There is a lot of advice about blogging online. Most of it is quite helpful, written by people who know what they are talking about, but there is always some advice that seems to be contradictory and overall general bad advice. For someone just starting out, all this contradicting advice can give you a headache.
So, here is my list of 12 blogging myths that you should avoid doing!
1. Blogging Is Easy
Wow, if you believe this then you are in for a shock!
Even though it has never been easier to set-up a blog and start writing, the process of blogging is not at all easy. If you are truly serious about running your own blog, it takes a lot of hard work, tons of dedication, passion for the subject you blog about and most importantly patience. You can’t create a popular blog overnight, you need to spend time producing quality content on a consistent basis, work at driving traffic to your site, manage marketing campaigns, constantly learn and keep up to date with the latest blogging techniques, etc.
Now, I am certainly not trying to put you off blogging, but it is important that you understand the work that is needed to become successful. There are a loads of benefits to blogging, but like any good thing in life, you need to work for it!
2. You Can Easily Make Money Blogging
It always cracks me up when someone claims that it is really easy to make money blogging. The internet is awash with so called ‘experts‘ who preach that they make thousands of dollars a day after blogging for a few weeks.
Now, there are blogs that do earn lots of money (see our ‘Top 50 Earning Blogs‘), but they have built up their sites over many years and put the work in to making them successful.
3. All You Have To Do Is Set Up A Blog & Earn Passive Income
This myth is kind of a continuation of the previous one. Again, many so called ‘experts’ claim that the key to earning BIG money by blogging is through passive income or recursive income. They suggest that you can just set up a basic site, put it on autopilot and watch the money roll in. This is not true!
Passive income is one way that you can make money on your site. Many bloggers use affiliate marketing and Google AdSense to monetize their site, but you need to still work on your blog to attract traffic.
This method generally works best when you have a large archive of posts that are drawing in readers to your site. If you were to suddenly stop blogging, this income may continue for a short time, but in the long term both your site traffic and passive revenue would drop off.
4. Blog Visitors Can’t Be Monetized
I have seen this a few times, where it’s suggested that you can’t earn money blogging because blog readers are resistant to monetization methods and that they are only interested in your free content.
This is right in the sense that ‘yes’ blog readers are there for the content because hopefully that content is helpful to them, but it isn’t true that you can’t monetize your site around them. Often, the key is to build a relationship with your readers. If you can build a trust between you and the people who read your blog, then they will be more willing to buy your products, click on your ads, purchase recommended products, etc. This can be done by being open and honest about what you are writing about. Don’t sugar coat everything to make things sound better than they are, people are smart enough to see through that. Be helpful, write useful articles that genuinely help users out. Not only will it help to build trust, but it will probably attract more visitors.
The other thing to avoid is not to overdo the selling. By all means, place adverts on your site, recommend affiliate products, etc. but don’t go overboard by placing so many that it detracts from your blog content. This only achieves one thing, pushing people away!
5. You Can’t Make Any Money Blogging
Lots of people suggest that it’s impossible to earn any money blogging, never mind a decent amount to live off. I can understand why people say this because blogging can be very hard to begin with, but often the people saying this are the ones that gave up prematurely.
Hopefully, from what you have already read, you will realise that blogging takes a lot of hard work to become successful. Often it can take several months or even a year before you start seeing results, but the same thing could be said about any business.
That’s an important thing to remember, that you should see your blog as a business. All that time and hard work that you invest into making it work will pay off in the future.
6. You Have to Post Every Day
This is quite a common myth, one that I get asked quite often on this site (read our ‘Content Schedule – How Often Should I Post On My Blog?‘).
Some people suggest that you have to post everyday if you want to blog seriously. If anything, posting everyday can work great to start with, but eventually you will either;
- struggle to maintain the quality of your posts, or
- suffer from a major bought of writers fatigue and give up!
This is why the sites that do tend to publish every day are big sites with a number of different in house writers. Now, don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with posting everyday. If you can do it yourself, everyday, on a consistent basis, maintaining quality, 52 weeks a year, then I take my hat off to you because I certainly couldn’t. Thankfully though, I don’t have to!
