Through our ongoing series on blogging we’ve explored different ways you can make blogging your career. The space still offers bountiful opportunities for those who are willing to work hard. And yet for the opportunities there are still those who sell blogging as a panacea to the economic woes of our time, a get rich quick scheme that will deliver millions all from your bedroom without the need to get dressed.
Not every blog salesman is the same, some offer solid advice and there are some good paid programs out there, but for every program I’d happily recommend, there is probably 100 I wouldn’t.
Here’s 10 myths of blog marketers debunked.
1. Blogging is easy (workload)
Blogging isn’t easy. Just because you can type some words into Blogger doesn’t mean that somehow that’s going to make you millions. Successful bloggers all share the same traits: they work hard, really hard, and often work longer hours than most would in non-blogging jobs.
2. Blogging is safe
Blogging can be a legal minefield that can get you sued when you least expect it. Only this month I’ve received a nasty email from a mainstream media organization. Depending on your targeted vertical the chances of legal issues can be higher again, for example celebrity blogs.
3. RSS is a license to republish other peoples content
RSS may stand for Really Simple Syndication (according to some..the original definition is Rich Site Summary), but those syndication rights are for personal use, not commercial use. You can use RSS to publish links (we do on the front page of The Inquisitr) and you’re usually entitled to run a short extract under fair use laws, but you cross the line with full posts and you can be sued for doing so. Further, splogs (blogs that republish RSS feeds) are rarely successful despite what some will tell you. The only people who make big money from splogging are those who do it on scale, often with thousands of blogs.
4. Blogging is a replacement for you day job
It can be, but rarely from the beginning. Most bloggers start while working other jobs, and only quit their day jobs when their blogs allow them to. Others might have a bit of money saved when they start out. If you want to start blogging full time, expect to be cash poor for at least 6 months, maybe longer.
5. Blogging will make you rich
Very rarely is this true. Very few one person blogs ever bring in big money. Most large blogs today have a team of writers, and even then in this economic climate, margins are starting to get tighter. See hard work for the success path.
6. You can post once a day
See hard work, but this is also a common myth, this idea that you post once a day and rake in the money. Quality helps, but the reality is that most successful blogs posts many times a day, and your chances of succeeding when posting once a day a minimal to zero.
7. Traffic is easy to come by
Simply not true. The build it and they will come approach is peddled by some, but attracting traffic on a blog requires hard work, great content, and social interaction outside the blog. There’s also the time factor: most blogs take a good 6-9 months to truly establish themselves, not just in building traffic, but in building incoming links and good treatment in search engines. Take The Inquisitr for example: we did more traffic in the first 13 days of this month than we did for the full total of our first 3 months.
8. RSS subscribers are the key and are easy to get
While having more RSS subscribers will help your blog, they are neither the key to success nor easy to get. Most big sites with big counts have those counts because they end up as a default option in RSS services such as Netvibes and others. For the rest of us, RSS is actually a hard ask. The Inquisitr has around 5,000 RSS subscribers, and while that number has steadily grown, growth has been much slower vs traffic. You also need to consider that RSS isn’t really that mainstream, and although you’ll do well with RSS in some verticals, others just don’t get the subscribers.
9. Writing for a blog is easy
You don’t have to be an Ernest Hemingway to write a blog, but you should be able to do more than string two words together. Tone and context are both keys in writing a great blog. Second: if you’re not in the United States, you also have to be multi-lingual. If you’re writing a local content blog, this doesn’t matter for you, but if you’re writing for a global audience, you really need to consider writing in US English. Yes, most of the world doesn’t follow US English, but chances are the bulk of your readers will. Despite blogging in US English for 4 years, I still occasionally get it wrong, after all, 13 years of schooling and a degree in Marketing are habits hard to kick.
10. You can blog in your pajamas
OK, so this is kind-of true and I was blogging from bed last night, but I’d note back into the earlier points: it was Sunday night, and I was blogging (hard work). Most full time bloggers do what everyone else does, they get out of bed, shower, get dressed, and dedicate themselves to a full working day.
Although this is a list of negatives, you can make something of blogging. You might be a stay at home mom, and a thousand or two is money you don’t currently have, and you might have 5-6 hours a day to home to blog…and that’s a perfect approach to it. You might be looking at adding a couple of hundred a month on top of your current job for spending money…another good approach.
Don’t believe the hype you read, but likewise blogging offers opportunities for those who work hard, have patience, and a long term outlook.
(img credit:Lab Notes)