Blogging is one of the easiest home businesses to start, but that ease comes with a lot of myths. Some make blogging sound easier than it is, others make it out to be more difficult. For the most part, you’re better off ignoring the blogging myths and working on your blog in your own way.
Blogging Is Easy Money
The people to treat blogging as easy money for anyone who tries it drives me up the wall. It’s not realistic for most people, especially within the first few months. It can take months to get a small income from a blog, never mind a full time income.
Yes, some people make amazing money with their blogs, far better than they could from a typical job. They aren’t most people. Odds are that you will have to work long and hard to make a full time income from blogging.
It’s a great goal. Go for it. Just don’t assume you’ve failed if it doesn’t happen in your first few months or even you first couple years.
You Must Blog Every Day
People hear that posting more is the way to get more traffic, which means more opportunities to earn money. It sounds reasonable.
It really isn’t.
For the long term, quality matters far more than quantity. Post high quality whenever you can (although there is a place for quick posts). Give each post the time it needs to be a good post.
Being the most recent post for a couple of days can help a post get more traction on social media. It doesn’t get buried too fast for your followers to notice it. You get more time to promote it. All around, it’s often better to give it a day or two (three? four?) between blog posts.
You Must Be An Excellent Writer
Start reading blogs, and you may realize that many bloggers aren’t particularly good writers. While you should be able to avoid the worst mistakes in your writing, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Some of those imperfections give your posts their style.
This blogging myth doesn’t mean you can be a terrible writer, of course. Your readers need to understand what you write and enjoy reading it. That allows for a more relaxed writing style than you might think.
Always Stick To Your Niche
Having a niche is a big part of success for most bloggers. It helps readers know what to expect from you, which makes them more likely to subscribe or otherwise follow your blog.
There can be times when stepping out of your niche can be appropriate. Don’t overdo it, but don’t feel awful when you decide it’s appropriate.
SEO Matters Most
Search engine optimization (SEO) is an important factor in getting traffic from search engines. It matters. But it’s not the most important thing to consider. The needs and interests of your readers matter most. From there, work on your SEO.
Some posts honestly won’t need much in the way of SEO because they aren’t important to your blog in the long run. When you go off topic, announce a giveaway winner or do anything else where you don’t need to worry about what kind of traffic it gets from search engines, you can skip the SEO.
Use ALL The Social Media
Used correctly, social media is amazing for blog traffic. It’s more ways to get in front of current and new readers. People always have opinions on which social media sites you need to have a presence on.
You’re best off focusing on just a couple social media sites. Which ones depend on the results you’re getting for the time you spend on that site. You can consider Pinterest, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+, Twitter and many more, but which ones you actively use should be determined by the ones that get the best results.
Traffic Is Everything
Traffic is very important to the success of your blog, but it is not everything. If you’re serious about your blog as a business, the only traffic that matters is the traffic that converts well.
In some niches, a small amount of traffic is all you will ever get. If you can get good engagement with that traffic and convert that into income, that little bit of traffic can be enough.
There’s Too Much Competition
There’s a lot of competition online in pretty much any niche you can think of. It can be overwhelming. Don’t let that scare you off, so long as you can bring a new perspective.
Your perspective doesn’t have to be completely unique, just so long as you make your content interesting.
Then you have to market it successfully. It’s not easy building a successful blog, but it is possible, even in highly competitive niches. You have to put in the work and earn that following.
If You Build It, They Will Come
If you put up a blog and don’t promote it, don’t expect much in the way of traffic. You may get a visitor here and there, but without some effort put into promotion, you won’t see a lot of visitors.
No one just gets discovered online these days. There are too many other sites out there. Overnight successes actually come after significant effort.
It doesn’t matter how amazing your content is if you don’t promote it. No one can find you amid all the other websites trying to get their attention.
Your Posts Must Be A Certain Length
There are a lot of statistics out there about which posts do best. Longer ones (over 2000 words or some such) have been found to do better on Google. Others will tell you that your posts need to be 300-700 words.
These may not be bad guidelines, but considering them to be rock solid rules is not a good plan. Sometimes what you need to say will take more words. Sometimes it will take less. If you force yourself to stick to a certain number of words, the quality of your posts will suffer.
Using A Free Host Is Fine
Many people start their blogs on a free host. It’s a way to find out if they enjoy blogging and can build a following without spending any money. There’s a certain logic to such a plan, but if you’re serious about running your blog as a business, it’s a bad idea.
The first problem is that many free hosts limit how you can monetize your blog. If you want to be a business, this is huge. Some free hosts will let you monetize in quite a few ways, so this is less of a problem in those cases.
The biggest problem comes when you decide to move to paid hosting. Odds are that you will lose a lot of traffic and followers when this happens. It messes up your indexing in the search engines, and all your old social media links now point to the wrong site. Changing things over is tedious, and a poor use of your time. Hosting is very affordable, as are domain names. Take the chance and spend a little right from the start.
I’m currently using A2 Hosting. It’s easy to set up secure hosting with them so your site has the https address that has become more important lately. They’re pretty fast on their basic hosting and have faster options available if you want them.
You Just Need One Viral Post
Most businesses look forward to having a post go viral. It can be a huge boost. If you’ve monetized your blog, it might even be a big money earner.
But a viral post is not the end all, be all of bringing traffic to your website. They’re a help, but in the long run, you need the steady traffic that comes from producing quality posts on your blog regularly more than you need the traffic from viral posts. Viral posts are an occasional treat for most bloggers, not a steady routine.
There are a lot of things you need to learn to be a successful blogger. Perhaps the biggest is to not fall for the blogging myths. There are so many more important things you should focus your energies on while working toward your goals.