The Harsh Reality of being a Small Blogger

Blogging has played a big part in my life for nearly two years. I remember the day I started, I chose the name ‘Isla Rose’ to hide my new hobby away from personal accounts, I took the worst images of stationary because I thought it was the thing to do, every single night I’d take part in Twitter chats or sat down and wrote out blog posts until 3am, and it I loved it. I felt good to be experiencing something different and it provided me with the opportunity to switch off from the real world and mingle with likeminded people who were in the same boat as I was. Despite reading posts from the bigger bloggers on a regular basis, I wasn’t too sure how it all worked. I remember tagging the wrong genre of accounts and I had no idea what it took to gain regular page views, so I just took it all for what it was, I didn’t particularly care about traffic – views were just a bonus that I didn’t take much notice of.

Being a small blogger is hard work. The lack of recognition is endless, it’s difficult to fit in the so called ‘cliques’, hours and hours can go into creating just one post, we have full time jobs and education to also focus on and there is a lot of competition out there. I published a post in November 2016 titled ‘The Honest Truths About Being a Small Blogger’ – an hour later, I returned to my WordPress app and saw the big ‘100’; I’d hit 100 views on my blog in one hour. I never expected a post I’d written to do so well, but it did. However, that’s when things really began to change for me. I’d experienced what it was like to have partially successful blog post out on the internet, and wanted more. Still to this day, that rainy day in November is still my highest day for views, I never experienced that feeling again despite more effort and better content being produced; the frustration was real.

With it being my final year at University, I eventually had to pack it all in. I wasn’t enjoying writing like I used to and my dissertation quickly took over my life. The following summer; I began again, had a handful of successful posts and again, the typical excuse, life simply got in the way, and I found the inconsistency of it all too much to handle. Last month I ‘smashed’ every single goal I’d set. I couldn’t believe how well my content was doing and I thought things were finally on the up; February 1st came and we were back to square one.

Brands & Recognition

So this month alone, I’ve struggled to keep up. Blogging can be extremely rewarding, but it can also be equally as frustrating. The fact of the matter is, brands just don’t want to work with a blogger who has a small following, and that blogger could be producing some of the best and honest content at this moment. Other bloggers don’t want to interact with new bloggers because they are set on becoming internet friends with slightly bigger bloggers,  brands will always choose the same people and blog views are incredibly inconsistent. I think what bothers me the most are the bigger bloggers who fail to support growing bloggers. We have the childish follow and unfollow game and robots to compete with and there is very little support out there from the professionals to people who aspire to achieve just a tiny snippet of what they have.

Where Has The Fun Gone?

We’re frequently bombarded with advice on how to increase traffic, or how to make money from your blog – but maybe the fun has been taken away from blogging and also Instagram. As I previously mentioned I used to blog because I enjoyed it, and followers and traffic were just an added bonus. I never once imagined that I’d have a small percentage of popular posts and I definitely didn’t expect to have 300 followers on my blog. So perhaps we are taking this blogging thing a bit too seriously, and the more we create content we enjoy producing, the more success we will achieve both personally and professionally.

The harsh reality is; if you begin blogging now, you will find it difficult to become recognised. I get the feel that bloggers now start a blog with the impression that they’ll be offered freebies and work with their favourite brands and tourist boards over and over again, and that just isn’t the case whatsoever. It isn’t the case of beginning something and then a month later being promoted to a full time job. I’ve been there, I’ve posted things and genuinely believed I would become an over night sensation and then gaining less views than I ever have done before.

A few years ago, blogging was never supposed to grow into a career, it was a place for people to share their passions. Why can’t we go back to that?


23 thoughts on “The Harsh Reality of being a Small Blogger

  1. I like how you write and you share from your heart,
    but wanted to add that I think (IMHO) that it is up to you on how you define the success of your blog or posts.
    and for me – it really is about “place for people to share their passions” and so my biggest aim is to “not compare” and to also watch number inflations.
    I recall when i had 7 followers – it went up from 2 and I was elated – I thought 7 minds want to peek in and read my stuff. And that still is a lot when you think about a person’s interest and the human connections – and so in our number inflated society we might forget that even if we have hundreds of followers – a few really is a lot too – and it is bout sharing and connecting with meaning.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re exactly right! Blogging really shouldn’t be about numbers, it should be about enjoying what we are creating and traffic is just a bonus! So many people forget this


  2. I’m a (very) small blogger. Of course I’d love to grow but while I do I’m determined to enjoy it. Write what I want to write about, or not, if I don’t feel in the mood. I’m not following any of the ‘stick to one subject’ rules and I’m not looking to monetise. I just want to enjoy life. Isn’t that the point of it all? Keep going and enjoy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve been seeing a lot of people on twitter sharing similar messages basically saying there’s no such thing as big or small bloggers and that we should define people by their numbers. Which is nice and all, but in the grand scheme of the blogging game that’s just how things are. I admire your honesty on the subject.
    It’s a game I’m done playing. I’ve tried to get my head around SEO and create a flatlay. I’ve tried making connections and friends, but it always ends up feeling very one-sided (maybe I just haven’t found my people). I’m now just writing what I want to. I still try to post regularly but now I don’t beat myself up if I miss a few days.

