Nowadays, everybody’s got advice on blogging, but that doesn’t mean you should listen to it—After all, some advice is just plain bad. Of course, the big problem is that telling the difference between tips to heed and tips to ignore isn’t easy. Has this been true for you? Do you ever feel stumped about which strategies to implement? If so, take heart. To simplify the process, here’s a list of popular tips that are actually wrong. Read this list to know what advice to ignore.
For every person who tells you to keep every blog post under 300 words, there’s another who tells you to write long essays over 1,000 words. The fact is, both can be appropriate, depending on your subject matter, audience, and writing goals. So rather than sticking to some arbitrary number, stick to a content length that suits your situation.
You won’t be blogging long before you hear you have to post consistently. “Set a posting schedule!” experts tell you. “Post at the same time every Tuesday!” Here’s the thing, though. Sticking to a rigid schedule helps nobody—least of all you. Rather than forcing yourself to post every Friday morning at 7 a.m., try instead to focus on being an active blogger. Figure out what posting regularly looks like for you, and do that. When your blog provides high-quality content, people will come back whether it’s on schedule or not.
Trying to get blog readers by being controversial is like trying to get customers by doing something crazy in your community. Sure, it draws attention—but is it the right kind? Too often, when bloggers write something controversial, they abandon their own message, which actually harms instead of helps their brand. So if you’re going to be controversial, let it be about something you genuinely care about and believe in—That way, if you face negative responses, it will be worth it.
Look, every blogger wants readers. It’s normal. But the way to get readers is not to email everyone you know and beg them to read your post, then a week later email everyone again. It isn’t to constantly bombard your social profiles with links to your site. Yes, you can and should spread the word about your blog. No, you should never let that be all you do. Instead of blasting followers with self-promotional content non-stop, focus instead on creating the highest quality blog content you can muster. Nothing is a more powerful blog-building tool than that.
People who say search engine optimization isn’t for bloggers are people who don’t understand what search engine traffic can do. By optimizing your blog for search engines, you make it easier for people to find you—and when it’s easy for people to find you, it’s easier to build your blog traffic.
Unless you’re a celebrity or a mega blogger, it’s not cool to ignore your readers. When someone asks you a question, answer it. When someone leaves a comment, reply to it. Not only do readers relate better to a blogger who is personable, but also you gain more from the blogging experience when you build relationships through it. As a good rule of thumb: Respond to readers. Always.
What are your thoughts on the above advice? Have you heard these tips before? Have you believed them? If so, it’s time to stop. When someone tells you one of these common tips, don’t listen. Stick to what you know to be true.
Shanna Mallon is a writer for Straight North, an Internet marketing agency providing SEO, web development, and other online marketing services, with headquarters in Chicago. Follow Straight North on Twitter and Facebook.