Friday, December 4, 2009

Top 5 Blogging Misconceptions

Top 5 Blogging Misconceptions

by Guest Author

This is a guest post by Bob Bessette. If you want to guest post on this blog, check out the guidelines here.

1. If you write it they will come…

No, not really. It’s more like, If you promote it they might come. You could be writing the most fantastic blog on earth but if no one knows about it why bother? It’s almost like the old saying, “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, did it make a sound?” You simply have to get the word out there that you are living and breathing amid the blogosphere. I’m doing that through this guest post. I am not doing this out of the goodness of my heart or because I like Daniel. I am writing this guest post because Daniel has something that I want; a HUGE readership.

2. People will read because of my great writing

Don’t get me wrong, I think that great writing is a prerequisite of a successful blogger but your readers aren’t reading your blog because you write well. There are bookshelves filled with books at any Barnes and Noble or Borders written by great writers. The most important lesson that a blogger has to learn is that you MUST deliver value to your readers. The reason Daily Blog Tips is successful is that Daniel delivers value to the reader and has done this consistently through the years. When you write a blog you must have your audience in mind. That is why it is very important to get to know your readers which can be done through interaction in the comments. Responding directly to the comments of your readers is very powerful. It builds a relationship and trust that can be nurtured with time. You will also begin to understand the profile of your readers which can go a long way to developing posts which are helpful to them. If that reader likes what you have to say, he or she may tell someone else or maybe even link to you in their blog if they have one.

3. Other bloggers will always be willing to help

To be totally honest, I have found that about 90% of fellow bloggers are very helpful. But there are some out there who feel you are the competition or maybe they don’t feel you are worthy of being helped. I could never understand that. If someone asks for my help I would gladly give it to them when it comes to blogging. I will never look at this as a competitive endeavor, but a nurturing one.

4. You will start making money right away

This could be true if you already have a following from either another blog or a NY Times bestseller book that you just wrote. There are two schools of thought on monetizing your blog. Some say to wait until you have a decent readership before you add any Adsense or advertising on your blog. Others say it’s OK to start the blog off with advertising. My take is to wait until you have a following before you monetize your blog. It may just turn people off early on and that is the last thing you want to do. Either way, it will take a while before you have a large following and with that you may be able to make some money through advertising. But, the majority of bloggers don’t make money. So if you started blogging to make money instead of having a real passion for your writing, you may want to reconsider.

5. It’s easy to blog

Actually it requires a lot of work. If you have a full-time job and are blogging on the side, finding the time to write is tough. And, if you don’t put in the time, it will show in your content. I enjoy the process immensely but that still doesn’t mean it’s easy. To build a following you also have to be consistent in your writing. You can’t just post a blog at random intervals. That’s the quickest way to lose any readers that you may have. If your readers like your posts then they expect them to be there on a regular basis. Try to stick with a regular posting interval. If you state your posting interval in your “About” page, then make sure you meet your deadlines.

Blogging can be a tremendously rewarding experience. Being able to communicate with a diverse group of people from anywhere in the world is truly mind-boggling. Understanding some of the misconceptions out there related to blogging can help you get off to the right start. Knowing what to expect ahead of time may save you a lot of wasted time and energy.

Good luck in your blogging endeavors!

Bob Bessette writes a blog called Totally Unique Life. His blog is geared toward practical advice and strategies for life, work, and play.

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41 Responses to “Top 5 Blogging Misconceptions”

  1. Gal @ Look A Day on December 2nd, 2009 2:27 am

    I think too many people enter blogging with incorrect expectations and I know I did. I thought blogging is easy. I’ll just build a site, write some stuff and watch the money roll in. It couldn’t be further from the truth.

    There is a LOT of work to building a successful blog. It takes hours and hours and sometimes you’re going to get frustrated with the slow progress. If you’re not willing to devote that time, maybe blogging isn’t for you.

  2. Mike Crimmins on December 2nd, 2009 2:40 am

    I have a lot of blogging friends. I know I’m not perfect, but there’s definitely some lessons that I would love to take from this article and force them to follow. Rule #1 and rule #5 really stand out to me and the people that follow those rules seem to be the bloggers that stick around for a while.

  3. Vishal Sanjay on December 2nd, 2009 3:41 am

    Nice post Bob, i totally agree with you, promotion, content and monetization are equally important. I’m looking forward for more posts on your blog.

  4. Phaoloo on December 2nd, 2009 6:11 am

    I thinks the point #5 should be the first one. Many people start blogging since they think it’s damn easy in comparison to other jobs. And with that thought in mind, I bet they quit in less 3 months :)

  5. | Muzi Mohale on December 2nd, 2009 6:19 am

    There is no instant success in blogging, it’s an ongoing journey with loads of hard work required from the blog owner for it to yield positive results. There is just too much competition which makes it even harder…if you’re looking for instant gratification, you’re in a wrong platform. One thing people forget is that being entrepreneur requires more work than being an employee since you add more hours working and worrying about your next pay cheque.

