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What is Hard About the Hard Work of Blogging?

What is Hard About the Hard Work of Blogging?

In an ongoing series on called Blog Struggles, I will be sharing my thoughts, experiences, and advice on the challenges I’ve faced writing online for almost 15 years. So far, I’ve covered the struggles to find blog content and keeping track of your ideas and drafts for blog posts.

Before I ask you about what you consider the hardest part of the hard work of blogging, let’s look back at all the different blog struggles and challenges I’ve written about here on the .

I’ve asked you to answer what it really takes to blog and got you thinking about whether or not you are blogging about topics you should be blogging about. Together, we’ve asked ourselves what is sucking your blogging confidence away and looked at what we can do to reenergizing your blogging spirit, which begged the question of whether or not your self-worth was wrapped up in your blog. Many times I’ve asked you to clarify your blog’s description and purpose to help you stay motivated and on track with your blog and its content. I’ve asked you to consider how you make decisions about your blog content, if you are writing for your audience or for yourself, if you are listening to them, and are you writing to encourage readers to return, or doing things that kill the blog conversation, which can also cost you readers. I’ve also asked you to consider the power of a the link and comments to inspire you and your blog writing.

I’ve written about the hard decision to finally stop allowing splogs and scrapers to publish their trackback links on my blogs, as well as how to help you make the difficult, and sometimes boring, decisions about policies and legal actions on your blog like writing a blog disclaimer or not, considering blog comments etiquette and writing a comments policy. I’ve also asked you that in spite or our eagerness to increase comments on our blogs, are we becoming a little over-sensitive about blog comments? What about how we should apologize for our wrong doing on our blog, if and when we do mess up. We’ve also discussed learning about content theft and abusive readers and bloggers, and the art of negative blogging.

From a technical perspective, I’ve helped you discover more about using your web browser to become a better and more efficient blogger, and to consider if you are really writing to help readers find your blog, taking time to fix and clarify your post categories and tags, and considering your readers when you decide how often to publish your blog posts, preventing your blog from feed fatique. I’ve asked you to look to your own blog to clean up the clutter and consider what are the most important things you must have on your blog. Putting ads on your blog isn’t an easy task for many, so I’ve asked you to think about the advertising method that works best for your blog, paying attention to what works and what doesn’t, and eliminating the time-wasting efforts.

Security is always a concern for bloggers, as I reminded everyone when I asked them to update or change the passwords on their blogs to ensure they are not easily broken or hackable.

Blogging is hard work as it isn’t just about your blog but the time spent with social media that may or may not bring additional traffic to your blog. Are you wasting your time or making your time investment in social media work for you?

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In the end, how do you really score your blogging success and experience? Has it been worthwhile and profitable? Or does it continue to be a bit of a thankless pursuit and you feel like you are spinning your wheels and considering adding a forum or doing something drastic to jazz things up with awards or contests, or possibly selling your blog?

Clearly, there are a lot of challenges and hard work that goes into blogging, of which I’ve just scratched the surface.

I want to know from you what is the hardest aspect of blogging for you. What stresses you out? What challenges you every day when you approach your keyboard? What do you struggle with as you publish your blog’s content? What, for you, is the hardest part of blogging?

View Comments (7)
  • For me, the hardest thing is sustaining my energy. Not for writing posts, usually when I feel a bit low on content I just start writing whatever comes, and find myself reinvigorated, even if the post turns out to be something completely unexpected, something completely different from those first few sentences.

    But the energy to do all the little things to improve my blog, its appearance, its navigation, its accessibility, and even upgrading – that is often hard to come by. I know that I still have a lot of work to do before it is the best it can be but that task list hasn’t gotten any smaller. I’m just now starting to work on a blog plan and I think that having time set aside for that will help.

    Still, energy is the one aspect of blogging that is a limited resource. And I need to improve my resource management.

  • I believe a blog should be a personal thing. There is no need to get stressed about blogging. I want to use my blog to retain things that I found worthy of comment, regardless of whether anyone else is interested.

    Who cares what I think? Probably very few people. My blog is a way of organizing my thoughts so that I can return to them and either act upon them, or obliterate them.

  • @R.A.D. Stainforth:

    In Are You Using Your Blog as a Note Reminder and Storage?, I asked readers to consider that if they are using their blog for them, and only for their personal use, why not make it private.

    When you make your blog public, you do so with the intent, conscious or not, of having “someone” read it. You want to share and have visitors by opening the door to your blog. If you really don’t care about what others think or if anyone ever reads this, then your blog is a tool and maybe best kept private.

    Not that you should, but it is something you should consider if your statement is true. which is one of the things many bloggers struggle with during their blogging life.

  • Lorelle, I’m wondering about your suggestion that personal writing written without concern for readers may be “best kept private.” My first thought was “best for whom,” and I can’t come up with anyone. For the writer who seems to enjoy hitting “publish,” for whatever reason, there seems to be no drawback. Nor would it seem better or best for anyone who comes across the public piece, and finds it worth reading. Even if a person is not publishing for the public’s enjoyment, making it public creates the possibility for enjoyment. After all, a decent portion of the world’s great art and literature was created by monumental egotists who considered it a positive point of principle that artists should work without consideration of audiences’ tastes or preferences.

    True, that attitude can also produce a lot of self-indulgent tripe. But bad writing is produced by writers focusing too much on what the audience wants just as readily as by writers who produce in serene disregard of readers. I myself am no great artist. Still, I find that for me, writing without regard for anything but what the piece needs is freeing. I believe all writing is writing practice, and it helps me to keep that sort of focus. As far as making the finished work public – this is probably silly. But to me, hitting “publish” is what makes it a finished work. It feels important, final. It brings a satisfaction to the process and with satisfaction, self-encouragement to keep on.

    For a writer of my mindset, publication is probably just a nonsensical, unmeaning step in a private ritual of writing. Yet I say ritual is good, where it helps practice. Publication harms nothing, and sometimes it brings unexpected good. Sometimes a reader will love the piece I wrote in serene disregard for whatever their reaction might be. Other times, a reader may criticize what I’ve done. I’m delighted by either response – the fact that I didn’t write it to get a response is part of what makes it such an unexpected and welcome surprise. When someone finds what I wrote worth reading, or worth a reaction, it’s a compliment. I wasn’t fishing for compliments, but I can enjoy them.

    For some people, to “dance as if no one is looking” is just the best way to go about creating something. To write without any consideration of the audience whatsoever. Certainly there are many reasons why a writer might prefer to keep such work private. Still, apart from the writer’s preference, I can’t think of anyone for whose sake such writing would be best kept private.

    In any case, pardon my much belated chime-in! As the post remains public I’m encouraged to think it retains a purpose to be read and to prompt reactions.

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