As with all myths, there is always a little bit of truth behind them.
That is exactly why myths spread and survive, even if they aren’t true. Myths are especially destructive to our mindset when we aren’t even aware that they occupy our subconscious thoughts. We hear them once or twice and inadvertently end up believing them, even if we haven’t had time to really logically analyze if they make sense.
Which of these Blogging myths are hiding in your subconscious mind?
Myth #1 – Content is All That Matters (aka “Content is King”)
Yes, it is important to produce high quality content. Yes, both your readers and the search engines will love you if you produce high-quality content. However, creating high-quality content is not enough.
There are millions of Blogs on the Internet which started out by delivering top-notch high quality content on a consistent basis for weeks, months and even in some cases years. However, because the authors of these Blogs believed in the myth that content is all that matters, their Blogging careers have been a huge disappointment to them.
Producing quality content is one piece of the puzzle to building a successful Blog, but there are many other factors involved as well. By far, the one that’s most undervalued is Blog marketing. If you don’t learn how to effectively market your Blog, it doesn’t matter how much quality content you provide because nobody will ever read it.
In the beginning, it doesn’t really matter what marketing strategy you use, as long as you do something. Too many people worry about finding the best Blog marketing strategy and spend years procrastinating while doing nothing. Just do something. Set aside a percentage of your Blogging energy/time to marketing efforts. In the beginning, it may be as high as 50% or even higher and over time it may shift to only occupy a small percentage of your time as your readers begin to market your Blog for you.
Learn how to promote Blog posts. Learn the basics of SEO, PPC, link building, advertising on other Blogs, guest posting, or whatever other strategy you want, but don’t just expect people to automatically find your Blog simply because you’ve created high-quality content but spent 0% of your time on marketing it.
Myth #2 – No Traffic/Comments = My Blog Sucks
Many new Bloggers experience the “empty room” problem when first getting started. They pump out high-quality content, all excited to see what kind of feedback they get, and then they sit anxiously waiting for someone to leave a comment.
When nobody (except maybe their spouse) leaves a comment, they get depressed and wonder why nobody likes what they wrote. So they go back to writing even more content, and then once again they sit there waiting for someone to comment.
After a while they start to feel like they’re talking to an “empty room” and so they begin to make excuses as to why they don’t have time to write the next Blog post.
If you’re not getting comments on your Blog, there is a 99% chance that the problem is not your content but rather that you’re just not getting enough traffic to your site yet. When you see an A-list Blogger getting 30 comments on a Blog post just hours after it’s posted, remember that they might have +30k subscribes reading their Blog!
If you’re getting five visitors to your Blog a day, don’t expect to be getting five comments. It doesn’t mean people aren’t reading either. Only about 1% of people ever leave comments. Most people spend a long time lurking before they ever comment on anything. Call it Internet shyness or whatever you want, but don’t let it discourage you from Blogging. I personally know a reader who had been reading my blog for three years before she left a comment. She read every single post, but just never felt the courage to leave a comment. Expect that to happen.
Also, refer to Myth #1 and realize that you must learn how to market your Blog.
Myth #3 – There Are Already Too Many Blogs Out There
There are hundreds of millions of Blogs out there, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t start and grow a successful Blog today.
If trying to compete with hundreds of millions of Blogs scares you, realize that adding up every single Blog in the world as a measure of competition isn’t very accurate. It would be like saying that you can’t open up a restaurant because there are already millions of restaurants in the world. If you do some research, you’ll find that out of all those millions of blogs 99% of them have been abandoned or aren’t posting anything of value on any consistent basis.
Then if you further break things down into specific niche markets, there really aren’t that many Blogs out there to compete with. A few months back I found out that my Blog was the #17 top marketing Blog in Canada (JohnChow.com being #1). There are millions of Blogs in Canada, so you’d think that there would be a ton of competition. If that is so, how did I get to the #17 spot as a marketing Blog? I don’t even focus on the marketing niche exclusively – I Blog about everything from personal development to spirituality – and Internet Marketing is just one category I cover.
In reality, there is very little competition out there in the Blogosphere for someone who is willing to put in the time and energy to produce a high-quality Blog with high-quality content and take the time to learn and apply proper Blog marketing strategies.
There are many people who can produce content, and there are many others who understand marketing, but very few who do both effectively.
Myth #4 – I Can’t Blog Because I’m Not a Good Writer
When I first started Blogging I considered myself a horrible writer. English class was one of my least favorite classes in school. I wasn’t one of those people who entered creative writing contests, and neither are most Bloggers.
Blogging isn’t as much about being a good writer as it is about having something to say and not being afraid of saying it. You don’t even have to be a writer to be a Blogger. There are many examples of Bloggers who use video or podcasts as their primary medium of communication.
Regardless of which medium you choose to go with, whether it be written posts or videos, give yourself permission to suck at first. Over time you’ll get better. I read that former basketball superstar Larry Bird spend four hours per day, every day practicing his shots when he was a kid. He became good because he was willing to practice and get better.
Give yourself permission to practice. Over time you will become better. The beauty with Blogging is that it’s the people who produce the most quality content and who learn how to effectively market themselves who win, and not the people with the best writing / grammar skills. Otherwise the best Bloggers would be English/Grammar teachers.
Myth #5 – The Blogger with the Most Posts Wins
While producing high quality content is important, it’s really quality and not quantity that matters.
100 high quality blog posts are better than 10,000 junk posts. So don’t waste your time pumping out post after post just trying to win the “Blogger with the most posts” award. That will really get you nowhere. While there is nothing wrong with writing a boatload of content if you’ve got something of value to say, if you don’t have something of value to say then don’t just pump out content for the sake of doing a post.
However, at the same time, 100 high quality blog posts are better than 1 “perfect” blog post. What this means is that you also shouldn’t be spending a year writing a Blog post. Take your time to write / edit a good quality post, but realize that it will never be perfect so don’t spend so much time writing the perfect post that your readers have already left long before you’re finished.
There is a point in time where the post you’re writing reaches the “good enough” stage, where any further effort to make it better produces diminishing returns and that time could be better spent promoting/marketing the post or your Blog, or even writing another post.
Learning to balance quality and quantity is important. Just don’t fall for the trap of thinking that if you come up with some elaborate scheme of pumping out crazy amounts of content, it’s going to make you ultra successful because the search engines will see you have a lot of pages of content.
Remember that ultimately it is people that are reading your content, not search engines. If all you produce is worthless drivel in large quantities, it’s not going to get you anywhere.
Instead try to focus on delivering value, while at the same time not trying to be perfect.
Remember, if the Blog post is totally perfect – you waited way too long to click Publish.
Paul Piotrowski is a highly ambitious and passionate self-improvement fanatic who has spent over 13 years relentlessly pursuing and studying personal development wisdom in almost every area of life. Read his blog at http://www.paulymath.com.