Blogging is a well-known method to make money online. Unfortunately, because of its popularity, there are a lot of misconceptions surrounding it. Not only are these misconceptions false, but they can potentially be harmful to a blogger who’s only just beginning to blog. In today’s article, I describe 10 blogging myths that can harm your blog.
Blogging has been around for 20 years now. It started as a way to publish one’s personal thoughts and musings and has eventually evolved into a viable internet-based business.
Many bloggers have found success in this platform, and thus it has become one of the most popular ways to make money online. Precisely because of its popularity, too many bloggers are now blogging about blogging, and probably millions of articles are going around and being shared online.
The problem is that not all bloggers who are writing these articles are qualified or experienced enough to provide suitable advice with correct, relevant, and updated information. Thus, beginners have no way to know which of the advice they’re reading is based on fact and will help them.
In today’s article, I’ll discuss 10 blogging myths that can hinder your success.
That blogging is an easy endeavor is probably one of the most widespread myths around.
There is a grain of truth to it, though; buy a domain name, sign up for web hosting, install your content management system, and in a few minutes, you could have a blog up and running!
However, blogging doesn’t begin and end with setting up the blog and writing your first blog post.
For starters, you’ll have to do keyword research, search engine optimization, content creation, and website analytics. In addition, you’ll have to learn basic web development and design, albeit to a lesser degree.
In the long term, when you have a solid content creation and SEO rhythm going on, you’ll have to learn internet marketing strategies and sales so you can potentially monetize your blog.
Aside from all those skills, you need to keep up with the latest developments in blogging as well as in internet marketing, social media marketing, and email marketing so you can promote your content effectively.
As you can probably guess, it’s going to take time to learn and get better at these skills. There’ll be early mornings and late nights, especially in the beginning.
Considering the amount of time and the enormity of hard work necessary to be a successful blogger, I can say that not everyone is cut out for it. You’ll have to be insanely dedicated and motivated to stay with it through blog posts that flop and promotion efforts that bomb.
You’ll have to be patient enough to experiment with different things to find which ones work on your blog and which ones don’t. Most importantly, you’ll have to be passionate about helping your readers and providing them with as much value as you can that’ll help them solve their problems.
When you’re ready to monetize your blog, you’ll need to have an entrepreneurial mindset to be successful. You’ll have to be dedicated to a singular goal and at the same time be flexible so you can adapt to changes and obstacles along the way. You’ll have to be enthusiastic in helping your audience while practicing self-care so you’re in the best shape to do it.
Imagine having to juggle this all day, every day, for years to come. Doesn’t sound so easy now, does it?
Fact: It takes hard work, time, and a strong mindset to be a successful blogger.
Although writing is a huge part of blogging, a blogger isn’t simply a writer.
Many bloggers get intimidated when they’ve barely started because they feel their spelling and/or grammar isn’t good enough, or at least as good as they see on other blogs.
While you definitely want to work on your writing skills if you want to produce readable and comprehensible content, you’ll want to be judged on so much more than your writing skills.
As a blogger, the goal is to create valuable content for your audience. Sure, if your content is unreadable, it’s automatically worthless. But then, so is content that’s eloquently written but lacking in information and educational value.
This brings us to another untrue assumption: just because you write well doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll blog well.
Writing well helps you articulate your point effectively, but that’s merely a bonus. Plus, even if you think you don’t write very well, writing more blog posts gives you the needed practice and confidence to write over time.
If you’re absolutely sure that you suck at writing, there are other options. You can outsource a copyeditor or proofreader to go over your writing, correct what needs correcting, and point out these mistakes to you. This is not to embarrass you; this is how you learn.
Another thing to remember is that you’re not restricted to written content when it comes to blogging. Don’t be afraid to try to tell stories with images, podcasts, videos, or any other medium. As long as you convey your information effectively, it shouldn’t matter what type of content you’re presenting the information with.
Fact: Strong writing skills are a bonus. What matters is your knowledge of your subject and that you can create content, written or otherwise, that can convey that knowledge to your readers effectively.
Many bloggers believe that all they need to do is create their blog, write one or two articles, and the readers will just show up.
It couldn’t be farther from the truth.
Of course, high-quality content is at the core of your blog. Readers won’t have any reason to read your blog if your content is crap. But in addition, your content is part of your SEO strategy; poor content gets ignored by search engine bots and lessens the likelihood that your content is displayed to users searching for it.
However, any blogger worth their salt knows that having a blog with great content is never enough for readers to find your blog. You’ll need a solid promotion and marketing strategy in place so you can place your blog in front of your target audiences and inspire them to share your content with other like-minded readers.
To create a marketing strategy, you’ll have to learn how to examine your website statistics, form hypotheses based on your analysis, and formulate a plan using your knowledge of promotion tactics, such as through social media, emails, or advertising.
