More and more companies are starting to get into business blogging. Tons more blogs and companies are offering tips, tricks, and best practices to enable bloggers to publish good content, to increase traffic, and to generate buzz. However, this is a lot of misguidance too and pervasive myths that get bloggers going in the wrong direction in how to blog.
Here are six big myths that I've come across in my professional career, and why they are myths:
- Hyperlinking Will Drive Traffic Away from My Blog - Well, that's only if you don't set the link to open up in a new tab or window. Then, sure, it will drive traffic away from you blog because nobody wants to keep hitting the 'Back' button to keep reading. Hyperlinking will improve traffic if you do it right. Make sure the link opens up in a new window. If you want, you can even hyperlink back to old posts you've written. Hyperlinking increases your legitimacy as a blogger by showing where you've gotten your facts figures and statistics from. It also shows that you recognize good content when you see it, and aren't afraid to share the spotlight.
- Blogs Are Just Opinions From People with No Credentials - This may have been the case five years ago, but even today many folks still think this about blogging. Sure, they started as those teenager online diaries. Sure, there are many folks with no credentials that are blogging about things they know nothing about. But, there are many more blogs written by people who do know what their talking about. Blogs such as Smallbiztechnology, TechCrunch, Mashable, and ThinkProgress are just a few examples of informative blogs that readers trust.
- Commenting Will Get Me More Traffic - This one is similar to number one. Commenting on others blogs will only work if you do it right. Doing it right means saying something about the writer or the content that you are commenting on, not about you or your writing. Commenting should add to the conversation. How does talking about yourself add to the conversation, unless it specifically relates to the blog post you just read? Commenting for the sake of backlinks and exposure doesn't work. In my personal opinion, your better off commenting and replying to those that comment on your own blog, instead of worrying about commenting on the blogs of others.
- I Need to Be on the First Page of Google Before I Get Serious About Blogging - This one is kind of a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it takes consistent, committed blogging to boost search engine rankings. On the other hand, no one goes past the first page of search results. It may seem like a good idea to wait until people will read you before you, well, blog. But, people won't read your blog if there's nothing to read, and if there's nothing NEW to read. Think about it, the New York Times didn't start because they had millions of people lining up to read it. No, they started printing the news. They did good work, and built themselves up to those millions and millions of readers. Get serious about blogging first. Then, readers and search engines will get serious about you.
- I Need to Post Everyday to Drive Traffic to My Blog - Yes, there's evidence that suggest that the more often you post, the more likely you are to increase traffic. However, if you don't have the time to create quality posts every single day, and are just posting this and that and the other simply for traffic and rankings, it's not going to last too long. When you blog, you are providing people something to read and with which to engage. No one wants to read and engage with crap. You're better off writing good posts every week, instead of junk posts everyday.
- It's My Blog, So it Needs to Be About Me - Absolutely not, because, quite frankly, no one cares about you. You need to give your readers a reason to care, and it's not because you, in and of yourself, is particularly special. I see this too much with business blogs, who want every post to be about them and what their doing. That's okay once in a while, but you need to show that you/your business has more to offer readers (and customers) than your presence. Demonstrate your knowledge of a specific subject or industry. Talk about how something works in a specific circumstance. Blog like a guru, not like a god. People worship gurus because they offer information that is useful and practical. People worship gods because they believe its a good thing to do. However, people will believe you when you say you're a guru, but not when you say you're a god.