HOW TO DEAL WITH THE ‘DARK SIDE’ OF BLOGGING

A FEW months ago, I considered quitting blogging.

Wrapping my creative baby up and taking her away from the online world.

It happens every so often. Four years into Pouting In Heels and I’m well aware that every so often, when things turn a darker shade, I find myself in the ‘should I quit?!’ position.

I didn’t of course. And honestly, I’m not actually sure how I could.

Because blogging has been a life changer for me. It’s made me a better writer, a better photographer and hopefully, a better person. So much so that I’m even writing a book about it.

Over the years, I’ve often written about the best bits of blogging and how to avoid certain pitfalls, but this is the first time I’ve written about the ‘other stuff’.

The stuff that will – at some point – confront most, if not every blogger on their creative path.

We all hope that our blogging world will only be filled with positivity, light and amazing opportunities. And thankfully, for me, this has mostly been the case.

But sometimes things happen and rock our blogging bubble. Pop it even.

So let’s talk about it…


 

Dark side of blogging

 

THE ‘I’M NOT GOOD ENOUGH’ IMPOSTER

This imposter can rear it’s ugly head at any time in our lives, but there’s something about blogging that really opens the door to it, welcoming it in with open arms.

When you first start a blog, you’re excited, passionate and fired up to make it the best it can be. And it’s wonderful!

You get comments, your first shares, you find your blogging feet and things look rosy. But after a while, your vision expands and you begin to notice the other bloggers.

Amazing blogs with awards, high stats and amazing campaigns. You start to compare yours – even though you know you shouldn’t – and you lose your blogging mojo. You start to feel the passion drain. And then you feel like you’re sinking.

Prime time for the imposter to enter… “You’re not good enough. Forget it. Give it up. You’re a loser.”

Best way to tackle it? Tell it to shut the *bleep* up and keep on trucking on. Expect it to visit, expect the imposter to knock you off balance, accept the wobbles and move on.

(And know that every one of us occasionally thinks it too.)

 

EXPERIENCING ‘UNPLEASANTNESS’ FROM OTHER BLOGGERS

This has only happened to me a little, but more than anything, it is this darkness that has shaken me to my blogging core. The thing which has upset me more than anything else.

In four years, I’ve had one blogger ‘un-friend’ me and go out of their way to badmouth me to other people. I’ve had a couple of bloggers – whom I thought were good friends – distance themselves from me for no reason. I’ve even had a blogger question my motives for blogging.

All of this has been pretty horrid at times.

The blogging community is growing larger by the day and in the main, most bloggers are good souls. But at some point, it happens. Someone gets pissed with your behaviour. Someone who was a friend, attacks you for no reason. Someone thinks you’ve got a bit too big for your boots.

And it’s not nice, but it is part of blogging life.

I’ve learned over the past twelve months that the best way to tackle the unpleasantness, is to seek out the ‘good eggs’ and stick with them.

Observe how bloggers treat people. Listen to what they say about others and always keep your head and ‘friend’ standards high.

 

ATTRACTING A TROLL

It happens to most people at some point. And I’m going to give them as many words as they deserve – very few.

Ignore them. Delete their comments. Block them and report. And never feed them. Don’t let them suck your creativity, happiness or passion dry. Don’t, as they say, let the b******s get you down.

Some people just want to cause misery and pain. Crazy yes, but true. So let karma do her work, concentrate on yours and be grateful that what you’re contributing to the world is nothing at all like what they are.

 

BEING USED

Having a blog is a bit like being the birthday girl at your own party. Everyone wants a slice of you.

Mostly this comes from a place of genuine interest or a genuine business proposition which is lovely. But sadly there are some people who think it’s OK to use you and your blog for their own ends and to their advantage.

This is why we get emails from brands asking us to promote them for free. This is why you will get bloggers you’ve never spoken to or heard of, asking to guest post on your blog. This is why, given half the chance, some people will bleed you dry of your blogging knowledge without even saying thank you.

It happens. And has certainly happened to me.

Users walk amongst us. In every part of life. And the blogging world is absolutely no different.

