Top 6 Misconceptions about Blogging

I read a lot of different articles about blogging all around the internet and it always surprises me that the same misconceptions about blogging are getting passed around.  While I think some information you read about blogging out there might kind of be accurate, it is not telling you the whole truth about the difficulties and realities of what it takes to be a successful online nowadays.  So, I am going to break the myths and misconceptions.

misconceptions about blogging

1. You can make a lot of money Blogging

While there are definitely a lot of bloggers who make a full time living from their blogs or writing, the vast majority don't.  You need to understand that the act of writing doesn't make any money.  To monetize your blog and visitor traffic you will have to display ads, use affiliate links, or possible encourage people to pay for a monthly subscription to your blog.  (This is possible to do but your content better be really good and niche specific.)  If your writing is top notch you might even be able to snag a book deal, but those sorts of deals are not likely to happen to an average blogger unless you are putting in a lot of time and effort.

2. Lots of Traffic is Always a Good Thing

Even if you have a lot of traffic it may not always be the best thing.  If your users are not clicking on ads or converting sales via your affiliate links than all that traffic is likely to be costing your money.  I know a lot of webmasters and bloggers that have high traffic sites but are spending more money keeping up a VPS (virtual private server) or dedicated server than what they are making blogging.  If you ever get to this point your blog should probably serve as sales funnels for some product or service you want to sell, such as your book or web consulting services.

3. Content is King

Having great content that people like is important if you want repeat visitors, but that doesn't mean content is everything.  I see lots of terrible writing and content still ranking well on Google while great content is not getting ranked and has ZERO traffic.  It is honestly your ability to have good SEO (search engine optimization) and how you distribute your articles and content around the web that make the difference.  Google honestly can't tell between bad and good writing.  Keep in mind it is a computer (an extremely advanced one) that does the ranking and not a human.

4. Social Media is more Important than SEO

I imagine a dumbass “social media guru” started this one.  While social media should be part of your blogging strategy, it is important to use strong keywords and write your articles and posts so they that search engine can find your content easily.  SEO is cyclical with social media actually.  If Google sees a lot of people are Tweeting your articles, it is likely you will retain higher ranks for certain keywords and therefore get more visitors via search.  You will make it easier though if you use keywords people are searching for in the first place and serving up what people want to see.

5. Blogging in a Specific Niche will make you Successful

This really depends on the niche.  For instance I love writing about cars and I like Japanese automakers.  I can start a blog about cars that focus only on Japanese automakers, their models, and news.  This way I have a niche that is specific but open enough I can find new content for the blog on a daily basis.  I see a lot of people choose niches that are too specific and they don't have enough to write about to keep the blog updated.  You need to ask yourself, “Can I blog about this topic and find lots of subjects to write about?”  If the answers is, “No.” you should consider looking at another niche unless your goal is to build mini-websites.  If you really want to be successful niche blogging you should find an area that is what I like to call “Wide Fucking Open” (WFO).

6. Everyone Should Start a Blog

No, not everyone should start a blog.  It really depends on your skills and what you want to accomplish.  Not everyone is a good writer and I don't think everyone can blog.  Do you prefer listening to the radio?  Are you more a visual person?  Maybe a weekly podcast and video show in your area of interest would be better than starting a blog.  Have you considered starting a forum?  Sometimes forums can work better since you are not solely responsible for coming up with interesting content and can engage in great conversations with people and let them share their thoughts openly.

If you have any other misconceptions about blogging that you want to add or that I missed, please leave a comment below.  I'd love to hear bloggers thoughts and anyone who is considering starting a blog to comment about what I wrote about above.

Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada … if you can!

 

The Short Cutts makes Matt Cutts videos Easier to Understand

If you make a living off the internet or do any Search Engine Optimization (SEO) work, then you probably have seen the Google Webmaster Youtube Q&A's with Matt Cutts, Google's well-known webspam guru.  I have even written posts on this blog, Domain Spam and Why Domain Parking Sucks, which included these Matt Cutts videos.

A lot of the Matt Cutts videos can be quite useful and helpful for people to understand how Google thinks and goes about dealing with unscrupulous link-building tactics and webspam.  It also helps webmasters and web entrepreneurs figure out what you should and definitely should not do to rank websites on Google's search engine using SEO.

