30 Tips to Become a Better Writer

I take writing tips with a pinch of salt, but I still find them inspiring. Whenever I come across some, I feel a renewed desire to write more and write better. Maybe you know that feeling.

Continue reading “30 Tips to Become a Better Writer”

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.

7 Deadly Sins of Blogging

7 Deadly Sins Painting by Lance McNeel

If you are guilty of committing these blogging sins and do not repent of them in time, you will go straight to blogging hell*.

*Blogging hell – a barren digital landscape where visitors seldom wander, where views are scarce, and engagement quickly fades into indifference.

1.     Indifference – Not following other blogs and commenting on them

Blogging is a conversation, not a monologue. You’re not likely to get others interested in your blog if you don’t become interested in other blogs yourself. WordPress.com makes it easy to discover other bloggers through the built-in content stream but look beyond to blogs across platforms.

Also, don’t be a silent reader but an active participant – comment, like, and share.

Staying connected to other bloggers is one of the most challenging aspects of blogging, but it’s also one of the most rewarding.

2.     Slothfulness – Not posting at least once or twice a week

With so many interesting blogs out there, it’s easy for people to forget about your own. That can easily happen if you slacken your pace.

Blogs quickly become dusty when they’re not refreshed with new content. But posting frequently and maintaining that pace can become challenging after a while.

But then you can create some posts in advance so you can fall back on them if needed.

3.     Unsociability – Not taking your blog to social media

Many followers will find it easier to keep up with your new posts through Facebook or Twitter than through email or WordPress’ built-in content stream.

What’s more, social media enables your content to be more easily discovered and shared. WordPress makes it easy to auto-share your blog posts on Facebook or Twitter.

4.     Self-indulgence – Assuming that your audience is interested in all that you are interested in

Speaking from experience here, most people tend to prefer posts that provide useful information, are thought-provoking, make them laugh, or narrate an emotionally charged event.

Before publishing a post, it’s good to ask yourself whether it delivers any of the above. If it doesn’t, it may not attract that much attention even if it is well written. Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t post it – only that it may not generate as much engagement.

At the end of the day, you can’t take your audience’s interest for granted – you need to think topics from their perspective also, not just from your own.

5.     Fogginess – Not making your intros and titles count

Most of the time, your posts will get judged based on the title and intro. In our age of short attention spans and content overload, it can be no other way.

It’s a good practice to go over the intro and headline one more time before you publish it and put in some extra work to improve them if needed.

There’s no simple recipe for writing a good title or intro. But actually, wanting to write good titles and intros and paying attention to them will help you make them stand out.

6.     Narcissism – Not filtering your ideas – publishing everything that comes to mind

Blogging is perhaps a bit narcissistic, you know, and that’s okay. The important thing here is not to make it too narcissistic. Blogging, like much of social media, can become a bit of an indulgence if you let it. For some people, it works better than for others.

Sieve your blog ideas and share with the world only the best ones. If you stop to pay attention to them, you will readily identify the self-indulgent ones and separate them from the rest.

It’s one of the most effective ways to keep your blog engaging.

7.     Shortsightedness – Not having a long-term focus for your blog

What’s your blog about? Which of your passions fuels it? And ultimately, what do you want to achieve with it?

Even if we’re talking about a personal blog here, having a focus will keep it fresh and interesting for your followers.

It will also motivate you to continue to create new content in the long run, even when blogging regularly may start feeling a bit like work.

In the end, it’s almost never too late to repent of your blogging sins. If you’re guilty of any, repent and amend them now.