So learn the art of saying no. Know your worth and value your blog. And remember, if an ‘opportunity’ offers nothing for you, it is not an ‘opportunity’.

 

FEELING LIKE A FAILURE

Blogs are our online worlds which we create. But they are ruled by numbers. King Stats and Queen Figures.

How many followers? How many visits? How many likes? How many shares?

Numbers are everywhere in our world. Which is fine until…you let them dictate your worth. Fine until .. the rulers of the online world, become your rulers.

It’s OK to be disappointed when a post you write doesn’t receive the attention you think it deserves. It’s perfectly normal to feel disgruntled when you don’t get the traffic you’d like or your social media channels aren’t growing quickly enough for you.

But it’s really not OK and actually bloody ridiculous really, if you let these numbers, even for one second, determine your worth or that of your blog.

Numbers are things we can easily measure, which is why we use them. But what cannot be measured is how you changed somebody’s life because of a story you shared. What cannot be measured is how you helped someone feel less alone. What cannot be measured is the joy having a blog can bring to your world.

And regardless of what we’re all led to believe, numbers are not the best judge of a blog’s quality or an audience.

Lots of followers doesn’t necessarily equal an engaged audience. Lots of traffic doesn’t necessarily mean great content.

So don’t become a number junkie, constantly craving more. Because let me tell you friend, you’ll always feel hungry.

Blog because you must. Blog because you love it. Blog because you give a shit! And let the numbers take care of themselves.

 

SUFFERING BURNOUT

When I was an editor of a magazine, deadline day would be exhausting and fraught. But I would always get through it because I knew that the next day, I’d be able to pause a little and reboot.

It was the same when I worked on a weekly newspaper too.

But there is no ‘end’ in sight when it comes to blogging because it is continuous.

This is partly why blogging is so popular and loved. But this is also why so many of us suffer burnout or blogger fatigue.

Last year I launched a new blog To Dream Of Dresses. Ever hopeful, I mistakenly believed that I would be able to manage two blogs, working just a couple of days a week. I tried, I pushed, I gave it my all and yet still I crashed and burned.

It was impossible.

One day, when I have more time (perhaps when Elsie is at school) it will come back, but it taught me a valuable lesson. If you want to have longevity in blogging, you have to learn to pace yourself.

You have to create the pause. The time when you can reboot.

So take your time. Have a break. Go on holiday! Disappear and return later if you must. The blogging world will still be here when you get back.

 

PEOPLE STEALING YOUR WORK

Someone may steal your blog post and publish it elsewhere. They may use your photos. They may even (unbelievably) pretend to be you.

The online world is a messy, sinister place on occasion but what’s the alternative?

To disappear? To stop contributing? To stop creating?

Most people don’t steal and thankfully most of us would never dream of doing so. But should it happen, you have to confront it and try and nip it in the bud.

‘Remind’ people of ‘copyright’. Ask for it to be removed. Be mindful of the photos you post, particularly when it comes to your child or children. Remind people of the law and if need be, get help to enforce it.

But don’t disappear. Don’t let them diminish you and don’t ever let them stop you building your dream.

 

ENCOUNTERING JEALOUSY

If your blog starts to become popular and doors start to open, you will probably also need to find room for the green eyed monster in your world.

The monster may start off small, teeny even. An odd remark expressed by a friend. A note of sarcasm in someone’s voice. But it can grow and probably will, the bigger your blog – and you (as a blogger) – become.

An odd remark may turn into many. Friends may ditch you. People may stop liking your work or sharing it. Even family members may turn against you and say “who do you think you are?

It happens sadly. And often from the people you’d suspect the least.

Some people don’t like it when you are perceived to be ‘successful’. And many don’t like it when you change or grow as a person, something which blogging actively encourages.

It’s also really hard for people who don’t blog to understand what it’s all about.

They think it’s easy. They think you pose too much. They think it’s pointless.

Most people have absolutely no idea how much work goes into a blog or how hard it is to maintain one. So the green eyed monster feeds and grows and then attacks.