You see, you don’t need to post every day. You can get the same amount of traffic by posting once or twice a week. The key is that you do it on a consistent basis (I post twice a week, Mondays & Thursdays) and make sure that the posts that you do produce are of a high quality. As long as people know that they can expect one or two posts a week, then they will keep coming back for more.
The problems start when you let things slide and miss a few posts. People will begin to wonder whether you have stopped blogging and not bother coming back. It is certainly a lot more noticeable if you miss 5 posts in a week, rather than 1.
7. You Have to Be An Expert Writer
Many people get put off blogging because they think they need to be an expert writer. They believe that they need to have some sort of professional background in writing, or at least some sort of writing qualification. Well, there is a difference between being a good blogger and being a good writer!
You can still be a successful blogger without being a ‘writer’. All you need is some knowledge about a subject, a bit of passion to write about it, and the ability to write a few sentences that makes sense. If you have these three things, you’ll be able to start blogging. The more you write, the better you will get at writing.
8. No One Reads Long Posts
This is another myth that I hear constantly, which if I am honest, really annoys me.
Some people suggest that you should only write short posts (250-500 words) because people don’t have the attention span to read ‘long’ posts. There may be some truth to this, but I think they are missing the bigger picture. You have to ask yourself ‘Why do people visit your blog?‘ Well, the answer certainly isn’t to read a post because it is short, they want to read a post that is helpful!
This is why I generally write posts that are at least 1000+ words long (one of the other reasons I only posts twice a week). I try to make sure that the posts that I write are useful and helpful to my readers, otherwise they will go elsewhere for that information. Now, I’m not saying that you can’t write helpful ‘short’ posts, but if you try and restrict yourself to a set number of words then ultimately you are going to sacrifice the quality of the content. On the flip side, a long post doesn’t necessarily mean it is better, it all depends on the writer.
So, forget about how long a post should be! Write post to be helpful, whether they are 100 words or 10,000 words. People will read helpful posts all day, long or short. They will not, however, read posts for the sake of them being short.
Check out our post ‘How Long Should A Blog Post Be?‘ for more information.
9. Your Blog Needs Loads Of Traffic To Be Successful
This is a myth that I can understand people believing, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be true. Now, I can’t argue that the more traffic a site gets, the easier it becomes to make money. This is why bloggers spend so much time getting traffic to their blog. But you don’t have to get millions of people a day to start making money. There are bloggers out there that earn plenty from their site, despite only getting a few hundred hits a week.
The key is to diversify your income streams. Don’t solely rely on AdSense, or one particular affiliate product to make you money, constantly look for new ways to monetize your site.
Read our ‘30 Ways Your Website Can Earn You Money‘ for ideas.
10. You Have To Spend Lots Of Money On Your Blog
Many new bloggers may be caught in the headlights and feel that they have to buy every product that they see to get started. But this is one of the biggest benefits to blogging, that there is such a low cost to getting your site up and running. Yes, there are others things that you could buy to help you along the way, such as a WordPress Theme, or Email Marketing software, etc. but all these are optional.
11. Be Yourself
You may not have expected to see this one on the list, but I’ll explain why.
Many bloggers out there, (including me) recommend that you are open and honest about what you are writing about, and that is very true. That is quite different, however, from talking about yourself!
By all means, put your own personality into your posts to make them interesting. But nobody, apart from maybe your close friends and family, is interested in your personal life. Including stuff like this detracts from the topic that you should be writing about.
12. Blogging Is Just A Fad That Will Eventually Fade
With the rate the internet changes, I can see why some people would suggest that blogging may eventually die down. I’m no mystic, so I can’t see the future, but the fact remains that blogging is one of the best (if not THE best) ways of attracting traffic to a website. There will always be people looking for information online, which you can provide via your own blog.
True, blogging probably will evolve over time, but with the internet becoming a more integral part of our everyday lives, it looks like blogging is here to stay, at least in some form or another!
So there we have it, my list of 12 myths about blogging. I hope I have covered all the ones that you may have been looking for. Perhaps you could suggest any bad advice that you have read about blogging that isn’t already listed here? What about the ones that we have looked at, do you agree or disagree with any of these?
Please leave your comments below and I’ll get back to you ASAP.