It’s that time again. Time to revisit the topic of blogging myths.

Buried in the archives you’ll find a previous post on blogging myths. Today we’ll expand on them and add a few more.

Today’s Lesson

  1. We can blog for free.
  2. It’s true. In some instances we can blog without spending any money, however, bloggers often forget to put a price on their time.

    If blogging is taking us away from an opportunity that can increase our income, or is jeopardizing our career or real life relationships, than the cost to blog just went up.

  3. Spend time visiting blogs in your niche.
  4. I think it’s important to see what other bloggers in our niche are doing, however to ONLY visit blogs in our niche can be detrimental in the event we’re attempting to sell a product or service. Trying to sell a product or service to someone who does exactly what we do is like trying to sell snowballs to an Eskimo.

    Branch out and introduce yourself to your potential audience, not just your competition.

  5. The blog with the most comments is the most popular.
  6. Most bloggers love to see large comment counts on their blog, however the success of a blog is not measured by the number of comments it receives. Success is often measured by the number of visitors, subscribers, page views, Alexa rating, Google page rank, incoming links, money earned, etc. A successful blog can have all of these yet have very few comments.

  7. You can make lots of money blogging.
  8. Truth be told, without a readership of thousands each day, our chance of making an income (from AdSense or affiliate links) large enough to quit our day job is slim.

    That said, a blog can be a fantastic stepping stone from which to launch a business.

  9. Online thieves and spammers are not interested in small or new blogs.
  10. It doesn’t matter if your blog has ten posts or ten thousand, if an online thief or spammer wants to steal from or spam your blog, they will.Β  They do because they can. No one is exempt.

  11. Freedom of speech allows a blogger to say whatever they want on their blog.
  12. Many bloggers believe because it’s their personal blog, they can publish whatever they want. If a blog post or comment contains false information about another person or a business, you could be sued. For more information on this topic, I recommend becoming familiar with the Electronic Frontier Foundation website, plus blogging responsibly.

  13. You must update your blog daily.
  14. It’s your blog. If you don’t feel like publishing a new post, don’t. According to the Technorati State of the Blogosphere 2010 report, the average amount of times a blogger updates their blog is 2-3 times per week. That said, some have reported they publish up to 14 posts per day. Whew!

    Find a blogging rhythm and publishing schedule that works for you.

  15. The best way to have a successful blog is to copy what the A-list bloggers are doing.
  16. Although we can learn from those who came before us, being authentic will get us further in the long run and will make it easier for us to remain genuine. Dare to be different.

  17. No one reads our “About Me” page.
  18. Truth be told, our “about me” page is often the first thing a visitor looks for and reads. This is especially true when fellow bloggers land on our site. Not only does the “about me” page tell a reader who we are, but it can set the tone for our entire blog.

    Take time to construct your “about me” page so it’s a true reflection of you and what a reader can expect if they subscribe to your blog.

Today’s Assignment

When you started blogging, what blogging myth(s) lead you down the wrong path?

Can you think of other blogging myths new bloggers should be aware of?

Care to share?

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  1. I’m so glad you brought up the myth that the most popular blogs are the ones that have the most comments.

    It *astounds* me (it really does!) how some topnotch extremely popular sites have very little (compared to the readership) comments.

    And that truly baffles me – if you want to become known outside your sphere of influence, you visit and *comment* on sites, especially if they’re popular!

    Weird, I tell you…it’s just plain weird.
    Check out Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach’s awesome post.The Xena The Warrior Princess Guide To Killer Blogging With PMSMy Profile

    • Gail GardnerNo Gravatar says:

      How many comments a blog has is directly related to how comment-friendly – and sometimes just plain friendly – they are. The traditional business model is very controlling so many major sites require registration to comment, or rarely approve comments – or turn them off altogether.

      CommentLuv blogs like this one are more inviting and encourage discussions in the comments. If the blogger (or guest blogger) tends to answer their comments they get vastly more than if they don’t.
      Check out Gail Gardner’s awesome post.Twitter- Increase Your Influence with Twitter ListsMy Profile

      • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

        Hi Gail,

        You’re right. CommentLuv blogs can be more inviting than others. Not only does it show the blog author cares about those who comment by letting them link to a current post, but like you said, they also encourage discussions between bloggers.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Barbara,

      That’s true. Commenting on other blogs is one of the best ways to get known outside of our sphere of influence. Even though a blog author may be popular and known by their followers, chances are if they don’t get out there, no one else will even be aware of who they are.

  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gail Gardner and Barbara Swafford, Stan Carter Jr.. Stan Carter Jr. said: Dont Believe Everything You Read http://bit.ly/amnsKm […]

  3. wendyNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks Barbara for reminding me I HAVE to fix my about page!!

