More and more business people are realizing that a blog can be a viable marketing tool in building readership, attracting traffic and prospects to their websites. But there is a simpler use for blogs: to build and manage standalone and content rich websites.
Marketers call them niche blogging - and using blogs in this way has become very popular in the last year. The business model and purpose behind this blogging application is quite different compared to other blogging applications. For instance, instead of supporting your product or service, you use a blog to generate enough content and interest on a continual basis to get traffic.
And the great thing is that of course, you can do anything you want with the traffic, including monetizing it.
And that’s where this article comes in as we look at Seven Myths regarding making money from a blog, and which will continue next week in an article on how to get started in niche blogging:
1. Blogging is the shortcut to website traffic
I can dump any content I wish to the blog and get some immediate traffic. Ok, I am exaggerating a bit here, but really, people are expecting a shortcut to website traffic as a result from blogging.
The fact is, building readership is a gradual process just like a conventional website. Blogging takes some aspects of them, like syndication, remote notification, interactivity into an easy or almost seamless process.
There are some advantages of using a blog - as we have covered in previous articles - but still the whole process takes time.
2. Making money from blogging is easy
This is another myth popularized by aggressive marketers. Usually they are trying to sell their product to a group of clueless individuals.
It’s true, if you have a lot of time and own some knowledge about researching keywords, building link popularity, do joint venture, and other marketing stuff, you can use a blog to drive traffic to your blog faster, but still it takes some effort. This is true especially if you are building a long term business, not just a blog that will be banned by search engines because of low quality content (spamming).
3. Building a blog is fast
Fast, easy, simple, instant. All of them are strong words that can hypnotize you to buy a product. Don’t expect your weblog to be an instant hit. Most popular blogs have been there actively building content for at least a year. Even those who get a lot buzz usually have a head start, either by the readership they’ve already owned or through some other marketing methods.
4. Blogging requires little to no work
Automatic blog and ping program earns you a million even if you can’t type. Does that sound familiar?
Blog and ping is a critical part of every blog, but only if you have great content that your ping notification won’t be considered spam. Sploggers are harassing the blog infrastructure and giving business a bad name. And remember, blog search engines visitors are turned off by crappy search results, making the whole thing less useful.
Another form of automation: getting as many inbound links as possible with automated programs that defeat blog commenting systems. Many blogs are still using little to no comment spam protection, so it is easy to spam them and build link popularity without effort. Unfortunately many people don’t understand how automatic link popularity builders for blogs work - and they think it is ethically useful. Something that most bloggers would strongly disagree with.
5. Search engines prefer blog posts to other web pages
Wrong. A blog post is simply another web page. The fact that a quality blog post usually invites more inbound links may make it rank higher in SERPs. But remember, a properly promoted web page can exceed a blog post.
6. You don’t need to be able to write
There is tons of content available on the Web ready
for you to use. Which is great, if you can find public domain information, free articles and reprint them on your blog, this can then boost your content. But if you depend just on those without original or well researched content, you can’t expect too many repeat visitors. As your readers gain more expertise, they want to hear what you have to say, or they will run to your competitors who may be providing their own insights.
7. Quantity is what matters
This myth is based on the fact that if you can get thousands of keyword related pages up, some of them hopefully will rank high enough in search engines to get traffic to your blog. That’s why they say the more content you have, the more traffic you’ll get. It’s true to some extent, but again if you want to build a business, this is not the way you can get long term and repeated traffic. I’ve seen Top 100,000 Alexa web site with less than 300 pages of content. Quality drives visitors from search engines, which in turn will stay with you for years to come.
Why all these myths?
Savvy (or should we say unethical ?) marketers take advantage of technology by creating a bunch of blogs in different industries, hoping to secure a group of rabid readers who are interested in products they offer or simply click on contextual advertising to cash in money.
As a side effect, other groups of marketers try to offer products or services that claim to ease the process of creating tens, if not hundreds of niche specific blogs, churning out duplicate content taken from other sites, or worse, spamming the search engines with virtually useless content.
At one time, this tactic worked like champ. But now, I notice it is less effective, largely due to changes in search engine algorithms. Saying all this, it is true that sploggers and spammers in general will find a way to make money - but if you can’t stand jumping from one opportunity to another, may be this is not for you (Note: I’m not supporting splogging and spamming).
So is it still possible to make money from niche blogging? It is, especially as the Web and blogs are here to stay for the long haul. But I’d argue that if you still want to reap benefits from blogging, you should consider seeing it as a business instead of a money maker.