This post might be seen as controversial but that is not the intention. I came up with ten annoying things about blogging myself and then thought I’d ask some others to contribute. It turned into a much longer list! Fact is, I’ve written this after countless conversations with/comments from bloggers; much as most of us love what we do, this was a post that was begging to be written! So I admit it may seem as if there is a LOT to dislike about blogging…to the point where you may wonder why we bloggers don’t just stop blogging and become window cleaners instead.
Problem is, I’ve never been good at cleaning windows…
I LOVE BLOGGING FOR MANY REASONS
See? Love it so much, I even put that bit in capital letters. I’ve been at it for three years at the time of writing and can’t quite remember how I existed before it to be honest. So far so warm and fuzzy.
I also flipping hate it at times.
GASP! Uh oh, she’s throwing her toys out the pram! No not really. Well, a bit. As with any job or hobby, no matter how much you may love it, there are aspects of blogging that totally grate on the nerves.
So I thought I’d cover some of those downsides. Surely, however, when there is real crap going on in the world – war, famine, terror, rape, unparalleled refugee crisis, Trump – pondering over the annoying things about blogging is some bourgeois luxury? And it’s not like it’s the first time I’ve wrung my hands about this job/passion/addiction. No, that’s a tad simplistic and we wouldn’t do, speak or write anything about anything if I always assumed that position. So without any further preamble, here is a list (along with some hashtag snarkiness) of things that annoy bloggers.
Featuring contributions from John of Dad Blog UK, Tony (formerly of The Life of Tont), Talya of Motherhood the Real Deal, Sam of Sam Runs & Lifts, Sarah of Mumzilla, BM of The Adventures of Beta Mummy and Fran of Whinge Whinge Wine.
THE ALL CONSUMING NATURE OF IT
The bane of all blogger’s lives. Unlike with a lot of ‘regular’ jobs that one leaves behind at the office, you can blog 24/7. The very freedom it gives you can also create a prison because you’re always aware you can blog anywhere anytime.The writing and the promotion and the brand collabs and the reading other blogs and the linkies and the social media and the e-v-e-r-t-h-i-n-g. And apparently I’m meant to drink at least two litres of water a day and remember to breathe. When? WHEN?! Basically, there just aren’t enough hours in
the week life for it all. #PleaseSendVodkaAndChocolateButMainlyVodka
For me it’s all the behind the scenes tinkering that goes into your website. I installed a plugin that messed up a load of posts so I had to fix all of that but the tech side is totally invisible to the reader. So you can stay up til 1am crying over a bit of code that may as well be Latin but to the outside world it just looks like you’ve not posted for a week. Because there’s no sodding time! Sam
2 ALL. THE. SOCIAL. MEDIA.
Probably one of THE most annoying things about blogging and perfectly summed up by Sam and John. Actually I think Sam’s suggestion should be the law:
Time blocking social media doesn’t work; it’s a total fallacy. If you’re not on it 24/7 you feel like you’re missing out which is a horrendous blight to the work/life balance! I wish the whole blogging world could take Sundays off. Sam
“If there’s one thing I dislike, it’s having to remain constantly active on social media. I use Twitter, IG, FB, YouTube, Google + etc. and while I love the interaction, discussion and debate, keeping on top of all channels is time consuming and it can be difficult to switch off.” John
ALGORITHMS & RANKINGS NOBODY UNDERSTANDS AND MIND GAMES
3. INSTAGRAM FOLLOW UNFOLLOW FOLLOW UNFOLLOW
Seeing your Instagram followers go up and down like a yoyo, thanks to Instagrammers with too much ego and too little sense playing that ridiculous game of ‘follow to unfollow’. What a disheartening and frankly mannerless waste of everyone’s time to wake up to notifications about a bunch of new followers only to find your overall follower number is in fact lower than or the same as it was the day before. I love the feelgood factor of this platfrom but the unfollower thing? Instasham! The school playground was a long time ago. #JustGrowUp
murdering post reach so you’re forced to spend money to boost posts if you want anyone other than your granny and her cat to read your content. Clearly your followers would rather see adverts for self-improvement courses and chakra jewellery than your latest post… #ImNotNiceWhenImAngry
And the never-ending mystery and frustration (or maybe I’m just doing something wrong?) of no longer being able to like or comment on bloggers’ posts (on their page) as your own page id. I don’t publish my name anywhere on my blog or Facebook page for privacy reasons and can’t understand why Facebook expects me to show my full name when commenting on a person’s page. What benefit is that to the blogger or me? (Sadly, in order to join Facebook groups, I’ve had to reveal my name which I’m unhappy about beyond all measure.)
