When I first started blogging, I fell victim to a lot of blogging lies that people told me. People who didn’t know any better, who were probably just regurgitating the same myths that some other misinformed blogger had told them. It’s a vicious cycle.
But I’m gonna call out those lies and set the record straight, in an attempt to help save you from discouragement as well as from making some mistakes that I’ve made in the past.
Blogging Lie #1: It’s easy
Whoa! What planet did the person who said that fly in from?
It’s funny because people who have never blogged before tend to think that blogging is just some hobby people have where they write about whatever they feel like at the moment.
Most people have no idea just how much work goes into blogging.
Bloggers wear many hats, most of which we didn’t have any prior knowledge about until we started blogging. On any given day, a blogger is:
- Web designer
- Graphic designer
- Writer (creative writer, technical writer, fiction, non-fiction, copywriter, etc.)
- Photo editor
- Social media manager
- Email analyst
- Project manager
- ALL OF THE ABOVE
Is that not CRAZY when you think about it? No wonder so many blogs fizzle out. It really can be exhausting work at times.
But then you get a comment from a reader thanking you for getting inside their heads and writing exactly what they needed to read at that moment. Or someone who was able to grow her business as a direct result of something you taught about in a post.
Those days make it worth every single bit of hard work you put into each post. Comments like these serve as a reminder that we’re actually helping people, and what’s not to love about that?
Blogging definitely isn’t for everyone, but the fact that it takes a lot of work shouldn’t hinder you from starting a blog if you want to.
Blogging Lie #2: If you build it, they will come
Yeah, not gonna happen.
This is not the Field of Dreams — sorry to any Kevin Costner fans. (And if you have no idea what I’m talking about, then you’re too young to be here. KIDDING!)
The fact is, there are more blogs and websites than ever out there competing for readers. In order to get people on your page, you have to make sure they know you exist.
Luckily there are a ton of ways you can let people know your blog is alive and kicking:
- Sharing on your own page
- Sharing on Facebook group pages
- Buying ads on social platforms
- Inviting your friends to your blog’s FB page
- Learn how to optimize your blog to be more SEO-friendly. This isn’t as hard as some SEO pros might lead you to believe, and once you learn how, you’ll be able to optimize your posts as you write them.
- Get “backlinks” from other reputable site through guest posts and mentions.
- If you have an email list already… let them know about your new blog (if the audience is relevant).
- If you don’t have an email list, drop what you’re doing and start one now! Seriously.
- Find forums in similar niches and join the conversations. Don’t just start spamming with your blog link. Instead, put the link to your blog in your profile, and comment on threads where you can add massive insights or value. People will notice and check out your profile and voila! New potential follower.
Commenting on other blogs
- Same as above — find blogs in your niche and comment with really useful insights or knowledge. Be sure you’re putting your blog URL in the URL field when you comment. People will take notice and want to know more about you and your blog.
Link to your blog in your personal email signature
- So many people don’t do this, but think about how many emails some of us send a day. By having a non-intrusive link in our email signature, it’s like a nice, casual invitation.
Blogging Lie #3: There’s no point in starting a blog because there’s too much competition
Yes, there are more blogs out there than ever before, but that does not mean you shouldn’t start one, and the reason why might surprise you.
Competition is a GOOD thing.
Because if there’s a shit ton of competition out there, it means that there’s an audience for it. And no matter how many bloggers are already serving your audience, I guarantee you have something unique to offer.
- have a counterintuitive insight on a topic
- have first-hand experience with something that no one else in your niche is talking about
- are really good at explaining how to do something
The thing is, you’re the only YOU, and there is an audience of people out there who will resonate best with the way YOU write. The things YOU write about. In other words, and I hate to use this word because it’s so over-used right now, but your tribe is out there.
Not to mention, if someone is interested in a topic, chances are, they will devour any and all information they can find on it.
Blogging Lie #4: You have to write every day (and ain’t nobody got time for that)
I get it. You go to other blogs, and you see that they have a TON of content, so you think you need to step up your game and start writing every day (or every other day, or whatever unrealistic expectation you put on yourself).
In fact, in most cases, if you’re writing every day, I’d say that’s probably not a good thing.
Why? Because if you’re writing every day for any length of time, chances are:
- Your writing isn’t as good as it could be because you’re cranking them out so fast, so you’re likely underserving your readers
- You’ll burn out and you’ll end up taking a break from writing for awhile, and your audience may forget about you
I see so many bloggers who come out of the gate full of energy, knowledge, and dozens of awesome topic ideas. Fueled on ambition, excitement, and loads of caffeine, they crank out post after post, publishing them immediately after writing. Promoting on social media… writing more… promoting more…
And after several months, or even several weeks, they crash, because — well — blogging isn’t easy (see Lie #1).
I know that feeling of being so excited and full of information that you want to share with the masses. It’s an awesome feeling. And you know what? You should totally ride that adrenaline wave and crank out some killer content when you have that momentum.
