Common blogging myths: the beginner’s guide to starting a blog
There are many common blogging myths out there. I started this blog nearly 5 years ago and it was one of the best things I ever did. Blogging is both easier and harder than you might imagine – it’s easier than ever to set yourself up, but keeping up the momentum can be a challenge. Check out my post Bored of blogging? 20 tips when you’re tired of blogging.
First and foremost, when people think of blogging, they think of writing but there are so many other types of blogs out there, including photography, video (vlogs) and even music or review blogs. Before you begin your blog it’s a good idea to look at how you plan to create your content – and play up to your strengths.
As I said in my post Blogging Tips: How to Write a Great Blog Article, “High-quality, specialised blogs written by authors who really love what they are writing about are always the most saleable ones. Once in a while, try to adopt practices of top bloggers: read their articles, think of what makes them so captivating and try to see what your own articles lack.”
Below are a few of the “barriers to blogging” you might have in your head – and a simple work-around for each. Honestly, blogging might be a lot easier that you think! Here are a few common blogging myths you’ll come across.
Myth 1: Setting up and maintaining a blog is expensive
Well, yes and no. There are some ongoing costs with having your own blog, but compared with other hobbies and businesses, these are pretty minimal and reasonable.
There are a few one off and monthly costs that you should be aware of, such as buying your domain and paying for hosting services. Yes, you can start a free blog on a platform like WordPress or Blogger, but to monetise this down the line you will need to self-host.
Consider whether you plan to allow affiliates to publish on your blog. If you plan to, it is well worth investing in social tools to improve your reach. This will encourage affiliates to work with you. You might also want to invest in a personalised design rather than a theme to make your site stand out more, but these things can all be added over time, as your blog gains traffic and grows. ‘High expense’ is just one of the common blogging myths you might come across.
Myth 2: Blogging can be difficult at tax time
Tax time. If you run a blog, this might be connected to a small business, which will have tax implications. If managing your expenses and income is putting you off then consider getting in touch with a bookkeeper for some guidance. I offer both free services (like Dream Interpretations) and charged services (like copywriting and content creation) via my blog. Make sure you get the right advice if you plan on making money from your blog – now or in the future.
Myth 3: Bloggers often run out of ideas
Nope, never! The good news about modern blogging tools is that they will help you generate ideas. How? Well, over time, you can install plugins that allow you to see what content on your blog is currently ranking – i.e. what is gaining the most natural, organic traffic. This will give you an understanding of what your audience is looking at, and what they might want to see more of. “Running out of ideas” is one of the most common blogging myths that people might try to scare you with.
When you start a blog many experts suggest that you must find your niche. Some people might suggest that this needs to be very specific. Not just “dogs”, but a particular breed, such as “Collies”. Personally, I don’t think this is necessary. Niche blogs are great and they do very well, but personally I prefer a “magazine style” blog where I can tackle many different topics, loosely grouped under ‘lifestyle’. Do something that is authentic to you.
Myth 4: Idea generation needs to be a set process
Not always! The key to finding lots of good ideas for blogs is thinking about the kinds of questions you want to answer and then solving people’s problems. For example, one of my most popular posts answers a question that lots of people type into search engines – “Why can’t I eat breakfast in the morning?”
I answered that question with my blog (and now a video, linked in the post) “Can’t” Eat Breakfast in the Morning? Here’s Why. It now gets over 1000 hits a day, despite being a very simple blog post. People love to comment on the post as well, and to start up discussions. There are many common blogging myths you’ll hear, but this one is nothing to worry about!
As you get used to writing your blog posts, you will find that ideas tend to come in waves rather than a constant flow. This is why you should keep a log of all your ideas so that you can come back to them later on when you’re feeling less creative. Keeping a plan will also help you to shape your blog so that you write about different things rather than in blocks of single subjects.
Myth 5: Blogging is really time consuming
Realistically, blogging does take up a good amount of time. I now spend many hours per week on my blog, fixing updates, writing and uploading posts, responding to emails and replying to comments – but it wasn’t always this way! I started out slowly.
Finding time to write can be difficult, but just as ideas tend to come in waves, if you find you have a full afternoon spare, why not write a few down and then schedule your blogs for the following week? You can do this with social media too ensuring that you provide your readers with a steady stream of content to enjoy.
Don’t have a blog yet?
There’s an additional resource I can recommend for people who don’t have a blog yet. It’s an educational website (that’s made specifically for web beginners) with an in-depth online guide and downloadable PDFs, video tutorials and tools to help newbies establish their online identity.
So, don’t worry about these common blogging myths!
For many people starting a new blog, the sky really is the limit. There are many misconceptions out there and so many common blogging myths that you’ll come across – but don’t worry!
Allow yourself to get into the habit of writing your blog daily – or try to aim for a few posts a week if you can, this way you’ll gain momentum. There’s more time than you think when you blog about subjects you enjoy, and when you build up an audience, things get easier and your experience will be more fulfilling.
Do you have a question about blogging? Ask me in the comments below!