Blogging, like social media, has truly revolutionized how we communicate our thoughts, ideas and passions with others. Unfortunately, there are many myths associated with it that just simply aren’t true. Here are some of the most popular blogging myths that could be holding you back:
You Need To Write At Least X Words
Anyone who blogs knows this one far too well. It’s drilled into our brains that we need to write so many words because it is “good for SEO” and they’re not necessarily wrong, either. The magic number seems to be 300 words, but it can vary from site to site. We’re also told to stay away from writing longer posts because no one likes to read long posts.
However, that’s all total BS. What matters is what you have to say, not how many words you say it in (Tweet This). Sometimes, you can get great ideas across in a few paragraphs. Sometimes, it takes much more. Also, what if you create videos or put together podcasts? Unless you have it transcribed, you’re likely taking away from people diving right into consuming the content itself.
You Have To Blog X Times Per Week
Consistency is very important when it comes to blogging, and the popular answer is you should blog several times per week. Others go as far as every day of the week. It’s totally possible to stick to that kind of schedule, but quality matters far more than quantity.
One awesome post is better than three okay posts. Unless you write for news, when you write just to meet a specific quota each week, your content is likely suffering. If you can stick to a set schedule, by all means do it, but don’t feel that you HAVE to blog so many times per week. If you miss a post here or there, the world will not be engulfed in a fireball of doom.
You Must Be A Good Writer
Blogs without writing is like Starbucks without coffee. It’s an essential part of the process, but not everyone is a masterful wordsmith. This can be a big excuse to not kick off a new project, or continue an existing one. We all start from somewhere, and like anything, practice helps us become better.
The reality is, you don’t need to be a great writer to build a community. In fact, you don’t even need to have great English! As long as you have a good grasp of common punctuation, you’re good to go. Don’t let the thought of not being a good writer affect you from not sharing the thoughts and ideas in your head. If you truly consider yourself to be a horrendous writer, maybe take a crack at podcasts or videos.
You Should Mix It Up
Content has become more visual these past several years, and we’ve seen a massive rise in video. Also, we’ve seen podcasts reach critical mass with iTunes recently hitting one billion podcast subscriptions. Because of the shifts in media, we’re told to create beyond just the written word.
At first glance, it makes a lot of sense. Some people prefer video over reading, and vice versa. However, you should not blindly take the advice, and run with it. Create specific types of content based on your audience, not someone elses. There is no rule stating you must do video, and the written word isn’t dying anytime soon.
With that said, it definitely doesn’t hurt to experiment, but you shouldn’t feel obligated to explore other mediums just because all these experts are saying so.
You Need To Be Popular To Be Successful
Our society is dictated by numbers, and the bigger they are, the better. When looking at popular blogs, we see they have lots of comments and shares to social networks. We immediately think that’s what we need on our own sites, and then start to focus on that meaning success. However, those numbers themselves do not equal success.
What leads to success is quality connections, and relationships you have built. Sometimes, it can be someone who came across your post on Twitter, or someone reaching out to you via email. We need to stop focusing on “going viral” and spend more time focusing on simply creating the best content possible.
People Hate Being Sold To
Making money is a necessary part of everyday life, and it can be very difficult for us to talk about a product or service that we are benefiting financially from. Some people feel they are “selling out” or they will alienate their readers. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. There will always be people who speak out against it, but if you’ve contributed serious value to your community, most people won’t have a problem with it.
Build It And People Will Come
This is one of those sayings I wish never existed because it is absolutely horrible advice. You can have the greatest blog with the greatest design, and most amazing content, but if you don’t put in the effort to promote your work, nobody will ever see it.
There’s Nothing Else To Write About
It can be hard coming up with new content, and you’ve likely suffered from writer’s block on multiple occasions. Especially on a subject that’s been written about millions of times, it can seem like there’s no room to add your own take. There’s always something to write about, though. You never know when or where you’ll be inspired, so surround yourself with great people and other great blogs to ensure there’s always a steady stream of ideas.
Mike Stenger is a writer with a love of all things technology.