Recently I have been checking on some blogging forums and have noticed how varied the difficulties are that bloggers face (particularly new bloggers). Those with technical skills sometimes find it difficult to find inspiration for posts whereas those with experience with writing may struggle to get to grips with running their blog and customising it the way they want.
Don’t be alarmed if you are being overwhelmed with the many aspects of being a blogger. There is a learning curve and things do start to get easier as time goes by. However, because I have been blogging for years, I have a bad habit of forgetting how difficult some things are, so yesterday I asked Blogging Tips Twitter Followers ‘What do you find most difficult as a blogger?’. The replies were quite interesting so I thought I would share them all with you and give my own opinion on the subject 🙂
Getting people to not only visit but also leave their imprint with an intelligent comment or reaction.
There are numerous ways to increase comments on your blog posts. Commenting on other blogs may help, particularly if you refer to a related article of your own in your reply. Getting traffic to your blog is obviously a major factor too because if no one is reading, no one is commentating.
Encouraging a higher quality of comment is a little bit more difficult. Generally speaking, the higher the quality the article is, the higher the quality of the comments. Though there are many factors to be considered. For example, Is your article the first to break a news story, do people strongly agree/disagree with your opinion or are you perhaps discussing something which people are really passionate about (sports/religion/politics etc)?
You also have to appreciate that many people aren’t in the habit of writing long or high quality comments. Just like in traditional discussion forums, many people will simply reply with a ‘good article’ or ‘I disagree’ type comment without going into any great detail beyond that (not that there’s anything wrong with that).
Choosing a topic to start blogging on is proving a challenge, lots of ideas, but need to take ACTION.
There are lots of great articles online which give you advice on how to choose a blog niche. But my advice to anyone who is unsure about what topic to blog about is this : Blog about something you are passionate about!
If you are passionate about a subject you will not only enjoy blogging more, it will be reflected in your posts, which increases the chance of your blog becoming successful. I made the mistake of starting a website in a subject I wasn’t interested in a few times. In the beginning it wasn’t too bad but after a while I found updating those sites to be a real pain in the ass and they were sold on soon after.
It’s very tempting to start a blog in a niche with high CPC and commission rates but I would encourage anyone who wants to find success with a blog to write about something which they love.
If you are struggling to figure out what subject you are passionate about then ask yourself these questions: What websites do you regularly visit, what magazines and books do you enjoy reading, what topic do you love debating about with others?
Dealing with trolls and spammers in a “professional” manner.
Personally, I’ve had to deal with spammers more often than trolls. With spam the main problem is trackback spam however most trackback spammers tend to spam pages with a PageRank so it happens on older posts more. Which is why I had to switch comments off on posts here which are older than 30 days (thankfully it seems to have resolved the problem).
The other type of spam I get on BloggingTips is low quality comments. I have stressed many times that comments here have the nofollow tag attached and I have explained why there is no benefit in promoting your blog via comments for search engine benefits. Yet everyday someone inevitably leaves a comment using their blogs name instead of their own name (which means I have to reply to a comment from ‘Great BBQ Deals’ instead of ‘John’!). I know it’s petty but unless the comment is really good, I am less inclined to reply to people who do this.
With regards to Trolls, I’ve only had the odd clash with them. However, if the problem got worst I would take a zero tolerence with them. At the end of the day, it’s your blog. So why you should have to deal with people who are abusive, racist and downright ignorant.
If you do have a problem with Trolls I suggest adding a message in the comment area stating that abusive messages etc will not be tolerated. This might discourage trolls from writing comments in the first place. Check out the comment area from one of Tim Ferriss’s posts to get an idea of what I’m talking about 🙂
I think that everyone finds Inspiration in different places.
If you are developing a blog primarily to make money then you may find inspiration from bloggers who have found success via a blog. If you are looking to become a writer then you may be inspired by those who started off as a blogger like yourself and then got a publishing deal.
You might be inspired by someone who isn’t even a blogger e.g. perhaps a friend of yours has built up a successful business from scratch and his success has inspired you to do the same online.
I do think that inspiration can come in many shapes and sizes though. Only recently I was inspired to work a little bit harder because the payment for my upcoming holiday was due! 🙂
Patience. I need to think that I will yield the results of my blogging business within months or even years. 🙂 Difficult.
I think that you are one step ahead of a lot other bloggers by realising this. Many new bloggers believe they will be making thousands of dollars with their blog within a few months. True, some bloggers have achieved this but most bloggers don’t start making good money with their blog until their blog has been established, which can take a year or two.
It can be frustrating working on your blog week in week out without seeing a direct return, which is why so many people stop posting on their blog within a few months of launching it. The people who find success with their blog are the ones who persevere and work out a long term strategy for their blog.
Writer’s block, it sucks, it can breathe the life out of you.
The best writers in the world also suffer from writers block so don’t be too disheartened when it happens to you. I find it difficult to write when I am really tired and in the past I have taken 30 minutes to write a post which would normally take me 5.
To get the most out of working online you need to be productive with your time. Therefore, if I’m struggling for ideas for a post I do some research. I browse the web, read articles, take notes and sometimes save a quick draft of a post idea. I then get away from the computer, either to sleep, go to the gym or just get out the house for a while.
The time away from the computer gives me time to relax but it also gives me time to let the ideas for posts sink in. When I come back to the computer afterwards I am normally in a better mindset to write with the creative juices flowing more.
Coming up with topics that are interesting, or getting traffic to my blog.
Who’s to say what an interesting topic is. There are people out there who will find this article interesting but there are also people who would be bored to tears reading this. Everyone has different interests and hobbies. If you are writing about something which interests you then I’m sure that there will be someone out there who finds the subject interesting too.
Don’t cater to the masses, cater to your own interests and your knowledge and love for the subject will show in the post.
Determining the moment a post is finished and should be posted, read, and left to itself.
This is something which I have struggled with in the past. I think that a post is complete when you have covered every point you wanted to address in the post. If the article is long but you haven’t covered everything, it may be worth finishing the article and covering the other points in a 2nd or 3rd article.
Time is a big factor though. Due to being in a rush, I have published posts which were far from complete. Likewise, when I have found myself with too much time the posts have sometimes been too long and drawn out.
Over time I believe that this will become less of an issue. You will see what posts readers respond to and get a better idea of what length they prefer.
What do you find most difficult as a blogger?
I hope you have enjoyed the list. Though this discussion is by no means over. Please let us know what aspect of blogging you find difficult. Also, If there is something which you are really struggling with, let me know and I will do my best to write a step by step guide to help you progress 🙂