What You Will Experience as a Blogger (Pt. 3 – The Ugly)
This is the third, and final, installment in this series.
If you haven’t done so, you can read the first two articles by clicking the links below:
- What You Will Experience as a Blogger (Pt. 1 – The Good)
- What You Will Experience as a Blogger (Pt. 2 – The Bad)
We’ve talked about the good and the bad things that you’ll experience as a blogger, now it’s time to talk about the ugly.
I don’t want to discourage you or be a dream killer, but you deserve to hear the truth.
So here it is.
The internet has a dark side, and I’m sure you’re well aware of that.
As a casual web surfer you don’t have to deal with any of this too much. But the further you go into your online career, the more susceptible you become to the ugliness of the internet.
So without wasting any time, let’s get to it.
The perceived anonymity of the internet brings out the worst in people.
Or, I would say, it brings out the worst people.
Where they come from, I don’t know, because I never see these people in real life.
But there’s a lot of them.
Haters and Trolls
The first ugly aspect of blogging that you’ll likely face will be a hater or troll.
Haters and trolls come in all shapes and sizes.
Having haters is actually a good thing.
If no one is hating on you, then you are boring and no one is impressed by you or your work. Plain and simple.
However, just because you have haters that doesn’t mean you’re on the right track. If you seem to overwhelmingly attract haters over supporters than you are probably doing something wrong.
Haters hate on you because they hate themselves. In fact, you’ll easily be able to recognize what they dislike about themselves, because that’s what they’ll criticize in you.
How you handle haters is up to you.
Many bloggers will engage with them and make a big show for everyone else to laugh at. Others, like myself, will just ignore them.
I have a little fun with them from time to time, but not often.
I don’t really mind the insults. I’ve had haters my entire life, so my feelings don’t get hurt by it.
What I can’t stand is the negativity they bring. Negative people are toxic and I don’t allow them in my life. I won’t let negative people poison the comment sections on my websites.
My comment sections are reserved for:
- Answering questions
- Engaging in conversations that add value
- Feedback, whether positive or critical
- Connecting readers to each other
- Anything that brings something positive to the table
Haters bring no value. That’s why they’re so miserable. They don’t understand that you have to give to receive in life.
Now trolls on the other hand, they’re a different breed.
A lot of haters don’t even recognize their own toxic behavior. They don’t always know that they’re being a hater.
Trolls are looking to annoy you or piss you off on purpose.
I don’t engage with someone after I realize they are trolling.
Haters don’t brag about hating, but trolls are proud of their trolling. That’s why you can never win against a troll, unless you ignore them.
Trolls can’t stand to be ignored!
Trolls are so desperate for attention that any response you give, positive or negative, builds them up.
Hence you have the phrase – don’t feed the trolls.
You starve trolls by ignoring them.
It’s not a question of if it will happen, but when it will happen.
You will receive personal attacks.
It will come in the form of hateful comments attacking your personal character. You will receive long-winded rants about how terrible you are and all the ways you should be killed in emails.
People will gossip about you on forums.
Other bloggers will take the time to write a “hit-piece” about you.
People will call you out on social media or make passive aggressive comments about you.
All I can say is that you will have to develop a thick skin. And over time, you will.
It might sting at first, but it’s something you get used to.
Some bloggers take the time to refute these attacks, while others ignore them.
I prefer a case-by-case basis approach, but usually I just ignore it.
Just be glad that they’re so interested in you that they’ve taken the time to talk about you.
While most haters and trolls are harmless little cowards living in their family’s basement, there are people who have the ability to follow-through on their malicious intent.
Most of the attacks on your website from hackers will be automated and it’s really nothing personal.
Unfortunately, that’s just part of doing business online.
However, hackers do single out certain bloggers. The most common thing they do (besides taking your site down) is publicize your private information. This is called doxxing. They’ll put your personal addresses, phone numbers, family member’s names and info on the web for anyone to find.
Again, this is one of the risks of doing business online.
You know what gets old really fast?
When someone emails you a bunch of questions and you take time out of your day to give detailed answers – and they NEVER end up taking your advice.
For every one person who takes your advice and runs with it there will be 100 people who don’t.
To remedy this, you want to qualify the people you give your time to for free. Make sure they are actually someone who takes action. Give them something small to do first. If they come back with results, then you can take them under your wing.
The truth is, I love helping people who actually take my advice. Don’t we all? Isn’t that why we do this?
Surely you aren’t in this for the money, right? Cause you can make so much more money, so much easier, outside of blogging. I made six figures in my first year out of college with a real business. Most blogs will never make six figures and especially not in their first year.
Your time is your most valuable currency. Don’t spend it on whiners, complainers, and time wasters.
Their are some amazing people in the blogging world. Some of the highest caliber people I’ve ever met have been through online business.
But sadly, most bloggers are scam artists. And they don’t limit their scams to their customers. They will gladly scam other bloggers in a heartbeat.
Be very, very cautious about who you decide to work with. If you promote a product or service, it should ALWAYS be based on the value you have actually gained from it and the value believe your readers will get – never about the money.
It only takes one bad promotion to ruin the trust of your audience that took years to build.
There will always be tempting offers that come your way to make a lot of money from promoting things that aren’t in the best interest of your audience. It’s simply not worth it.
Another common scam is simply not being paid your affiliate commissions. It’s baffling how common this is.
Personally, this hasn’t happened to me. But then again, I’m extremely selective about what I promote to begin with.
But don’t think that this sort of thing is limited to sleazy marketing gurus and small-time bloggers, there are some very big companies who screw affiliates out of their commissions. I won’t name names, but just know that you should always do your due diligence before doing business with anyone – no matter how legit they appear.
Surely you saw this one coming, right?
Once you start to develop a following, there will be some people mixed into that group that like you A LOT.
Surprisingly to me, you’ll get a lot of bloggers that stalk you. It’s one thing if someone is trying to get on your radar and communicate with you, that’s normal. But it gets weird when you start to see them at every direction you turn.
Some bloggers choose to share everything about their personal life online. The upside is that their audience becomes deeply connected to them. The downside is that they give stalkers too much information to work with and that stalking can carry-over from the interwebs to real life.
I love having a platform where I can be honest, speak my mind, and share my thoughts, but I still keep certain aspects of my life private.
After all, I have no interest in fame. If you do, I don’t pass judgement. Just be prepared for an onslaught of rapid fans.
So, are you still interested in blogging?
Good, I knew you could handle the truth.
If all of this sounds like too much – this isn’t for you.
Every career has downsides and blogging isn’t safe from that rule.
The good news is, for most of the problems you will face, the easy solution is to close the laptop and walk away.
I’ve always found that a week or two of traveling really helps to clear my mind and bring my focus back to where it needs to be.
Until Next Time,