The advantages of blogging are surreal: you can make money from anywhere while being your own boss, and somehow this exclusively takes place in a tropical environment (or the pictures will convince you that, at least). But it all begs the question: what are the disadvantages of blogging that are going undiscussed?
It’s not all Macbooks and palm trees (sand in a keyboard is a nightmare, for starters), and the rose-y image of blogging needs some context.
If you can make blogging enjoyable, beneficial to your career or independently profitable, it’s very, very much worth the effort. So, what’s the damage you’re risking by starting a blog?
Introduction To Disadvantages Of Blogging
Before we do a deep dive into the disadvantages of blogging, I think we need to discuss the elephant in the room:
What is successful blogging?
Because, anyone can start a website today, publish a blog post and call it blogging. The term blogging is vague and all-encompassing, yet I think there’s a more specific image that people have when they talk about successful blogging.
That image includes someone on their laptop (remote work) in a beautiful destination (location independence) and living a glamorous lifestyle (financially prosperous). That’s the image of blogging success that most people are pursuing.
It’s vital to put the disadvantages of blogging into context with the advantages that you’re chasing.
If all you want out of blogging is to hit publish on your writing and not care about making, amassing influence and making it your career, then there are no disadvantages of blogging that way! You can achieve that today. What a beautiful thing.
But, the rest of this article on the disadvantages of blogging is for everyone else: the dreamers, the ones who want to roll the dice on having it all like they’ve seen people doing online again and again.
Amateur blogging can change your life, but be prepared to fend off these disadvantages of blogging or you might find yourself overwhelmed by them instead of empowered to persevere.
7 Disadvantages Of Blogging That You Should Consider
Let’s start with the biggest fear, shall we? Why beat around the bush:
1. You May Invest Time, Sweat And Soul And Get Nothing In Return
It’s true, and there’s no dressing this disadvantage of blogging up. There are no guarantees that you’ll make money, attract readers to your site or do anything meaningful with your blog.
But to offer some perspective: it’s generally unquestioned by society to spend four years getting an expensive university degree with no guarantees of success, either.
If you graduated with a university degree and student loans hoping to find a job that proved it was worth it, then, frankly, you’ve already taken a much bigger risk than starting a blog! You’re an adrenaline junkie and you didn’t even know it.
Just like all of those Bachelor’s degrees in psychology, there are no guarantees that blogging will amass to something profitable. It’s a risk, plain and simple.
2. It Takes A Huge Upfront Investment Of Time And Work
There’s a myth that running a blog is expensive, and that’s not true in the financial sense. It’s *cheap* to start a website. How cheap you ask??
You can get a free domain (www.[yourdomain].com) and launch your website today for $2.49 a month.
The financial investment is actually really minor, but there are two other major investments necessary: time and work.
You will have to publish quality content for a long time (think 18+ months) before you will see major website traffic from Google. You can get website traffic from Pinterest sooner, but that takes months as well.
This is a fatal disadvantage of blogging if you’re not braced for it. More bloggers will quit than fail, and I bet I can diagnose the exact point of failure for many of them:
- Thinking they’d make money in the first three months (making money might take years)
- Publishing 1 blog post a month and claiming that it “isn’t working” (every week or every day would be better)
- Failing to write content that people actually want to read and ranks well on Google (aka basic SEO)
If you’re not prepared to publish consistently on your blog for at least one year without seeing any significant traffic or income, then blogging is probably not for you.
You don’t need to have a list of every blog post planned out or a full editorial calendar for this to be achieved, you just have to be willing to commit that come hell or high water, you’re going to meet your publishing goals. The buy-in is steep.
But it’s possible to speed up parts of your publishing process by using resources made by experienced bloggers, like my SEO checklist:
3. It’s A Lot More Difficult Than It Looks
Starting a website alone takes a few minutes and is straightforward, but moving beyond your blog simply existing and onto having a website that’s understandable, purposeful and valuable is a big task.
Successful blogging isn’t simply just writing out today’s thoughts whenever you’re in the mood and hitting publish, then masses of people come running.
It takes a handful of vital muscles and skills, like:
- Developing brand personality. Call it voice, tone or any other system, but it really boils down to personality. A weak personality will not stimulate that connection or feeling of friendliness from a website. There are 7.5million blog posts published per day. You have to stand out!
