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Since Monday, March 30, 2009 will mark my two year anniversary of blogging, I’ve been reflecting on what I’ve learned and how some of what we read is not true.

Today’s Lesson

The common myths on blogging:

  • Blogging is easy.
  • Yes, writing a post and hitting the “publish” button can be easy, however, there’s more to blogging than just writing. In order to gain exposure and stay current, we’ll often find ourselves engaged in social networking, answering emails, commenting on other blogs, learning coding, and/or performing blog maintenance.

  • Typos in blog posts mean the author is careless or can’t spell.
  • Although most bloggers try to be careful, nearly every blogger will make typos. Keep in mind, words are also spelled differently in other countries and for some bloggers, their first language is not English.

  • The only way to succeed in blogging is to have a niche site.
  • Although a niche site is great for targeted advertising and can become a great “go to” place for a specific topic, success can also be had by mixing it up.

  • Having a blog is an easy way to make money.
  • Money can be made with blogging, however the numbers we see the big shooters speaking of are the exception, not the norm.  In most cases it has taken the A-list bloggers YEARS to make a six figure income. In truth, most money bloggers make will be from products they sell or promote, speaking engagements and/or jobs they procure as a result of blogging (such as freelance writing, coaching or web design).

  • If we don’t visit a another blogger often enough, they’ll forget about us and unsubscribe from our blog.
  • Whether we visit our blogging buddies once a month, or once a day, the other blogger will most likely always remember us and stay subscribed.

  • Never leave a comment that says “great post”. The author will mark it as spam and delete it.
  • If the comment is written by an active blogger and the comment links back to a reliable site, in most cases it will NOT mark it as spam.

  • In order to succeed, we must follow in the footsteps of the big boys/girls.
  • It’s true, we can learn from the big boys/girls, however copy cat blogs are quite boring.  Whether we post product reviews, write 2000 word articles, 7 word haikus, share our favorite photos, write rants or tell our readers all about our children, it’s all okay. It is OUR blog and we are free to use it as we see fit. The most important thing is to stay true to yourself, be an original and build off of that.

  • In order to get our blog found, we should comment on high profile blogs.
  • A comment on a big name blog will get our name listed in their comment section, but changes are our comment may not even be acknowledged. To build a community and/or relationships with with bloggers, time needs to be spent visiting small to medium size blogs. Unlike the A-list bloggers who have bigger fish to fry, authors of smaller sites are more apt to show their appreciation by reciprocating the visit and subscribing to our blog.

  • New bloggers should wait until they have a following before they monetize their blog.
  • Quality content is what visitors are looking for. Placing advertising on our site will not deter visitors unless it overpowers the message.

  • If we link to other sites, our readers will leave us and never come back.
  • Linking to reliable resources shows our readers we’ve done our homework. Instead of leaving our site, they will consider us as an expert and keep coming back for more.

    Today’s Assignment

    Prior to having a blog, what did you read about blogging that you found out not to be true?

    Did that make you question other myths you’ve read?

    Care to share?


    .


    P.S. Come by on Monday and see my new theme and celebrate my second anniversary. There won’t be any cake and ice cream, but there will be lots of surprises.


    Photo Credit: smellyknee

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    Look Who's Talking
    1. Sunil PathakNo Gravatar says:

      If we link to other sites, our readers will leave us and never come back.
      +1 on that Barbara, Providing Reliable and useful information give your reader to visit your blog more often, then think of you as useful resource of information.

      In order to succeed, we must follow in the footsteps of the big boys/girls.
      I dont buy on that one, that’s one thing i have learned from my short blogging career, those big shot were not born big, they grow big because they were unique and genuine. imitating some one might get you few torrents of traffic, but it wont last long. if you want to stay in the long run, you ought to present your own view on given subject. don’t tell me Twitter is great tool for driving traffic. Just because Darren Row said so yesterday. give me your own reason to believe that. share your stats and tips.

      Unique and genuine content is key to your blogs success. but only great content is not enough, you need to promote your bloog, let other know about it. network with other blogger, start from small blogger and progres gradualy to a-lister.

