"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
As featured on: Pro Blogger, Men With Pens, Write to Done, Tiny Buddha, LifeHack, Technorati, Date My Pet, South 85 Literary Journal and other award-winning sites.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hoodwinked? 4 Common myths that most Bloggers today buy into!

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:
 
The Myth:
If you want to be taken “seriously” as a blogger, you shouldn’t blog on a free platform like WordPress or Blogger.

The Reality:
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:
  • Chosen as a Top 10 Writing Blogs finalist at Write to Done
  • Ranked # 64 at Lifehacked.com Top 100 Blogs for Modern Writers in 2013
  • Received recognition through “60 of the Best Minds in the Blogosphere” by Possibility of Today
  • Earned “Awesome Blog” designation at Writing-world.com

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.

The Fix:
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.

The Myth:
Blogging jobs pay peanuts, as compared to feature pieces, interviews, or other genres of writing.

The Reality:
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?

The Fix:
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.

And
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.
 
The Myth:
Blogging is so time consuming that it will take time away from your other important writing and marketing projects.

The Reality:
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.

The Fix:
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.
 
The Myth:
People don’t really read blogs.

The Reality:
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.
 

The Fix:
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.


Your turn.
Agree or disagree?
How many myths have you fallen for? Do tell.


 



10 comments:

  1. Jennifer--Great post. (And I looove C. Hope Clark's blog.)

    It looks like you're almost to the 200 mark...Just one more follower...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sioux. I'm hoping to shed some light with this post, and help bloggers overcome obstacles--both mental and creative ones. And by golly, yes... I'm a fan of Hope's as well.

      I'm so excited about the follower's mark. :-)
      It took a lot of hard work to get here...

      Delete
  2. Thank you for this information. I found Word Press to be beyond my capability. I switched to Blogger and have loved it. Lately, I have had received a lot of messages about using Word Press as the best way. I was getting 'a complex' about it. Thank you for making me aware of the 'higher paying' boards.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Glad you found this useful, quietspirit. :-) I have actually tried both platforms, but I don't care who says what: comparatively speaking, Blogger is easier to master and maintain--based on my experience.

      It may not offer the same variety, but I like what I have so far. Thanks so much for adding to the discussion. Always love to hear from you.

      Delete
  3. I should probably add as well to this "chat" that for "professional blogging" most clients will require that you know how to use the WordPress platform.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I've said it before, I'll say it again - Thank you Jennifer for designing my blog. I've loved it and am getting about 1K hits a month. Not much to some, but I'm astounded. It's a win-win situation. I've become an advocate of blogging as a necessity for platform and have promoted it to other writers; one over this weekend on retreat. Bless you for keeping us informed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aww, shucks...you just made me blush. :-)

      So glad I could help Sue; you're a "natural" at it. I'd also like to add that long before I was a blogger, I was making a living as a writer. But those who have not gotten on board are truly missing out; it's da' bomb!

      Not only does it help writers build a platform for future books and projects, it's a "relationship builder" to boot.

      I appreciate your time and feedback today, dearest.
      :-)

      Delete
  5. I’m astonished, I have to tell you. Seldom do I encounter a blog that’s
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    you have hit the nail on the head. Not too many individuals these days take the time to put some thought into
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    ReplyDelete
  6. This just in from H.P.

    Thank you for your post Jennifer,

    As usual many interesting considerations, especially the one about the Time Management & Strategy. For what Blogging Strategy and doing it correctly is concerned, In an attempt to better engage an audience I recently decided to put more emphasis on sharing more actual 'How To Stories' based on my own experiences.

    In posts telling more and creating more 'How To's', about How I actually do things, How I am planning to do things and about how I done things. For example in a recent Post on my Writing Blog you can read more about my Personal - Writing Process - and about how I write about writing related topics.

    BTW, also for example on my Digital Camera-ideas Blog, where you can read amungst other things a rather general post about how Photographers can easily make Personalised Gifts.

    You can now also discover a recent more engaging post, also actually telling a little more about some of my own actual specific experiences with creating Personalised Photo Collages.

    ReplyDelete
  7. H.P.,

    Sorry about the tech glitch; somehow your original comment was inadvertently deleted.

    Thanks so much for sharing this; I'll have to check it out...

    ReplyDelete