Blogging is evolving quickly and growing up. Unfortunately, it’s easy to come across outdated advice on the web that ranks high in search due to its longstanding popularity. There are things you think you know about blogging… and there’s reality (well, my interpretation of reality, anyway—we all know how subjective this is).
So it’s with a bit of vicious glee I present blog myths that need to just die in a fire, already.
Blogging is Dying
I think this one gets trotted out at least once if not twice a year now as some new social media service appears. Facebook was going to kill blogging. Twitter was going to kill blogging. If they haven’t yet, I’m sure someone will hold forth that Pinterest will kill blogging.
Blogging isn’t going away. It’s like the Borg in Star Trek: it assimilates everything in its path and just keeps going relentlessly. Only, except for the being evil part.
Now, for huge corporations, blogging has declined. But for online small business, blogging (and social media) is stronger than ever. In part I believe this is because some people would rather use Facebook or Pinterest instead of creating a blog. They’re not running a business and may not even particularly feel a strong need to express themselves—they just want to stay in touch with family & friends and share with them. That means a little less noise on the blogging front so your signal can get through.
Blogging is firmly entrenched in the online ecosystem. Some of the most powerful and visited sites in the world are blogs. Blogging… dead? It is to laugh.
You Need to Have Keywords in Your Domain Name
This is a tricky one, because as of now you can still benefit greatly from having keywords in your domain name. But it would be false to say you need to have keywords in your domain name. Google’s war against spammers and SEO hucksters rages on. As the blending of search and social continues, branding will become more important than ever.
Exact keyword match domain names just sound spammy, anymore. Nobody believes there are real people or a real business there. But a brand name communicates humanity and that is a very important signal.
Which is good, because nearly all the exact match keyword domain names for anything imaginable have already been taken.
You Should Have a Blogroll
There are several good reasons why blogrolls need to die in a fire:
- They can get out of hand, taking up a huge amount of vertical sidebar space and making your site look ungainly.
- They can mess up your SEO pretty badly.
- You have to play favorites and be exclusive, rather than inclusive, for your blogroll to hold any value, but then you risk offending those who didn’t make the cut.
You Should Blog Every Day
Ah, yes, the old “quantity vs. quality” debate. Let me get this out of the way: Quality takes quantity out into the back alley and does very bad things to it with a crowbar. It’s true that frequent publishing has many benefits, however if the content is crap, you don’t get those benefits. About the only way to be prolific and profitable is to have a team of people publishing around the clock. Between myself and A.J., we can come up at least one if not two good posts a day here on the Headway blog.
So take into account how much time you have and how often you can create something that actually resonates with people, and figure out your posting schedule from there. Some tips that really help:
- Create an editorial calendar for your blog. By determining topics in advance you dramatically shorten writing times because your subconscious has already been writing the post while you were doing other things.
- Batch-write your posts. If you can set aside a block of time to write two or three posts instead of just one, you’ll gain efficiency and productivity by not having to switch gears. You can get in the flow and get more done.
- Write every day. Notice I didn’t say publish every day… I said write every day. Why? Discipline, for one thing. Your writing will improve immensely. And if you combine this with the other two tips, you will be able to post quality posts more frequently.
- Create a system to follow. Check out my post on the life cycle of a blog post to see how you can create a good workflow for yourself.
Blogs are for Amateurs/Not to be Taken Seriously
Have you ever heard the word blogger used derisively?
I have, plenty of times. Usually its hurled about by people whose professions are being transformed into something scary and unrecognizable to them by the internet, such as journalists. The line between blogging and journalism is a moving target. Sometimes bloggers are treated like journalists and sometimes they’re not, and we’re not sure who’s more happy or offended about it!
But seeing as how some of the most visited sites on the web are those of the major blog services, and many news organizations’ websites are using blog software and incorporating “bloggy” elements into their designs such as comments, we can definitely let this myth die in a fire.
Only Five? Surely There are More
Surely there are! But five is enough for one post. Each myth has a decent amount of explanation and you only have so much free time.
But if you can think of any other blogging myths that need to just die in a fire, already, post ’em in the comments below and I’ll incorporate them into another post. Or maybe you want to defend your blogroll or your keyword-rich domain name? Please, be my guest! We love to discuss in the comments.