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On the subject of making money with a blog, there are a lot of opinions out there, and many myths that seem to be floating around. I want to present 10 common blogging myths that I’ve found to be false through my own experience as a blogger.
If any of these myths have been holding you back, now is a great time to view it from a fresh perspective and start to work on building your own blog.
1. You Can’t Make Money With a Blog
The majority of the millions of blogs that are online are personal blogs, where the blogger has no intention of using it for business or to make money. Of the blogs that are started for the purpose of making money, a very high percentage will never make a dollar. However, that does not mean that you can’t make money with a blog.
In fact, there are plenty of people who are making a full-time income just from a blog. Some of them are making insane amounts of money (see this interview with Tim Sykes for one example). The are countless different ways to make money with a blog. Ad sales and AdSense are popular, but generally not the most lucrative. Other options include membership areas, premium content, affiliate programs, sponsored content, creating and selling your own products, offering services, industry-specific job boards, and more.
No, making money with a blog is not easy. Running any type of successful business requires hard work and discipline, and blogging is no different.
2. You Have to Be a Great Writer to Have Success as a Blogger
One of the most common hangups that people have with blogging is that they don’t believe they are a good enough writer. Writing blog posts is not like writing formal papers for a college course or writing for a prestigious trade journal. Blog posts are typically written in conversational language that makes them easy for readers to digest. You don’t have to be a highly skilled writer, but you will need to learn to write effective headlines and to format posts properly .
Of course, as your blog grows you’ll become more comfortable with your writing and you’ll want to keep learning and improving, but just about anyone can write well enough to have a decent blog. Actually, as has been proven by many successful bloggers, English could be your second language and you could still write well enough to grow a blog’s audience.
3. Bloggers Don’t Have to Work
Running a blog that produces a full-time income is a job that requires plenty of time and effort. Yes, it’s possible to create a small niche blog that ranks well for a few search phrases and brings in a small amount of passive income, but the majority of people who make a significant amount of money through a blog treat it like a full-time job or like any other type of buisness .
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Writing blog posts is only one aspect of the work required to run a successful blog. You’ll have to respond to comments, read and reply to email (lots of email), stay active at important social networks, communicate with advertisers and sponsors, manage and track your finances, create products to sell, provide customer service, draft email newsletters, market and promote your blog, set up advertising campaigns, deal with hosting issues or other administrative things related to running a site, and more.
Some of the tasks related to running your blog will depend on the monetization approach that you choose to take, but all successful bloggers have plenty of things that are competing for their attention, and there is always work to be done.
4. Blogging is a Great Way to Earn Passive Income
There are people who use blogs to make money somewhat passively with niche sites, but in most of these situations they are more websites than blogs. The platform they are using may be a blog format where the content is published as a blog post, but if they are not intending to regularly publish new content to the site it is more like a static website than an active blog.
For more than five years I’ve been earning the majority of my income either directly or indirectly from blogging, and I would say that it is definitely not passive. There is a constant need to work on new content (even if you’re not publishing posts every day), update old content, interact with readers, and network with other bloggers. All of this requires a considerable time commitment on an ongoing basis.
If passive income is what you are after, I would suggest that building an authority blog is not the answer.
5. Blogging Can’t Work in My Industry
It’s possible to use a blog effectively in any industry and for any type of business. In some cases the target audience may not really view it as a blog, but there are plenty of ways to use content. If you’re in an industry or niche where your target audience doesn’t typically read blogs on a daily basis you may be required to put in a little more effort or to promote and offer your content in different ways (email newsletters, podcasts, video, interviews, tutorials, etc.).
6. Blogging is a Fad
While online trends come and go, blogging will be around for the long haul. Blogging is really just using a website to publish new articles, and in most cases allowing readers to leave comments. With so many websites online, one of the best ways to stand out and to attract visitors to your site is by publishing blog posts or articles.
Visitors can find your content through search engines, links from other sites, social media sharing, or by subscribing to receive updates by email or RSS. Blog posts can be effective for companies that want to publish news or press releases, to promote products and services, to build a stronger brand reputation, to communicate quickly and easily with loyal customers, and to attract traffic that will be monetized in a variety of different ways. With the many different uses of blog posts, and the fact that blogs can be used in any industry and for any type of business, blogging is not going away any time soon.
7. You Have to Post Every Day
There is no set posting frequency that you need to maintain in order to have a successful blog. Some blogs publish more than 10 posts per day (example, celebrity gossip blogs), and others publish once per week or even less frequently. The frequency of posts needed is different for every blog and will be influenced by things like the industry or niche that you’re in, your monetization strategy, and the types of posts that you publish.
Unless you’re publishing short posts that can be written and read very quickly, posting every day is probably not needed or ideal. If you’re writing longer, more detailed posts it will take a lot of your time to write if you’re posting daily. Also, most readers won’t be able to stay up-to-date with your posts if there is too much content. For most blogs, publishing somewhere between 1-5 posts per week works pretty well, but the details can vary from one blog to the next.
8. You Need Tons of Traffic to Be Successful
While the most profitable blogs do tend to have huge amounts of traffic, it is certainly possible to make money without having tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of visitors every day. The responsiveness of your audience is more important and more valuable than the number of visitors that you attract to your blog.
It’s possible to have a small audience that is highly responsive and will allow you to make money by selling your own products, selling access to a membership area of the site, or by promoting affiliate products. In fact, you can even use your blog as a springboard without making money from it directly. For example, you could work as a freelancer writer and use your blog as your writing sample and to attract new clients. Some bloggers have landed offers and contracts to write a book before ever attracting huge amounts of traffic to their own blog.
9. Traffic = Money
Many bloggers focus so much on getting traffic that they lose sight of revenue and profit. Traffic by itself will not make your blog profitable, with the exception being some types of ad sales.
In order to make money from a blog you’ll need quality content and conversions. If you’re selling your own products you’ll need to be able to convert blog traffic into product sales. If you’re making money from affiliate programs you’ll need to convert traffic into sales through your affiliate links. If you’re running a membership site you’ll need to convert visitors into paying members. If you’re using an email list to promote products and services, including affiliate products, you’ll need to convert visitors into subscribers.
Getting more traffic to your blog is a good thing, but getting more out of the traffic that you already have is usually a more effective way to increase your income.
10. Selling Ads is the Best Way to Monetize a Blog
When the subject of making money from a blog is brought up, the first thing that many people think of is selling ad space. While it is possible to make money by selling ads, and the biggest blogs can make plenty of money this way, selling ad space is not the best monetization method for the vast majority of bloggers.
In order to make decent money by selling ads you’ll need very high traffic, a targeted audience, and companies who are willing to pay in order to reach your audience. Banner ads are the most common type of online ad, but in order to make a full-time income from ad sales along you’ll need very high traffic numbers (the specifics will vary from one industry to the next).
From my experience, selling ads can be a good approach to make money with a blog if it’s used in combination with some other monetization methods, but I wouldn’t encourage most bloggers to pursue ad sales as their primary or only monetization method. Other options like product sales, affiliate sales, and membership all have higher potential for most blogs, and with these approaches it’s also more realistic to make money without having a huge audience.
What’s Your Experience?
What blogging myths have you found to be false through your own experience?
Article By Marc Andre