As a Jamaican, I’m accustomed to sitting with ears pricked to digest a good story. Our culture is big on Anancy Stories.
With wide eager eyes and numbing fear, we’d listen only to dread going home or sleep the night. But, “stories are great”, you might add. True, but if you’re familiar with Jamaican culture, you’d know that most of our stories touch on the supernatural.
What Americans (and maybe the world over) would dub an apparition or ghost, we fancy as ‘duppy’.
‘Duppy’ stories brought chills to our spine and a little excitement, might I add.
But, I remember being paralyzed by those stories and myths which compelled me to do nothing. I’d dread going out at nights for fear I’d be snatched by a ‘duppy’. I was even suspicious of the wind. Whenever the wind gushed, it’d be a ‘duppy’.
Those misconceptions and myths held back most Jamaican children and even though most of us have gotten over the Jamaican Duppy, many people still live in fear.
But, what does blogging has to do with the Jamaican Duppy?
Bear with me while I attempt to explain. Focus is not on the Jamaican duppy, but rather, the weight those stories (myths) carry. They prevent progress.
Blogging Mistakes: 13 Blog Misconceptions and Myths to Dodge
Blogging myths and misconceptions are no exception. When you hold on to them, they prevent your blogging business from shooting out the door; they prevent you from doing what’s necessary to make your blog a money churning machine. Blogging mistakes are real, and this article address just that.
1. Blogging Is Only Writing
A huge chunk of blogging includes expression, clarity, and meticulousness but how will people read your marvelous masterpiece if they cannot find them?
Blogging entails marketing and promotion – not only writing.
Professional bloggers go out on a limb and make a concerted effort to get their work out there. Great content needs an audience and it’s your responsibility to find one.
Blogging includes management.
An efficient blogger knows how to use proper time and resource management techniques. Unless you have a million bucks stashed waiting to be spent, you can’t afford to pay for everything. You’ll need to get resourceful and dig the mud; get dirty, so to speak.
You might be a J.K. Rowling in disguise, but writing alone won’t lift your blog off the ground. Keep up the good writing but, remember, people need to find your content and your blog needs constant maintenance.
2. Blogging Involves Using All Text and No Images
The blogosphere is dynamic. What’s in today might be thrown out tomorrow. Relying solely on text won’t woo your readers. Images are just as important, too.
High-quality images do consume resources and slow down your blog’s performance, but there are ways around that. I use websites like Tiny PNG to compress and shrink my images. It removes the additional load but retains the quality of the image.
My web hosting company, Siteground, also provides a feature called SG Optimizer that keeps optimizing my blog for peak performance.
Images are crucial elements of a blog entry, especially illustrative ones; use them wisely.
3. Everything Is Straightforward
You thought you’d be spoon-fed, right? If you want your blog to push ahead, you’ll have to get up and find the information you need. While you make your mark in the blogosphere, don’t expect a benefactor.
Keeping up with seasoned bloggers is a tremendous way to learn, but you’ll have to practice and innovate your own strategies that align with your blog’s vision. Nothing comes easy. Make a concerted effort to burn a few midnight candles and practice. Don’t expect to have everything on a silver platter
4. Too Many Hidden Costs Associated with Blogging
Don’t expect to start a blog on a prayer. Money is required to get set up unless you’re using a .blogspot.com or .Wordpress.com domain. Those domain extensions are not suitable for professional blogging, by the way.
There are costs associated with blogging, but they aren’t concealed. What you need to jumpstart your blog is as clear as day. My simplified start a blog checklist underscores what you’ll need to get started, so ensure to give that a glance before leaving.
Unless you’re going for complete automated processes in your business, the only immediate costs you should anticipate include web hosting fees, domain registration fees (may include SSL), and a theme.
I won’t speak for other bloggers, but the only additional cost associated with my blog when I just launched ( apart from those on my checklist) is a page builder. It cost about $30 per year.
SiteOrigin’s Page Builder is not a necessary expense, but it does a wonderful job at customizing my blog pages and posts. It’s a keeper.
I wear many hats on The Calculated Rambler, so it doesn’t cost much to keep it going. As a new blogger, you have to use less to create more. Once you’re bringing in some cheddar, you’ll be able to splurge all you want.
5. There Are No Systems and Strategies Involved
Everything we do requires a strategy. A strategy is what you use to accomplish a task. No strategy is a strategy. If after publishing a blog entry you submit the link to social platforms and various other locations, that is your strategy. Though primitive, it is a strategy.
The strategies and systems you use work closely together. They are almost interchangeable. When blogging, you require a good strategy, one that doesn’t involve doing things haphazardly or whenever you want to.
You’ll need to put a system in place for the content you create. I never create a blog entry without doing keyword research. Subsequent to identifying a keyword, I do a typical Google search to see who’s ranking for those search terms. I also take into consideration how difficult it would be to rank for the keyword in question. Once I’m settled with that, my research process commences and I record what I already know about the subject.
