So I want to write about a couple things. Frustrating things.
Specifically, frustrating things about starting a blog, when you have zero experience with starting a blog (or with blogging for that matter).
I have no clue if these are the “main struggles” of starting a blog, it’s just what my experience has been so far. And if you are starting your blog, or any online creation, maybe you can relate. (and if you have already started something and grown it into a real deal, legitimate thing by now, well then by all means, feel free to leave any suggestions or tips in the comments because I don’t know what I’m doing.)
1. You have to start coming up with stupid post-titles like this one
I feel horrible about this title. I hate these kinds of titles.
They are very popular, I know that. But also, they’re the worst. This seriously gives me the creeps. “5 struggles of starting your first blog”, really? Come on, who talks like that? Let’s not be so dramatic about everything.
However. I also feel like I don’t know what I’m doing. And if this is what people are currently doing… maybe I should just suck it up and do it too? (Or should I?)
2. Google won’t be much help
Want to know some of the things a newbie blogger googles?
How to add a pinterest button to your blog / How to claim your website on pinterest / Make community / What’s the deal with Adsense / Benefits of starting an email list / Google analytics for wordpress / Connecting through blogs instead of just generating traffic / etc.
Sadly, whenever I try to google for help, two things happen: – Google brings me things that are helpful to other problems. – Google brings me things that bum me out.
I swear, google constantly brings me articles like this:
This is how to make money with your blog through affiliate marketing Check out how I made a pile of money blogging in just three months! How money this How money that
Wait! Google, this is for people who already have a somewhat sizable blog. People who have tons of readers, and are really trying to go pro. That’s not me. You’re not working with me here, I need advice for people who literally started out just last month.
Come on, google. I thought you were watching my every move. I mean… aren’t you? Because even though that’s super creepy – right now, I feel like you don’t even know me any more…
3. Spending way more time on promoting posts then on actually writing them
I get that you have to do the social media thing, so that people can find your blog. But that doesn’t mean I’m happy about it. And since this is a post about struggles, I get to talk about it. So far, I’ve been focussing on pinterest, and it’s already taking up more time than the writing does. And that’s just one platform. Just one.
Yet somehow I find myself spending an awful lot of my time in canva, making pins so that my hatstall pinterest account will bring people here (which, to be fair, it does. Occasionally).
And I actually like making pins. I like pinterest much more then instagram, twitter and facebook, which is why I chose to start with pinterest for promoting my posts. But still… I didn’t think it was going to take up this much of my time. I’m in this for the writing. I love the writing. I need the writing. And I want to write often.
4. Feeling like a loser who’s talking to herself
Yeah I didn’t think this part was gonna bother me so much. It kinda does though.
I write children’s books and so far zero of them have been published. I’m no stranger to writing without anybody reading it (except for friends and family). But with manuscripts it’s normal that the writing comes first and the readers come later. Even when you’re struggling to get published (which I am and it sucks) you don’t feel like as much of a loser because you’re stuff just isn’t out there yet. So it makes sense that you don’t have any readers.
With this blog it’s different though. This is out there. So far I have posted eleven blog posts, so technically people could have read them. And barely anyone has, so that feels a bit more like failing then the huge stack of rejection letters from publishers does (although those feel great too).
And somewhere in my mind I kinda know that it’s not failing. Firstly, because it takes time to create content, and then even more time to go out there and promote that content. So it’s just going to take a while before you get to meet some interested readers who will engage with you on all the topics you love so much. Secondly I enjoy writing blogposts and any kind of writing helps keep me sane, so in that sense this blog is already a huge success. Also I think you can learn a lot as a writer by changing writing formats, so even if only a couple of people end up reading this, I’ll still get a lot of practice out of it and maybe, hopefully, my writing will also improve.
I know that rationally. But I still feel like a bit of a loser.
5. I have no money for this
In most of my google travels about starting a blog I quickly figured out that you’re basically screwed if you don’t invest money in your blog.
You need something called tailwind to get your pins noted on pinterest, to drive traffic to your blog. Without tailwind you’re screwed, and all your pins will drown in the clutter. At least, according to everybody online who is pushing tailwind on me because they have an affiliate deal. Which is probably why they’re making it seem like I really need to go and sign up right now, otherwise my blog is destined to fail what are you still doing here you idiot why are you not clicking on my affiliate links!
Yeah, relax okay, I’ll click. Just cause I’m a good bro and I’ll help you out. I get it: you getting these deals relies on me clicking. So I’ll click. But could you also give me some actual advice? You know, on how to get a blog going when you don’t have any money to spend?
And this is just one example. Apparently you also need an email outreach tool, a keyword planning tool, a social media tool, and a impact title tool, a chew my food tool, a wipe my ass tool, and a scare away the monsters under my bed tool, or YOU ARE SCREWED. Every page I land on has an affiliate deal for these things, and they make it v-e-r-y clear that I have zero chance in hell to ever get noticed by more than eight people over the next decade, if I don’t invest in all these things. These tools are usually a ‘mere $10 a month’ but I don’t have that kind of money, and I definitely don’t have it for over two dozen different tools!
You’re making me feel like my blog is never going to get anywhere, and I didn’t even want it to get anywhere!
It doesn’t have to be a major thing, okay, I just want to write about all the things I care about (Harry Potter, personalities and personal growth, chronic pain, and other interesting things). And I would like to meet people who care about this stuff to.
I do want people to read it. I’m just gonna do the scary thing here and admit that I do.
But not because I want millions of pageviews. I would much rather have a small but engaged group, a community if you will, then random pageclicks because I came up with the right titles (the right, super annoying titles) and had all the tools for getting clicks, but the clicks are from random people who bounce immediately after scrolling to the page for six seconds.
I’m gonna keep writing
So… if you’re here, and you can relate, don’t leave me hanging okay? Are you a newbie blogger, who’s a bit demotivated because of all the other stuff that comes along with starting a blog? Let’s talk.
I’m going to keep posting – because again, I’m in it for the writing itself most of all. And I hope you keep posting too. Leave your blog in the comments, and I’ll check it out and then we can skip and braid each others hair.