I honestly believe that no matter how long you have been blogging, you need to keep learning. When I was a new blogger, I spent about 75% of my time just learning about blogging. Now that I’ve been blogging for over a decade… I still devote about 25% of my workday to learning.
That said… not all advice is created equally.
It can be overwhelming. I’m not a parent, but I suspect that running a blog is like having a baby. Everyone… and I mean everyone… is going to give you “advice” whether you want it or not. And they think you are a fool if you don’t take it!
At this point, I’ve gotten pretty good at spotting obvious bad advice and scams. But it has been a process of trial and error! I have definitely made mistakes along the way, and sometimes those mistakes happened because I was following the advice of experts in the field of blogging. The “experts” don’t always get it right.
Without further ado, here are the 7 worst pieces of blogging advice I ever received from so-called experts.
Bad Blogging Advice: “Split longer posts into several parts.”
I held onto this believe for years. It was advice that I got very early in my blogging career, and I probably passed on this advice to other bloggers too. (*cringe* sorry!)
Splitting longer posts into several parts makes sense at first. If people like one part, they’ll read the other parts, right? And that means more clicks, right?
Well… not really.
Here’s the thing. Your subscribers who read every single post you write are going to read whatever you publish next, whether it is part two or not… so splitting a post into two parts doesn’t matter to them. It’s just going to be annoying to them.
And new people who aren’t subscribed yet? Well, they aren’t going to remember to come back for part two. They’re just going to feel short-changed because they’ll feel like they got half a post.
Occasionally, it maybe makes sense (MAYBE) to publish a series of posts that are inter-linked, but I recommend doing so all at once and interlinking so readers re not waiting for your posts to be published.
If that’s not enough to convince you already, know this: Google rewards longer, in-depth posts over shorter, less detailed posts. So, longer posts are good for your search traffic too!
Of course, if you are going to write a long post, make sure you have something to say. Don’t ramble or fill it with fluff. After I write a post, I always try to edit it down by at least 1/3. It keeps my editing skills sharp.
Bad Blogging Advice: “Don’t monetize until you have a readership.”
This advice is asinine. Period.
Do you have one reader? Then you have a readership and can start monetizing. Even if that reader is your mom.
That’s not to say that you should just promote crap for sale every other post, bombard your readers with pop-up ads, or plan a huge product launch before you have the potential customers to support it. You have to be smart about how you work.
But don’t wait until you reach some arbitrary number of readers. Write good content, and monetize from the start.
Bad Blogging Advice: “Promotion is more important than content.”
Promotion is ridiculously important. The idea that “if you write it, they will come,” is simply not true. You have to make sure you’re doing everything you can to get your blog posts in front of readers.
But promotion is nothing if your content sucks.
I once gave a webinar about writing great headlines that drive traffic. A few weeks later, I heard from one of my webinar attendees:
“Thanks for your headlines webinar. I put all of your tips into effect. I saw an uptick in traffic after a few weeks of promoting posts with the new headlines. However, my sales are still not increasing, and the traffic that comes in has a very high bounce rate. Advice?”
I took a look at the person’s website, and yikes. It looked great, and the headlines really were on point. But the content was… pretty bad. I mean, the posts were really rambling and long, with no headers breaking them up, and his sales pages did not at all convince me to buy what he was selling. He needed to hire a good copywriter and takes some writing classes. It was pretty clear that English was not his native language, which contributed to the problem.
So even though he was doing a great job promoting his blog, he was definitely not doing a goo job with the content.
Content has to be your first priority, ALWAYS.
Promote every post your write, but make sure your content is awesome. Don’t slack on the content so you have more time to promote.
After all, your goal is to have your readers promote your posts for you, and they aren’t going to do that if your content sucks.
Bad Blogging Advice: “You need to stick to a certain blogging schedule to be successful.”
This advice isn’t necessarily wrong…some people just don’t how to put it into effect with moderation in mind.
The more you post, the more traffic you’ll get (relatively speaking). However, you don’t have to maintain a strict schedule to be successful. I actually tested this and found no difference between posting once were week on a random day versus posting once per week on a specific day. I think this is probably untrue for video blogs and podcasts, were fans are more tuned into a “release date” but if you’re writing blog posts… it really doesn’t matter.
