Last Updated on October 21, 2020 by ellduclos
Today I want to do something a little different. You all know I am about being 100% honest when it comes to my blogging journey. That’s why I want to share this post with you. I have been blogging since April 2017 and throughout my blogging journey I have gone through trial and error. I learned a lot about blogging and about myself. Today I want to spit out some truth and share the good, bad and ugly sides of blogging. Blogging isn’t always cute.
Disclaimer: Affiliate links used. Disclosure here!
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Sides of Blogging
The Good Sides of Blogging
I’ll start off with the good side of blogging because I try to stay positive and there are so many positive things about blogging!
1. The Blogging Community
I never expected that the blogging community would be so supportive, welcoming, and helpful. I have met so many amazing ladies thanks to blogging. My favorite part is my community of BOSS GIRL BLOGGERS. If you didn’t know already, I am the founder (admin) of Boss Girl Bloggers, a group where over 43,000 like minded women go to connect, collaborate, and help support each other through their blogging journey.
The blogging community will welcome you with open arms. The best part is you get to talk with people from ALL AROUND THE WORLD.
2. Doing What You Love Feels Good
Another good side to blogging is that you are doing what you love and that feels GOOD! If you are doing what you love then of course you will be happy. Blogging has really showed me that if I follow my passion and pursue it I can find happiness. Before I started my blog I struggled a lot with my happiness. Blogging was my saving grace.
3. Patience is Rewarded
I didn’t realize just how important patience would be and with blogging having patience is the best part. It’s no secret that when it comes to blogging, patience is necessary. Unfortunately page views don’t come over night. It takes a good content marketing strategy to grow your blog. However, the real key to a successful blog is patience.
If you do have the patience, you will get rewarded I promise! It took me 6 months before I began to see a monthly blog income of $1,000 or more.
Fast forward 3 years later and now I am able to have $10,000 and $13,000 months blogging!
4. You Can Work From ANYWHERE
One of my favorite things about blogging is that I can do it from ANYWHERE. If I want to spend the day blogging in bed, I CAN! How sweet is that!? If I am sick I can still work from home if I want to.
5. You Can Be Your OWN BOSS
I don’t do well when other people tell me what to do. I would much rather work for myself. That was my main goal in life; to be my own boss. I’d rather be in control of my own life. Being able to be my own boss is the BEST. I can decide my schedule, do whatever I want, write whatever I want, and not worry about someone else telling me what to do.
6. You Can Get Free Product and Make Money
This is crazy right?! A lot of people don’t believe me when I say I have gotten free product sent to me from brands like Ulta Beauty, Loreal and even a free mattress from Tuft & Needle. They also think it’s even crazier when I say that brands have sent me free product AND paid me to write about their products! That’s how bloggers are able to do what they do.
Blogging is a whole lot of work and takes up SO MUCH of your time! If you weren’t able to make money from it, it would be tough trying to find time for it all along side your full time job.
7. You Receive Opportunities That You NEVER Thought You’d Have
I remember when I first started my blog. I had dreamed of receiving free product, traveling the world, and inspiring others… and then it came true!!! I seriously cry thinking about how far I have come. YES, I do pat myself on the back because I deserve it. The amount of hours and sleepless nights I put into getting to where I am now, it’s not easy.
The longer and harder you work at your blog the more opportunities will come your way. I have been invited to Boston College Fashion Week, I have worked with brands that I am OBSESSED with, I am able to travel to places that I would have never been able to afford otherwise AND I receive messages daily from ladies all around the world. It melts my damn heart!
I would have never expected any of this but, it reminds me that hard work pays off. Even when you think no one is reading or watching, they really are. Inspiring even ONE person is so rewarding.
8. You Get to Be Creative
If you are anything like me then you LOVE to be creative. I love blogging because it allows me to be as creative as I want! It’s so much fun.
9. Inspiring Others
I think one of the best things about blogging is receiving messages from others telling me that I inspire them. Blogging is so rewarding! I always wanted to inspire others and to know that I am, it makes blogging worth it. Just think of all the people YOU are inspiring through your writing. That’s motivation in itself.