But rather than publish it as soon as it’s finished, here’s what you do instead:
- Determine a realistic and consistent publishing schedule (once or twice a week is usually good)
- Create an editorial calendar and schedule your posts per the publishing schedule you came up with
If you do this, you’ll be ahead of most other bloggers out there. Say you crank out 10 posts in your initial blog-writing frenzy, and that using my advice above, you decide to post every Tuesday and Friday. You schedule your posts accordingly — ahead of time, but the beauty of it is, as these posts are pre-written and scheduled, you’re still writing at a pace of 2 posts per week, after the initial 10 posts.
Here’s what that scenario would look like:
|WRITTEN & SCHEDULED||CURRENTLY WRITING|
|Week 1||Post 1
|Week 6 posts
(Posts 11 & 12)
|Week 2||Post 3
|Week 7 posts
(Posts 13 & 14)
|Week 3||Post 5
|Week 8 posts
(Posts 15 & 16)
|Week 4||Post 7
|Week 9 posts
(Posts 17 & 18)
|Week 5||Post 9
|Week 10 posts
(Posts 19 & 20)
If you do it this way, instead of publishing 10 posts right away, you end up publishing 2 per week, scheduled ahead of time, and writing new posts at a rate of 2 per week (avoiding burnout), and you end up being 5 weeks ahead in your content schedule.
And if for some reason, something comes up and you’re not able to write one week, it’s ok, because you’re still way ahead of schedule on your writing calendar.
That’s the beauty of setting up a blogging system like that. It takes some work up front, but ends up taking a lot of pressure off the back-end, giving you some breathing room to write quality content at a more comfortable pace while still serving your readers on a consistent basis.
Blogging Lie #5: You can make tons of money through blogging
Let’s all have an honesty moment, shall we?
At some point, most (if not all) of us have been swayed by the whole “you can start a blog and put ads on it and make tons of passive income” lie.
And maybe at one time that was true(ish). Way back in the day, you could start a blog or niche site, throw 10-15 posts up about a particular topic, pepper it with keywords to get SEO juice (and therefore make it to the front page of Google), stick a bunch of ads on your page, and boom. You’d make some money. Sometimes a lot of money.
In fact, a lot of bloggers made money this way. Until Google wised up, and in an effort to ensure that they were delivering quality search results to their users, they changed their algorithms, weeding out the sub-par sites and blogs, and now they try to only show the best quality content in their results.
This creates a better user experience, and was a smart move on their part. Except a lot of sites got hit, including some legit sites and blogs. Suddenly, people’s blogs weren’t showing up on the front page — or even 20 pages of Google, and their ad revenue took a nose dive because they were no longer getting the traffic they were before.
I still see a lot of new bloggers make the mistake of putting ads on their site thinking it will make them money. The fact is, you need a ton of traffic in order to make any money with Google Adsense. More realistically, you’ll make pennies per day with ads when you’re starting out. Plus, they don’t pay you until you’ve hit at least $100 in revenue, so how does a check once or twice a year sound?
Which leads me to the next lie…
Blogging Lie #6: You can’t make any money blogging
I know I just said not to believe the people who tell you that you can make a ton of money blogging, and now I’m telling you not to believe the people who say you can’t make any money blogging.
Here’s the thing — you can make money blogging, but you’re not going to make it the way people who say, “you can make a ton of money blogging” lead you to believe you can make it.
There are some seriously legitimate ways you can make money blogging without Adense. Each of these can potentially earn you a decent amount of income, but it’s not just easy, automatic money, and there are pros and cons to each.
This is where you promote products on your blog, using an affiliate link that’s unique to you, and if someone purchases a product through your link, you essentially get a “commission” from the sale — sometimes up to 40% or more of the product price.
PROS: You can offer value to your readers by promoting really good products that you use and believe in, while getting paid to do so. When done the right way, you’ll build trust with your readers, and they’ll thank you for the recommendation. Depending on the affiliate, and how well you’re able to promote their product(s), there is potential to make a LOT of money in this space.
CONS: When you promote other people’s products, you’re sending your readers away from your page.
Hosting Ads Directly
This is where brands that pay you directly to host an ad on your site — usually a set fee per month.
PROS: You get to choose the companies you work with, unlike Adsense, where you have no say in the specific ads being shown on your blog. This allows you to align with brands that you love and believe in.
CONS: When you promote other people’s products, you’re sending your readers away from your page. You also have to keep track of the ads, billing, analytics for the ad, etc.
This is where a company (typically a SEO company) pays you to let them write a post for your site, with the post having a few backlinks to a few of their clients’ sites. These can sometimes pay up to $200 or more per post, depending on your blog’s popularity, traffic, etc.
PROS: You can make a decent amount off a single post that you don’t even have to write. I’ve been paid up to $200 for a post on one of my other blogs that I didn’t have to do anything for except load and publish it.