      Sunil Pathak´s last blog post..Are you Slow Poisoning Your Blog?

    2. I’ve always believed that to succeed, you *must* sing your own song. Many people fail to realize their best “selling point” is the fact that nobody ELSE can be them!

      Be unique and be proud of that fact – it will come out in your writings.

      Data points, Barbara

      Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s last blog post..Local SEO blog SERPs can power up local businesses

    3. Joanna YoungNo Gravatar says:

      Congratulations on two years of blogging, and thank you for all that you’ve shared with us here. I’m fast approaching my two year anniversary too, and I would very much agree with your first myth-buster, blogging is easy. It’s a lot, a lot of work. Rewarding, and deeply satisfying, but a lot of work.

      Joanna Young´s last blog post..Inclusive Language: I, We, and You

    4. RobinNo Gravatar says:

      I’ve been intrigued from the start that many bloggers seem to believe there are blogging “rules”, yet there aren’t in life, so why should there be in blogging? Our blogs are our own creations as we go along, so they can be as unique (in content and approach) as we ourselves are.

      I do think there is a lot of misleading going on about the money that can be made from blogging.

    5. BryantNo Gravatar says:

      The real key to success which we rush past is that of added value. All of your points are valid but if we don’t give a reader a reason to come, stay, read and return then we have missed the boat.
      It seems to me that quality writing on important topics (important to the readers) is vital.

      Thanks for your thoughts!

      Bryant´s last blog post..7 Ways to Squeeze More Out of Your Spiritual Life

    6. The myth I have found out to be untrue are:

      There is a magic number of posts per week. Not so, once you have 30 posts or so and you are regular enough, people will keep coming. Just make them great.

      People will not forgive a typo. I’m a Spaniard, I try to be specially careful when I write in English, and I (almost) always hit the spell checker before I publish, but the typos still creep in. (And sometimes it has nothing to do with my English). It’s just another issue I need to be aware of, and improve, but not a death sentence.

      Miguel de Luis´s last blog post..Thursday Haiku: Circle of spears

    7. Oh, Barbara, where to begin? I think the “rules” intimidated me in the beginning, although I admit to false inspiration about the predictions of making big money!

      Number of posts per week – I figure if my reader is filled up and someone is posting prolifically, I actually may read that blog less, or skim. So that one’s having the opposite effect on me than the original intention. I don’t post every day. This week I only posted once. And what a thrill to get a thank you comment from the film maker we cited – someone whom I admire very much! So, if I were posting daily, would my post have been as comprehensive? Nope, the film might not have made it in.

      Niche – I’m proud to say PassingThru remains niche-less and therefore Nietsche-less. Couldn’t resist. 😀

      Typos – Telling yourself you’re above ever making a typo, because you’re a grammar and spelling Nazi like that, is sorta like reminding everyone when you’re childless that when you have children, their noses will never be snotty, and they’ll be extremely well-behaved in public. 😀

      Great post, Barbara! Whoops! Not supposed to do that, either. Happy Friday!

      Betsy Wuebker´s last blog post..FORGOTTEN FLORIDA IS UNFORGETTABLE

    8. RibbonNo Gravatar says:

      Congratulations on 2 years of Blogging!
      I’m looking forward to Monday :-)

      Blogging and I came together by chance. I entered into this world knowing little to nothing about blogging.
      I created my blog during a heatwave to entertain myself whilst sitting close to an air conditioner… & that’s the truth :-)
      I’m enjoying what I’ve created and am learning new tricks everyday.
      I love to share as I love to learn.

      Best wishes Ribbon

      Ribbon´s last blog post..Museum illusions…

    9. I dont have a blog myself but i might start one in the near future. I dont think u will lose your readers when you link to other blogs, u create a network of great blogs, it will only get you more readers in my opinion.

    10. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Barbara – These points are so true. I particularly like the one about what it takes to succeed. As you say – we need to follow our own rules and plans, not just aimlessly follow some A list blogger.