5. KLOUT DISCONNECTING LINKED NETWORKS WITHOUT WARNING OR EXPLANATION
You put a tonne of work into growing your IG regularly only to notice your Klout has dropped several places! Upon closer inspection, it turns out Instagram was disconnected. No idea why, no idea when. And it keeps happening. #MakeItStop (Update, May 2020: Luckily this did stop when Klout ceased operating in 2018!)
Cue silence. From me that is. I’m far too chicken to say anything on this topic. Luckily, the inimitable Fran isn’t.
Blogger ranking schemes take into account everything but the quality of the writing; some brilliant blogs get overlooked just because the bloggers behind them can’t be arsed to play the instagram game. Fran
7. LOSING OUT TO BLOGGERS WITH FAKE HUGE FOLLOWER NUMBERS (THAT PEOPLE BELIEVE)
Okay, I couldn’t stay silent. Seriously the shortsightedness here would be funny if it weren’t so damned frustrating. How do people not see what’s going on? It doesn’t take a social media expert or statistician to work out that if someone has several hundred thousand followers, is only following a few hundred themselves and gets about 40 likes on their posts – those are ghost followers. Ain’t no engagement, ain’t no real person. #GetWithTheProgramme
I simply can’t be bothered and am frankly too busy to:
spend [my] evenings following and unfollowing on twitter and the like. Fran
WORKING WITH BRANDS!
This is an enormous topic that I could (and should) write about separately. Grab yourself a drink (actually can you get me one too?) and let’s do this! #InhaleExhale
8. BEING EXPECTED TO PROSTITUTE YOUR INTEGRITY AND TIME FOR FREE
The expectation that you will write about anything and everything just because somebody has pitched it to you like you are there to blog at the whim of everyone else and their agendas…NO, just NO! (You can pay me for that…and then maybe). Talya
I get annoyed by people wanting to work with you and then flinging the follow link bulls**t in after you’ve done the work. Sarah
“If you just write a short post mentioning us, share it on social media with our name and maybe mention us elsewhere on your site, that’s really no cost to you.”
Er…so you mean you want me to work my bits off for nothing, give you a follow link AND give you free advertising? Wish I could unsee that email out of all the daft emails. #DidIJustRemoveMyOwnBrainWithoutRealising
“Your metrics are not good enough to justify the payment you’re asking for”
Guess what? This was said by the same PR as above to a couple of my blog friends whose stats are to die for. Short of bribing the heads of Google and Facebook to raise their rankings even further, I don’t know how their metrics could be any better. #BeCarefulBloggersDoTalk
10. THE GAP BETWEEN THE TIME AND EFFORT YOU PUT IN AND WHAT YOU GET BACK
Hands up if you’ve put in several hours writing a comprehensive review with quality photos that took time to set up, in exchange for an item that is so low value that actually your labour and effort cost more than the item itself.
11. OUTREACH REPS/CONTENT WRITERS WHO CAN’T GET YOUR NAME RIGHT…
I’ve received enough emails starting with “Hey Absolutely” to make my eyes bleed. Come on, I know Indian names aren’t the easiest but seriously? My first name is not Absolutely and my last name is not Prabulous, #TotalFlippingTwonk
12…AND HAVEN’T THE FAINTEST IDEA OF WHAT YOUR BLOG IS ABOUT
What’s more, does this sound familiar?: “Hey your site is awesome, especially your articles about fashion.” Thanks, my site is awesome (inside my tiny deluded brain) but as I’ve never written about fashion, it’s more obvious than 90% of Barry Manilow’s face now being plastic that you’ve never read a single thing I’ve written. #NowPleaseNaffOffAndDoYourResearch
13. PR’S WHO DON’T RESPOND ONCE YOU’VE REPLIED ETC
If certain PRs weren’t so lazy and actually read blogs rather than just telling you they had, they would know whether someone was a ‘good fit’ and whether they were someone they wanted to work with before they emailed you and wasted everyone’s time. Fran
THE BLOG COMMUNITY, THE GOOD, THE BAD AND THE UGLY
14. FOLLOW LINKS OR NO FOLLOW LINKS?!
I’ve had so many conversations and read so much about this, I just want to go into a dark room on my own and suck my thumb for a while. There is a LOT of conflicting opinion on this from bloggers, digital marketers, reputable SEO experts and so on. I happen to be married to someone who’s specialised in online marketing for 15 years. I listen to him! And this lady…I listen to her succinct appraisal!:
I hate how people get hysterical about the right or wrong way to do it (e.g. accept or don’t accept follow links). BM
15. SOME ‘MEGA’ BLOGS ARE ACTUALLY NOT VERY GOOD
where the quality of the written English is terrible compared to other little blogs with brilliant writing. BM
I hadn’t thought of any of the following points in this section until Tony responded so this is all him:
16. THE NUMBER OF BLOGGING GROUPS
In 2016 I was added to 24 blogging groups that all did essentially the same thing. Many of the same people asking the same questions in multiple groups. The notifications did my head right in. Tony.