THE BAD and THE UGLY Sides of Blogging
Of course not everything is rainbows and butterflies. There are some bad and ugly sides of blogging. This is just me being honest. I’m not going to sugar coat a thing. Maybe you’ll read these and shake your head “yessss, I can relate girl!!!”
As a disclaimer, none of this is to be taken offensively. It’s just what I have seen, learned, and experienced throughout my own blogging journey so far.
1. Unsupportive Family + Friends
It’s unfortunate BUT, not everyone is going to support you. I have friends that didn’t show any support and some family members that didn’t understand. I find that they don’t understand just how successful blogging can be if you pursue it hard enough.
Many are oblivious to the fact that you can earn money as a blogger. That’s why the blogging community is so important to me because we can all relate and support one another when those close to us don’t.
2. Sleepless Nights and an Exhausted Face
If you are trying to turn your blog into a career then you know this struggle all too well. You stay up LATE as hell trying to get your newest blog post written. I also tend to toss and turn because my mind won’t let me sleep.
That’s called PASSION. There’s nothing wrong with that BUT, you will be tired and you may look exhausted. Coffee probably will become your new best friend.
3. Slow and Steady
It’s EXTREMELY difficult to grow your social media and blog traffic. It’s so easy to get discouraged because you start to constantly compare your growth to other bloggers. I notice A LOT of bloggers play the follow/unfollow game making it nearly IMPOSSIBLE to grow your following.
It’s easy to get discouraged because the following comes so slowly BUT, if you continue to put out quality content and focus on content marketing strategies you will grow.
PRO TIP; Pinterest marketing and SEO are key contenders when it comes to growing your blog traffic. I have an affordable Pinterest marketing course and I took an amazing SEO course by Mike. He has a great free webmaster class here too.
4. E-courses & E-books
This is where you need to be VERY careful. One thing bloggers like to get you with is product. It’s no surprise, as a blogger it’s really great to have a digital product that you sell because it will give you passive income. This is income that you can make in your sleep. You create a product once and sell it consistently.
I have my own digital products and I am not against them. However, there are SO MANY e-courses and e-books out there that will scam you out of your money. PLEASE BE CAREFUL.
Make sure you do your research first and only purchase from bloggers that you TRUST. There are too many bloggers now a days that are trying to be experts at everything. Most haven’t even been blogging for longer than a year.
You want to make sure you are getting your moneys’ worth.
5. Mean People
You will definitely encounter some real jerks at some point during your blogging career. People get jealous and want to bring you down. Don’t let them win. Ignore the hateful comments, the rude opinions, and the discouraging words. You know your worth!!!! It’s okay to hit that block button too.
6. Feelings of loneliness and stress
Blogging can be very lonely especially, if you don’t have any friends who are bloggers. Since blogging is usually a work from home job, it’s important to switch up your scenery as often as possible. Maybe one day take your blogging to a coffee shop or outside. Be sure to join blogging communities and groups like Boss Girl Bloggers to try and find other bloggers. Blogging friends are the best kind of friends!
You will also feel stressed out especially, in the beginning because blogging is A LOT of work. It’s more than just writing and posting. It’s hours upon hours of work! Give yourself a break when needed.
I like to have one day a week dedicated to doing absolutely NOTHING and I also like to take a 5 minute break every hour or two.
7. Product PILE UP
As I mentioned before, being a blogging can lead to free product. A lot of this comes from PR mail and brand sponsorships. We are only human and sometimes it’s impossible to use up all of the products we receive. I find a lot of the product goes to waste.
In the beginning I would accept every opportunity that came my way until I realized that was the WRONG way to do things. Now my brand sponsorships are very limited. ONLY accept brand sponsorships that work for you and what you talk about.
Product will pile up and not to mention, the amount of boxes you need to cut up and deal with. Don’t get me wrong, I am VERY appreciative of the opportunities I have. I’m just being honest.