Fact: Readers won’t visit your blog of their own accord; you need to reach out to them, tell them about your blog, and lead them to it.
I promise I’m not contradicting myself.
Just as excellent content isn’t enough to attract readers to your blog, a high volume of traffic isn’t enough to say that your blog is a success.
It’s easy to see why many people believe that a high volume of traffic is equivalent to success, as you can probably guess from the wealth of articles online geared to help you increase traffic to your blog (even our site has such an article).
While it’s true that you want more people to visit your blog and read through the articles, you’ll come to a point when you’ll want more visitors to actually show their support by subscribing to your updates, downloading your free materials, and finally buying products and services that you have to offer.
You can drive traffic to your blog through many different ways, but you need to focus on the ones that will attract the type of readers who will be interested in what you have to say and what you have to offer.
The best way to attract this kind of engaged readers to your blog is to publish content that is truly useful and relevant to them, find out where on the internet they’re likely to spend their time, and meet them there to talk about your blog.
Whatever they want or need—whether it’s to gain some knowledge, to solve a problem, or simply to be entertained—give it to them. You’ll be rewarded with loyal, committed readers who will make your blog successful.
When you draw in interested, engaged readers, your blog can still be considered successful even if the traffic isn’t in the millions.
Fact: Both the amount and quality of traffic matter to the success of your blog.
This myth was based on a premise that used to be true but no longer is.
At one time, Google favored websites that were frequently updated, no matter if the content wasn’t very good quality. As long as the website gets updated frequently, Google ranked it higher on their search results pages. Bloggers quickly caught on, and it became a race to produce as many blog posts in as little time as possible.
As a result, when readers searched for content, search engines served them content that is essentially worthless to them. At the same time, this resulted in high bounce rates; that is, readers would stay on a page for mere seconds before closing the tab or window because the content they were getting wasn’t useful. This impacted bloggers negatively as well.
Eventually, Google got smarter and changed their algorithms such that blogs with inferior content such that they’re shown lower in search results. Consequently, those blogs that contained high-quality content, regardless of how frequently they were updated, floated to the top of search results.
Thus, you need to get it out of your head that you need to publish one blog post a day for your blog to thrive (unless you’re a news or review blog in a time-sensitive niche like entertainment). Change your focus to publishing high-quality content at a consistent rate, which is not necessarily every day.
Excellent content takes time to create. You’ll need to thoroughly research, edit, and proofread your content, aside from the actual writing. Also, creativity is a limited resource; tap into it too frequently and it gets exhausted, putting you on the fast track to the not-so-wonderful world of burnout.
Strive to publish two or three blog posts a week, especially in the beginning. As you find your footing and other tasks find their way to your to-do list, you can afford to scale back on the frequency to one to two posts a week, but ensure that the quality remains the same or becomes better over time.
Fact: Strive to create high-quality content on a regular schedule, instead of posting mediocre content in striving to post every day.
Depending on your niche, hundreds or maybe thousands of bloggers write about the same topics as you are.
Some are more entertaining, some are better writers, others have a greater social media following.
It’s only logical to treat bloggers in your niche as adversaries, with the need to beat all of them, and it’s certainly difficult to think of blogging as anything but a race to the top, loser be damned.
But the truth is that connecting and networking with other bloggers benefits everyone in the niche more than pushing other bloggers aside to get to where you want to be.
Sure, you want to be a leading authority in your niche. You want your content to be consistently on the top of search engine results. But life is not a competition, and neither should blogging. There’s plenty of room for everyone to have their own reader base because everyone has different things that they bring to their blog that no one else has.
So stop with the blogger envy. Quit comparing yourself with other bloggers and trying to beat them. Instead, go back to your own purpose, list down short-term and long-term goals for you to be able to achieve your purpose, and celebrate your successes. Do what’s best for you and your blog.
When you’ve worked on your insecurities, you’ll realize that everyone is also just doing their best for them and their blog. Change your mindset of your niche as a huge contest and view it instead as a community, with everyone having the opportunity to do something good for other members of the community.
For instance, you can promote one another’s content to widen your reach. This can be quickly accomplished by trading shoutouts on social media and on your respective blogs. Guest blogging is another way to do this, but this takes more work than simply sharing links.
More veteran bloggers can give you advice on technical aspects of your blog, as long as you keep your queries simple and don’t take too much of their time. They’re also the ones to seek help with when it comes to practical aspects of blogging, such as how to deal with a snarky commenter, or when to hire a freelancer or ghostwriter. Don’t forget to pay it forward when you become a veteran blogger.
Most of all, networking with your fellow bloggers gives you the kind of moral support that can only come from people who are on the same journey and facing the same obstacles as you are. They can even inspire you to go on when you don’t feel like showing up to blog, literally and figuratively.
Fact: Networking with other bloggers in your niche will do more good than isolating yourself by being too competitive.
Another common myth is that it costs too much to be a blogger.