17. BLOGGERS BEHAVING BADLY
Rather than work hard to improve their brand, a minority seem inclined to just want to bring others down rather than build themselves up. I’ve met more nice people than mean, but that minority sometimes ruin the experience. Tony
18. THE VASTNESS OF THE BLOGGING COMMUNITY
One of the beautiful things about blogging is that anyone can do it, but because anyone can do it, everyone does it. Fighting for a larger slice of the pie has become so competitive and PR and brands exploit it. Tony
TECHNOLOGY (GOD HELP US ALL)
19. THE NEVER-ENDING LABYRINTH
I can’t even. I’ll just start weeping as I’ve still got PTSD from a hosting issue a few months ago. So I’ll let Tony take this last one too!
Technical stuff, coding, resolving design issues, head sections, analytics all confound and confuse me. I wish I had the time and patience to learn this craft better. Tony
20. LINKIS SOFTWARE
Feeling more violated at your tweets being taken over by that linkis third party software (replacing your own URL’s with the in.is ‘prefix’) than if your house was burgled. No joke, we were burgled just six days after moving into our house and I honestly was less affected by that than this problem that I only knew about thanks to Tony again. (Thankfully, like Klout, Linkis have shut down since this post was written.)
21. BLOG/SOCIAL MEDIA IMAGE SIZES
Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, YouTube…headers, featured images, thumbnails, landscape, portrait, rectangular, square… I know I sound childish but whyyyyyy can’t there be one standard size? #MyHeadHurts
AAAAND THE REST!
The fact that there is always some d***head who takes it the wrong way, and goes out the their way to tell you that you’re an awful parent. It can be difficult not to dwell on that one person even when the other reactions were brilliant. Fran
23. HOW BLOG AWARDS WORK
I wasn’t sure whether to mention this as I’ve won an award for blogging and I don’t agree with one of the main opinions! General consensus is that winning a blog award is about the numbers game (which I used to think): ie the more followers you have, the more votes you’re going to get. Actually my IG, FB & Twitter numbers are even tinier than my boobs and yet I was still shortlisted despite all the other finalists having much larger followings than me. Basically I don’t think anyone knows the mechanics of it!! But I know from talking to bloggers and reading posts like this one by Frenchie Mummy that this is the general view:
Awards are often about your social media following rather than quality. [There are blogs that are] not very well written but have legions of followers and some beautiful writers miss out. Sarah
24. LINKIES AND RULES
This might throw a spanner in the works but for many, certain rules which oblige the linker to comment on specific posts just because of their place in the link up – regardless of whether it’s the sort of thing they want to read – make it unenjoyable.
The fact that if you join linkies you end up having to comment on posts reviewing a random product or day out at a castle in Derbyshire. Sam
25. BEING ASKED “SO YOU JUST GET FREE STUFF AND WRITE A FEW PARAGRAPHS?
This may well be in a lot of bloggers’ top five most annoying things about blogging. Yes. Basically that is ALL we do.
SO WHY ON EARTH DO WE CARRY ON BLOGGING?!
- Because while many feel these frustrations, it’s strangely addictive and rewarding.
- Because while it can make you want to stick pins in your eyes, it’s also gratifying when people get what you write (or read it at all).
- Because the support and camaraderie is wonderful.
- Because many of us (particularly mothers) ‘find ourselves again’ through blogging.
IT GETS IN YOUR BLOOD
I can no longer just watch a film/TV show without playing Name That Font in my head for every credit or subtitle I see. (I now I need help.) I get more excited over noticing a blogger’s new website theme than if they told me they were having a baby. And if you think I’m just plain sad, check out How to Tell if You’re Officially a Blog Geek and see how many points you relate to!
IT CAN GIVE YOU OPPORTUNITIES YOU NEVER EXPECTED
I love blogging. Although it wasn’t my intention, I kickstarted a career as a blogger and writer, one that I am able to fit around my family commitments, this is vital for me as a stay at home father. John
FINALLY, OF COURSE THE SURPRISING ICING ON THE CAKE
You make friends through blogging…awwww gushy smoochy awww.
*She hit ‘publish’ and then thought of five more points she should have included… yep that’s #26 on the list of annoying things about blogging!*