  6. Henri on December 2nd, 2009 8:45 am

    Agreed. The reason you pick a topic you’re passionate about and would write about even if you’d make money is exactly for the reason that you will never give and just keep working. It’s hard work, but when you find your passion it’s fun work ;)

  7. Karol K. on December 2nd, 2009 9:01 am

    Point #2 is a good one to see. If you know what I mean ;)

  8. Mr. I on December 2nd, 2009 9:56 am

    Good points. #5 is definitely biggest of these and is the main reason of so many blogs around.

  9. Darni on December 2nd, 2009 10:11 am

    As far as I think,there is only one way to get traffic.Keep writing and promoting.

  10. John Paul Aguiar on December 2nd, 2009 10:30 am

    Easy to blog,, my ass :) Blogging isn’t a hard thing to do, but it takes time, effort and work.

    Blogging can also be the most depressing thing you do, since what you writie comes from you, and if no one reads it, or likes it it can be a big blow.

    Blogging takes tough skin when you are first getting started, but the good thing,m is once you are and rolling things become alot easier.

  11. poch on December 2nd, 2009 11:27 am

    I like the first point.
    Though promoting your posts is really the gist
    and the hardest task of blogging!

  12. dava on December 2nd, 2009 11:50 am

    Promotion, promotion, promotion. I see a huge variance in page views depending on how many comments I leave on other blogs, how often I mention a post on Twitter or LinkedIn, and even how often I post. The writing part is the easy part (for me, anyway). The hard part is telling everyone to go read what I wrote!

    Great article, thanks for writing it!

  13. Hal Brown on December 2nd, 2009 12:09 pm

    Your point “…you MUST deliver value to your readers” in my opinion, is the most important thing here. This is where it hurts for me.

    I ask myself, what do I read? If the content value is lacking, and it is with the majority of blogs, I leave the blog.

    This is also my downfall, something I am working hard to fix. First, I have to define “value.” I’ve had posts I thought were just OK and did well. Others I thought were better didn’t.

    Thanks for a very good post. I get tired of “just do xyz and all will be well.” This is more thought provoking.

  14. George Angus on December 2nd, 2009 12:47 pm


    Number five is a beaut. Blogging is darned hard work. It is constant and if it gets neglected for even as little as a week, it can start to wither on the vine.

    Blogging is not for the faint of heart, the thin skinned or the weak kneed. Or the weak minded, for that matter.


  15. Ben Vernon on December 2nd, 2009 1:11 pm

    I love these points! My favourite are the fourth and fifth ones because it makes me feel better about my blog. I know that it is going to be hard work and it makes me feel good that lots of “blog tips” blogs pick up on this.

    I also like the fact I won’t make money straight away.

  16. Suzanne Franco on December 2nd, 2009 1:19 pm

    These are all very good (great) points! Building a successful blog (no matter what your definition of success is) is a time consuming, difficult thing to do. It might come easier to some than others but even in the best of circumstances … it takes a lot of hard work and dedication. I’ve always loved the saying, “Simple … not easy” and this definitely falls into that category for me. The idea seems “simple” but doing it all successfully is not very easy. *SmiLes* Suzanne

  17. Basant Singh on December 2nd, 2009 2:52 pm

    Point #4 is the most important, I guess. Very difficult to go beyond 6 months if there’s a lack of passion cause most of the bloggers will not make any money initially.

  18. Oliver on December 2nd, 2009 3:13 pm

    Great post and I agree. Blogging isn’t easy as it can take time to write articles and then it take time to promote them to try and gain visitors who will read what you have to write about. I’m still fairly new at blogging and I struggle to write good content that will keep readers interested in what I write about.

  19. David Walker on December 2nd, 2009 4:06 pm

    Bob. Thanks for the valuable advice. I think the greatest misconception has always been about the money, and it doesn’t help that that’s what being flashed about the Net; how much a blogger earns, how quickly you can get there, and of course how they did it.

    I’m not saying it’s wrong for a blogger to show how they got there, but masses of people end up blogging because it’s been made to look easy. It’s not. The money’s not easy either. There’s a lot of hard work involved and this is what should be stressed. Better still if you’re passionate about the blog and don’t really think about making money for months or even a year.

  20. Eric C on December 2nd, 2009 4:43 pm

    I particularly like the first and last pieces of advice. A lot of these misconceptions have been debunked before, but I still think people think blogging is easy. Some sites encourage that.

    On the second piece of advice, it sort of is a horse before the cart thing. I mean, without great writing, you can’t impart value. Also, I think value sends people down the how-to, tips and tricks blogging route, when humor, political and culture blogs do extremely well. I guess to me value is a large and abstract concept.

