7 Blogging Myths You Can Safely Disregard

man reflected in water -- blogging myths you can disregard

Many people say many things about blogging, but not all of them are true. Whether you’ve been blogging for years or are new to this noble pursuit, some blogging myths can cost you time and promote some bad blogging habits. Take these myths to heart, and you may not enjoy blogging as much as you could

I’ve been blogging for many years now, and I can say with confidence that the following blogging myths are simply not true. Take them with a pinch of salt.

1.     You have to post something every day

It’s good to post consistently—more visitors, more views, more shares, more everything. But that doesn’t mean you have to force yourself to post something every single day.

Big magazine-styled blogs with multiple contributors may do it for the traffic, but as a single-author blog, you don’t have to turn blogging into an obligation. People who do it often lose their interest gradually and quit before long.

Posting too often can actually tire your audience. It’s not likely that you always have something worthwhile to blog about, and so you may just force yourself to post something for the sake of it. It’s another case of less is more, you know.

The days of silence can act as useful transitions between your posts, allowing people to take in your latest one, while at the same time creating a sense of expectancy for the next.

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t post every day if it comes naturally to you. After all, if you’re hyperactive and love blogging, why not? But don’t feel the pressure to—your blog can survive and even thrive without daily posts.

2.     Long posts are boring and people don’t read them

Long-posts—think 1,000-1,500 words or more—tend to generate more views, traffic, and shares than short ones. It’s easy to see why:

  • They provide more information.
  • They make you sound authoritative.
  • They give Google and other search engines more content to index.
  • They give you more space for expounding your views and ideas.

We don’t read blog posts like we read print—we often skim over long posts. We skip sections that don’t interest us and jump to those that do.

In the end, a short, uninteresting post is more likely to bore someone than a long one that’s nicely formatted and that provides useful information.

3.     You need to be a great writer to be an interesting blogger

Writing well certainly helps, but blogging is not so much about how cool your writing is. Rather, it’s about connecting with your audience. Being sincere and useful can make up for a simple, sparse style.

When you write in a voice that resonates with people, grammatical errors or clumsy sentences won’t bother anyone.

Not to mention that there are other post formats you can choose instead, including video and infographics. If you don’t feel comfortable writting, you can become a video blogger.

So many people today would rather watch a video than read an article, you know.

4.     Blogging isn’t as important today as it used to be

When blogging first emerged, there were not as many social networks around. Instagram wasn’t everyone’s darling, visual content wasn’t all the rage, and many people’s attention span seemed to be a bit longer.

Still, let’s look at the stats. On WordPress alone, there were over 22 billion page views in November 2019. Every month, WordPress users produce 70 million new posts.

A lot of the first-page results on Google are for blogs. And a good deal of the content that’s published on Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter is first published on blogs.

Blogging may not work for everyone—there’s certainly a lot of repetitive content out there—but when it’s done right, it still works both for personal and commercials purposes.

5.     You can grow your blog just by posting great content

You write a great post. You publish it. And then nothing special happens. A few likes, a few comments, and that’s about it.

Content may be the meat of a blog, but a blog needs a nice personality for others to want to interact with it. This personality is something that you need to create through your interaction with other bloggers, through your replies to comments, and through your marketing efforts.

You can’t skip the great content, but you can’t stop there either. You have to become an advocate for your blog. You need to believe in it.

6.     You need to be an extrovert to blog

Some bloggers are extroverts, but not all. I know a lot of quiet people who blog because they find the medium quieter than social networks.

And you can always create a blogging persona that captures your personality. You can reveal yourself without actually revealing yourself.

Of course, you don’t even have to blog about your personal life. You can blog about your interests and passions. When we talk about what we like, we become confident in our knowledge and experience, and whether we are an extrovert or not doesn’t even matter anymore.

You don’t need confidence to blog. Not having confidence can actually improve you as a blogger and make you craft every post with care.

7.     You need to be popular on social networks for your blog to gain visibility

Being popular on Facebook, Twitter, etc. helps, but it’s not a must. Blogging has a more relaxed paced than most networks, and a lot of people appreciate that—focusing their attention on one post at a time. Some people prefer reading blogs to consuming social media content.

These days, thanks to the content stream built into WordPress, people can discover your blog and interact with the same as on other social networks. You’re not dependent on Google for traffic.  

You can even use your blog to grow a presence on social media. You can start by auto-publishing your blog posts on Twitter, LinkedIn, and other networks.