CONS: Sometimes these posts don’t exactly align with your brand, and they end up feeling kind of sleazy. I’ve done a couple of these on other blogs I’ve had, and while the money wasn’t bad, I just felt kind of dirty about the whole thing. The posts felt contrived, and I felt like I was doing a disservice to my audience because literally there was nothing in it for them. Even with affiliate links, at least they’re getting my recommendation on a good product. These posts are usually just icky and leave me wanting to take a shower afterward.
Create and Sell Your Own Digital Products
This is by far my favorite way to make money with my blog. This can include:
- Online courses
- eBooks (sold through Amazon or directly through your site)
- Workbooks or Templates (I’ve paid money online from bloggers just to get a spreadsheet or template of something that will make my life easier)
- Video tutorials
PROS: This can be a game-changer. Because you’re creating your own digital product, you can make it once, then sell it an unlimited number of times, generating a truly passive income stream. Sales can come in while you sleep!
CONS: There can be a lot of up front work and research involved. You also have to market your online product, which can involve sales funnels, email automation, etc.
Of course, there are other ways you can make money blogging, but these are the main ones. There’s still work involved, and it’s not just some easy peasy way to make a bunch of money, but the potential is there.
Blogging Lie #7: You need to be an extrovert to put yourself out there
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Take it from an introvert (yep!).
In fact, your introverted tendencies may even give you an advantage. By nature, many of us tend to express ourselves better through writing, when the pain of meaningless small-talk is stripped away and we’re left with the opportunity to reflect and gather our thoughts before putting them out there.
And contrary to popular belief, introverts aren’t necessarily shy, although many of us are. We simply crave more meaningful connections that go beyond small talk and acquaintances.
Blogging can provide that connection because even though it’s virtual, there’s value there, on both sides. You’re providing value to your readers by teaching or entertaining them, and you draw energy from the gratitude, and sometimes even the comments or conversations that come up as a result of something you wrote.
It’s a very interesting thing to me, because I’ve made some connections with other bloggers or readers that I cherish more than some people I’ve known non-virtually.
The point is, extrovert or not, you can still offer something to the world, so find the method of delivery that’s comfortable for you, and don’t be afraid to put yourself out there.
Blogging Lie #8: You should jump on every opportunity that comes your way
No, no, no.
I explained in Lie #6 about how I felt icky once after letting a company pay me a couple hunzies (aka couple hundred dollars) to post their content on my site.
Just because the money may seem good at the time, when you accept opportunities that don’t align with your brand, or that just aren’t a good fit for your audience, you’re doing them a disservice.
In fact, you’re actually devaluing and cheapening your blog, and your readers won’t trust you because it will be obvious that you’re doing it more for the money, and less to actually be helpful.
So be discriminating. Only accept opportunities that you and your readers both can benefit from.
Blogging Lie #9: You need a huge audience to be a successful blogger
This is one of the more common blogging lies I’ve heard.
The truth is, you don’t need a huge audience. You need the right audience.
When it comes to blogging, you don't need a huge audience, you need the right audience.Click To Tweet
I’ve known bloggers who have a small following, but the readers they have are fiercely loyal.
To me, a loyal audience — one that opens every email you send, reads every post, shares it with their friends, or even comments regularly — is gold to a blogger. A small, devout audience will buy whatever you sell. They’ll click on affiliate links, they’ll buy your eBooks and online courses. You’ll get way more mileage out of them than someone with a huge audience of ho-hum readers.
Give me the small, devout audience any day.
Blogging Lie #10: It has to be perfect
Get this thinking out of your head right now.
There is no such thing as perfect, and if you wait to publish that post, or release that course until everything is perfect — if you’re waiting until it’s “juuuuuuuuuust right” — you’ll never get it done. I call it the Goldilocks Syndrome.
Of course it needs to be good — you don’t want to publish crappy content, but if you can’t find the perfect stock photo, or you’re in your 3rd re-write, or you’re a terrible speller (but seriously, spellcheck, ladies), make sure it’s good enough and hit the publish button.
It’s always a good idea to keep your end goal in mind, which should be to provide resources, inspiration, knowledge, or entertainment to your readers. And if you’re holding out because it’s not absolutely perfect, then everybody loses.
Done is better than perfect.
What blogging lies have you believed?
I think all of us have been guilty of believing at least one of these blogging lies. I know for me, I’ve been guilty of believing every single one of them at some point in my blogging experience. Even today, I struggle with #10 at times.
Yes, it’s going to be work, but it doesn’t need to be perfect. Yes, you can make money, but understand it’s not as simple as putting up some shitty looking ads and waiting for traffic.
Blogging can be extremely rewarding to those who get started, and more importantly, those who stick with it.
One thing that helps me stick to a blogging schedule is a Blog Editorial Calendar. Want a free copy of my blog editorial calendar template? Just enter your email below and I’ll send it right over! ↓
Make blogging a breeze with an editorial calendar to help keep you on track. Just put your email below and I'll send it right over!
Get my FREE blog editorial calendar template!
Make blogging a breeze with an editorial calendar to help keep you on track. Just put your email below and I'll send it right over!