Blogging is in my experience a wonderfully liberating and fulfilling activity and I truly get a buzz sharing the knowledge of things I write about with people looking to solve specific problems my posts can answer. I highly recommend it to everyone since it provides a multitude of potential benefits. However… I recognize it might not actually be suitable for everyone. With this in mind I thought I’d flip the pro-blogging article on it’s head today and instead write an anti-blog post about why you should NOT start a blog.
The Pro-Blogging Position
We often focus upon the many positive reasons why you should start a blog. Many bloggers have taken a position extolling the virtues of blogging… and I’m no different from them. I’ve written several blog posts on this subject myself such as:
- 17 Reasons Why You Should Start a Blog
- Don’t Wait to Start a Blog… Do It Now!
- Is it Too Late to Start a Blog?
Each of these posts explain in detail why I feel anyone can and should start a blog… and why they should do so as soon as is humanly possible.
Of course you need a REASON to start a blog and continue with it or the likelihood is you’ll quit and your blogging project will fail. Let’s be very honest about it up front… thousands of blogs fail every day for this very reason.
Why bother starting anything you knew was doomed to failure from the outset?
Why Should You Not Start a Blog?
So moving away from a pro-blogging stance, let’s focus on some of the reasons why you shouldn’t start a blog. This list looks at some of the things that will make life as a blogger very difficult for you.
If you feel you can’t overcome them, being completely honest about it a blogger’s life might not be a good fit for you.
1. You Don’t Have Purpose
We all need a reason for doing the things we do… especially things that sometimes require determination to continue. I would argue that without a strong purpose, you should never start a blog.
Do you want to try to make money blogging? Maybe you need an outlet for your thoughts and feelings? Or do you feel compelled to help other people? Each of these questions belies a purpose… assuming you answer in the affirmative!
Your motivation to start and continue doing anything “extracurricular” requires a purpose to fuel it. Without purpose you’ll quit blogging when things don’t play out in quite the way you’d like.
2. You Cannot Commit to a Blog (for Years… Let Alone Months)
Do you want to make a success of your blog fast? Do you need a blog to make money for you in the next couple of months? Would starting a blog be pointless if you couldn’t grow a substantial audience within 6 months?
If you find yourself answering yes to questions like these then you probably shouldn’t start blogging.
The harsh reality is it will take a very long time for your to see the fruits of any blogging efforts. Yes, there are stories floating in the online ether of bloggers making a massive success of their blogs in the short term… but they’re NOT the norm.
There a very few true overnight success stories in the blogging world for good reason… blogging ain’t easy and for the majority of people success takes time.
You have to set your mind to blogging over the long-term if want to see growth. If you can’t commit to thinking about years rather than months, I advise you not to start a blog.
3. You Don’t Have Time to Dedicate to Writing and Promoting Your Content
When you start a blog you might know nothing about how to write and promote content. This is not a barrier to entry, though you might feel it is.
Nobody becomes an expert without study and practise over time. You CAN learn how to write blog posts just as you CAN learn how to promote what you write… but you’ll need to invest TIME in learning how to do so.
Aside from learning how to write and promote content, you’ll have to invest time in actually, erm, writing and promoting content.
Blogging. Takes. Time. It takes time in all senses so you’ll need to prepare yourself to dedicate time to your blog. For many of us blogging is an activity that comes on top of important responsibilities and commitments. We can’t just magic-up more time for blogging, we have take it out of the time we have available or prioritize it over something else.
If you can’t commit time to a blog, don’t start one.
4. You Don’t Enjoy Writing
Content is the foundation of your blog… without content your blog is, well, not a blog. Moreover, you’ll need lots of it to give potential visitors something to chew on. You’ll also find it hard to gain a foothold in search engine results without a substantial content portfolio.
Where does content come from? Well, for most bloggers trying to start a blog organically (i.e. not paying for someone to produce content for you)… you’ll need to write it yourself. Sadly this will be a huge problem for you if you struggle with writing.
If you don’t enjoy writing (or worse, if you hate it) you’ll lose interest in the process quickly and quit. I can’t overemphasize this… writing is a key component of blogging, and you’ll need to commit to the writing process for many months if not years.
If you struggle with the writing process, blogging might not work out for you.
5. You Don’t Enjoy Social Media
You may not like social media at all. That’s okay… many people don’t. However, social media is one of the mediums you’ll need to use to promote your blog.
