There is no shortage of content available on the topic of blogging, but many who are interested in the subject still have misconceptions about making money through a blog. This is in part due to the fact that so many people are publishing content about blogging and a lot of those people have different views and opinions. Also, it’s often difficult to determine how much credibility should be given to the source.
In this article I’d like to present 8 myths that are commonly associated with blogging. If you have blogging experience of your own you’ve probably already disproved several of these myths. If you don’t have experience blogging, maybe this information will be helpful to see things in a different light.
Myth #1: It’s Easy to Make Money Blogging
Many people see articles or hear stories of others making money through blogging and they assume that it’s easy to do. They assume that within a matter of a few months they should be able to earn a significant income and then it is just smooth sailing from there. The vast majority of people who have believed this myth and have decided to start their own blog as a result have quickly realized that it is in fact just a myth.
The truth is that making money from a blog involves a lot of work, just like having any other type of job or running another type of business. There are plenty of success stories out there, and some of the bloggers who have managed to do very well with their blogs are able to work fewer hours than they would with another type of job. However, for every person like this there are hundreds who have tried and given up without success.
Myth #2: It’s Impossible to Earn a Living Blogging
On the opposite end of the spectrum, you’ll also hear a lot of people that say it’s impossible to earn a decent living as a blogger. While it’s not easy, it certainly is possible. It’s true that the percentage of bloggers that ever reach their income goals are small in comparison with those that don’t reach their goals, but that doesn’t take into account that most bloggers give up prematurely.
The biggest factor in bloggers who are unsuccessful is a lack of consistent effort or a lack of patience. It takes time to build a blog and many people aren’t willing to put in a consistent effort for several months or even a year without seeing much income as a result of that effort. The likelihood of success goes up drastically if you have realistic expectations and if you are willing to put in a lot of effort with little return in the early days, weeks, and months.
If you can approach your blog like a business and see it as an investment of your time that will pay off in the future, you’ll have a good chance of achieving the success that you are pursuing.
Myth #3: Blogging is Passive Income
Blogging is sometimes mentioned as a great way to earn money because it is passive. While there are some passive elements to blogging income it does require consistent work, which by definition is not passive.
There are some ways to earn passive income, such as AdSense or affiliate income, that are commonly used on blogs. However, in most of these cases the site owner is using a blogging platform, such as WordPress, to set up the website, but once it’s up there is little, if any, effort in terms of adding new content. This is more of an internet marketing strategy than it is about blogging. A blogging platform may be used, but being a blogger involves on-going work to produce new content and connect with readers.
The passive elements that are involved with blogging have to do with taking advantage of the work that you have done earlier. For example, you may wind up with a blog that attracts a decent amount of search engine traffic month in and month out. You could sell ads or use AdSense to monetize that content and you would benefit each month for the work that you have done on those posts. You could also benefit in a similar fashion by promoting affiliate products or your own products on your posts.
Once you have an archive of posts that attract traffic you’ll have opportunities for monetization, but it’s not passive in the sense that you can sit back and stop working on your blog. You may be able to make money for a little while that way, but in almost every case it will drop off pretty quickly without consistent effort. If passive income is your goal there are other methods that are more effective.
Myth #4: Blog Readers are Resistant to Monetization
Sometimes you’ll hear or read that blogs aren’t a good way to make money online because blog readers are only interested in free content and are resistant to any monetization attempts. While it’s true that blog readers are there for the content, bloggers who are able to develop the trust of their readers are able to monetize their blogs in appropriate ways. It’s possible to make money and still help your readers at the same time, and in fact this is the most successful and profitable approach.
The key here is that you have to earn the trust of your readers first, and you have to continue to keep their best interests in mind while monetizing your blog. Whether you are promoting affiliate programs, selling your own products, or adding a membership area, your monetization efforts will get the best response from readers if the products or services that you promote are of high quality and are relevant to your readers. If you can solve problems for them, most readers will have no problem at all with reasonable monetization efforts.
Myth #5: You Need Huge Traffic Numbers to Be Successful
One thing that discourages a lot of people from starting a blog or from continuing to work on their existing blog is low traffic numbers. While it’s true that having big traffic numbers will make it easier (in most cases) to earn money through some methods like selling ads or AdSense, there are still a lot of bloggers out there that earn a living from blogs that don’t have server-crushing traffic.
Without huge amounts of traffic you’ll need to diversify income sources and not rely solely on advertising. By focusing on connecting with your readers, earning their trust, and getting to know what challenges they face on a daily basis, you may be able to find the right products/services to promote or produce. Having a highly responsive audience is typically more profitable than just having a lot of traffic and low response.
Myth #6: You Have to Post Every Day to Be Successful
The mainstream blogs that have a team of writers typically post every day or even several times per day, but for a single-author blog this is usually not necessary or practical. Instead of feeling the need to crank out tons of new posts to keep up with the most popular blogs, focus your efforts on producing the highest quality of content possible. There are a lot of bloggers that post once or twice per week and still have a responsive audience that looks forward to that quality content.
While you don’t have to post every day to be successful, it is important that you do post consistently. You don’t need to publish posts at exactly the same time or day each week, but large gaps of time between posts are very damaging to blogs. In my own work I’ve always found it to be helpful to work ahead so there are always at least a few drafts ready to be published. With this approach you don’t feel as much pressure to write a post at any particular time, which can lead to publishing something that isn’t up to your quality standards just because you feel the need to get something posted.
Myth #7: You Have to Be a Great Writer
Being a successful blogger and being a great writer are two very different things. Most bloggers don’t have a background in writing, and most blog readers aren’t concerned with having a professional level of quality in the writing. If you have knowledge of a particular subject and you have a moderate writing ability, chances are that you can run a successful blog. As you work on the blog and continue to write posts your writing skills will improve.
If you’re already a great writer you will be ahead of the game, but those skills are not a prerequisite. In fact, there are many bloggers who publish post in English without it even being their primary language. If you are especially uncomfortable with your writing skills you can always hire someone on Elance or Odesk to edit your posts, or ask a friend or family member.
Myth #8: Blogging is a Fad That Will Go Away Soon
Things on the internet change very quickly and it’s difficult to predict what will happen more than a few months into the future, but blogs don’t seem to be going away in terms of their effectiveness to communicate with readers and to earn an income. Today’s internet users have an unquenchable thirst for content and they expect frequent updates from their favorite websites. While the industry will always be evolving, blogging seems to be here for a while.
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