Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Blogging Myths: Series Wrap-Up and Blogging Resources

I bet you thought I forgot all about my Blogging Myths series. If you're a new reader, this series explored the common misconceptions that many bloggers and readers have about blogging. You can start from the beginning of the series here, but today I'm going to do a recap with the highlights from each week and also include some resources for bloggers.

Here is a quick highlight of each week. You can click on the links to read more about each Myth.

Myth #1: If You Blog It, They Will Come
Good content is most important for a blog, but it doesn't help you if no one knows your blog is out there! Networking, social media, guest posting, blog parties (in moderation!) are great ways to make your presence known. Most of all, remember that building a following of loyal readers takes time...sometimes over the course of months or several years. Be patient!

Myth #2: Blogging is an Easy Money Maker
Most writers start up blogs as a creative outlet, but there are people out there who open Blogger accounts thinking it will only be a matter of time before sponsorship money, product reviews, and paid endorsements come pouring in. This is simply not the case. Blogging requires a lot of behind-the-scenes work, and you often find yourself paying for design work, link and photo hosting sites, etc. Making full-time income from blogging requires a massive investment of time and effort.

Myth #3: The Words Aren't Important
I find that particularly within the craft/home decor niche, bloggers focus so much on their projects and photos that they forget to focus on their words. Taking the time to focus on your words, edit posts, and read what others have to say shows respect for those in the blogging community. No one expects perfection, but effort is nice.

Myth #4: Any Old Photo Will Do
I spend time each week scouring the 'net for blogs to feature for The Best of the Blogosphere series at Centsational Girl. I can't tell you how many times I have come across an amazing project, but had to turn down the submission because the photos were too dark, too small, too grainy, or too much flash. Readers tend to scan posts for a few good photos before moving on, so having decent pictures is crucial!

Myth #5: Blog Design Doesn't Matter
We all do it...judge a book by its cover. If your blog is difficult to navigate, if the font is too small, if you have distracting blinking buttons everywhere...it is not user friendly. Make interaction easy for your readers and you'll see an increase in traffic!

Myth #6: Everyone Loves Controversy
If readers come to your blog expecting good recipes, fun crafts, DIY projects, or sewing tutorials, then choosing to blog about your political preferences could be a bit of a shock. It's your blog, your choice...but don't be surprised if you are the recipient of angry comments or lost Followers.

Myth #7: Snarky Anonymous Comments are Okay
Words can hurt. Think twice before you publish comments on someone's blog. And think three times before you do it anonymously.

Myth #8: Linking Back Isn't a Big Deal
Copying another blogger's work or using their photos (even as a feature) without giving credit is akin to plagiarism. It doesn't generally go over well in the blogosphere. When it comes to blog parties, the hostess is sending traffic your way indefinitely...the least you can do is link back to her specific party url within your post. Not linking back to a blog party is not plagiarism, but it is using another site for your own personal gain without acknowledging where your traffic is coming from. Gracious bloggers endear themselves to others by kindly linking back when they mention another blogger's work or join a blog party.

Myth #9: "Big" Bloggers Are So Cliquey
Most of the "big" bloggers I've interacted with are willing to answer questions, feature others, or support the little guy...sometimes more than other little guys! Most people with larger blogs have been around for awhile...they know what it's like to grow a blog, and many of the friends they've made have been from networking over the years. It doesn't make them cliquey--just experienced!

Myth #10: Blogging is Never a Distraction
Blogging can and will take over your spare moments if you let it. It's a huge temptation to spend time networking through social media, focusing on new posts, and sending off blog swaps. But you'll find that you can't blog about life if you aren't living it! Work out a schedule and stick to it!

Here are a few Blogging Resources that I thought you might find helpful:

-Blogging as a Career from Little Green Notebook
-How to Get Sponsors for Your Blog from Little Miss Momma
-The Business of Blogging from Southern Hospitality
-Money Maker from Thrifty Decor Chick
-On Balancing Blogging from Centsational Girl
-31 Days of Photo Tips from My 3 Boybarians
-Commenting 101 (a series with everything you'll ever want to know about Commenting)

I have an idea for a new series: a how-to on blog parties (hosting them, joining them, etc), but I'm frankly a little scared to start it up. Blog parties (linking back, new parties, how many parties, etc) can be a hot topic in the blogosphere. I'm still thinking about it...

I hope this series on Blogging Myths was helpful for you! Thanks for taking the time to read.

*I'm guesting posting today with a Mini Keyring Photo Album Christmas gift idea at Positively Splendid. I hope you'll stop by to see it!*


26 comments:

Krystle @ Color Transformed Family said...

Amanda. Thanks so much for this series. As a new blogger I have learned so much. It doesn't take long to figure out blogging is a lot of work... but so far I am enjoying it. It is helpful that the blogging community is willing to help educate the smaller guys. You don't find that in every profession/hobby. I will definitely check out the blog resources you listed. I can use all the help I can get. Thanks again!

Richella said...

Amanda, this has been an absolutely wonderful series, and this recap is awesome. I wish there were a way to direct every blogger--new bloggers, experienced bloggers, or even people who are thinking about starting a blog!--to this series. I think you've touched on so many important issue, and you've done it with grace and humor (not to mention good writing!).

