When I first started out blogging, I thought the main struggle would be constantly creating content. I’ve seen a lot of content creators address this issue (not surprising). It could be because I’m still a newbie at blogging but it hasn’t been a problem so far. I still have many blog post ideas. I even have half-written blog posts that I still need to work on. Rather, this post focuses on unexpected difficulties while working on a blog. I want to especially share this with those who wish to start a blog or newbie bloggers like me.
The first struggle is feeling demotivated. It has its ebb and flows. I can never predict when it will happen. This past month or so, I hardly worked on my blog. My blog didn’t go anywhere after three months of consistent effort. I didn’t think my blog was going to take off overnight but I expected some progress. It was hard to keep going after putting in hundreds of hours of hard work and haven’t moved an inch from the start line. When you see something successful, you don’t tend to focus on how much work it takes behind the scenes. You see it when it has been refined a thousand times and at its best. I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about how much work a blog would take. My naive mind thought that if I love it enough, it would be easy.
Since I was struggling, maybe I don’t love blogging or writing as much as I thought. That was unexpected because I just never thought about that before I started. So I abandoned my blog for a bit. Just like my first attempt at blogging (with a different name), I found myself thinking about my blog every day. I would get inspiration for ideas out of the blue but still couldn’t force myself to sit down to type. What sparked my motivation again was after I finished watching the Chinese drama, Love and Redemption. I loved the drama so much that I desperately needed to write a drama review. Once that got going, naturally, it was easier to spend more time on my blog again.
My work style is having spontaneous bursts of energy but those can be unexpected. There are times I spend hours and hours per day writing while there are times where days go by and I don’t write at all. I want to slowly train myself to put in consistent effort in my blog. If I only relied on my feelings for when I did feel motivated, who knows how often would that be? My feelings aren’t reliable and in life, sometimes you just have to force yourself to do things even on days you don’t feel like it. By training myself to put in consistent effort, I want to practice writing daily. Once that becomes a habit, I will do it automatically to the point where I won’t have to think that much because I’ll be so used to it being a part of my routine.
The thing with working on a project by yourself is that you’re the one that has all the control and freedom. In one way, it’s nice because I can make all the decisions without consulting anyone. The downside is that it can be hard to be your own cheerleader. It’s all on you if nothing gets done. That’s the hardest part. I was in a funk for a while and although I know that it’s normal, it took me quite some time to snap out of it. I genuinely enjoy writing and maintaining a blog. For me, writing is a creative outlet. I get to be creative and it also calms me down when I have too much going on in my head.
Something else I struggle with is basically anything picture-related to my blog posts. Sounds weird, right? If someone told me that before starting my blog that choosing pictures was challenging, I would have given them a ‘are you kidding me’ look. Other blogs and websites make it seem too easy! First off, the feature size images never seem to match. A feature size image is the thumbnail image with each post. I’ve tried so many ways to have consistent dimensions but so far, it hasn’t been working out the way I want. Some feature size images are too large while others are too small. I get extremely frustrated with this and am still working on how to fix this issue.
The colour consistency of the photos is also troubling and that was really unexpected. Since I blog about a bunch of different topics, the colours look different with each photo. It’s natural. Some pictures are lighter because of lighting or the background colour etc. An example would be my blog posts about my top Chinese dramas. The screenshots from Palace are going to look different than Romance of Tiger and Rose. The drama, Palace is from 2011 so the photo quality cannot compare to The Romance of Tiger and Rose, which came out in 2020. Visually, it doesn’t look consistent. Again, this wasn’t something I thought about going into the blogging world. I’m still at the experimental phase and hope that I will find a solution soon.
Even deciding what pictures to use in my post is difficult but thankfully, Unsplash (a website where I get a lot of my photos) has many options. I want to pick pictures that represent my post and are attention-grabbing. The feature size image is important because that’s the picture they see before deciding whether or not to click on the post. I especially have a lot of trouble with choosing pictures for posts where I talk about blog/career-related topics. I will always have more pictures handy so I have a selection but I also take an absurd amount of time to decide which pictures I will use in a post.
You know how there are moments where you put off doing something because you think it’s too much to handle? Do you do that? Because I do. I hope that once I figure out my footing, I will look back one day and think to myself ‘well, that wasn’t too hard.’ Right now, I remind myself that I’ll still new to this field and not to be too hard on myself. I’m still trying to figure all of this out. There are always going to be unexpected things but I’ll have to deal with it.
Maintaining a blog is tough. I never thought it was going to be smooth sailing but I have now encountered unexpected challenges that I didn’t think of. As I have more experience being a blogger, I anticipate another set of challenges that I will have to deal with. For now, I will focus on the ones I am currently dealing with at hand. At the end of the day, I truly love writing, and keeping a blog is what I want to do. Being more hands-on has allowed me to improve and I’m sure I will continue to improve. I just have to be patient with myself.