    Laura //

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I completely agree with this! Of course there’s such things as smaller and bigger bloggers, and it’s a shame.

      Keep doing you and write about what you love. I haven’t made many blogging friends and I have no idea what works and what doesn’t, I just keep doing my thing and enjoy what I’m doing. There’s no point becoming stressed over something that is just a hobby!


  4. I feel like there’s so much impersonality in blogging now. People are blogging to fit into a brand’s desirability for promotions, to make a quick buck or to get a freebie. I am, honestly, just Holly and intend to keep my blog that way.
    I just want to write alongside my life!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely!! Nobody seems to write about things they love anymore, it’s all about becoming noticed. I’ve found that the more honest I am in a post, the more traffic I again, and the more I try to write about topics I think other people will enjoy, the less traffic I gain!

      We should just enjoy ourselves 😊


  5. I feel you , I know what you mean. From one small blogger to another small blogger, we share the same sentiments. But, hey, keep writing. You are really god at what you do.
    The greatest reward is to be able to touch other people’s lives. I like how you write. Keep it up.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I absolutely recognise the frustration (and disillusion) of putting a lot of work into a blogpost and then… nothing. I guess it’s also a bit painful -for me at least- to see others who have been blogging for two months or so, immediately spurt out while I’m still standing at the bottom looking up with big sad eyes, and a big sad pout and just overall sadness. 😉

    However when I write certain blogposts and really get into a flow and feel proud of what my grey cells have come up with, it’s so much more satisfying than seeing someone leaving a quick ‘loved this post! f4f?’ comment. I wouldn’t immediately want to make blogging success illegal, but more the expectations that are put on new/small bloggers to be able to ‘compete with’ the bigger fish in the sea. Everything needs to be perfect from the get-go, creating cookie cut roads to a potentially semi-succesful blogging existence; which is just sucking the life out of creativity or the potential to switch lanes and still arrive at succesful blog-island (however this is not only a problem created by bloggers, but also -as you’ve pointed out- businesses who are looking for the most inoffensive platform/influencer to promote their products).

    This by all means is not to say I’m driving offroad cookie cut highway (I will EVENTUALLY reach semi-succesful blog-island, just wait and see!) but, yeah, it’s a hard-knock life for us! 😉


    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh this amazing, thank you for leaving me such a positive message! You’re right, I think blog posts that pay more attention to detail and write about what they love should be the successful people – not the bloggers who rush things and do it for the traffic!


  7. Love how honest this is! It really is so easy to get caught up in the numbers/comparison game and I find myself doing it sometimes. I try to focus on just creating content that I truly enjoy and leaving the rest. And I know right? The follow-unfollow game is so annoying! Great post 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the best way to do it! I’ve wrote about so many things I have no passion for and I haven’t enjoyed writing any of it. I love reading posts when I know the writer truly believes what they are writing about! Thank you!


  8. I use to blog over 5 years ago and it was a completely different environment. The people that followed you were genuine fans of your work and vice versa. I completely understand what you mean about brand deals, I had one from Panasonic within my first month of blogging in 2012 – that’s just unheard of now isn’t it?!!
    I think I’ve gone into blogging again with a very different mindset, just doing it for the fun of owning my own creative thoughts rather than waiting for the rewards of a few followers or brand recognition that probably won’t come!

    I love how honest your writing is, just followed you.
    xx Beth

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree! I think people follow others just to get themselves recognised, not because they like our work! That is unheard of but that’s amazing!

      That’s the best way to be! I’ve recently taken on the same approach and there’s a lot less pressure!

      Thank you so much!!


  9. Blogging is all about sharing your ideas and thoughts, like a virtual diary, so I thought. But then I think I lost focused by trying to gain followership. I can identify with what you are saying. It was just a couple of months ago that I decided I would keep writing and keep sharing like everyone was reading my blog. I changed my perspective and told myself it was all about how I felt about my blog at the end of the day. I just stop predicating my success on people’s standards. If it grows, great but if it doesn’t still great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh I love this! It’s so easy to get caught up with followers and traffic, but that shouldn’t be what blogging is about. I’m in the exact same boat, any more traffic is just a bonus to something I genuinely enjoy doing!


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