This is probably because so many bloggers promote so many tools and add-ons for blogs as affiliates for these tools that beginners become convinced that they need all these tools for their blog. When they compute all the costs all these would entail, they balk and cut costs on the wrong items.
Let me make it clear: blogging does cost money. But it doesn’t have to cost too much money. It’s a matter of knowing what to spend on so that you get the maximum returns.
The fundamental items you need to launch your blog are a domain name and website hosting. Your domain name is the name of your blog that you input on the address field on your web browser. Website hosting is the space on the internet that you need to lease where the files associated with your blog can be stored and accessed.
Depending on the availability of your domain name and the quality of your website hosting, these two fundamentals will cost you around $100 to $250 a year. This sounds like a lot, but considering your options for monetizing your blog in the long run, this is a worthy investment.
Beginners make the mistake of skimping on this cost by starting their blogs on free blogging platforms, such as Blogger, Medium, or Wix. This is a huge mistake because once you start posting online, you’re already building your brand. You can eventually migrate to your own website on your own domain name and hosting, but it’s going to be difficult as time goes on.
The next thing to think about whether to spend on or not is your website theme. There are plenty of free website themes that you can download, but it’s worth springing for a few dollars for paid themes. You’ll want a good-looking, user-friendly, secure, and responsive theme that has solid customer support and is continually updated. You can find themes that meet these requirements for less than $100.
You’ll also need to have stock photos to use in your website and on your blog posts. This is another one that you don’t want to be spending too much on. There are plenty of websites with free stock photos that you can download for your content. However, if it’s for your homepage or a hero image, you might think about spending a few dollars to buy high-quality stock photos.
There are also plenty of tools out there that can help you do keyword research, optimize your site for search engines, and promote your blog on social media and through email marketing. Be careful when shopping around because there are plenty of paid tools that are actually worthless, as well as free tools that are actually very helpful. Take the time to research reviews on these tools.
The same principle applies to learning information and new skills that are relevant to blogging. There are a ton of resources out there, both free and paid. The only question is whether you have the time to vet all the blog posts and training courses available. Same as with the tools, there are plenty of paid courses that are actually worthless and plenty of free courses that are actually very valuable.
Fact: Blogging requires some monetary investment, but it doesn’t have to be too high an investment.
Quite simply, if you have a website and you want internet users to be able to access it, you need a web host.
Because there are so many web hosting companies out there, and many of them have affiliate programs, it’s easy to get choice paralysis. You don’t know which one to choose so you just pick the first one you see and go with it. After all, they’re all the same… Aren’t they?
Far from it.
However, it’s understandably hard to know which web host is right for you when you’re only just starting out. Here are the important things to examine and compare in a web host.
Type of hosting. If you’re not familiar with web hosting types, there are three. There is shared hosting, in which several customers and websites are sharing the same server; virtual private server (VPS), in which servers are virtually divided such that each customer has an allocated space; and dedicated server, in which an actual physical server is dedicated for your use.
For beginners, shared hosting should be enough to set up your blog, but check if they offer these three types of hosting and whether you can easily upgrade. You don’t want to change your web host whenever your needs change. Choose a web host that can grow with your blog.
Bandwidth. Bandwidth is the amount of data downloaded from and uploaded to a website. The more bandwidth your hosting plan has, the more users can access your blog at the same time. For a starting blog, low bandwidth is probably enough to accommodate your readers, but as your readership grows, so should your bandwidth, so check your limits.
Storage and RAM. When your site is pretty small like a blog would be, you rarely need to worry about disk space; web hosting companies usually offer unlimited disk space for those who subscribe to shared hosting. Be aware, though, that “unlimited” doesn’t actually mean without limits. Web hosting companies do have a limit to the disk space they can provide to shared hosting subscribers, but customers rarely reach this limit, if at all.
Email hosting. Having an email with your own domain name looks more professional and businesslike. Web hosting providers usually throw this in their plan offerings anyway, but it doesn’t hurt to double-check if they provide it. Also, see if they have features such as forwarding, filtering, autoresponder compatibility, and antivirus software.
Security. The last thing you want is for your website to be hacked, so check for security features such as firewalls, SSL certificates, automatic updates (especially for your CMS), and automatic backups.
Server reliability. A web hosting service is only as good as their servers. Having your website accessible at all times is key to your success as a blogger and beyond. Every second your blog isn’t available to visitors translates to disappointed readers and followers. Plus, when you eventually monetize your blog, every second that it’s not available is lost leads, lost opportunities to sell. In short, it’s money down the drain.
You’ll want their servers to be operational all the time; ideally 100%, but since this isn’t a realistic target, you need to look for a host with a server uptime of at least 99%. Also, check if they offer to reimburse customers for any unforeseen outages.
Flexibility. If you do decide to make changes in your hosting plan (subject to the terms and conditions of your agreement), will your web host be able to imple