Blogging is one of the most popular content marketing strategies among businesses of all sizes, and because of that, the Internet is full of myths about the right and wrong things to do with your blog to make a success of it. Unfortunately, many of these myths will hold back both your blog and your brand.
We’ve all heard the one about the guy who didn’t know anything about blogging, rattled off some thoughts about cats, and then suddenly his blog post went viral in two minutes. If it were that easy, you’d better believe that this cat guy would be teaching everyone his secret formula and everyone’s blog posts would be going viral in two minutes.
On the other hand, we’ve also heard stories about blogging success that make you want to curl up under your desk—like ”the vast majority [of blogs] make less than $3.50 per day.”
So is blogging a lost cause or an untapped gold mine?
Here we’ll tackle the most pervasive 8 myths about successful blogs that prevent your brand from growing:
Myth 1: It’s Easy to Make Passive Income!
As we said, if it were that easy for everyone to make passive income from their blog, we’d all be rolling in cash. However, numbers from Statista show that you have a lot of competition—by 2011, there were an estimated 173 million blogs worldwide. Further, survey results from Blogging.org show that only 8% of blogs make enough money to support an average family, while 81% of blogs never make more than $100 over the blog’s lifetime.
There are many good reasons to blog—to drive traffic to your e-commerce site, to position yourself as an industry expert, or to rank higher in SERPs, for instance. But if generating passive income for your business is your top reason to blog, you may find yourself disappointed.
Myth 2: You Need to Post Every Day
The myth that you need to post each day is one that can actually do a lot more harm than good for your brand. For one thing, a blog is a lot of work. Between daily idea generation, researching, writing, planning your editorial calendar, coming up with photos and charts, and scheduling social media posts, you’ll likely become burned out and uninspired before hitting the viral jackpot.
More importantly, however, is the fact that your readers can also suffer from burnout. Few people have the time or inclination to keep up with daily (or several per day!) blog posts and one survey shows that 53% of people feel that they receive too many marketing emails, which means that subscribers are highly likely to unsubscribe from daily blog post notifications. So try posting once per week, keep a careful eye on engagement (or lack of), then try increasing your posting schedule to two or three times per week.
Myth 3: Your Posts Must Be Enormously Long
Many believe that blog posts should be huge repositories of information. After all, if you can provide your viewers with absolutely everything that anyone would ever want to know about a given topic, then you’re obviously an expert in your field, right?
Actually, blog post length isn’t about the number of words, but the amount of time that you can keep readers on the page. Though it differs from one blog to the next, research from Medium shows that on average, they can keep readers’ attention for seven minutes, which, going by word length, comes out to about 1,600 words—less for image-heavy posts.
Myth 4: Minuscule Attention Spans Means No One Reads Long Posts
In contrast to Medium’s research, Upworthy found that content length made no difference at all in the amount of time that readers spend on posts. According to their numbers, a post that takes 37 seconds to read did just as well as 20-minute posts.
The moral of this story? Make your content as long as it needs to be. If you can keep it compelling for a few thousand words, then by all means, make it a 20-minute read. If not, don’t hesitate to make shorter posts. If you have a lot of great copy but aren’t sure about your readers’ attention spans, try turning it into a series of shorter posts—but always build interest by providing a tease to the next in the series.
Myth 5: You Need to Constantly Promote Your Blog on Social Media
This myth is actually true, but to a limited extent. Many brands make the mistake of promoting their blog across every social media channel several times per day in addition to sponsored ads on the same post. However, research from Bufferapp shows that engagements, likes, and comments start to decline if you post too much.
The ideal numbers are:
- 3x per day for Twitter
- 2x per day for Facebook
- 5x per day for Pinterest
- 1x per day for LinkedIn
The numbers may be somewhat different for your blog (it will depend on audience and industry, for example), but in general, you should devote a post or two per day to the blog and then use the rest of your posts to share interesting unbranded content. If your followers are engaged, they’ll do most of the work by sharing your blog posts for you.
Myth 6: You Will See Results in a Couple of Months
Blogging is not a fast way to build your reputation or increase traffic. For starters, it can take Google and other search engines four to six weeks—or even longer—just to index your site. After that, you’ll spend another few months climbing to the top of the search results and learning which social media and SEO tactics work best for your brand.
Be prepared to spend plenty of time researching competitors’ blogs and social media and then test variations on your own site until you’ve ironed out a great strategy. Think of blogging and content marketing as a marathon, not a sprint.
Myth 7: Blogs Are Inexpensive
When it comes to marketing, it’s true that blogs cost less than TV advertisements, for example. However, this doesn’t mean that they’re cheap. Things like a domain name or website hosting, which costs between $12.49 and $85.00 per month from Bluehost, require money, and they’re not the only investments that you’ll need to make.
Even relatively small blogs can have a list of expenses like subscriptions to stock photography websites, writer fees, promoted social media posts or other paid online advertising, and full-time staff members. The wisest thing to do is start with a few blog posts per week that you can manage on your own, and add additional expenses on an as-needed basis—like top-notch specialty writers or a social media strategist.
Myth 8: Blogging Is Unnecessary
Out of all the blogging myths that could hurt your brand, the idea that a blog is unnecessary or a passing fad is the most absurd. If you’re thinking about cutting your blog’s budget, then think about this statistic: 70% of consumers are influenced by blogs when they make purchase decisions. Why? Because to the consumer, blogs are a convenient source of information on both the product or service and the company itself. A brand’s articles are how they do their research.
In addition, a well-rounded blog makes your website much more visible to search engines because, on average, websites with a blog have upwards of 434% more indexed pages. Not only that, but B2B marketers who blog generate 67% more leads than those who don’t, and over 50% of companies that blog just once a month gain a new customer.
If you’re ready to turn your company’s blog into a marketing machine, the first step is choosing a reliable web hosting service like Bluehost. Then you’ll be able to start building a collection of informational and inspiring posts that attracts viewers and potential customers in droves.