  21. Andy Fling on December 2nd, 2009 4:59 pm

    Nice post! Writing great content is your first important goal. In close second position is marketing. Then when you finally get people to your website, you have to think about positioning you ads in places where they will get clicked, and provide them with an attractive, easy to navigate website so that they have a good experience while they are there.

    Building a successful website is hard work, just like any business. Though if you are passionate about making it a success, it has the potential to far exceed your expectations.

  22. Luc Galoppin on December 2nd, 2009 7:28 pm

    When I first started blogging over two years ago I hardly knew what it was going to result in (and I still don’t).

    Now, 305 posts and 121 comments, later I can underscore every point of the above top 5.

    Next to that I would like to share some more TIB’s (Things I Believe):

    TIB#1: weekly rhythm works
    One article and one quote a week is a frequency that works best for me. Apparently it also works for my readers; as if they have fitted it into their weekly routine.

    TIB#2: value is unpredictable
    I sometimes struggle a whole week over an idea that is big and revolutionary. On top of that I work my ass off to write the best English I can (I’m not a native speaker) just to find 0 comments and not a dog reading the article.
    I have learned that value for the reader and effort are in no way linked to one another.

    TIB#3: don’t let the webstats drag you down
    Just like effort does not equal value for the reader the same ‘non-relatedness’ applies to webstat fluctuations and success (in terms of reputation). Sometimes your ideas travel a long way and the biggest part of their path is goes unmeasured in terms of webstats

    TIB#4: love it or leave it
    If you find yourself counting the hours you spend writing, then the answer is ‘too much’. I discovered that I am as passionate about the act as about the result. I get a way bigger kick out of distilling an idea and closing a thinking loop than out of watching TV or reading a book.

    TIB#5: “the” best thing to blog about is so close you often can’t see it
    This relates to my TIB#2 … After a year or so I found that the best stuff to blog about is not the far-fetched intellectual topics (‘so I would look great on the web’) but the ones that keep me up at night. Or even better: the random thoughts that enter my mind at the most unpredictable moments.

    Loved your article – thou shall be twittered!

  23. Bob Bessette on December 2nd, 2009 9:18 pm

    I want to thank everyone for their comments on my post. I also want to thank everyone who tweeted this post. And, more importantly, I would like to thank Daniel for the opportunity to write for one of the best blogs on the planet!

    Daniel, you do a great service to bloggers who want to get more exposure. I’m sure that everyone who has had the privilege to write a guest post for this blog feels the same way.


  24. Wesley on December 2nd, 2009 11:17 pm

    Very good article. There are many misconceptions on blogging and you are dead on about them. Thanks for sharing this with the public.

  25. Akhza on December 3rd, 2009 12:47 am

    Good points. #5 is definitely biggest of these and is the main reason of so many blogs around.

  26. Evan on December 3rd, 2009 1:18 am

    I am very new in blogging. No I don’t want to make money by blogging. I want to be recognized as an freelance expert to people. The blog I have started is basically for website developer so that they can find resources and get news. But to be honest they are not my target clients. I want freelance job but I want to be recognized as an expert first. That is why i formed that blog. I thought that when my blog will get more follower I will be more accepted as expert by others. I will have an identity then. DO you think it is right approach. But it might be a lengthy process….

    moreover do you suggest to put post from other blog in my blog as recent news? Many blogger dose it to gain quantitative advantage in their blog. do you support it? If you can please email me. I really need some professional suggestion.

  27. Fatin Pauzi on December 3rd, 2009 1:43 am

    Those listed misconceptions that blogger’s blogging things fells in the middle of the road.

  28. Sarge @ on December 3rd, 2009 4:04 am

    First point is so true. I think what a lot of new bloggers don’t understand is that you actually have to spend a fair amount of time PROMOTING your blog to see people visit.

    Sure you may get some SEO traffic but these are people that don’t you. If you promote yourself people see the person who owns the site and it becomes an instant connection and hopefully long-time reader/follower :)

  29. trendoffice on December 3rd, 2009 5:35 am

    Thanks for sharing, but I find a slight contradiction – delivering value to the reader cannot be determined by “a regular posting interval”, especially if blogging about news in any area. News come at irregular intervals.
    On the other hand, “If you state your posting interval in your “About” page”, why would readers visit your blog in the intermediate time between posting?

  30. GoBusiness101 on December 3rd, 2009 7:21 am

    5. It’s easy to blog! I like the sound of it. but its very deep, if you have started it.

    Happy blogging!

  31. Muhammad Panji on December 3rd, 2009 7:53 am

    Nice post to remind me as i try to be a profeesional blogger too. I write in Indonesian Language. Beside the writing content itself because I also maintain the technical side of the blog sometimes it really eat my time. placing tracker, ads etc.

