In a recent #socialbloggers chat, we discussed and debunked some popular blogging myths.
There’s to be many opinions around the blogosphere regarding what rules a blogger should follow and there seems to be two camps:
- Bloggers who are more free spirited and like to blog in the moment.
- Bloggers who take a more planned, scheduled approach to blogging.
No camp is better than the other and there is nothing wrong with being a bit of both, it’s just my observation on how I see things.
Let’s look at some of the myths.
Myth # 1: You should post daily.
There’s conflicting advice around regarding this myth. Is it a myth? Is it the truth?
You have the side that are all for daily blogging – updating your blog regularly will increase your audience, give your readers a reason to check back daily, it will help your page views and your rankings.
Then you have the other side that insist that posting daily will be too much for your readers. They’ll get overwhelmed and unfollow.
If I enjoyed reading a blog and they decided to put our content more frequently, I’d probably wee myself in excitement. If I ever found myself thinking ‘oh no, not another blog post this week’, then it’s probably not a blog I would be following so that’s irrelevant.
I prefer daily blogging but understand it’s not for everyone. I started daily blogging because I was finding it hard posting every other day. At one point at had my blog posts all planned for the next 6 weeks and was worried that I was leaving it too long to post some posts, making them outdated by the time it was published, therefore I knew it was the right time for me to start posting every single day.
I’ve posted daily since March 2014.
If I found myself struggling for content, I would then reduce my posting back to every other day, or 5 times a week.
You can always adjust your schedule around your needs. I’m sure my circumstances will one day change and I may simply no longer have the time or ideas to push out daily content. If I ever felt like I the quality of my posts were suffering due to not having enough time, then I would cut back.
This myth is only true under certain circumstances.
Myth #2: Having a schedule means you’ll be forced to write and it will be rubbish!
This is probably the most frustrating thing I hear bloggers so. I’ll be honest here: I hear many bloggers say how if you are not inspired, then your audience will be able to tell that you’re not passionate about it.
As I have a schedule, I do take a bit of offence at this statement.
For me, writing is a skill and if you are only able to write when you are inspired, then that’s fine – but what about when you’re wanting to do sponsored posts or review PR samples? You can’t just write a post when you’re inspired then, as I believe when you agree to work with a brand, no matter how small the reward, you enter into some sort agreement and you should be professional towards your commitments made and be open and honest about the date you’ll publish the post.
It’s fine if you’re happy blogging as a hobby – but if you want to get serious about blogging, then you need to have the ability to craft a blog post. Even when you’re not inspired.
I love blogging. Writing is my favourite part of it, (I’m not a massive fan of taking and editing photos) but there are days when I don’t feel like writing. But I force myself to do it because I’m proud of the end result, I’m proud of the posts I write and once I’ve made myself write it, I’m so much happier than if I had spent the previous 2 hours watching TV.
It’s like when I go for a 5 mile run. I don’t always want to go for one, I have to really push myself. But at the end, I’m always happy that I did it.
There is nothing wrong with only writing when you feel like writing – that’s fine. But please don’t suggest that those that write to a schedule produce rubbish. You’ll make me cry.
This is another myth that’s all over. If the post is long, it won’t be read.
Let’s change this myth: If a post is boring, it won’t be read.
The trick is to make EVERY WORD COUNT.
My blog posts are usually long. During editing, I’ll cut out any words that don’t add value to the post. If you can still evoke the same feelings and meanings using less words, then do it.
I make every word count vs. I like to try and make every single word I write count.
Use the shortest way of saying what you want to say and keep it simple.
Remember to break the post up with pictures, headings, lists and bullet points.
I find short blog posts more frustrating than long ones as it doesn’t give me anything to get a hold of and comment on.
I would rather leave a comment relating to the text of a blog post than the picture – if a blog post is a picture and just the brand/details of an outfit, I feel discouraged to comment as I don’t like leaving comments such as ‘nice dress’ or ‘nice post’.
This is why when I post outfits, I like to try and write something either relating to the dress or another subject that doesn’t need photos!
Myth #4 You can make money blogging.
Well we know you can make money blogging. The secret is – you’ll probably be blogging for at least a year or two before you earn some money and a few more years before you can earn a stable amount of money.
There is a similar myth: when people say ‘you won’t be successful if you blog to make money’.
There are many people blog to make money and succeed – the real trick is understanding how much hard work you have to put in before you start to make any money.
You have to work for free, work hard, spend a lot of time promoting, creating and editing before any money comes in. Probably for years.
Myth #5: If you spend under an hour on a post, it’s rubbish quality.
This depends on the type of post. I have a balance between the two. Some of my blog posts, I like to research to either find facts or other peoples thoughts – so they’ll take longer. Other blog posts, usually personal ones, I just sit and write in one go, the edit a few days later.
I would say fact based posts need more than an hour, but personal posts don’t. Again, this myth is totally dependant upon circumstances!
Everyone has heard this one. It’s because it’s mostly true.
You can take some great photos with a phone camera. Even normal cameras take fantastic photos!
You don’t need an expensive camera, what you need is some knowledge around how to use natural light to your advantage, backgrounds to photos and composition.
Having fancy camera may help your blog look more professional, but you need to learn how to use it. It took me a good few months to sit down and learn how to use mine properly. Before I did, it was a bit of a waste having such a nice camera!
Although you don’t need a DSLR, it really can help you to take your blog to the next level. As well as make yourself feel better about your blog.
Myth #7: Stats don’t matter.
I’m not ashamed of saying that I care about stats. I check my page views and followers daily, I’ll check webmaster tools and Google analytics once or twice a week. I want to know how my blog is progressing and if I’m doing things right.
I almost feel like there’s some stigma around caring about stats. That you’re a terrible person for wanting your blog to have a lot of readers. But admit it – how GOOD did you feel when you hit your first 10, 100, 1000 or even 10 000 followers?
It’s totally natural to want to be liked, accepted and to feel like people are interested in what you have to say.
If you care about your stats, but your hand up in the air. *raises hand*
Myth #8: People will get fed up if your blog is full of sponsored posts.
This is another one that I’ve heard a lot of, especially in twitter chats.
As long as the blogger is able to stick to their style and make the post interesting, then what is the deal if it is sponsored or not?
If I started accepting random sponsored posts about cars, or brain surgery – then I would understand. A person can review products or write about a particular topic and still write well.
I would only stop reading if you could see a visible difference in a bloggers writing style of quality of post.
I know there’s been times when I’ve had a lot of things to review and I’ve felt guilty about posting them all in the same week because of this myth. But as long as I am happy with the post and am honest and open about it, then what does it matter?
I don’t dislike a blogger for having a lot of c/o’s or *’s next to products.
I might be jealous of them, but no hate!
Should we listen to these myths?
You should recognise that every blogger is different. There are different niches, different ages, different goals, different lifestyles and different reasons for blogging.
The myths may be true or false dependant on that. And that’s okay. What works for me might not work for you, but it doesn’t mean my way is wrong, or your way is right. 😉
What blogging myth frustrates you the most?