|How many have you bought into?|
Let’s face it: though fairy tales are for kids, we’ve all bought into a myth or two, even as adults.
You know: “the one size fits all” fallacy by today’s clothing designer.
The “I didn’t call because I lost your number” excuse by the cute guy that took your “digits” then later suffered from amnesia.
The “no need for umbrellas today” forecast provided by the a.m. weather man.
We want so badly to be able to trust.
Taking folks at face value gives them benefit of the doubt, helps us to believe in the goodness of humanity, and provides possibility for “happily ever after” for these fairy tales.
And most times, there’s no real harm done. The only draw back is feeling foolish when the real truth surfaces.
But, not when it comes to blogging. Not if you intend to pursue it professionally, or to make money through your site amid a sea of competition.
Buying into myths and misinformation can cost you time, money, and sometimes your online reputation.
With this in mind, let’s explore the most common myths associated with blogging for bucks, and how to overcome them:
If you want to be taken “seriously” as a blogger, you shouldn’t blog on a free platform like WordPress or Blogger.
Not true. Not always. As a “pro blogger” who has had a relatively successful site over the past few years, I can attest that your level of professionalism and “seriousness” will be based upon a number of factors. This includes: the quality of your writing, the quality of your guest posts, the quality of your links, and industry recognition.
“The proof is in the pudding.” My Blogger hosted blog has over 100,000 page views, hundreds of followers, paid advertisers, and has won various awards and recognition which includes the following:
Additionally, some very noted and prolific “professional” authors are also hosted on free platforms.
Here are a few you might be familiar with:
C. Hope Clark---Creator of Funds for Writers (Blogs on Blogger)
Kelly James Enger---Author of Goodbye Bylines, Hello Big Bucks (Blogs on Blogger)
Wendy Burt--- Public Relations Expert and Author of Writer’s Digest Guide to Query Letters (Blogs on WordPress)
Hope Clark adds: “I adore Blogger, and while I moved my blog to my website to
www.chopeclark.com , I learned that so many people enjoy Blogger and basic Wordpress, that I kept the old site open as well. I have a duplicate blog because the average reader enjoys reading on the Blogger system. Serious bloggers don't care where they blog as long as they have a following. I don't think it matters one iota. However...that said...having a custom blog does open up your world to more widgets and decorative items, but I don't think it makes readers want to read you more. I'm all for the free sites. Writers have enough to worry about.”
Also worth mentioning, is that some blogs hosted on free platforms have even been selected for the prestigious Writers Digest annual “101 Best Websites for Writers,” like theBookshelfmuse.blogspot.com, for example.
To be taken seriously on a free platform, you have to “over compensate” in some ways.
In other words, the design of your site must be extremely professional and well constructed; not plastered with a lot of cheap, cartoon like images, bold colors, or foreign looking fonts. It also has to be free of typos, grammatical errors, and profanity. Substance is crucial. Easy navigation is also a must.
Blogging jobs pay peanuts, as compared to feature pieces, interviews, or other genres of writing.
There is no set pay for bloggers. Pay will be contingent upon the length of the post, the frequency, the industry, the client, and your related experience.
For example, as a “ghost blogger” I currently earn $150.00 a month for two brief hours of blog work for a CEO of a not-for-profit organization. And that’s just for one client. Far from peanuts, wouldn’t you agree?
Earning more pay for your say essentially requires two important strategies:
1. Seeking opportunities on higher paying job boards (Problogger.net, Bloggingpro.com, Womenonwriting.com) as opposed to Craigslist.
2. Honing your skills and landing quality guest posts at prestigious sites to show that you’ve got the blogging “chops” to earn better than average pay.
Blogging is so time consuming that it will take time away from your other important writing and marketing projects.
Don’t believe the hype. It’s all about time management and strategy. Done correctly, blogging can actually enhance your writing career, and allow you to work “smarter, not harder”. How? Blogging requires consistency and helps to develop good writing habits. It helps to build a “solid” platform and following for future book sales. It increases your Google Search Engine ranking.
Blogging should work in tandem with your other writing and marketing efforts, not be an either/ or proposition.
*Make sure you’re passionate about your subject matter. I’ve seen bloggers that blog about their pets, their personal lives, their books, and even their 9 to 5 jobs. For each person it’s different. The one common thread is that passion keeps you from becoming bored and prevents pre-mature burn-out. And passion helps to engage your audience and keep them coming back for more.
*Leverage guest posts to promote your projects, books, and your site-- through your article links and bios at hosting sites. This will allow you to kill two birds with one stone, in terms of marketing efforts.
*Don’t feel the need to create blog posts of epic proportions. Sometimes less is more. Opt for quality over quantity. For instance, I’ve done popular posts that consisted of a beautiful short poem or motivational quotes, accompanied by a lovely image and a thought provoking question. I’ve also penned brief book reviews on recommended resources for writers that were well received. And you can too.
People don’t really read blogs.
Studies and surveys suggest otherwise. The Pew Internet Project reports that an estimated 30 million Americans read blogs on a regular basis.
Here are some other noteworthy stats provided by HubSpot.com:
65% of Internet users read a blog.
Companies that blog have 97% more inbound links than those that don’t.
Companies that blog have 55% more website visits than those that don’t.
According to the “Science of Blogging” survey, 71% of respondents stated that blogs affected their purchasing decisions.
Don’t underestimate the power of blogging and its potential to connect with future clients and customers. Use your blog to help in your branding efforts. Design it so that it is a positive reflection on you and your business, and so that it provides real value in the blogosphere.
You can achieve this through an array of methods-- like surveys, contests, reviews, and online discussions.
If you want to expand your business in 2013, it’s time for a paradigm shift.
Don’t let common myths keep you from earning “real cash” and the prestige afforded today’s successful blogger.
Agree or disagree?
How many myths have you fallen for? Do tell.