    Consistency is another problem. Several months ago I could write 20 technology news (Yes, it was just article rewrite) in one night, but after that? Even having 5 articles a day is very hard for me. especially I have no day job, so I still have to think about money too :) anyway. thanks for the tips

  32. Chris Peterson on December 3rd, 2009 9:54 am

    Very informative post. Out of your all step I liked your step3, you are correct always other bloggers helps to write better.

  33. Robomaster @ CoolAppSite on December 3rd, 2009 11:34 am

    I especially like point #1. It doesn’t matter how good your content is if people don’t know about it! Promotion is the only thing that’ll get people to your blog, but the content is what KEEPS them there!

  34. Samantha on December 3rd, 2009 12:17 pm

    Hi guys

    I also like the point # 1. It is better to know your customers or simply visitors. You must know which is buying on the market and not. Why focus on writing on something that no one wants to read? Totally waste of time.

    Kind Regards

  35. Ryan on December 3rd, 2009 2:23 pm


    I’d add that it will takes months or years to develop a readership. Don’t get too caught up in timelines folks; our reality is created by what goes on in the mind.

  36. Jeff Sabo on December 3rd, 2009 4:07 pm

    This piece makes some very valid points that are often misunderstood or not taken seriously at times. There are those out there who have unrealistic expectations about starting a blog and it ends up making the blogging experience a miserable one.

    The first point about promoting a blog is extremely important. Having a blog is fun but it doesn’t mean that everyone will start coming out and finding it right away. With Facebook and Twitter becoming more popular each day, promoting the blog through those channels helps you reach your friends and other people who can spread the word. Sometimes these people can become daily readers and help build your following.

    The last two points about making money and it being easy to blog are key as well. It is possible to make money with a blog but it takes time, patience and a lot of work. With the amount of people blogging out there, making money from a blog doesn’t happen overnight and the blog needs time to develop. A blog needs to be consistent so budgeting time on a daily or weekly basis is needed as well. Setting a specific time each day to blog makes it consistent and a great way to update it on a daily basis.

  37. Greg Taylor on December 3rd, 2009 7:06 pm

    Thanks for the great article. It’s amazing how many other things I can find to do when it comes to writing an article for my blog. My blog is about music, photography and concert photography – you would think that’d be fun and I’d sit down and want to do it all the time. Great post!


  38. Kevin Costain @calwell on December 3rd, 2009 8:17 pm

    Great post indeed! I totally agree with all of these – and the one topic I was hoping you might shed more light on is the one of “value”.

    There are alot of things that likely go into this idea of value, lord knows I couldn’t list them all – but I think that it has to be a combination of what you love to do, enjoyment of the writing itself and, a consistent message and possibly knowledge of what readers are looking for at your blog.

    My own blog, being mainly of computer-related stuff would not really be suited for adding a movie review (I have done it though), but I think that won’t bring as much value to the reader and if I write about some difficult issue I worked out or an application they might be interested in seeing. Because I’m passionate about technical “stuff”, because I know what I’m doing, because I’m (making an effort anyway) to build a consistent message of technology on my blog, and because what I write may actually help – I think that adds up to “value”.

    Not an easy proposition on the best of days..

    Great Article, thanks for the insight..

  39. Bob Bessette on December 3rd, 2009 9:01 pm

    @Sarge – Promotion is so important, as you agree. Blogging without promotion can be a fruitless exercise.

    @trendoffice – you make a very good point about the posting interval and why should anyone visit your blog in between. That is an interesting concept about not stating your posting interval. I guess that is something to consider and maybe it makes sense to post irregularly but I am afraid that your readers could become frustrated. I guess in your niche, delivering news, the posting interval may not be regular so this is a special case.

    @Ryan – I am with you that it will take a lot of time to grow a blog. Doing guest posts like I just did with Daniel on this site will hopefully help me with readership as well. Consistency and great content will hopefully get us all where we want to be.

    I am sorry I can’t get to everyone’s response but if you’d like to discuss anything further please contact me via my blog.

    Thanks everyone for reading my post!

    Bob Bessette

  40. Ebooks blog on December 3rd, 2009 9:17 pm

    Ya, I bookmarked AND favorite-d this post both in mozilla and IE. Very helfpful, and true. But I actually knew it was not going to be easy, because everything that sounds too good to be true, usually isn’t

    Blogging for EASY profits is one of those things, and blogging for profits is somewhere between. I am still very new to this whole blogging thing, but I start to like it… And Google seems to pay attention to new content, so blogging is probably one of the most powerful tools around.

  41. Annie on December 4th, 2009 8:08 am

    I agree with all the points, especially the first one. Most people think that good content is enough to ensure visitors, and when they realize nobody is reason their blog they stop.


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