September 25, 2015

9 blogging myths that all bloggers must be aware of

There are people who create myths to misguide others and then make hay. There are myths that get created on their own and people spread them for their gain. AND THEN there are the gullible folk who repent for having believed the myths and taken wrong actions. Bloggers just starting their blogs also fall prey to myth-mongers.

So, friends, let's bust the 9 major blogging myths. Our blogging can be successful only when we are clear about the right actions that we need to take.

Myth 1. Blogging will make you millionaire within six months.


We put it on top of the list because of our long experience with compiling blog directories. We have discovered that thousands of bloggers create blogs with the intention of making quick money and are left frustrated when such money doesn't come by. 

Well, there may be stray instances of a smart blogger choosing a paying niche, his tricks paying off and he making a big sum in a short time. But these are exceptions. All others have to work hard consistently for a long period to make money from blogging.

Even if money is not the goal, reaching a big audience and becoming a web-authority on the subject takes time and perseverance.


2. You must blog many times a day to become popular.


Frequency of posting on a blog depends upon many factors. The subject of the blog often decides the optimum size of post and frequency of blogging. 

Analytical blogs on serious topics would gain fame and audience even if they have updates once a week or less. In fact, less frequency may be desirable in some cases, for example blogs on research. However, news and current affairs blogs cannot afford to wait even for a day.  It is also logical that bigger posts would be posted less frequently than short posts. 

In short, there is no uniform frequency that suits all blogs.

3. You need a lot of SEO to get quality traffic to the blog. 


SEO shops often convince bloggers and website owners that they must use a lot of search engine optimization (SEO) on the blog to get more traffic and more money. Those wanting a quick buck (myth 1 above) often fall prey to such arguments.

Blogs do need SEO to be discovered by potential visitors. But such SEO is simple and does not need knowledge of coding etc, except for a few technical actions that you can ignore. Moreover, you must use only ethical SEO techniques and not 'tricks'.
 

4. You must keep blogging and people will discover you. 


This is the opposite of the myth that you will not succeed without big SEO. Think of the blog as a shop that lies in a market full of similar shops (or a house in a huge street of similar houses, if you hate money part of blogging). If the shopper does not advertise his merchandise or even put a board  outside the shop, it is likely that only a few buyers would visit him however good his stuff may be. He will have to wait for ages till the word-of-mouth publicity pulls buyers to him. Even then, it is likely that he'd get visitors only from a small locality. 

The point we are making is, you need to popularise the blog online as well as through personal contacts. The quality of content matters the most, but it is not discovered and appreciated unless people know about it.

5. Only paid blogs succeed, not free ones. So let me go immediately for a wordpress blog on a big web host.


Many [successful?] bloggers having affiliation with web hosts brainwash you into believing that you cannot succeed without putting your blog on one of these hosts. 

Agreed that hosting the blog on an independent server (not on Tumblr, Blogger, Livejournal and Wordpress.com platforms) is a big advantage when you blog for money. It gives you the freedom to customize and also many resources and tools that free platforms do not offer. 

However, (i) free platforms too have a fair range of tools and resources that are good enough for majority of bloggers; (ii) for putting on independent hosts, you need to create the blog. For this, you will have to use site creation tools such as wordpress (not wordpress.com) and Joomla (agreed that many hosts provide free templates and web tools as part of package); (iii) you have to worry about the host giving you enough resources when you need them later, security and speed of server, and so on. On big free platforms, such aspects are taken care of; (iv) you lose the internal mechanisms for popularizing blogs, which are available on free platforms (e.g. Google has the option of simultaneous posting on Google Plus; Blogger and Wordpress has numerous widgets to integrate with social networks and vice versa).

Our advice would be to not fall for the myth of 'only independently hosted blogs succeed'. Consider all pros and cons coolly and decide.   


6. Blogging is, after all, writing. 


Blogging is not just writing; it is many things together: making the blog beautiful, complementing the written word with images and multi-media,  arranging elements such that visitors easily get what they want, telling and guiding visitors (including asking them effectively to buy a product), helping visitors to reach more resources, providing for engagement and feedback...

Blogging suffers when the blogger concentrates only on the writing part. Writing is the essential part of blogging, but not the only part.  


7. We must write short posts as web surfers' attention span is very short.


If you are convinced that you must write many times a day (myth 2), your post will likely be short and without the required effort. Such posts, generally speaking, go not give the value that the visitor seeks.

It has been found that though web surfers' attention span is short, the satisfaction level is much higher when they read a well-researched post as compared to hurriedly written short ones. Long and content-rich posts are better shared, promoted and bookmarked. 

On long posts, we can use techniques for retaining attention of the visitor (e.g. short paragraphs, visual inputs, sub-titles).
 

8. I must put a number of widgets on the home page to give the visitor a lot of stuff in one go.


Nothing spoils the appeal of a blog more than clutter. And nothing adds to clutter more than widgets, especially the short ones and those with animations. Clutter also makes navigation difficult. It also immediately gives the impression that the blogger is amateurish in his approach.

Keep only those widgets (and other elements) that add value to the blog.


9. Blogging will fade away, so let's be active only on social networks.


Yes, blogging will fade away like all other things in this world. But, it will remain a medium for serious discussion and excellent web resources for a long time, because it is not a fad. Rest assured, it will outlive some of the mighty social networks that we have today. 

Noticed this? Some of these myths say the opposite of one another because these have one thing in common - an extreme view-point. IndianTopBlogs supports the 'truth' part in these myths, as you'd see from the links.