However, quite often these Matt Cutts videos can be confusing and not give a clear answer to the question that was asked.   Many times when I watch these videos and Matt Cutts provides answers which are not straightforward and difficult to understand, especially for those unfamiliar with web and site terminology or who don't have that much technological ability.  This recent video is a great example and here is the question;

Ranking being so valuable, how does a true biz owner that offers a legitimate business and has a vast number of customers supposed to gain the traffic “deserved” over those that specialize in creating traffic? Is it supposed to be this hard for us?

Not sure what Matt Cutts was trying to say as it what he says is unclear and vague.  Maybe he was just trying to say that it isn't possible to compete, which is disheartening to hear honestly.  He says, “Just make sure your website doesn't suck” at one point which isn't really helpful to the guy who asked this question.

matt cutts videos

Click Consult, a premier Internet Marketing & Web Development agency in the UK (that's what it says on it's website at least), has started a new website called The Short Cutts to help make these Matt Cutts videos easier-to-understand.  Essentially The Short Cutts helps you cut through the word clutter that Matt Cutts sometimes provides in his videos and gives clear, direct, and simple answers to the questions asked.

The Short Cutts has a search bar so you can sort through the all the videos that Matt Cutts has done via Google's Webmaster Help Youtube channel.  They are quite a large number of videos and Matt Cutts usually shoots several new segments each week.  (Not sure how he has time to do it, but it's cool that he does in my opinion.)  If you are interested in seeing what Click Consult and the editors of The Short Cutts think, click on a video, then click on “Join the discussion” for what the short and simple answer.   For the above video The Short Cutts answer was;

Focus your content and improve your site

I guess that is basically what Matt Cutts was trying so say and I would agree with that statement.  However, he is still confusing and I see lots of great content and great sites that don't rank well on Google all the time.  (Like this blog and Singing Dogs!)

So… I guess I would still recommend watching the Matt Cutts videos from beginning to end yourself and not always taking a short cut. You will most likely still end up confused anyway. 🙂

Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada … if you can!

Dealing with Blogger Burnout

blogger burnout

Recently I have been having what is known as “Blogger Burnout.”  This is essentially the feeling of not being able to write or blog.  The problem is not finding subjects to write about.  I have plenty to write about and a lot of great ideas for articles and content.  The issue is the actual enjoyment and willingness to write and convey my thoughts has become increasingly difficult over the past couple weeks.

It's hard for me to pinpoint and zero in on why blogger burnout is hitting me hard now.  Part of it is that a friend of mine is also experiencing blogger burnout and is taking a break from writing altogether.  While I was not happy to hear that, since he is a good writer with good style, I really understood and respected that decision.

I was analyzing what was making me feel down about the writing and blogger field.  This made me look back at some of my articles I worked hard on in the past.  Looking at some of my articles I thought to myself, “Wow, this is a great material… but nobody read it!”  This might sound like kind of an A*&hole thing to think, but here are my 3 strongest and best written articles I did on my auto blog;

These were articles I worked long and hard on and I didn't write them to be SEO optimized or for massive traffic.  I assumed the merit of the good writing would prevail… but that wasn't the case.   While some got decent traffic and hits for a little bit most of these are not popular pillar posts.

That really gets me!  I have written a lot of articles in the past just for the sake of traffic or to insight discussion to get a lot of hits.  I mean I am not proud of it, but that is something everyone does.

The other issue is I have been writing and blogging online for quite awhile.  While I think I have made great improvements in my writing abilities, I don't feel like I am at a point that I should be in my writing career.  It's kind of depressing looking back and feeling like you wasted time trying to build sites and blogs but it just didn't workout or you went for positions or jobs which you didn't get.

I was going to write a list of ways to conquer blogger burnout.  You know, because everyone loves list and that's great for SEO.  Instead of me writing a list of ways you can avoid the ‘burn', which may or may not be helpful to you, I would love to hear other writers and bloggers experiences with being a blogger burnout victim.

How did and what did you do to overcome your blogger burnout?  Did something inspire you?  Did you take a break from blogging, writing and social media for awhile?  Did you just decide to quit?   Leave a comment and maybe you can help another writer or blogger find their passion again.

Catch me on Twitter @AdamYamada … if you can!