100%. When I first realised that traditional blogging was 80% marketing my heart sank – I just wanted to write! I’d be more inclined to persevere with Tailwind if Pinterest wouldn’t insist on changing their algorithm every couple of weeks.
I’ve since had success with niche sites that get all of their traffic from SEO, but it’s NOT a $10k per month business, and as you say, it takes months to get any traction. A far cry from what the Pinterest gurus promised.
At least you only had one failed blog! It took me about eight years to realise what took you a couple of months.