      The only one of these I disagree on is the great post one. I always delete comments that just say great post. If someone who visits me regularly, leaves a comment like that – I might allow it to stay but I would usually ignore them or give them an equally short response.

      Cath Lawson´s last blog post..Getting & Giving Up: Silva Life System Review Part 5

    11. I placed ads on my blog right from the start. I made very little in those early days, but I thought I should get my readers used to the ads instead of suddenly adding them at a later point.

      Vered – MomGrind´s last blog post..Teen Fashion

    12. I comment only on blogs that I have on my reader, and I usually try to keep them as short as possible. Realized too that I havn’t plugged my website name into the “Name” are of the comments. It’s a long name, yet I try to keep it a habit to stick my original name there. :)

      Daniel Richard´s last blog post..How To Be A Financial Failure

    13. When I started the OverCoffee Blog, I really had no idea all that was behind it. Not that I thought it would be easy; I just didn’t know! The more I learn, the more I realize there is to learn — so, no. I don’t buy the It’s Easy — Lucky You! from anyone. (But I never have — the most successful at anything work at it.)

      The second myth I’ve had to dispel is thinking all my friends and family members — my painting buddies for heaven’s sake! — would instantly subscribe and form my comment base. Not so. Many have told me they read, many more just smile. What I’ve learned — again — is that it’s not all about me. :)

      The third one is the niche thingie… I don’t have one I can put into so many keywords or phrases. Blurbs and Doodles just doesn’t get me far in the search engines.

      Your blog (both you and your guest writers) always gives me something to take with me — to continue to think about. Common sense things that I can use. Thank you so much.

      Barb

    14. Avani-MehtaNo Gravatar says:

      2 years of blogging … wow ! that sounds like a long time. I still haven’t finished a year blogging and it already seems as if I have been blogging for an eternity :)

      Blogging myths … quite a lot of them. A major one is that there are blogging rules. There aren’t any. A blog is more like a personal diary online, how can there be any rules for that.

      I feel blog world is like a virtual replica of the real world. What applies there, applies here. Everything else changes from person to person.

      Avani-Mehta´s last blog post..Beat Jet Lag With Sleep

    15. Congrats Barbara – well done!

      I agree with Barbara Ling, you’ve got to sing your own song in your own way. Expressing yourself authentically is key. Those who care about what you write will support you.

      It all comes back to purpose. Know why you are blogging and all the other rules can just fall in line behind that one.

      Tom Volkar / Delightful Work´s last blog post..Daily Decision Strategy

    16. Kelvin KaoNo Gravatar says:

      Congrats on the two year anniversary!

      One thing to add: commenting on other people’s blogs alone will NOT bring you lots of traffic. I mean, how many meaningful comments can you leave a day? And then people still need to click on the link too. However, commenting is a great way of reaching out to other bloggers. It’s when you have good contents, or if you’ve established a good relationship with the blogger that you’ll have the potential of getting recommendations and traffic from them. Yes, commenting is a good first step, but commenting alone is not going to give you a major boost in traffic. I thought beginner bloggers sometimes expect too much out of it.

      Kelvin Kao´s last blog post..New Sewing Machine!

    17. CarolineNo Gravatar says:

      Such great advice as usually. I think every new blogger should read this post. I have been blogging for almost a year and this is all true! I have learned so much so quickly…but I would have loved to have had this post as a resource. Great stuff!

      Caroline´s last blog post..Favorite “Foto” Friday

    18. TracyNo Gravatar says:

      I think it’s kind of funny that a lot of the advice I read about blogging/bloggers assumes that our audience will be made up mostly of other bloggers! Of course, some blogs (like this one or ProBlogger) that is the case, but for most of us, a lot of our readers have no idea about the “rules” and thank goodness for that.

      One myth that I hear from “civilians” a lot is that somebody must have a big ego or be incredibly presumptuous to assume that anyone would care about their opinions enough to post them on a blog for the world to read. Well who asked you, smarty mouth? ;-p

      Tracy´s last blog post..Forever Young, Part 1

    19. lizrizNo Gravatar says:

      I always tell people that the number one rule of blogging is that there are no rules – It’s your space and it’s totally your prerogative how you use it. That said, so much of what you’ve said here rings true to me. Feels rather refreshing, actually. :)

      lizriz´s last blog post..Flash Your Fempire!