It will hurt. It will cause pain. It will make you question people’s love for you.

But when it happens just remember this – it is the very best sign you could ever ask for to show you that you’re absolutely on the right track and heading towards great things.

 



So there you have it! The dark side of blogging. What do you think to the list and have I missed anything out?! Bloggers, I would love to hear your thoughts on this one.

Lips

 

 

 

Get ALL posts in your inbox...

No spam guarantee. Promise.

26 Discussions on
“HOW TO DEAL WITH THE ‘DARK SIDE’ OF BLOGGING”
  • A fabulous post Amy.

    Luckily my little blog is just that “little” and I’ve not come across any of this yet.

    I’m not sure if this is mainly limited to beauty and Mummy bloggers as most of the Dad bloggers I’ve come across don’t mention this has happened to them. With the exception of trolls, they seem to look for a fight and can start one out of nothing.

    Your blog is great, keep doing what you’re doing.

  • “Numbers are everywhere in our world. Which is fine until … you let them dictate your worth.”

    Your entire post speaks so many truths but this line in particular resonated with me. I see so many bloggers who are focussed – obsessed, even – with their page views and Tots100 ranking. As you say, numbers are fine to focus on but they don’t define who we are or how good we are. I’m as interested in my stats as the next person (probably more so, as I’m a total geek in that respect) but I don’t worry if my numbers go down and if I were to list my blogging goals then ‘grow traffic’ is pretty low down on my list. Of course, I’d like more page views – but that’s not why I write.

    Your point about burnout is an important one too. I used to rotate four different blogs, so finding time to take a break was challenging but I used to force myself to have one day a month when I did nothing at all. It wasn’t much – but it was enough for me to recharge the batteries. You have to pause for a moment every now and then, and realise that the world does not end if you take a couple of days off.

  • Before you start blogging, you have no idea that there could be a dark side(s) to an innocent little space on t’internet where you write your very own articles. But I guess nowhere is immune to the crappy sides of human beings. This is a great post for newbie bloggers to read, Katie. Xx

  • Love this post Katie- I’m definitely suffering with the first point – it’s a bit like coming out of the honeymoon period! Xxxx

  • Great post Katie. I agree with all of your points. I always think remember what I do it for and the rest is a bonus if it comes, I don’t blog for numbers, stats. I blog for the memories and to encourage the ‘one’ and that’s all that matters to me.

  • Great post! I think in every walk of life and every kind of a job you come across negative sides. I haven’t faced too many if them via blogging, thankfully, I guess my blog is too small to gather too much negative attention. But you are so right on that you just gotta keep at it and keep your head high.

  • Lush post!
    All of this speaks to me! And the troll thing I could have totally done without. I was attacked by another blogger last year and it has literally ruined me as I’m afraid to write what I want to now through fear of it happening again. Some people just don’t have a sense of humour I guess.
    Love this! You’re a clever one xxx

    • Oh this has both upset and pissed me off – how bloody dare they! I don’t know the situation but honestly I adore your blog and your humour and I hate the idea of someone thinking they have the power to diminish it. Grr! Right, I’ll move aside now as this isn’t even my blog, apologies Kate P! x x

  • I love the line about people thinking you pose too much. My mother thinks exactly this. She is always telling me no one is interested in knowing the ins and outs of my life! But someone must, because I enjoy reading about other people’s lives!

  • Fabulous post and I’ve either encountered the above myself or have witnessed it with other bloggers. It isn’t all fancy treats, sunshine and roses but it is within our power to walk away at any time or (preferably) to be confident of our voice and our blog choices and shut out the rest. Burnout is a whole other thing though – there is literally no ‘end’ to the blogging to do list – we have to force ourselves to turn off sometimes x x

  • I think you have it all in the list. I’ve suffered from some, but not others. Every now and again I worry about figures. Then I’ll get a lovely message from a non-blogger, who doesn’t normally comment, and I remember why I blog. To share. Not necessarilly to masses of people. If what I write makes a real difference to just one person, then its worth it.

