Myth Busters: Shattering 7 Blog Myths
My dear Blokesters. There are a lot of blog myths that are pure nonsense and this post was written to dispel some of those beliefs.
Granted, there is no shortage of blog tips out there that will help you to:
- Be a better blogger.
- Get the most out of your blogging experience.
But these are only just guidelines and nothing more because there are very few hard and fast rules of blogging. The blogosphere is just as varied and complex as the real world and there are no one-size-fits-all answers.
Myth #1: You Should be Posting Every Day
Bullocks! Lately a lot of readers are complaining their newsfeed/email boxes are clogged and that they are suffering from information overload. I agree, so my advice is to write quality posts, consistently.
That means not necessarily writing every day (if you can write quality stuff every day then by all means go for it). But write only when you have something important/intelligent to say and try to adhere to a schedule.
So if you can only post something good once a week then there is nothing wrong with that, but do try to post as consistently as you can. Of course there will always be exceptions (such as suffering from illness, going away on holiday, family responsibilites, etc.) so it might not always be attainable.
If you can’t write regulary then explain to your readers why you won’t be writing as often as you would like. They will understand and wait for your return. But if you don’t let them know what’s going on with you then they will assume you have abandoned your blog and unsubscribe.
Here’s a Tip: Use Twitter to make short announcements like I do. It’s perfect for keeping your readers informed and be sure to put it somewhere prominent in your sidebar or footer where they can fnd it.
How often you post also depends on the type of your blog. For example, business or news blogs such as TechCrunch have to post every day because of the nature of the beast. But for personal blogs/online diaries you should not feel obligated to blog that often, and you should only post when you really have something of value to say. Only you and your readers can make that determination for yourself.
Myth #2: Quality vs. Quantity
This should be a no brainer. The clear answer to that is obviously
quantity quality content wins every time.
Sure, a lot of a-list types still insist on blogging continuously every day, all day long. They want to saturate the SERPS and keep Googlebot crawling back for more.
Some like Robert Scoble are mad twittering machines battering at the keyboard faster than a speeding teleprompter, but recent events indicate that even he may be reconsidering that notion (maybe).
(Read Myth #1 again)
So when you write always ask yourself this question: does this post add any value to my readers and to the blogosphere? If the answer is no then maybe you should reconsider hitting the publish button, re-write or delete the post, go watch some TV, grab a beer, read a book or make love to your spouse (not necessarily in that order).
Myth #3: All Blogs MUST Have a Niche
The fact is most blogs are just personal blogs/online diaries and they are not interested in making a buck. SO my advice is if your blog is not a business or a professional blog like mine then anything goes.
But if you are trying to create a business blog, make a name for yourself or to establish yourself as an authority on a topic then you should adhere to your chosen niche and stick to it.
Keep your business blog and your personal opinions about confrontational issues separate. So if you want to rant about things like politics, religion, philosphy or the battle of the sexes then get another blog for that.
Myth #4: Write Articles, NOT Posts
Well if that were true then I guess a-listers like the Doc, Gilmore, Scoble and Winer should have quit blogging a long time ago. There’s a rumour going around lately that we should all be writing white papers instead of just making posts on our blogs.
That rumour of course was started by none other than Mr. Usability — Jakob Nielsen. (You can read my response to his post by clicking on the link). So given what I said above — that most blogs are personal blogs/online diaries, I find that notion just a little odd.
So what’s the bottom line? We should be making an effort to write our posts less wordy and shorter, not into a convoluted thesis. And besides, blogging is supposed to be a conversation, not a podium for making speeches.
There are exceptions of course as there always are, such as if you are writing tutorials like I do (or if you really intend to write a thesis). Tutorials can be naturally long due to the nature of the beast and there’s no getting around that.
But the bottom line is there are so many different types of blogs (and posts) that like all myths, there is no simple one-answer that fits all.
Myth #5: Bloggers only comment on the News
Well… that’s not (necessarily) true either:
“Blogs enable us to comment on the news. Sometimes we are the news, and sometimes we even scoop the news… Blog Bloke
Myth #6: You can Fake it ’till you Make it
Every day I see new bloggers promoting themselves as experts in their chosen niche. A lot of them, for example, are blogging about the topic that I invented - i.e. the topic of blogging.
Believe me when I say that it’s not very difficult for me to figure out who the wannabees are from the real deal.
Fact: Knowledge comes from education and experience, and since there are no blogging degrees currently being offered, that just leaves… well, you know. So get some knowledge first before you try pass yourself off as an expert, and above all — don’t plagiarize.
Myth #7: Caveat Emptor – it’s Ok to Make Money any way you can from Blogging
I’ve discussed this on my blog on many occasions so I will not get into any great detail except suffice it to say – you should blog with integrity, or don’t blog at all.
Have I missed anything?