I honestly did not know much about blogging when I started. There is still so much I don’t know. Everyone has a different opinion on how often you should post, how you should manage your social media accounts, and how much time you should spend blogging. These are the 7 myths that I have heard and what I have found to be the truth.
1. Numbers are Everything
Social media followers are important so you can build a community and loyal readers, but the specific numbers are not everything. Do not think you need to spend hundreds of dollars on courses telling you how to increase your social media following to be successful. You do need loyal readers, but the goal is to build your social media following organically. Do not pay for followers. There will always be someone with more followers and more likes. You will see so many posts like “How to Increase Your Instagram Followers by 5,000 in One Month” and you will get discouraged pretty quickly (I know I did). The key is to interact with your social media followers and build a community. Comment on other Instagram photos that interest you. Repin Pinterest pins from other bloggers. Repost other blog posts on your Facebook page. Don’t focus on the numbers. Focus on your message. The numbers will come.
2. Blogging is Easy
Blogging takes A LOT more time and effort than I thought (I guess I was just naïve). It is a commitment to set up a blog, figure out the best plugins, write posts, create the social media photos for the post, etc. It is hard and is not for everyone, but don’t let that discourage you. If you have a passion for helping others and sharing your story then you should create a blog. I recommend buying your website right away (go big or go home right?) and do your research on hosting providers. I use Bluehost for my blog and I have not had any problems with it.
3. No One Reads Long Posts
Most people aren’t trying to read a novel but your posts can definitely be over 1,000 words. Mine are usually around 800-1200 words. People are reading your post to learn something or get help so if you need to write more to explain it more clearly then do it! Make sure to add charts, graphs, photos to get your point across. Your blog should be a resource for your audience so if you need 1500 to explain it thoroughly, then do it!
4. There Are Already Too Many Bloggers
True but just be yourself and share your opinions. Do not start a blog to write what you think other people want to hear. You should start a blog if you have something you want to share with others and you need an outlet to express your thoughts and expertise. I started my blog to share my experiences and tips and help others. My end goal is to start a scholarship fund to help students go to college (with limited loans), succeed in school, and graduate with the personal finance knowledge necessary to thrive and stay out of debt. So many people I know and people I talk to do not understand personal finance and believe that everyone has debt (and will stay in debt). My goal is to help educate people based on the knowledge I have acquired and experiences I have had. Are there other personal finance bloggers? Um yeah, there are a TON. That doesn’t stop me from blogging.
5. Don’t Share Competitors’ Posts
One of the most important aspects of starting a successful blog IS to share other bloggers’ posts. I am extremely lucky to have a support system of other bloggers who encourage me, help me, and motivate me to share my thoughts. I love reading and sharing other bloggers’ posts. Join Facebook Groups and Pinterest Boards. Repost and Repin other bloggers’ blog posts. Network and make connections. You will need a support system, especially in the beginning. A lot of people do not understand how time-consuming and difficult blogging can be at times, so you will need to lean on other bloggers. They are people you want in your corner. Do not think of them as your competition, think of them as your community.
6. You Need to Be a Writer or English Major
I am definitely not a professional writer. My major was not English and I have absolutely no writing experience (unless you count school papers or business class assignments). The goal is to get your point across in your OWN voice. You also want to be as clear and concise as possible. It does take time. Your first blog post might not be your absolute best work (my first post was pretty awful). You learn what works and you adjust accordingly. You will probably go back and edit some of your early posts. I do that and I am like OMG what was I thinking. I still have some work to do but my posts are slowly getting better. If you are worried about your grammar and/or spelling make sure you sign up for Grammarly. I always run my posts (and school assignments) through Grammarly. You can add a button to your toolbar so it will automatically check your social media and blog posts so you don’t need to worry about forgetting. It is so helpful, especially for blog posts. Most of my blog posts start off as random thoughts on my phone or on a post-it, so Grammarly helps make sure my posts readable (hopefully this post is making sense haha).
7. You Are Going to Get Rich
There are many bloggers who make a full-time income from blogging. Sadly, I am not one of them (YET…hopefully one day). There are multiple ways to make money but do not start a blog just to make money. You will be chasing numbers instead of creating valuable content to help others. Just like with anything else, it takes time (and sometimes money) to make money. If you are looking to make some money blogging, the only course I ever bought is Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing. For my full course review click here. I wanted to focus on one way to make money at first and affiliate marketing sounded the most interesting to me. It is a lot of work to find affiliates and get it set up but I do really enjoy it. I ONLY promote products or services that I have personally used or that I know are reputable companies. PLEASE do not become one of those people that just want to make money and will promote anything and everything if it will make you a dollar. You will end up losing readers and people will not trust you. Trust is key with your readers. If you find a product or service that works for you, then sign up to be an affiliate and promote it! You can make some extra money and you can promote a reputable product/service to your readers.
What are some blogging myths you believed? What tips do you have for new bloggers?