I think a short series on blogging parties would also be great! There are so many parties out there, it's easy to assume that everyone knows how they work, but that's probably not true.

Thank you for taking the time to do such a good job on this series. Your hard work really shines through.

Sallie said...

Amanda, thanks for a great series. I always take away something from your insightful posts.
I would love to read a series on blog parties. I've been thinking it's about time for me to have one of my own. I'd love to get your advice before jumping in.

Jennifer said...

Thanks for the great series, Amanda! Lots of great info. I just blog for a hobby, not trying to be too serious about it but I still took away a lot of info that I will apply to my blog.

Hope you enjoyed your "day off" yesterday!

Jennifer

Anne said...

I really enjoyed this series, and would love to see another one from you! I think linky parties would be a great topic! One thing I've always wondered is if there's some kind of etiquette about linking up the same post to too many parties - how many is too many? Is there a such thing?

Allison @ House of Hepworths said...

Wow, this was a really great list! Thanks for taking the time to put this together. And your myths are so true!!

Allison @ House of Hepworths

Alicia said...

Words of Wisdom! Especially that last part. Blogging is a huge distraction, but you gotta love it!

Nette @ This Dusty House said...

Love this! I especially agree with Myth #4. I don't know how many times I've read through a few posts on a new blog once and, even though I enjoyed the content, left, never to return, because the pictures are set to the smallest size Blogger allows. Too small! I certainly don't expect professional level photos on house blogs all the time, but can they at least be an appropriate size?

Amanda said...

I'd love to hear ideas on link parties, too. Have really enjoyed this series. Have passed it on to several friends.
Thanks!
Amanda

Kirsty said...

You should! i think it's a great idea!

Paula said...

This was a great series with so many helpful hints for both a new blogger and for a blogger who has been around blogland for a long while.

A series on blog parties is a great idea.

Jessica @ Nuchey's Mommy said...

I thought it was a great series and helpful!

Hands to Work, Hearts to God said...

I guess if you are blogging not because you want to earn money but because you want to share your passions, want to meet kindred spirits and connect, blogging will be fun and fruitful! Patsy from
HeARTworks

Julia @ Hooked on Houses said...

I really enjoyed this series, Amanda, and am glad you took the time to recap because I realized I had missed one of the installments along the way. I always think it's interesting to hear other views and opinions on blogging, which gets me thinking about things in a new way. Thanks for all the time you put into this--and congrats for hitting the 1,000th post mark! Woo-hoo! :)

SueAnn said...

Great series!!!
Words do matter...so true
Hugs
SueAnn

Jen @ tatertotsandjello.com said...

This was an excellent series Amanda. I learned so much I know that there are so many other people that did too! Thanks for your awesome insights. Love you girl!

xoxox
Jen

Kim @ Sand and Sisal said...

What a great post! Each point is so very true! Thanks for compiling these nuggets of bloggy wisdom!

Amy Lee Parker said...

Great MythBusters! I have been following several blogs for a few months now. An I have 2 things I would like to add, that are fast becoming my pet peeves. 1. Lots of times I will scan the blogs I follow while watching tv. Going back and forth between the too. I HATE to come up on a page with music. It's annoying, distracting, and just not needed. 2. I would follow and sign up for some of the blogs, if I didn't have to sign up through google or some other account. Just let me put in my email and be done. I am NOT going to set up accounts with different places just to follow people on their blog.

breanna said...

fantastic list amanda!

Carrie @ lovely etc. said...

Amanda, This is my first visit to your blog and I have enjoyed clicking through some of your old posts - epecially some of your blogging etiquette tips. I would love to see a series on linky party eitquette. This is a tricky subject where it seems like lots of people honestly just don't know the right way to do things - myself included. I have definitely been guilty of the separate page of links to parties rather than individual links. I recently realized this was not very courteous and have been changing my ways. Thanks for the great tips.

Carrie www.lovelyetc.com

The Cantelmo Family said...

Thank you so much for your insight. I really appreciate it! And I agree with the above comments, please tell us about blog parties/linkys :)

Sarah said...

I so enjoyed reading your blog series - though I blogged a lot a few years ago while travelling, I'm relatively new to this huge "blogosphere" that has blown up since that time! I'm learning the ropes by being self taught, and your info is invaluable! I'm excited to continue reading your posts! thanks again!!

ALfa studio said...

WOw what great post!!1 I am sure I will be coming back often to look read & get more inspirations from you!!!!
THANK YOU!!!

LiveLoveDIY said...

JUST. AMAZING! I did NOT expect to spend my Tuesday evening perusing your blog, but you can bet I sure am!! Amanda, thank you for being such an amazing resource to us newer bloggers! Truly, you have been such a help to me! (Not only have you featured me, but you've provided me with endless resources!!....LOVE!) Muah! :)

Mrs. Handyverger said...

Thank you so very much for all your tips to newer bloggers (like myself!). It's so valuable to have someone take the time and effort to put these thoughts together, and I really appreciate it. :)

Morgan said...

I am a new blogger and I found this series so helpful. There are lots of tips that I am glad you covered. Thank you so much for doing this! I'm a new follower via GFC.

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