On August 28, I received the award for Outstanding Blogger at the Infinity Blog Awards.
As I celebrate the results of almost seven years of hard work, reflecting on what I’ve learned and sharing those “truths” with others seems appropriate.

Hard Truth #1: You need to learn SEO.
There is no other way to say it. There is no other way around it.

If you want blog traffic, you can learn SEO or hear the sound of crickets and feel your time is wasted. Other than a cathartic rant, your time WILL be wasted.

In contrast, consider all the many people you will be helping by researching a keyword and optimizing your content for that keyword.

Google processes 63,000 searches per second. Although I realize not all people are in your blogging niche, that’s an awful lot of people you could be helping.

Isn’t that why you became a blogger, to help people? Otherwise, go start a diary.

Like this headline states, “Hard truths.” An even harder truth: You don’t need to wait to learn SEO and you don’t need to spend any money. Start right now. There are plenty of free SEO articles on the web like this one: https://www.mostlyblogging.com/mozbar/

Hard Truth #2: You need other people.
At the time of this writing, I have 39,800 links to my blog.

When you help people, they often share your work. When they share your work, they link to your blog. When they link to your blog, your SEO goes up, important metrics related to your blog go up, and you boost your chances to make money blogging.

Even hobby bloggers who don’t want to hear the sound of crickets need links to boost their Google rankings so people find their content. [Related: https://www.mostlyblogging.com/sco-marketing/]

Hard Truth #3: Not everyone will love your writing.
I aim to please. However, when you put yourself out there on the internet, you can’t be thin-skinned.

The cold hard truth: Not everyone will approve of your writing.

Example 1: I met a woman online who enjoyed the MeWe social media site. Believing my readers would enjoy hearing about the site for possible consideration, I asked my new friend to review the platform.

About two years later, people who lean right politically flocked to the site when Facebook shut down conservative groups.

As the comments on my MeWe reviews (https://www.mostlyblogging.com/mewe-review-facebook-alternative/) show, people lambasted me for siding with the conservatives which was certainly not my intention two years before they arrived on my blog.

Example 2: I researched content written by my competitors and found a topic I believed I could rank for, How to Get Out of Facebook Jail.

Sadly, I’ve found myself in Facebook Jail more times than I can count for spamming. Therefore, I figured I was an expert and wrote advice for people locked out of their Facebook accounts.

Many of these people were banned from Facebook for bullying and writing inappropriate things on Facebook.

As the 140 comments on my article show, not all the comments were kind. Many took out their frustration with Facebook on me for not giving them satisfactory enough answers for how to get out of Facebook Jail.

If you'd like to see the article and the comments, here it is: https://www.mostlyblogging.com/how-to-get-out-of-facebook-jail/.

Hard Truth #4: Much of the internet consists of bloggers publishing content that’s already been published on many other websites.

The blogger trick is making that content your own. Put your own spin on the material. Here are more blogger tricks: https://www.mostlyblogging.com/blogger-tricks/.

In addition, there are downloaders that let you download other creators’ images and videos and even provide the attribution link for you to do so.

For instance, there are Pinterest downloaders and Instagram downloaders. Here is information about Pinterest downloaders: https://www.mostlyblogging.com/pinterest-downloader/.

Hard Truth #5: Many blogging experts became experts while blogging in their niche and not before.

In fact, I learned about blogging as I went. It was not my intention to blog about blogging. I learned so much as I blogged, I felt my writing could best serve others if I shared as I learned.

Hard Truth #6: Blogging entails sacrificing your principles.

Staying true to your passions while trying to generate blog traffic is often in conflict.

I made a decision long ago that if it came down to writing what I preferred and writing what Google users preferred, I would choose the latter since I want blog traffic.

Example 1: While researching content in my niche, I found a keyword I believed I could rank for. I was so naive, I didn’t even know what the term “NSFW” meant. I just knew I could rank for a term containing those letters.

The keyword was in my niche — I could write about Not Safe For Work groups on Reddit. Not Safe for Work? Write about mature content? Me? I am as sheltered as they come.
Did I do it? You bet I did.

Today, 26+ Hot SubReddits [That Will Make You Know More in 2021] is my 5th best-performing post bringing in 4% of my blog traffic almost two years after it was published.

Am I proud? While I am happy my post ranks on Page 1, I am not proud of the mature content contained in the article. Frankly, I am embarrassed. If you want to see the article, here it is: https://www.mostlyblogging.com/r-nsfw-gif-hot-subreddits/.

Hard Truth #7: Blogging changes you.
I mentioned above I am sheltered. My father was a lawyer. I grew up in a comfortable household.

However, as a blogger, I have met people from all walks of life online. I’ve befriended prisoners, stroke victims, and widows just to name a few of the demographics of people vastly different from myself.

I’ve learned perspective from these brave bloggers and a greater appreciation for my life. I also have a greater appreciation for blogging that has made me a more well-rounded person.

In addition, you become more knowledgeable. I didn’t even know what a meme was when I started blogging. Now, I teach others about memes. My post about the Best I Can Do Meme from the TV show Pawn Stars is my 6th best-performing post which also brings in 4% of my blog traffic. Here is the post: https://www.mostlyblogging.com/best-i-can-do-meme/.

Finally, you become more skilled as a blogger. I don’t just mean your writing skills improve. In fact, I am currently trying to boost my video-making skills while I teach others to make videos. For instance, I teach people how to use the Splice app to edit their videos in this article: https://www.mostlyblogging.com/splice-app-review/.

Wrapping Up
In closing, there are many advantages of blogging: You become more well-rounded, more knowledgeable, and more skilled. For these reasons, I wholeheartedly recommend blogging to others.

However, as pointed out in this article, take it from an almost 7-year veteran: There are some hard truths about blogging you can’t ignore.

Author's Bio: 

Janice Wald is the founder of MostlyBlogging.com. She is an ebook author, blogger, blogging coach, blogging judge, freelance writer, and speaker. She was nominated as the 2021 and 2019 Best Internet Marketer by the Infinity Blog Awards and in 2017 as the Most Informative Blogger by the London Bloggers Bash. She’s been featured on Small Business Trends, the Huffington Post, and Lifehack.