t spend much time on it every time. And lately, I’ve not been able to blog hop much. I try here and there but it’s not how much I’d like to be doing. I mean, why should I expect others to visit my blog when I don’t visit theirs?
And, this is a continuous struggle! I don’t comment for three days and the guilt starts piling up. Tell me if you relate to this because I can’t be the only one.
6. trying to stay true to yourself & also write content that readers like
This is SO HARD. You could pour your heart out writing book reviews, but if your readers like discussion posts more, you’ll obviously try to do them more.
At some point, my content has changed to reflect what receives more views. Not all of my content comes from my head or my passion. Some content comes from other posts which have received lots of comments. When I realize that a certain type of post is liked by people, I try to write those more. My blog today is SO DIFFERENT than what I started with.
As a hobby/passion blogger, you have to find a balance. How much are you willing to change your content in order to get more attention? What if you completely change your blog only to realize that your loyal readers loved your true style from before? Such questions keep me up at random times.
7. second-guessing self-plug or self-promo all the time
In the beginning, even when I finally decided to tell my friends that I blog, I didn’t actually open my mouth and say “go check it out”. I would just off-handedly mention that I’m blogging or something. In fact, for the longest time, even my best friends didn’t follow my bookstagram. And I couldn’t make myself ask them to follow me.
“Am I promoting myself or am I being annoying? Is this appropriate? Will it look like I’m showing off? What if they don’t want to follow me?”
I see people, online and offline, who SLAY on self-promotion. But I hesitate so much! I just cannot promote myself everywhere. I don’t talk well to many people in the first place. The introvert life hitting hard.
I’ve definitely improved a LOT in 5 years, especially with self-promo on the internet, but it’s still not as much. I’m STILL awkward every time I share my blog with friends.
8. spending an hour (or more) on making aesthetic graphics
You have a specific idea on how your graphics should look for a post, and you spend a lot of time on getting them PERFECT, without realizing the time. You didn’t have to, but you did.
Many bloggers are perfectionists. The fact that the whole world will be seeing our content spurs us on to do our best. Graphics play a huge role in how a blog post looks. You may have amazing content written, but it would definitely look better to readers with pretty graphics that break up the paragraphs.
The header image makes SO MUCH of an impact as well. It took me a long time to find my style of headers. Until then, I spent a lot of time on each, trying out different templates on Canva and different background images. I did take an hour on multiple occasions.
Of course, now I don’t do regular header images so it is a new challenge haha.
9. struggling to manage blogging and other hobbies
Can I get a hell yeah for this? Because it’s SO TRUE.
Because blogging involves so much more than just typing, it’s a big commitment. It takes a lot of time to do all the things associated with blogging. Other than writing, there’s promotion, blog maintenance, engagement, and more.
Before I began blogging, I already had a few hobbies. And blogging takes up so much time! Until last year when I made myself step back from blogging to try art again, blogging was my sole hobby. Since this is partially a book blog, reading also comes under it.
It’s hard enough to manage one hobby while being a student or working long hours, but it’s harder to do anything other than blogging if you’re a blogger too. Now that I’ve graduated (thank goodness), I finally have a two-day weekend, giving me time to do more.
10. trying not to be jealous of all the amazing bloggers and their work. and failing.
I am so guilty of this.
Almost every time I look at new blogs, I come across such COOL blogs. They have beautiful interfaces, graphics, and colour schemes. Once I read their content? I’m done for. At this point, there is a long list of bloggers whom I look up to. They are GREAT at blogging. Content? On point. Timing? On point. Personality shining through the content? Super engaging? I cannot deal.
No matter what blog, I almost always find something to take away. An improvement that I can do, or some inspiration.
It may also cause imposter syndrome. When I first found paperfury, I was IN AWE. I immediately tried being more fun, and changed my formatting to add comments. While it was fun to blog that way, I eventually realized that it wasn’t me. It took me a while to find my style.
I’m not going to stop wanting to try things after looking at other blogs but now I question whether it would fit the vibe that I’m going for.
Some blogs that always inspire me:
- Hardcover Haven
- Chapters of May
- Cups and Thoughts
- Starry Sky Books
- Cuppa Clo