The Wrap Up

Don’t let blogging myths take the fun out of blogging or make you doubt your abilities. Or force you into a tiring posting routine.

Blog at your own pace and figure the important things like how often to post or how long to make your posts in time, based on how audience reacts to your content.

Blogging is a creative act, so treat it that way—allow yourself to make mistakes and don’t worry too much what others say.

The 4 Big Dangers of Having a Blog (As a Writer)

Melting Watch painting by Salvador Dali (1954)

If you’re a writer, blogging can be an excellent platform for connecting with readers. But it can also distract you from your story-writing and consume your creative energy. Here’s what I mean.

Danger #1 – You Are Going to Write About Writing (Too Much)

The temptation is always there to write posts about the writing process…

10 Tips to Write Better Dialog

How to Overcome Writer’s Block

How to Create Engaging Characters

…and so on.

Nothing wrong with that.

But there are lots of these already on the web. And are you sure that having the writing process all figured out is a good thing?

Perhaps we write better when we don’t try to understand our writing mind? When we simply write, without thinking too much about it.

I know that, to some extent, I’m writing about writing in this post. But I have an excuse – it’s Sunday afternoon, and I’ve already done my story-writing for the week.

Danger #2 – Blogging Provides Instant Gratification

You can dash in 30-minutes a post that will generate shares, likes, and maybe even comments.

By contrast, you can spend a whole week writing a chapter for your novel or a poem and then, in the end, dump it before anyone can read it because you’re not happy with it.

But ultimately, it’s those difficult, sweaty chapters that, put together, will give you your book.

You know that often-quoted self-help rule: delay gratification to focus on what’s important. Or, focus on what’s important, not on what brings you pleasure.

Applied to blogging, it means blog less, write more.

Of course, blogging can be a pick-me-up when story-writing doesn’t flow or during the breaks between chapters.

Danger #3 – Blogging Will Take Up (Some of) Your Writing Time

Blogging is fun and addictive. If you invest time and energy into it, you will want to keep on investing time and energy into it.

The more you post, the more you want to post, especially if your writing generates engagement in the form of shares and comments.

Even if you post only once or twice a week, that could eat some of your writing time. If you’re a full-time writer and have all day to yourself, it won’t be a problem.

But when your writing time is limited as it is, things get a bit complicated.

Here’s the harsh truth: if you look at the most successful fiction writers today, most of them are too busy writing to blog too often.

Danger #4 – You’ll Be Tempted to Publish Your Writing on Your Blog

But hold on a second Vincent, isn’t this a good thing?

Didn’t you use to publish 50-word stories on your blog?

Yes, I did. But those stories were just me having fun. They were a literary experiment. I wouldn’t try to make a living selling 50-word stories.

As writers, there’s something we should remember – the channel through which writing is presented affects how it is perceived.

Take a chapter of a new book by a young writer. Publish it on a blog. Publish it as an ebook. And publish it in paperback. Then give it to a bunch of people to read.

I think it’s likely that most people would perceive the paperback version as more valuable even if the text is exactly the same as in those other formats. And this, for the simple reason that we are used to paperbacks meeting a certain level of quality.

People tend to perceive a published text as having inherently more value than when it’s only posted.

After all, anyone can publish a blog post (without any quality checks) or an ebook (after only a few basic quality checks).

This is not to say that blogging cannot help you draw attention to your work. Indeed, quite a few established authors share chapters or excerpts from their works on their blog.

But they keep the big stuff for their ebooks or for print.

I think it’s okay to use blogging to promote your work. But unless you don’t intend to publish your writing the traditional way (or self-publish it online), sharing your work on your blog can affect its perception, and not necessarily in the best way.

A notable exception here is poetry. I think that today, many people are more likely to read poetry digitally, while they are on the go, than buy a poetry book in a bookstore.

So, Am I Suggesting You Should Quit Blogging?

By no means.

Blogging is a useful tool for any writer. It’s a way to connect with your audience and even hone your skills up to some point.

But it can tax your time and take your writing mind in a direction that’s counterproductive to the actual story-writing process.

When you’re working on a novel or other big book, maybe it’s best not to blog too much.

Hey, I’m Sorry About It

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I’m sorry. I’m really sorry about it, you know? I’d really like to read your blog. But I never seem to find the time. Continue reading “Hey, I’m Sorry About It”