8. There’s Never Enough Time
Do you ever feel like you put in SO much time and energy to blogging and feel like it’s going absolutely NO WHERE… In the beginning it can feel that way but, I promise that someone is out there reading your content. You are inspiring someone. Even if it’s ONE person… That’s still amazing that you are able to impact someone else’s life through your writing. It’s so easy to feel like a failure when you are trying to become a “successful” blogger but, just know that your stats don’t define you as a blogger.
You could have little to no blog views and have AMAZING content. It’s all about how you market your content. Don’t get caught up in the numbers that you lose your focus and purpose.
9. Don’t Believe Everything You Read
There are bloggers out there that will get you with the “Learn how to make a six figure salary blogging in just 6 months” NO NO NO. Making money blogging takes a lot more time and effort! Don’t expect it to happen over night and DON’T expect it to happen without putting in work!
I started blogging in April of 2017 and it took me about 6 months to start making over $1,000 monthly.
It took a year to have consistent $5,000 – $6,000 months and 3 years to have consistent $10,000 – $13,000 months.
You can read my previous blog income reports:
Think of your blogging as a career. The longer you work at your job, you get raises etc. This happens with blogging too. The longer you work at it the better you become and the more you make.
The point here being; Making a 6 figure salary through blogging may be possible but it definitely takes more than 6 months and no ebook or e-course will get you that income over night. No matter what they say!
10. Watch Out For The Liars
It’s so easy to lie online. I mean we live in a “fake news” world, right?
In the blogging community you need to watch out for the liars.
There are plenty of bloggers who lie about how much money they make from their blog in order to get you to purchase their product. Before I buy a course or ebook I like to look for the concrete evidence. Show me your results and proof that your strategies will bring a result.
Other bloggers will lie about the products they use and love because they are working with the brand on a paid sponsorship.
The one thing that is crucial to blogging is being honest with your audience.
11. Other Bloggers are Supportive – BUT Not Really
As I said before, the blogging community is really sweet and supportive for the most part BUT, a lot of it feels like competition rather than community.
We are all trying to grow our stats, numbers, etc. SO what do I notice? I notice that other bloggers are less likely to support and follow back on social media. A lot of bloggers will play the follow/unfollow game because they care about their numbers and they want to keep the followers/following ratio low. I GET IT. But is it disheartening? Of course.
Nothing is more frustrating than when a blogger will follow just to unfollow once you follow them back.
SO what have I learned through this? I learned that not every blogger wants to help other bloggers succeed. I learned that engaging with those on social media who AREN’T bloggers helps to grow my following more because they aren’t focused on the numbers game. They actually want to read your content more than another blogger would. I also learned that I don’t care as much about my numbers as I used to. Instead i’d rather focus on creating quality content for my targeted audience.
There are lots of sincere, genuine, kind, and supportive bloggers out there. You just have to find them.
12. Free Time is GONE
Whenever you aren’t busy you will be blogging. Your free time is pretty much gone. I love blogging so it doesn’t feel as if my free time is “gone”. Instead it feels like I am spending my “free time” doing something I LOVE. If you love to blog then this won’t be much of an issue.
I find sometimes it’s just hard to balance it all.
It’s no doubt that when you are trying to become a successful blogger there will be plenty of times when you compare your blog to another blog. This is the WORST thing you could do to yourself and your blogging journey.
Most of the time we are comparing our beginning to someone else’s middle or end. This leads to feeling discouraged and thoughts of giving up on your blog start to consume you.
Instead, focus on what you can do to improve. I am constantly learning and trying to improve my blog.
Keep in mind, what works for one person might not work for the other. Just because you don’t have hundreds and thousands of subscribers, doesn’t mean that your content is bad. I have seen blogs who have thousands of subscribers and their content isn’t that great and I have seen blogs with amazing content but little subscribers.
Just keep putting out your best content and worry about the audience you DO have. The rest will follow.
14. People Refuse Using Affiliate Links
One way to earn money through blogging is by using affiliate links. It’s not easy getting someone to purchase a product through your affiliate link. IN FACT, at times it can seem nearly impossible.
