Note: This post may contain affiliate links. I only promote products that I believe will help and add serious value to your blog.
I’ve been running blogs online for the past 3 years and over the course of that time, I’ve read hundreds of article of blogging and how to run a blog. There’s some really good advice out there…but there is also a lot of lousy tips and advice that just flat-out isn’t true.
Today, I’m calling out the lies.
Because I see so much advice being shared and repeated over and over again that simply isn’t true. The blogging industry has evolved so rapidly over the past few years, and so much of the advice being shared out there is outdated and unhelpful.
Instead of just ignoring the unhelpful advice, I’m going to be sharing exactly which pieces of advice are wrong, why they aren’t helpful, and what you should do instead.
1. Ads are the only way to make money blogging
The Truth – Bloggers are becoming entrepreneurs in their own right.
Ads are definitely one way to make money blogging, but they are absolutely not the only way. One of the biggest changes within the past few years in the blogging world has been the changes in the ways that blogger are earning money.
Bloggers aren’t just earning money through ads or affiliate links anymore. Bloggers are becoming speakers, writing e-courses, selling e-books, and creating their own products. Instead of just promoting other companies, many bloggers are becoming their own brands and reaping the rewards of it,
2. You should spend lots of time growing your social media
The Truth- Social media is just a marketing tool
I won’t deny the power of social media. I’m a huge fan of using platforms like Twitter to interact with your readers and reach new audiences but if you want to grow your blog, your time on social media should be spent strategically. Every hour you spend on social media should somehow be benefiting your blog, either through making connections with new potential readers or directly funneling readers to your blog.
It’s all about strategy, folks.
3. Long posts are the WORSSSTTT (!!!)
Truth: Long posts actually tend to perform the best.
I’ve heard this a lot and it always surprises me because on all my blogs, my long posts are to be the most popular ones and tend to drive the most traffic to my websites. That’s because my long posts are long for a reason. They are packed with tips, guidance, and resources for the readers and provide the most value.
From what statistics show, long posts also tend to do better overall. Think about it: more words in each post means more keywords for search engines to discover. Quicksprout shared that longer posts get shared more often and get more backlinks. Instead of reading several posts with conflicting information, you can just read a longer post that covers everything you need to know.
4. You need to spend a lot of money running your blog
Truth: Blogging doesn’t have to cost a lot!
I’ve talked about spending money on blogging a lot already, so you might already know how I feel about it. There are so many cool pieces of software, tech, and blog training options out there and while they can help you improve your blog, hard work and research can be incredibly helpful too.
Seriously, blogging doesn’t need to be expensive. I spend less than $15/ month running each of my blogs (full breakdown here) and while that number might increase over the next year or so as Fierce Blogging grows, I still believe that blogging can be seriously inexpensive.
My current web host, A Small Orange, has plans starting at just $2.95 a month, which is about the price of great cup of coffee. So if you want to start a blog and are worried about the cost, forget it. Blogging doesn’t need to be expensive.
5. If you want to be a blogger, you must be a professional writer.
Truth- Anyone can be a blogger
If you are able to fluently speak whatever language you are writing in and have a message you want to share, you can become a blogger.
One of the reasons that blogs are so popular is because of how they allow readers to get to know the writers on a whole new level. Readers will connect with you because of how memorable and unique you are, not because you know how to properly do the subject-verb agreement.
6. Only share your own content or you’ll lose readers
Truth – Sharing benefits yourself, your readers, and the other bloggers.
The biggest argument for this myth is that if you share the content of other bloggers, you will lose readers to your competitors Trust me, this isn’t true, folks.
I run a book blog as well as Fierce Blogging, and sharing the content of other book bloggers was a huge part of what helped me grow my blog. When you share the content of other bloggers, you’re actually helping your readers by providing them with valuable other resources and trust me, your readers will remember you for that.
7. Niches aren’t limiting and not worth it
Truth – Finding your niche will actually make you stand out.
I can’t believe this myth is still being shared! Finding your niche is a huge part of telling your readers who you are as a blogger and what you will give to them. Sure, you can definitely run a blog about everything you’re interested in, but what are the odds that all your readers will be interested in your home organization posts AND your fashion posts AND your personal finance posts AND tech review posts?
There are a few blogs that can pull this off successfully, but it’s rare. Instead of being a one-stop shop for everything, narrowing your niche to one subject will make yourself the go-to person for that topic and allow yourself to find readers who will be interested in everything you have to say about it.
8. Your blog should be pretty
Truth – Your blog should be functional, first and foremost.
You’re probably surprised to see this on this list, but let me explain. Yes, pretty blogs are great! I can think of some really gorgeous blog designs off the top of my head, and pretty blogs can definitely make you stand out.
But making your blog pretty is not the only criteria. First and foremost, your blog needs to be functional and easy to navigate. Functionality comes first, and making your blog “pretty” should be an extra. You can have the prettiest website in the world but if your readers can find what they’re looking for, they aren’t going to stick around.