I mean, do your own testing. Maybe your audience is different. I just find that blogs are kind of like Netflix. Sure, people want you to release new content, but they’re “binge read” on their own time, rather than waiting with baited breath for your next post to be published at exactly 8:43 PM every Monday.
Honestly, I publish a post as soon as I have it ready to go (most of the time). I only schedule posts if I’ve already published something in the past 24 hours and don’t have time to promote several posts. The sooner my content gets to readers, the better.
Bad Blogging Advice: “Social media is the most important way to promote your blog.”
I love social media. I think back to the days before Facebook, Twitter, etc…. and I remember how hard it was to promote my blog in those days. It was the wild, wild west of the Internet.
I do think that you are foolish if you don’t have a solid social media strategy to promote your blog, but this isn’t necessary the most important way you should be promoting.
So how should you promote, if not on social media?
- Define your audience (i.e. who you want to reach with your blog).
- Figure out where those people hang out the most online and what they spend the most time doing.
- Promote to them accordingly.
Maybe social media, such as Facebook, is the most important method of promotion for you. But maybe it’s not. Maybe your readers spend more time on Reddit or other forums than on Facebook. Or maybe email is the way to go because your audience spends most of their time in their inbox. Or maybe your readers spend most of their time reading certain other blogs and you should be guest posting instead of promoting via social media.
Whatever the case may be, take advantage of untapped avenue for promotion instead of focusing on Facebook (or any other social media site) alone.
Bad Blogging Advice: “Become an affiliate for *insert crappy product here* because it is easy to sell.”
Okay, I’m going to say it. I instantly, and I mean instantly, lose respect when I see bloggers promoting certain products… namely hosting packages that they aren’t using themselves.
There is a certain hosting company that is the biggest culprit (and the same company also owns a number of other inexpensive hosting companies). Yet, if you read actual reviews or join any blogger groups, you’ll know that this hosting company has MAJOR issues.
So what the heck gives?
Well, this hosting company has an extremely lucrative affiliate program, where you can make a lot of money if you promote their services.
I’ve never used them, which I why I’m not going to call out this host by name. I can’t tell you if they really are as bad of a host as other people say they are. All I know is that I see way too many bloggers promoting them even though I know for a fact that they are not using this host for their own blog, due to previous problems with the company.
In my opinion, it is unethical.
This isn’t the only company that offers a very lucrative affiliate program for a crappy product. When I see bloggers promoting these products, I just internally groan. Promote products you honestly love, not products that have the best affiliate program. Otherwise, you are seriously in the wrong business. You’re going to lose the trust of your readers… and on a personal note, I don’t know how you live with yourself knowing that your influence is causing other people to lose money or experience misery in some way.
Get right with yourself.
Bad Blogging Advice: “Do not copy others. Be yourself.”
Okay, stay with me here. I’m not saying that you should completely 100% copy someone else’s game. And you certainly should NEVER copy blog posts, images, design, etc. or try to “poach” readers by passing yourself off as the other person and purposely confusing people.
Everything’s been done before.
And that’s okay! You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. If you try to be completely original, you’re going to drive yourself nuts.
Most people experience “imposter syndrome” where they
So many bloggers I’ve coached are really concerned that they are not unique, but you are unique! Even if you have a similar style to another blogger out there, you are unique just because you are you.
No matter what our niche, you are going to come across other bloggers who are similar. They might have a similar style, a similar niche, even a similar audience. But the Internet is a big place. There is room for both of you. You don’t have to see the other blogger as a competitor. See the other blogger as a potential collaborator. Help one another grow!
One Final Note…
Any advice you read here or on other blogs could be the worst advice ever. The thing about blogging is that the experts get it wrong sometimes because what works for them will not work for everyone.
Yes, even my advice. Sometimes, you’re going to read advice from me that is horrible advice for you.
So the key is to test, test, test. Take everything you read with a grain of salt and then try tips on your own blog with and open mind. It’s okay if you fail, because every failure teaches you exactly how to find success.
Never stop learning!
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