I actually have seen comments about how people REFUSE to purchase through affiliate links and will go out of their way to search for the product instead. Seems ridiculous right? Seeing as how purchasing through an affiliate link DOES NOT mean that they have to pay more.
Some people really just aren’t supportive.
All in all, I am so happy that I decided to start a blog. It’s been fun and very rewarding! Yes there are bad days or days where I feel exhausted BUT, doing what I love makes it all worth it. I wouldn’t change a thing!
Let’s connect on social media!
Beauty + Lifestyle Instagram: @ELLDUCLOS
Until Next Time,
Tracey Tripp says
A very honest and informative post. I have so much passion for my blog and love writing, interacting or making videos. It’s my way of being creative. I also hope to do this full time but not there yet.
Hannah kelley says
Love this! Very encouraging for those of us with big dreams who ar just starting out. Thanks for keeping it real!!
Kristiana wajnblom says
Great post, Lauren! I’m kicking myself for not going as hard as I could have in the beginning. It looks like we started blogging around the same time and I fell victim to comparison and let the opinions of others about my dream of blogging slow me down. I love being part of your community! It has inspired me so much! ?
Glad I found this post! I know it isn’t all sunshine and roses but few are willing to share the downside so that a new blogger can put things in perspective! I am much of a realist so don’t put a lot of stock in those unbelievsble success stories–(How many them already knew marketing and were tech-savvy?!!!). You also confirmed to me that many of those E-books are worthless. I had already decided that whatever I needed to know, someone else has already read the book and posted their own article offering the same information right there! I hope to launch my new travel blog site the first of July (globetrottingwithgail.org). I still don’t know everything yet but will take it one step at a time! *And, I already contacted my local library for someone to help me through the rough parts-NO e-book required! LOL!
Aw thank you so much! So glad you found this helpful! And yesssss! You got this! Can’t wait to see your journey to continue to unfold (:
Love this post Lauren. Very honesty and very informative. I can definitely feel you on so many levels but as long as you love what you’re doing the rewards will come in time 😀
Rachel simmonds says
Great post, Lauren! I like that you’re completely honest and don’t try to sugar coat anything. Everything you say is true.
Monica Vaklinova says
Grest post, Ell! Thank you for being 100% honest! Most of the people share only the good side of blogging and we all know it’s not only sugar and candies! It was really refreshing to read this! Thank you so much for sharing! ?
i love this post. I agree with the bad sides especially bloggers unfollowing you the moment you follow them to increase their followers count. i think its really tacky. Gosh so true, someone asked what i do on my off work days and if i get bored, i was like em i am never really free, if i am not at work, i am blogging or doing house chores lollll. I totally love the facebook group though, i am always on it anytime i am on facebook, its the most supportive and informative group i am in! Thanks!!
Teliah NaShonia says
you’re so write blogging has been so therapeutic for me. It has lessened my depression and has made me so happy to see how my words inspire others, I literally just started my blog on 11-14 and thanks to your group, I have come across some phenomenal women and opportunities.
Every time I start wondering what I am going to write about next, I look at that product pile up corner!
Oh, and no. If you could GET RICH QUICK from blogging, I would own 4 mansions by now, lol.
That’s blogging, though and I love every single second of it. The good definitely outweighs the bad!
Yes exactly!!!! Glad someone can relate (:
Kenna Rogers says
I love reading your articles. Great stuff. I love the fact that you are so thorough and down to earth. You inspire me! Thank so much.
Thank you so much that means a lot to me!
This was very helpful and encouraging! I have been blogging only for a couple of moths and at time have gotten frustrated because I am not getting any sponsored posts. So I started with just getting free products or samples to do reviews. Have to start somewhere!
Thank you so much! And congrats on getting started that’s amazing! Yes, you have to start somewhere and that’s exactly where everyone starts so you are on the right track! You got this!!!
I’m trying to get into the whole blogging process and your content has been EXTREMELY helpful! Thanks for all your tips ! ❤️❤️
Aw thank you so much! That means a lot to me!!