- Communicating clearly. If your website confuses visitors, they won’t stay on your page. They’ll go find another page that answers their questions
- Writing as much as possible. Many bloggers publish multiple blog posts a week (or even a day). You don’t have to hit any official quotas, but learning to write as much as possible is going to be an important skill
- Learning proper keyword research (AKA how to find the terms that people are actually searching for)
- Figuring out search engine optimization (so that your blog shows up on Google and Pinterest when people search those keywords)
- Value-packing your content and continuing to update pieces. Once you publish a blog post, it’s not just done forever. Google likes content that’s updated every 6 or 12 months, so updating content is a routine blogger task
Every skill is learnable, but one of the biggest disadvantages of blogging is that you have to start before you know.
If you don’t have these skills before you begin, then you’ll have to learn on the job. This isn’t surgery or driving a school bus (can you imagine?) but that doesn’t mean it’s not intimidating to begin before you have full understanding and confidence.
4. Passion Isn’t Enough
From the beginning, we’re sold a vision that with enough passion, we will survive and prosper.
And I’m not talking about the beginning of your blogging journey, I’m talking childhood here! I’m looking at you, Disney. Childhood was riddled with movie plotlines and soundtracks that told us if we were passionate enough, our goals would be achieved.
Passion is helpful, but passion alone won’t close the gap of where you start and where you need to be successful blogging.
There are wildly profitable blogs made around (in my opinion, passionless) topics simply because the blogger found an opportunity, such as heat press machines and chainsaws.
Your passion doesn’t need to lie within the topic itself, but you do need to have passion for a cornucopia of other things:
- Writing itself
- Trying something, learning you were making blogging mistakes and correcting your work
- Writing blogs people want to read
- Providing value to your reader
Learning to log hours even when the flame of passion has gone out is going to take you far as a blogger.
5. Blogging For Your Business Can Actually Hurt You If You Do It Wrong
Adding a blog to an existing business is a wise investment, but if you do it wrong, it might actually deter customers.
There’s a right and a wrong way to blog for business, and a risk of starting a business blog is that you’ll do it the wrong way and lose trust.
Adding a rambling, unclear, invaluable blog to a business website will not help build that vital know-like-trust factor. And if it’s not building K-L-T, then your content marketing is hurting you.
Blogging for business without optimizing your content properly is also a waste. Putting hours into amazing, quality, value-packed blogs that no one is able to find is such a sad thing to see. Your customers, potential clients and readers want to find your content. Make it easy for them with excellent optimization.
If you want someone to break down SEO for you, my SEO checklist is incredibly easy to use and teaches you all of the basics.
6. Blogging While Traveling Full-Time Isn’t A Small Task
Many bloggers are seen living the exciting digital nomad lifestyle, which is a very real and a very fun way to live when you work online.
After all, if you don’t have an office to work in, why would you sit in an empty apartment all day? Go work from a cafe in Vietnam, or a coworking space in Portugal, or an island in the Mexican Caribbean (that’s where my digital nomad journey started).
But managing to sustain full-time travel is a task in itself. Between typical workload, naturally-occurring internet problems, tech malfunctions, and the very tedious task of balancing work with enjoying the countries you’re in, it’s a lot to handle.
Blogging is a lot of hard work because it’s not a hobby that you casually do on the beach. This leads to the last point…
7. Blogging Is Still A Job
To be honest, I don’t even see this as a true disadvantage of blogging because of course it’s a lot of work.
The disadvantage lies when new bloggers are surprised by this fact. If you want blogging to be your job, then treat it like a job.
Running a robust blog (like this one) is like running an entire magazine on your own.
You do the keyword research, you pick a deadline, you write, you edit, you make the graphics, you give it final review, you hit publish, you market it on Pinterest/LinkedIn/etc.
It’s a total joy, but it’s a ton of work. I’ve worked harder for this blog than I’ve ever worked for any job I’ve ever had, and that was all before it even broke even.
But it makes sense, doesn’t it? If you want blogging to be your answer to everything then you better start working for it.
Do The Advantages Outweigh The Disadvantages Of Blogging?
If you succeed at blogging, you will have offered yourself your dream job and achieved a level of freedom that many people only dream about.
An FAQ that I often get about being a digital entrepreneur is “is it as good as it looks?” and, frankly, the answer is a wholehearted YES.
But that’s only if you make it from starting point to supporting yourself full-time.
Disadvantages Of Blogging Final Thoughts
If you’re still reading this article on the disadvantages of blogging, then I think deep down you really want to give it a try.
So what if your blog fails? If you’re still hungry, you’ll start another one. This is my second blog, and if I had quit after my first blog failed, I wouldn’t have this life that I’ve built. I rue the thought.
If you’re still daydreaming about starting a blog but you’re worried about the disadvantages of blogging, what’s holding you back from trying?