  4. FriarNo Gravatar says:

    Another thing I leaned is that the Cool Kids ain’t always so Cool.

    They’re very good at marketing themselves, and convincing you that it’s worth paying huge ammounts of money for their services or E-book. And I give them credit for that.

    But they’re not necesarily the best and brightest out there. A lot of B-Listers can provide better service. Or you might find a better book that’s on Amazon.com (not just a pdf..but an actual book with cross-reference and such).

    Bottom Line, is that it pays to shop around.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Friar,

      Yes. As bloggers we should be “informed consumers”. Like you said, just because a resource is provided/sold by a popular blogger who is good at marketing doesn’t guarantee it’s the best choice.

  5. John HunterNo Gravatar says:

    I agree, about me is a very important page. Tell who you are and provide links to some popular representative posts. Think of it as a way to let someone know if they want to subscribe to your feed after somehow finding themselves on one of your posts.
    Check out John Hunter’s awesome post.Worth Does Not Equal WealthMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi John,

      That’s a great idea; to include links to popular posts of our on our about page. I also like the idea of including links to other blogs we author as well as where else we can be found, such as on Twitter or Facebook.

  6. Hi Barbara – I agree with Barbara L. and Friar: Ask the man on the street who Seth Godin or Darren Rowse are and you’re more than likely going to get a blank stare. We live in a blogging bubble of our own making. It’s important to keep good perspective. Decide what you want to do and how you want to do it. If conventional wisdom works for you, great. If not, you’re going to have to change what you do anyway. It’s all good. And thanks for the reminder on the About page. On my endless list. πŸ™‚
    Check out Betsy Wuebker’s awesome post.What the Heck is Going On HereMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Betsy,

      Isn’t that the truth? We can easily encase ourselves in a “blogging bubble”, where the majority of people haven’t a clue of who we are, or what we offer. Hmmmm. You’ve just given me an idea for a future blog post. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  7. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

    It’s true. When I click over to a blog, I scan over the recent archive, and I go to the about page to see whose blog I am checking out and what their story is. Then I decide whether I am subscribing. I am less likely to subscribe when I see “this is a sample WordPress page”.
    Check out Kelvin Kao’s awesome post.Where I Have Disappeared ToMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Kelvin,

      I know what you’re saying. Even if a blog has dozens of good posts, not knowing anything about the blog author can discourage us from subscribing or even going back.

  8. Barbara:

    Thanks for taking great effort to put together all these “truths” of blogging. I think I have learnt more about blogging from your place than anywhere else.

    Fourteen posts a day is truly mind-boggling. Cannot do that for nuts. And I do agree on the “About Me” page. I find myself reading that before I proceed to scan the posts.

    I liked your “Dare to be Different” advice. Hope to follow it.

    Hope the weekend is rolling by well.

    Much love,
    Susan
    Check out Susan Deborah’s awesome post.I continue to surprise myselfMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Susan, and thank you for your kind words.

      I agree. Fourteen posts a day is mind boggling. I’m guessing on those sites there may be multiple authors helping with the process.

      P.S. I know you’ll do great on the “dare to be different” challenge(?) . πŸ™‚

  9. Alien GhostNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    Thank you for the reminder of the “About Me” page. It still is written according to the gurus advice, and really has not much to do with my blog’s intention. Got to fix that!

    About other myths of blogging; I don’t know how efficient is to have Twitter and Facebook, but it is said by the gurus that “you have to”. I don’t know cause I don’t have those, and I’m not sure if is real or just another myth.

    Raul

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Raul,

      I’m happy you brought that up. I think if Twitter or Facebook are used in such a way they bring us closer to our blogging/business goals, that’s great. However, what I’ve found is social networking can be a distraction (sometimes good, sometimes not) and may not be the best use of our time.

  10. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

    The greatest myth I almost bought into is that you can make lots of money by blogging. It turned out to be untrue. As you’ve clearly mentioned, a blog can be a fantastic way to launch a new business.
    Check out Evelyn Lim’s awesome post.The 5Cs of BuddhismMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Evelyn,

      I hear you. From what I read in the beginning, blogging was a great way to make money but it wasn’t long before I realized that’s not the norm. That said, I do like how blogging offers us other possibilities to explore.

  11. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. I think I was lucky & just followed along – using my judgement .. fortunately it brought me here & on to a few others .. and now I do my thing .. ie taking advice from you and your readers and just taking note as I go along.

    I don’t have an about page .. and must sort that out – sometime!

    I started blogging every day and did over 200 in my first year – now I’m lucky I’m only posting once a week or so (irregularly – is probably not a good idea either!) .. but the blog is probably unique – so friends come visit and seem to enjoy what they see: that counts.

    I have found that putting pictures up helps the visualisation aspect of the post & enhances it ..