    20. LisaNewtonNo Gravatar says:

      Your post is so true. Blogging is work, but work I’ve come to enjoy very much.

      I totally agree with Barb’s comment about friends and family. Oh, they pop into my blog every once in a while, but are not regulars or even subscribers. Just like many other people, they just don’t get it.

      LisaNewton´s last blog post..Chris Brogan, the So Cal Action Sports Network, and the evening that almost was

    21. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Barbara. I’m looking forward to seeing your new theme. How timely to release it on your 2-year anniversary. Congratulations Barbara.

      I was surprised at how much time is involved in blogging after it swallowed me up. There is more to it than writing, that’s for sure. As for making money, I thought that was easier too, but after 3 months since monetizing my blog I’ve made $1.47 — ha, ha!

      As for the niche, I’m surprised again that I’m still finding my niche. Yes, it’s within personal development but my unique voice is taking it’s time to mature and I’m getting impatient.

      And as for Betsy’s comment… I’ll have what she’s having! :-)

      Davina´s last blog post..A Vision of Fulfillment

    22. Hi Barbara, I’ll look forward to “delurking” again on Monday to wish you a very happy anniversary!

      Vintage Mommy´s last blog post..Show & Tell: Nothing to Show OR Tell!

    23. Evelyn LimNo Gravatar says:

      How true! I no longer visit the BIG boys/girls unless they are friends. I prefer to build relationships. I find that it is the bloggers with the small to medium-sized sites that are most responsive. I don’t blame the BIG bloggers. I bet they are busy. I’m reaching a point where it is getting very difficult to handle all aspects that come with a growing blog. For them, it must be much worse!

      In a way, it is nice to grow in tandem with some of my friends. We know each other’s likes and dislikes. We show our support for each other. Best part of all, we evolve spiritually together as well!

      Evelyn Lim´s last blog post..Akashic Records Reveal DreamMaster

    24. Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Sunil – That’s right. The big boys/girls started out just as we did. Although some may have had a technical (knowledge) advantage. we all start with one blog post, and one visitor.

      Hi Barbara – Isn’t that the truty? “…nobody ELSE can be them!” Being ourselves is the best way to succeed.

      Hi Joanna – I’ll be watching for your announcement when you reach year 2. It’s exciting, isn’t it? And yes, blogging is rewarding.

      Hi Robin – That’s true. Since blogging “rules” don’t exist, we can make up our own – just like in life.

      Hi Bryant – You’re welcome. And, you’re right. We do need to give our readers a reason to return, and quality content is key.

      Hi Miguel – Good point. There is no magic number of posts we have to publish each week.

      Hi Betsy – Thank you. I hear you about the make money with a blog predictions.

      How exciting you received a comment from the film maker you admire. I’m guessing that make you feel like you’ve arrived. Following your gut and creating a comprehensive post definitely paid off. (I’ll come by and check it out).

      Hi Ribbon – Thank you. I love your story of how your blog was created. What a wonderful journey you’ve created.

      Hi Willem – I agree. Linking to others does create a great network. Just like in real life, it pays off.

      Hi Catherine – I agree. A “great post” comment doesn’t warrant more than an equally short answer.

      Hi Vered – That’s very true. Adding ads later could totally turn our readers off.

      Hi Daniel – Commenting only on blogs in our reader can help us to manage our time better, however, I’m forever finding interesting bloggers in comment sections and can’t resist visiting them and sharing my thoughts.

      Hi Barb – You’re welcome. And yes. The friends and family myth is another great one. There’s no guarantee they’ll read our blogs, ever.

      Hi Avani – Well put, “everything else changes from person to person”. It’s hard to put rules on that.

      Hi Tom – Thank you. Being authentic is key, isn’t it? Staying true to ourselves sure makes things easier.

      Hi Kelvin – Thank you. Good point. Although commenting on other blogs is ONE way to get found, it certainly is not the magic “potion”. We have to get out there and market ourselves.

