Blogging is the worst… let me count the ways

01 November 2019

Start a book blog they said. It’ll be fun they said.

I’ve been away for a while (please refer to my previous post about that… if I’ve managed to get my scheduling right, anyway) and during my absence, I’ve struggled to get back into blogging. I remembered the numerous ways in which blogging is the worst and how much it frustrates the hell out of me. I mean, blogging is so damn hard for so many reasons and whilst I’m here trying to remind myself how brilliant blogging is and why I am most definitely going to start blogging again because it’s fun (apparently) this is a post on all the ways blogging is hard and the absolute worst and how there are so many reasons I would never recommend people start their own blog because you’ll want to pull your hair out a time or two and question why you even do this to yourself.

1. Discussion ideas are hard to come by

I have no idea what I'm doing gif

Outside of reviews, discussions are like this bog driving force to encourage visitors to your little blog. Discussions seem like they should be easy to think of ideas for. After all, the subjects are limitless. You are only limited by your own ability to think of new ideas.

Turns out I have no new ideas.

Often (and I mean often) you will believe you have thought of a genius discussion idea… only to realise you wrote that post six months ago. And you think that’s bad? Well, usually you don’t have that realisation until you’re halfway through writing it and getting ready to format it ready to go live next week. Then you’re stuck scrapping that post idea (because it’s only acceptable to recycle ideas which are a year or two old, not a couple of months old) but you decide to reread your old post to see if there’s any way to salvage to hard work you’ve put into the new post to see if maybe this post can be an extension of the last one you did. But when you’re rereading your old post you realise you have no memory of writing that. Like at all. Then you begin to question is maybe there’s a problem with your memory because how can you have forgotten a whole post? And then, once you’ve got over the memory issues, you realise not only have you forgotten an entire post but the old post is actually better than the new one you’ve written. Can you actually get worse at blogging? It must be possible because you have in fact achieved such a feat. Then you begin to question if you used to be better and smarter because this post sounds like a way cooler version of you so what happened?

2. Discussions are hard part 2: Someone else did it better

Mine's Better gif

The other problem with discussions? It’s not just yourself you have to battle for new ideas, other people write posts too and go and steal your damn ideas. You will be fresh off writing that genius post (which you absolutely, most definitely have not written before) and then during your blog browsing, you see someone else has done a discussion on the same topic! Great, you think, maybe you can link to it and share the blog love and talk about what a crazy coincidence it is some other genius person has thought of the same idea as you. You will begin to read said genius post…. and realise they have written a way better post than you have. There’s nothing worse than thinking you’ve come up with a genius new post idea only for someone else to beat you to posting it and DOING IT BETTER! You read through and see their ideas are better. They’re more concise and actually manage to reach some kind of point or conclusion instead of just throwing words at a wall and seeing what’s stuck like you have done with your post. And don’t even start on their graphics for the post. They’ve made some genius points and it looks like a proper designer has sorted their graphics so they look all smart and professional like. You secretly hate them for being better because they’ve not only written a smarter post but it looks prettier too! How is that fair? So you quietly go and remove that post from your schedule because if you’ve not even managed to do one thing better than why should you even bother posting. Your delicate ego won’t survive any comparisons between the two posts. You take it as a lesson to post things faster and to procrastinate less when writing new blog posts.

You then promptly forget any kind of blogging lesson learnt because the next post your writing you procrastinate over for two weeks because you’re lazy.

3. Reviews go one of two ways: bad or worse

Things just went from worse to worser gif

That’s just discussion posts! Then there’s the whole issue of writing reviews because you know they can only go one of two ways. You either word vomit on the page immediately after reading and then find yourself posting a review that makes little to no sense, has about ten different spelling mistakes, you name one of the main characters completely the wrong name and it looks like you’ve trailed off in the middle of a sentence. And you post that shit because you always forget to read through your posts before you actually hit that lovely post button. Or, you end up waiting two months to write your review only to realise you have no clue what the hell happened. Not the foggiest. You can’t even remember the name of the characters so you have to go to Goodreads and read the summary and you realise the book doesn’t even sound vaguely familiar. Did you definitely read it? Did you mark the wrong book as read? Maybe there was another book with a similar title that you read? No, the cover definitely matches what you read so why the hell can’t you remember? And so then you have o skim through the book in the hopes of refreshing your memory but whilst you’re doing that another book on your Kindle jumps out at you and you get sucked into that instead and then two days later you’ve still not written your review! So you write the shortest vaguest review and hope no one asks you questions about the book in the comments because there’s no chance you can answer them.

4. Formatting: I hate you, you can’t make me

You're tacky and I hate you gif

If that wasn’t enough to remind you how awful blogging is let’s move onto to actually format the post to go live.

You will have written a genius discussion post (that you’ve not written before and no one else has managed to post about yet) or you’ve actually written a review for a book you’ve read in a timely fashion. Now it’s time to prettify it and get it ready for the world to see!

The important thing to remember? Formatting is hard and you will inevitably give up and leave the post exactly how it was two hours ago, but you never learn. You still don’t know HTML and you always seem to forget that you have to create a post header that makes it pretty for folks to look at. You’ll forget until you’re stuck making said post header and hating life or after you’ve spent two hours googling HTML to get an image to sit exactly how you want it and giving up and leaving it where it was in the first place (the wrong place). And if you do manage to make HTML to do what you want it to put that image in the right place? Yeah, no one will know how much time and effort that went into getting it to sit in the right place and you will never remember how you managed it for the next post you do so you’ll go through that all over again.

That’s just a bit of HTML formatting, don’t forget that review you write needs silly things like the book summary, a published date, a genre, oh yeah, and you should probably hyperlink to the Goodreads page or whatever. And also, put that effort in to put in your affiliate links in because you never know, you might money from that stuff one day. And that 5p will be totally worth your time and effort of inserting those silly little affiliate links that no one ever clicks on!

