Everyone loves to give advice to new bloggers. Mention that you’re starting a blog, and everyone becomes an expert. Unfortunately, you’re bound to get a fair share of bad advice mixed in with the good. When you’re just starting out, it’s hard to separate the two.
At best, bad blogging advice can make your journey into blogging more of a challenge than is necessary. At worst, it can completely derail your attempt, leaving you to wonder what went wrong.
Platform A is Better than Platform B
It’s true; not all platforms are created equal. However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t successfully use almost any blogging software or service, if you’re willing to learn how to get the most from your platform. If you’re looking for a built-in community and very little technical work, a blog network might be the perfect solution for you, while it might not work for someone else. If you’re more technically minded and want more control over your site, you might choose a content management system on your own domain.
Focus on Short and Sweet Blog Posts
There’s nothing wrong with a longer blog post, and there is no magic number of words that you should be aiming for. Use the words you need to tell your story (or to get your point across). If that ends up being 350 words, fine; if it ends up being 1350 words, that’s okay, too. Just make sure that your prose is tight (no confusing tangents or extra words) and that you try to break up the length with white space.
There Is No Audience for Your Niche
Write about your passion, and you’ll find people who are interested. You’ll also have a better blog overall; it will be easier to come up with regular blog posts and it won’t feel like work. There’s a niche for everything, an audience for everything. You just need to find it. And writing about your passion can help to introduce you to the others who share your interests.
SEO is Everything
The whole purpose of SEO is to create a website that is user and search engine friendly. If you spend all of your time focusing on the technical aspects of SEO, you’ll have less time and energy for creating a great blog. Focus on creating quality content and building a community; add in SEO as you have the time.
If You Want to Be Successful, Be Just Like (Insert Person X)
Who doesn’t want to capture a little bit of the personality and glamour of the big blogging stars? Trying to copy a popular blogger’s personality or style is a misguided attempt to be a better blogger, and it’s a problem that a lot of new bloggers run into. It’s okay to follow the lead of your favorite bloggers, at least while you’re still building your own personal blogging style, but don’t let it stand in the way of your creativity and own personality. People don’t need another ‘Famous Blogger X’, they need someone new and interesting. Be that person.
Publish New Content Daily
This is advice that seems very popular with blogging books, and it’s based on the fact that many of the big blogs have new posts every day. What these authors forget is that these bloggers make their living (or at least a substantial part of their living) from their blog(s). Of course they are posting every day! They also might have several writers working for the site, especially if they’re publishing multiple times a day. Great for them, but a bit impractical for everyone else. If you publish quality content once or twice a week, you’re in good shape. There’s no benefit to posting every day if you’re not a professional, career blogger. Quality of quantity, always.
Does any of this bad blogging advice sound familiar? What advice were you given as a new blogger that later turned out to be more harmful than helpful?