      Hi Caroline – Thank you. Yes, if all new bloggers knew this, it coucl save them some grief.

      Hi Tracy – Those assumptions can get us into trouble, can’t they? I like what you said about how we are often perceived “…somebody must have a big ego or be incredibly presumptuous to assume that anyone would care about their opinions enough to post them on a blog for the world to read.” :)

      Hi Lizriz – ***smiles*** “…There are no rules”. Very true.

      Hi Lisa – I hear you. Blogging is very enjoyable. And yes, many people don’t “get it”.

      Hi Davina – Thank you. It is surprising how time consuming blogging can be, isn’t it?

      Haha! Have you figured out your hourly rate?

      Hi Ann – Thank you.

      Hi Evelyn – I like how you put that. We’re growing in tandem with each other. As time passes we definitely do get to know more about our blogging buddies, don’t we. It’s pretty cool. Kind of like going to school together.

    25. I’m already celebrating your anniversary! Thank you for acknowledging that sometimes we all have typos. Knowing that I don’t have to always be perfect help my creative juices flow.

      I just noticed the “add a link to my Twitter profile” option below. This is the first time I have ever seen this. Can’t wait to learn more.

      Stacey / Create a Balance´s last blog post..Authentic Happiness Series – Part Two

    26. When a friend of mine told me about his blog, I thought it was a neat idea and wanted one for myself. At the time, I didn’t even know there were rules and myths…I found out later! I think that had I known, I would have been intimidated and may not have even tried blogging.

      I’ve really appreciated reading other people’s blogs and learning from them. It’s been (and still is) a terrific experience – and fun too!

      Congratulations on your two year anniversary – that’s great! :)

      Laurie | Express Yourself to Success´s last blog post..Do We Have to Say What’s on Our Minds?

    27. Hi Barbara. That’s an excellent (and true) list. Must have taken you a bit to sit there and think it all out.

      I didn’t know much about blogs until I actually started blogging. I guess one of the first things I realized I didn’t need to do, however, was post 5 days a week.

      I did that for about all of 1 week and quickly discovered that was too much for me! hehe

      John Hoff – WpBlogHost´s last blog post..2 Easy Ways To Set Up A WordPress Firewall

    28. Congratulations and …

      great post!

      LOL – I’m sick of the blogging rules and the twitter rules. I mean don’t be a spammer but otherwise do what you want.

      Oh – and typos? I never notice mine until after I hit the publish button.

      Kim Woodbridge´s last blog post..(Anti) Social-Lists 3/29/09

    29. NithyaNo Gravatar says:

      Congratulations on your 2-year anniversary. I’m right now on my 2-month anniversary, I think. :-)

      I agree with Kelvin, commenting establishes relationships but is certainly not the only way to increase viewership. I’m still trying to figure out what other strategies there are to market your blog.
      I definitely would love to read about what strategies you have used?

      Nithya´s last blog post..Writing Lessons Learned from the Community

    30. TumblemooseNo Gravatar says:

      Barbara,

      You are the blogging mythbuster QUEEN!

      How encouraging to see the myths that I have seen in my short tenure get blown out of the water.

      Take THAT all ye self proclaimed gurus.

      George

      Tumblemoose´s last blog post..Writer’s newsletter: A little help, please

    31. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

      Beautiful set of truisms.

      I think the biggest surprise for me was “blog it and they will come.”

      There’s a lot of great places on the Web I never stumbled across. Blogs are like that.

      J.D. Meier´s last blog post..High Leverage Strategies for Innovation

    32. How “easy” blogging is depends on your own writing ability and the kind of blogging you do. Some types of posts are just easier than others. Some people find writing very difficult, while others find it a challenge. If writing is fun for your, blogging is likely to be a breeze. If writing is hard, you probably won’t like blogging.

      Elizabeth Barrette´s last blog post..Resources on Thinking for Yourself

    33. […] without the blog went Smashing The Myths About Blogging for its two year anniversary. Barbara got it right on all counts. If there are other myths that you […]

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