  • This comes just at a time when I have been either thinking of giving it up or going self-hosted: two different directions because I know all about imposter syndrome, measuring your worth via numbers and burnout from trying to do too much. As ever wise words Katie. If we can balance the dark side with the light then it is worth it. Xx

  • Love this, I’m glad it’s not just me that suffers with some of these things. I go between feeling like what I’m doing is completely rubbish and there’s no point continuing, to being quite proud of what I’ve created but disappointed that no one else seems to care! Haha. The stats/rankings game just confuses me. You are so right that it’s not a good way to measure your blog’s worth at all. I know a lot of my favourite blogs aren’t in the top 100 or winning awards, although I think they should be. For me I love the personal growth that I have gained through blogging and the record of our lives we now have to look back on in the future, and that’s something real that’s worth much more to me than a number. Fabulous post xx

  • Love this post! I always say that I’m not a proper blogger as I really don’t feel like one, especially not compared to some of the lovely other bloggers I know, yourself included. I don’t look at stats because I know that will feed this thought and I’ll become caught up in them but I love blogging I just don’t have the time I wish I did to do it more often. Great post xxx

  • Oh, the trolls… It really makes me mad when people, women especially, do this to each other. It takes me right back to high school, complete with rumors, bad-mouthing and the jealousy you also touch on here. Why as adults do we still do this to each other? Totally uncalled for and you are so right, they should be tuned-out and deleted. I’ve been there and let it upset me for far too long – they don’t deserve that much credit!

    As for the not-good-enough monster, that is a tough one. I feel this way often, especially on my IG, but every time it rears it’s ugly head, I have to remind myself that I’m just doing this for me. I have no quotas, I’m not trying to sell anything. And honestly, it’s always the posts that get fewer ‘likes’ that get the most heartfelt interactions, and I’ll take that over popularity, any day.

    Stay strong and keep blogging! ;)

  • Really enjoyed reading this post. I’m a newbie blogger and so excited to get going but wow it’s hard work! So much harder than I thought it would be but I absolutely love it all the same. Thank you for sharing an honest opinion of the downsides too. It’s nice to see someone being a bit more transparent

  • Thanks for this honest post Katy. I am just about to start my blogging journey. I have put it off as have had my reservations about some of the occurrences you discuss but have decided that I still want to give it a go. This advice will stand me in good stead. Thank you!

  • So sorry that you have encountered negativity. There is definitely a dark side to blogging – for me it was getting obsessed over stats and rankings and starting to believe that my worth as a blogger came from them. I had a real epiphany at Britmums last year which made me think about why I was blogging and what I wanted to blog about – since then I’ve been much more comfortable in my own skin as a blogger and the stats no longer have that awful power over me that they once did. For me this line sums that up so beautifully: “Blog because you must. Blog because you love it. Blog because you give a shit! And let the numbers take care of themselves.” – since doing all of that I’ve been a lot happier!

    Thank you for sharing and helping encourage us all on through the difficult moments that can come with blogging.

  • Hey Kate what you say is true in all work areas but as blogging is so exposing, we put ourselves up for scrutiny and public comment. In 3 years I’ve had mostly positive comments but someone once left a really aggressive few lines on a post. It wasn’t malicious though – just coming from what must have been a deep seated hurt in his life and he felt my cartoon was lampooning him personally. Thankfully I recognised it for what it was and after replying and addressing his needs, he sort of apologised. But it did throw me initially and made me wonder if I was thick-skinned enough to be a modern day pamphleteer. Don’t know how I’d cope with a troll. Glad you got back in the saddle.

  • A great post but so sad that some of it happens. For me it’s all about the self-doubt, never being sure if I should carry on blogging because I know I’ll never be one of the popular or award winning blogs. But I’ve decided that’s ok, I’m going to have a great record of my children’s childhood to look back on.
    Nat.x

  • Such a great post and as I’m still relatively new to blogging I’m glad to not have meet to many of this problems yet!
    I can definitely relate to the numbers though, I’m still hoping the more I blog the less they will worry me but at the moment they are always at the forefront of my mind!

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.

Close