    I have come to realise that I can do something with this blog – & I’ve learned that I can build a business with the information I’ve garnered in my search for knowledge.

    One thing you don’t mention is guest blogging – not always easy .. I got asked and that’s a huge plus .. and having been following Stephen Tremp’s recent blog tour – he’s put a different spin on it .. and in fact we’re doing/swapping guest spots in early December .. and I’m sure more of us could do things like this to widen our readership – without diluting our own message.

    Great thoughts .. thanks – Hilary
    Check out Hilary’s awesome post.Tales- Sagas- Stories we can glean from our vegetables My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Hilary,

      Speaking of blogging irregularly, I think for the beginner blogger TOO much time between posts could cost them readers, however for those bloggers who have been around for awhile and have archives filled with dozens/hundreds of posts to choose from, it shouldn’t hurt our readership.

      Yes. Guest posting can be beneficial, but like you said, we also have to be careful not to dilute our own message.

  12. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara another great ideas post to enjoy – Thank you.

    I paid Shades of Crimson to edit and rewrite my about page, because it was too much resume and not easy to read, Davina did a great job. I highly recommend her services.

    After being busy at another job for nearly a month, I am in the process of re-evaluating my blog and planning my expectations for year four coming up. One thing which was important to me was that getting my few dollars for the book reviews helped the blog pay for itself. With the changes in the book reviewing process, my blog no longer pays for itself. The blog and land line phone have both become liabilities not assets.

    So many of my friend hardly do anything on computers still, some of proud of this fact, and I want to keep up with the computer as best as I am able. This is quite the challenge for me.

    Lots of things to consider and lots of things I still wish to share.
    This was good information for me to contemplate as I sort.
    Check out Patricia’s awesome post.What’s HappeningMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patricia,

      That’ a good idea. If we don’t feel comfortable with writing our about page, we can always hire someone to help us out. I agree, Davina is a great choice. πŸ™‚

      That’s very smart of you to stop to reevaluate where you’re at with your blog and where you want it to go. I think having a direction is important, as is asking ourselves if the blog is taking us closer to our goals.

      Even though at times our blogs may be costing us (money or time), if we can see a potential for the future, the investment may be well worth it.

    • Thank you Patricia… and Barbara πŸ™‚
      Check out Davina Haisell’s awesome post.Misstakes Dew HappenMy Profile

  13. JoyNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    Thank you for the excellent insights..I am in the process of re-writing my about me page and re-structuring my blog a bit. My blog content remains the same but the outline around it is quite fluid..
    I dare to be different, and I mix in conventional wisdom..the A-listers have as many good points as following my intuition does.
    I think I have to be mindful about my audience. I do visit many blogs because I learn from them, but my target audience is not other bloggers (as you pointed out in a previous post) but rather the general public…so I’ve put less energy into other blogs and more energy into sharing in general.
    It is exciting and challenging which for me equals great fun!
    Check out Joy’s awesome post.How to Make Love With Joy…My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Joy,

      That’s very smart of you; to follow your intuition and not try to emulate what the a-list bloggers do. I think when we remain true to ourselves and know who we’re writing for, like you said, the process is challenging, but fun.

  14. Excellent information!

    This is my first visit and I’ll be returning!
    Check out Linda Faulkner’s awesome post.CoincidencesMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Linda,

      It’s great to see you here. I just checked out your blog so watch for a visit from me, as well.

      Happy Blogging!

  15. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    You know what? The about page is what I look at as I try and build traffic. It shows me who is a scam site or a site that is vested in its message. I have also found that posts that are another indicator. If a site is only posting once a month, well you know what they are doing.

    Great points on blogging. Thanks!
    Check out Linda’s awesome post.No Greener Than WirelessMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Linda,

      That’s true. An about page can tell us a lot. If a blog author has put a lot of thought into one, it’s obvious they’re serious about blogging, and we’re more apt to subscribe to their blog.

  16. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barb! I didn’t know about any myths really. I didn’t know what I was doing and had no friends that even read blogs. Sometimes maybe ignorance is bliss. I expected nothing. I still don’t. I write weekly in the hopes that it will be valuable info for whoever is meant to read it. Non-attachment – its a beautiful thing! πŸ™‚
    hugs
    suzen
    Check out suzen’s awesome post.The Fluffy Green Thing On Your PlateMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Suzen,

      Haha! You’re right. Sometimes ignorance can be bliss. It gives us less to think or worry about. That said, when I started blogging, I kept reading contradicting articles about “how to blog” and didn’t know who to believe.

  17. These are great tips, Barbara, and a must read for any new blogger.
    Check out vered | blogger for hire’s awesome post.Personally I find Fall DepressingMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Vered,

      I agree. New bloggers should be aware of these myths as it would make the journey a whole lot easier. And…I’m guessing when someone finds out they can’t make money overnight with a blog, they may think twice before starting one.

