All bloggers get into this field with hopes to make it big. Though blogging is not as easy as it seems to be initially, there are a handful of them who have actually made it really huge and have spearheaded numerous innovations in blogging and other forms of internet marketing. The whole world looks up to them, be inspired and aim to step into their shoes.
Their glossy images with twinkling smiles which tend to tell us that they are on cloud 9, their interviews and webinars that attract millions of views, making it to the tabloids and covers of some noteworthy mags, being able to earn from the comfort of their home, the profound following over social networks, being mentioned in the ‘top peoples’ lists, and the six figure income they enjoy; all such perks seem too sweet to be missed.
Yes it is indeed. But people seldom forget that if one intends to stay in blitz, one has to take the bitter with the sweet. And lack of this comprehension leads to failure in blogging most of the time.
I’m not saying this to intimidate anyone out there. This indeed is to demystify the ‘wow … being a famous blogger is so easy and fun’ misconception.
This is only to help you get your head out of the clouds and put forth a better picture of what it takes and how it feels to be a famous blogger from the darker side of the story, just to help you be prepared.
At this note, I’d like to mention something my dad always reminded me off when he saw me underperforming while in school. This is what he says…
“It is a zillion times tougher to retain your credibility than to earn it. It takes much more effort, patience and sacrifice for the former.”
This very much applies in blogging too. There comes a myriad of unwelcomed troubles along with fame and success. Here are some such troubles pro bloggers have to cope with on a daily basis.
Comments – The Spam Ones
The more popular a blog gets, the more spam comments it attracts. The whole idea of spammers is to get traffic and backlinks to their web pages, and hence the most famous blogs fall prey.
It is quite hectic managing hundreds and thousands of genuine comments itself on a daily basis; where is the place for spam then?
And there is no way that a pro blogger (as a matter of fact, any blogger) can snub checking and replying to comments, or on a whole, disable commenting.
Thankfully, there are some reliable free and paid tools that help beat spam comments to a large extent. The most commonly used one is Akimist, while GASP is getting prominent now. Some blogger use CAPTCHA in comment box to dodge spam and some disable comments on posts after a certain number of days (with plug-ins like Comment Timeout) as older posts attract more spam.
But on the darker side, some of the spam filtering plug-ins sometimes mark genuine ones as spam too, which leads to unhappy readers if not noticed. Hence, manual work is inevitable when it comes to moderating comments, which gulps time.
Also, the spam bots leave such genuine looking comments that it gets hard for filters (and sometimes for humans too) to make out which one is spam and which isn’t. Check out this huge list of apparently kosher comments by Harsh Agarwal.
The digital mail box of a pro blogger almost never falls short of unread mails.
There are mails from so many unavoidable sources. E-mails pertaining to the following subjects are a daily deal.
- Comment notifications.
- CMS and plug-in updates remainders.
- Newsletter that we subscribe to on the go.
- Mails from affiliates.
- Mails from advertisers.
- Messages from the contact forms.
- Reply emails.
- Mails from followers.
- Some unfiltered spam here too.
- And so the list goes on ….
Checking and responding to these mails is enough of a task for us to be out of breath.
A nice way to significantly minimize emails from followers is to host a forum within the blog as done by ProBlogger, SocialMediaExaminer and CopyBlogger. This not only helps reduce mails from followers seeking advice, but also improves email list via registrations and brings goodwill for offering and maintaining such a platform.
It takes great research, creativity and time to craft compelling content; be it text, rich media or designs. It feels bad to realize that all the efforts were only to find out in the end that the so meticulously developed stuff is no more unique because of some lousy copycats who don’t care a damn to give credit.
Sadly, there is not much one can do to curb this to the fullest. A famous blogger with famous content has to face this at some point in time.
When it comes to images and text, fortunately, watermarking and Google’s recent algo updates come to the rescue. Though with these, plagiarism is not completely prevented, they have brought a notable change in the scenario.
Well, this is not something to crib about much. But it sure is, when offers for joint ventures become a routine.
Getting into too many alliances is not good for any pro blogger, nor is it for his/her readers. Partnerships simply mean reallocation of time and concentration.
But some offers seem too sweet to be missed. Beating the greedy self is a tough thing to do. Isn’t it?
And you ask – why it is not good for the readers?
Who likes to be a regular reader of a blog, every third post in which promotes an ally’s product/service?
Nothing could be a better catch 22; lose money making offers, or lose subscribers.
Managing Guest Bloggers
As the blog starts to grow, so do the number of guest post submissions.
Since most of the articles submitted comprise of a minimum of 500 words, it takes time to critically go through each one and decide about the acceptance or non-acceptance of the posts.
That apart, around half (or more if luck is too hard on you) of the submissions fail to respect the guest posting guidelines laid down for the blog.
Some come up with topics that are beaten to death in hundreds of other blogs, while others use the crappiest language possible. Ultimately, such submissions ensure that your valuable time has gone haywire.
And again, like in the case of commenting, one can just not turn a cold shoulder to guest post submissions (considering all the pain), as they are vital for a healthy relation with the blogging community.
The Eagle Eyes
Fame gets more and more eye balls glued to you. While many of those eyes are filled with admiration, others seem to just scrutinize you, watch you make every move and judge you constantly.
Followers start to expect only great work from you which of course makes you feel great. But, it also means that you have little or no room for committing mistakes. The pressure of delivering better than before never ends.
In one way, this is good as well, because it instills a sense of responsibility that shapes you into a better blogger each day. But that happens only when you are competent enough to take the pressure and never give in.
The Contradicting Minds
Not all agree with what you have got to say. Many make their voice heard against you, your beliefs and practices.
Some confute genuinely, while some do it to grab a share of the limelight.
Come what may; such people can get you highly disheartened. And there is nothing you can do about it, as they have a right to hold their own opinions and get them heard. It is impossible to be in the good books of everyone that gets acquainted with you.
A good approach to this can be to get in touch with such people and sort things out letting them realize that you too voice your opinion through your blog, which needs to be respected just as you respect theirs.
And if things don’t seem to work out this way too, better snub them and get back to real business.
Rolling The Ball To Your Side of The Court …
Being a pro blogger isn’t all fun and no pain. One needs to heartily welcome all the above mentioned negative facets when willing to reach to the top of the hill.
Is there anything else that bugs you about blogging?
If so, how do you deal with it?