That’s my process. It’s a bit longer than explained, but there’s a technique I follow before banging out a new blog entry.
Put a proper strategy or system in place for writing content, interacting with readers, promoting your content, and monetizing. It makes things easier to accomplish on the blog
6. People Don’t Make Money from Blogging
Yes, blogging is a real profession. No, we don’t sit around our computers or waste the day on social media. Yes, we do make money blogging.
This is one of the biggest misconceptions of blogging – bloggers don’t make money. Some of us are even told to get a real job. Ouch! How disrespectful is that?!
To contradict the uninformed plague that’s going around, BLOGGERS DO MAKE MONEY BLOGGING! In fact, we do that while we sleep. #BOOM!
7. Blogging Is All About Taking Pretty Pictures
That beautiful stock photo might fool me once, but I won’t always take the bait. Pictures are important elements of a blog, but they aren’t the only elements.
A picture tells a thousand words, but sometimes we don’t always decipher coded language; we prefer words. While taking only pictures for your food blog might suffice, you’ll have to get accustomed to writing blog entries with actual words.
To supplement, search engines love content – lots of it. Unless you want to rank in search engines results pages, I’d suggest getting friendly with writing detailed articles.
8. Most of Your Earnings Will Come from Advertisements
No! No! No! That’s discouraged on so many levels, but I’d just mention one. As a blogger, it’s asinine to cast all your eggs in one basket.
I’m going to digress a bit to relate an experience. After starting my online career, settling for an online business management position was the dream job. The money was great! My husband resigned from his 9-5 in no time and we were able to put our feet up at home. It was an exquisite experience!
My job was secure, I thought. I wasn’t particularly fussy about pitching new clients and doing other work because I had it all. I was bringing in big bucks from a single client.
Sadly, my client moved on to other things. I was without a contract – just like that. I felt stupid because I failed to build on what I had. All my efforts had been thrown in one location.
Don’t fall into that trap. Diversify and invest in several income streams. If the ad networks you’re with decided that they no longer needed you, where would that leave you?
Could you take on sponsors? Could you sign up for a few affiliate programs? Could you write an eBook? Learn to diversify your income streams. Don’t rely on advertisements.
9. If You Build It, They Will Come / Write Great Content and People Will Find You
Subsequent to starting my writing career back in 2013 for a telecommunications company, the team was tasked with manning the company’s blogs.
Our SEO Manager made it clear that we brought good content to the table, but if we didn’t go out there to attract an audience, our reviews were as good as an umbrella in a category 5 hurricane.
Launching a blog is commendable but that’s just a tip of the iceberg. What you put into that blog is what counts, and for people to come, you need to work your posterior off.
10. Blogging Is As Easy As It Gets
A blogger is required to transform into a knowledge hub overnight, a digital marketing mogul after a few courses, and a social media fanatic by day.
Things might come easily to seasoned bloggers. Bear in mind that some have been blogging for years, have taken umpteen courses and have tried so many things. They have experience under their belt.
For seasoned bloggers, it should appear easy because practice makes perfect, right? As a beginner blogger, it’s going to get rough but the storm usually passes, once you’re consistent and dedicated to the craft.
11. You Don’t Have to Sell Anything
Your readers loathe listening to a sales pitch and I’m sure you do too. But, that doesn’t mean you don’t have to sell anything. As a professional blogger, you need to earn from your craft. You’ll recommend products to your readers and it’s your prerogative to put those recommendations nicely so that they don’t sound pushy or desperate.
You’re in this for the long haul and frankly, if you don’t sell anything, you’ll only be making cents from ad networks.
12. Starting a Blog Breaks the Camel’s Back
Technology has made it dirt easy to set up and launch a blog today. Maintenance, content creation, marketing, and other facets of blogging take an immense amount of time, but with blogging, the results returned are as good as the work you put in.
During my years of tackling clientele work, I met so many bloggers who had little technical skills, but they were killing it with their blogs.
What do these bloggers have that set them apart – dedication and love for the craft.
They knew what they wanted, and though they weren’t proficient in certain areas, they found ways to get a hold of things. They don’t have excuses. They make it happen.
Blogging isn’t painful and doesn’t hurt, your outlook does.
13. You Need to Be a Niche Blogger
A niche blog is a bit easy to organise and plan around. The content you’re tasked with producing runs in a single direction.
A food blogger, for example, with a focus on low carb or gluten-free recipes knows exactly who they’re targeting – people seeking low carb and gluten-free meals.
A niche blog, while it allows you to be more relevant, isn’t a necessity. Some bloggers talk a bit about everything and are able to turn that into a full-time income.
Unless you’re building awareness around a particular product, service, or a unique brand, blog about what you love without apologies.