  18. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    An informative, and eye opening post on the everyday ins and outs of blogging – thanks. While I’ve been winging it for over a year, I’ve come to ponder many of the points you make. After reading, probably here, about the importance of an “About Me” page, I constructed one. I do see from time to time that folks go there.

    In #3 you mention Google Page Rank. I’d like to know how to boost my page rank past “1”.

    With reference to the number of posts per week, since I changed my format a while back, I aim for about 3 posts per week. I don’t think there is any right number of posts, it is just what is right for each individual blog. For some blogs, a new post every day would overwhelm the readers.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Linda,

      I was just rereading your about page. I like it. πŸ™‚

      With regard to Google Page Rank, that’s something I don’t know too much about, and don’t pay attention to (mine has been a 4 for a couple of years not – no change). That said, from what I understand, page rank is affected a lot by the number of incoming links we have from reputable sites. For more detailed information on improving your rank, check out “Google Webmaster Tools” where you can also add/register your site and received detailed reports about it.

      Let me know if you have any further questions.

  19. SaraNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,

    I enjoyed these blogging myths. My favorites were:

    We can blog for free…somehow that’s never worked for me and you are right to point out the “life” costs of blogging. My boyfriend can attest to this cost:~)

    I also like the “No one reads my ‘About Me’ page. I’ve learned that yes, they do and sometimes you need to update your About Me page if things have changed in your life. I also have had people leave comments on my About Me page.

    Thanks for this helpful post:~)
    Check out Sara’s awesome post.Story Photo- Man on the TrainMy Profile

  20. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

    You’re welcome Sara,

    That’s true. If we ask our loved ones, they will probably tell us our blog is costing them time with us. πŸ™‚

    That’s an excellent point about updating our about page from time to time. The longer we blog, chances are we’ve made some changes along the way, may have joined Twitter or Facebook or even started additional sites. The about page is the perfect place to showcase this information.

  21. JumokeNo Gravatar says:

    lovely post. i used to go crazy when i looked at other blogs in my niche and saw that they would have so many comments while i barely get a few. but i guess on the average, i am still a succesful blogger, and i am happy with my blog!
    Check out Jumoke’s awesome post.Vacancy in a financial institution November 2010My Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Jumoke,

      That’s easy to do; to compare ourselves to others.

      I think it also has a lot to do with our attitude, and you’ve got a great one. If you’re happy with your blog and feel successful, then you are. πŸ™‚

  22. Hi Barbara.
    In the beginning, I used to look favorably on blogs that had lots of comments and would compare my numbers. I don’t do that anymore because as you say, comments don’t necessarily reflect how good a blog is.

    When I publish a post quite often I like to test my blog’s visibility on Google by typing in a few keyword phrases that I’ve used (mostly in the title). I get excited when my blog lands on the first page of Google when there are thousands and sometimes millions of searches for that phrase.

    When I land on a blog for the first time, one of the first places I go to is the About Page. So I can’t say enough about how important it is to have one.
    Check out Davina Haisell’s awesome post.Misstakes Dew HappenMy Profile

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      I hear you. I did that too; checked to see how many comments a fellow blogger was getting. Later on I also realized it has a lot to do with the quality of the comments, as well. It’s one thing for a blog post to have 100 comments (for example), but if the majority of the comments are “great post” or “right on, man”, they’re really not adding value to the post, but instead just feeding the bloggers’ ego.

      I like you’re idea of testing your keyword phrases. That’s got to be a real thrill when you see your post on page one. πŸ™‚

  23. […] Dont Believe Everything You Read (bloggingwithoutablog.com) […]

  24. JennNo Gravatar says:

    Hi again Barbara!
    The point about spammers and hackers is so very true! My first blog was constructed using wordpress which has a very good rep for security. However my web host did not.
    Several times my wordpress blog was hacked into in a way that was not obvious at first – but one day I found that hidden links had been added to pharmaceutical sites throughout my blog. And this was a blog on a very general topic with only 30 hits per day!
    Best to you!
    Jenn

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jenn,

      Thank you for sharing your story. When we’re new to blogging we often don’t think a spammer or hacker would be interested in our blog, but like you shared, it happened to you and all because your web host had poor security features in place.

  25. Nona MillsNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you Jumoke, That’s easy to do; to compare ourselves to others. I think it also has a lot to do with our attitude, and you’ve got a great one. If you’re happy with your blog and feel successful, then you are. πŸ™‚

  26. Bruce SallanNo Gravatar says:

    Good stuff Barbara, especially about not doing just niche commenting – which is counter intuitive. Thank you!
    Check out Bruce Sallan’s awesome post.Last Minute Tech Gift IdeasMy Profile