And it’s not just reviews! Discussions are worse, you’re there trawling the internet for the best reaction gifs but then you need to make sure you’ve given a text alternative for your gif because you want people who don’t read with images etc to get the full effect of the effort you put in of finding that reaction gif and appreciate the effort. And then you realise you need a pretty post header, why did you decide you were going to be a smart arse and have pretty post headers? It was a stupid idea because you know you always end up uninstalling Photoshop and then end up installing a free alternative you can never get to work like you want it to! And then you think you’ll get a cool app to do all the work for you on your phone only to realise they want money off of you so it doesn’t have a watermark on it! Thieving bastards wanting money for their efforts. So then you end up pulling that ten-year-old version pf Photoshop everyone has and debate paying for the Adobe CC subscription but remind yourself that you can’t afford it because you’re paying for those book subscriptions you don’t use and about three different streaming services. Why can’t everything be in one place? But anyway, the point is no Adobe CC for you, you go the poor person route and end up with some half-arsed graphic you hate and vow you’ll change later… and then never do. And then you have that same vicious cycle you have in review posts where none of the images sit where you want them to!

5. Schedule the post you idiot

Idiot sandwich gif

So you’ve managed to write a post and format it without murdering anyone? Well done you, have a gold star and smiley face stamp because now it’s on to remembering to post the actual post and the comments that come in after posting.

One of the things that I am terrible for is the simple fact I cannot seem to remember to schedule a post to save my life. I either post it last week by accident because I don’t know what the date is or even what month I’m in half of the time, or I forget to schedule it altogether so it gets posted last minute when I log on to the blog and realise that post didn’t go up like I expected which totally explains why I’ve not had any comment notifications. Scheduling a post is the lifesaver of the blogging world but it only works when you actually do it and plan for your blog. I don’t do this and post last minute but when I do manage to schedule a post I dither for like ten minutes on what time the post should go live. Should it be in the morning? Gives people the most time to read it but then depending on where in the world they are it could be the middle of the night and they might miss it! Or maybe I should do it around lunchtime, lunchtime is a good time for everyone, right? But I don’t like posting in the middle of the day and I won’t have the chance to reply to comments until later. Let’s do it around home time instead 5pm is a perfect time, you can watch and bask in the comments rolling in…. why are there no comments! Why is no one commenting! DO they hate it? WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?! And then you realise you posted it for 5pm next week and quietly slink away and realise you are a bad blogger and this is why you’ll never make it big.

6. Comments are nice

Since we’re on the topic of comments, there’s a whole other issue right there. Do you reply to every comment? You kind of have to, it’s only polite, isn’t it? But then you’ve fallen three months behind on comments. Maybe you’ll skip replying and just go visit everyone’s blog who comments on yours. That’s definitely the way to go, encourages them to pop on by and read those posts you’ve totally successfully schedule (or not). But which post do you comment on? Let’s go with their most recent… except that’s a cover reveal, they’re boring posts where you can’t say anything meaningful, let’s go find a review or discussion instead. Or a wrap-up post because they’re fun to figure out what kind of blogger this person is as well. But then you end up browsing through this new person’s blog for half an hour. It’s better than yours, look at all the comments they’ve had. And they’ve posted every day this week. How do they find the time? Maybe they’re a student, students have loads of free time, I mean, you used to have the time to nap as a student, you don’t even know the meaning of napping now. Let’s check out their about page. Wait, they’re 30 and work full time and have kids and are married? But they have time to blog as if they do it full time? What kind of bullshit is this? I live alone, work full time, barely have a social life and have no one sucking up my free time like a boyfriend or whatever. How do they manage to read 20 books a month and blog and comment on all these blogs and have a family whilst working? That is some bullshit right there. Maybe they have amazing time management skills? Who cares… oh, hang on. They've posted a totally amazing post about how they use their bullet journal to manage their time. I hate them, they’re way too successful and awesome I must comment quick and then follow them whilst silently fuming they’re doing better at life than I am. And then you stumble across that discussion post you were excited about (please refer to the earlier point about discussions). And I’ve only talked about commenting on newbie commenters blogs, don’t even start me on comments from my regular visitors whose blogs I visit religiously. You’re there reading through their comments and replying to stuff they probably don’t even remember asking you about!

Oh, and if you are successful at scheduling posts and being super organised you then have the problem of replying to comments on posts you write two weeks ago which you can barely remember so you’re rereading your blog posts to figure out what on earth you were even on about because you have no clue. God, you should really write notes on each post to give you a refresher.

And that is why blogging is the absolute worst.

this is the worst gif

Let it be a lesson, next time you think it’ll be fun and chill to start a blog remember the hard work and breakdowns which go into keeping it going. And then ignore that all completely and do it anyway because it’s fun and totally worth it. Even when you’re too poor to buy that new release and you’re a 6-month waitlist to request a book from the library which inevitably come in with 6 other books you’ve put on hold and you’ll want to read absolutely none of them. It’ll be worth it when you’re stressing about the fact you’ve replied to no blog comments in two weeks. It’ll be worth it when it’s your fourth attempt at writing up the same post to be halfway decent. It’ll always be worth it and you’ll remember how worth it is when a comment drops into your inbox where someone says they’ve bought a book because of you. Or when you get mentioned on someone’s blog for something you did on your little blog in your small corner of the internet. It’ll be worth it when you see that author you love tweeting their love of your review or when you can casually tweet about a book and have five other people jump in and start chatting to you about. it.

I’ll always be worth it and I regret nothing… but I still hate my blog sometimes because god damn it’s a time suck but it’s all worth it in the end.

What do you hate about blogging and always had you pulling your hair out? And what makes blogging worth the effort for you?
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