What do all bloggers have in common? Here are the truths of blogging that you don't hear about, but you experience in short order.
No. 1: Bloggers don't write all day long.
Sorry to disappoint you, but bloggers don't spend all of their time crafting engaging and compelling blog posts for their clients or their personal blog. You'll spend a lot of time on communication and meetings (virtual or in person, such as Skype or Google Hangout calls with clients), and administrative work necessary to keep your blog going (e.g. SEO tasks, promotion, Google Analytics, and chasing down payments).
No. 2: You must spend time replying to comments and emails.
You need to interact with your readership whether you're posting on your own blog or guest posting on someone else's. That takes time. You can use templates for responses to common questions you get via email that will help you save time, but mostly, you're interacting with real humans, so you want your responses to be authentic, not canned.
No. 3: No one understands what you do.
Your mom may be one of your most avid readers, but she still can't explain succinctly what you do. People have stereotypical ideas of what a blogger actually does that are far from the truth. You may even have held some misconceptions about what the blogging life would entail. Did you think you'd sit and write amazing posts all day long? How's that working out for you now?
No. 4: Everything rests on your shoulders.
There's a certain amount of pressure knowing the blog stops with you. Whether you're working on your personal blog or writing posts for businesses, if you don't produce, you don't get paid. You can't delegate the writing, nor can you put it off until you feel like writing. You must sit your butt in the chair in front of the computer every single day and crank out the work needing done. There's no one to fall back on, even if you're sick.
No. 5: You don't always have the flexibility you want.
Clients come with deadlines you must meet. Even if you're only blogging for your own website, you have to produce consistently or you'll lose your readers. This means while it might be fun to go on vacation with the family, you still have commitments you can't ignore. You may have to work long hours before your vacation to get everything done, or you may have to work a few hours each day of vacation. There's no other way around it: you have to do the work one way or another.
No. 6: You have to learn to negotiate.
Clients always want to negotiate a great deal for themselves, which means you need to learn how and when to give and when to stand firm. You need to understand your financial situation intimately so you make the best business decisions to keep the cash flowing adequately.
No. 7: Blogging is frustrating at times.
In a perfect world, you could write anything you want and people would love it. But in reality, you're going to rub some people the wrong way. It happens. You must deal with conflict, even if you have a "conflict avoidance" personality type. Get ready to deal with people who think bloggers work for free; there are some out there who don't value what you do.
No. 8: Being polite doesn't always sell.
Sometimes you have to bug people to get paid, and sometimes you're afraid of asking influencers to help promote you. But you need to learn to stand tough, ask for what you need, and fight for your ideas. While you obviously don't want to be a bully, neither can you be a door mat. In fact, you may find the more controversial your stance, the more shares you get.
It's only fun and games until you realize you're running a business and that you're the CEO, the operations guy, and the administrative assistant. You wear all the hats, which makes for a pretty heavy burden at times. But you wouldn't do anything else because you love it—all of it.
Let us know in the comments below what truths you've realized about blogging.