The really bad news here is you’ll need to build a following before you’ll get any traction promoting your blog through social media channels.
In many ways, building a social media following is much like building a blog:
- It takes time to build a following.
- You’ll need to be committed.
- You have to be consistent in your activity.
For some people, especially those who don’t like social media, this might be too much, especially if there are other pieces of the blogging jigsaw that don’t fit for you.
Blogging can be an all consuming activity, for which social media is part and parcel. You will struggle to make progress with your blog if social media is something you can’t face.
6. You Don’t Enjoy Learning
If you’re completely new to blogging, you’re at the foot of a learning mountain. It’s a mountain you CAN climb, but it takes a lot of learning steps to ascend.
Right now you may not know anything about how to:
- Set up a blog.
- Write blog posts.
- Promote your posts.
- Grow a social media following.
- Optimize content for search engines.
- Build a newsletter subscriber list.
These are not problems in themselves because you can learn anything you set your mind to… but learning, just like blogging, requires commitment. I believe that with a strong sense of purpose, learning all the facets of blogging is possible for most people…
… but if you don’t enjoy learning, your learning mountain will feel much steeper and the thought of climbing it will grind you down.
7. You Don’t Have Any Spare Money
Okay this might be an issue for lots of people who feel uncomfortable about investing in something their not sure will work out. You can start a blog for free, but in all honesty buying your own domain and paying a monthly fee for a hosting server is a better way to go because:
- You’ll avoid problems down the line when you own a domain rather than using a free domain and a free host.
- It’s easier to customize a self hosted blog (though this may take an initial learning effort) so you’ll have greater control over look, feel and functionality.
- You’ll have far more ability to scale your blog with a paid hosting package such as SiteGround.
Starting a free blog is perhaps a good option if you want to learn before you start paying, but I’d recommend everyone to move away from a free host as soon as possible.
To take your blog forward you may also need to invest money in advertising to promote your blog or in tools to help you along the way. While you don’t necessarily need to spend a fortune, investing a little will help you get where you’d like to go much sooner… and sometimes not investing in your blog is a false economy.
8. You Are Impatient and Get Bored Easily
This is a tough one to resolve I’m afraid.
I’ve already highlighted the likelihood that you’ll need to commit to many months (more likely years) of nurturing your blog before you’ll see the fruits of your labor. This being the case, you’ll find it more difficult to maintain commitment if you don’t see positive results when you want them.
Blogging requires a good dose of patience because it’ll take time for you to see results. You have to be very clear about this and not expect the growth trajectory of your blog to be different from that of the vast majority of new blogs. If you’re an impatient person with unrealistic expectations you’ll flounder and probably lose the motivation to continue blogging.
You’ll also find blogging a huge challenge if you get bored easily. I’m sorry to say have to tell you this but blogging is all about the grind and it does get boring… even for highly motivated bloggers.
You’ll spend many hours researching each blog post, writing and promoting it and then doing the whole thing over again. The blogging process can feel like a treadmill and it can be uber-boring.
Boredom and impatience can take it’s toll… blogger burnout is a real thing?
9. You’re Not Technical
This isn’t a total deal-breaker but having a technical inclination will make it a lot easier for you to run a self-hosted blog.
You’ll need to configure hosting, install blog software and perhaps tweak your blog layouts using CSS and HTML. You might also want to extend how your blog works by coding specific functions.
Along the way you’ll encounter different systems and tools to add onto your blog, which might require a smidgeon of technical nous.
Being non-technical should perhaps NOT stop you from starting a blog… but it might make your journey a little more arduous.
Remember you can always learn what you need to know when you need to know it! But as I’ve mentioned above, if you hate learning you might not enjoy getting to grips with the technical aspects of blogging.
Should You Really Not Start a Blog?
This may seem a negative post but in all honesty my intention is not to discourage you from starting a blog. My aim is to inject reality into the “blogging about blogging” niche that tends to focus only on the positive without acknowledging the more challenging aspects of blogging.
My true feeling is that anyone can start a blog and I’d encourage you to do so… but if you feel you can’t overcome the main points of this post then you’ll find it difficult.
Blogging takes time and consistent effort. It also takes perseverance because you’ll encounter disappointments throughout your blogging journey. On the flip-side this is a good thing in a way, since only the committed will survive in the long run.
So… should you start a blog or not?
That’s it for now. Thanks for reading.
Are there other reasons why you shouldn’t start a blog? Leave a comment below and let me know your thoughts.