It’s been a while since I blogged about blogging and today I have a very special post about 5 blogging lies to stop believing. I believed these lies for a long time and I think it slowed me down a lot! If you’re a new(er) blogger this post will share some new blogging tips, blogging ideas and inspiration to help you stay motivated to create the content you want to exist in this world.
Now, a little disclaimer here: I’m not saying the things on this list don’t work, what I am saying is that there are alternative ways to do things if you just focus on 1) what matters to you and 2) what you enjoy doing.
About Me Me Me
Now here’s a bit about me and my blogging background:
- I started my blog Beauty Bites 4 years ago, when I was still living in Germany, then when I started making some money online I moved south to live close to the beach
- Growth was pretty slow in the first 2 years, mainly because I didn’t use social media a lot and I ignored SEO as if it’s a guy I really liked in high school (you know when you’re trying to act like you don’t care)
- over the last 2 years I have seen consistent growth and been making money blogging
- I’ve also helped my sister and my dad grow their two blogs as well in 2019 and this year, I’m working on this blog that my sister started late last year
5 Blogging Lies To Stop Believing
1. THE ONLY WAY TO MAKE MONEY BLOGGING IS BY SELLING COURSES
When you’re just starting out, especially in 2020 it seems like the blogging process is this:
- Take a course to learn how to blog to not mess things up and look like an unprofessional loser
- Make a course to teach others how to blog (or to do something else) in order to make money
Here’s what’s wrong with this approach in my humble opinion:
- 1st: It’s okay to look like a newbie when you’re doing something for the 1st time. You’re a beginner and you should be proud of the fact that you’ve even started and are doing something. In fact, it’s good. I don’t know where I’ve heard it, but if your blog launches when it’s perfect – you’ve waited too long.
- 2nd: Where is the part of actually blogging? Where you connect with people and share information that is valuable for free? Insight, that people who cannot afford a course can actually use. That’s the idea of blogging after all. At least for me.
If the end game is creating a course, so you can sell it, why not just create the course and upload it to a platform like Udemy or Skillshare? That would be easier and would take less time. You can also create a Youtube channel or an Instagram account to find new clients. You don’t have to go through the whole process of creating a website, content for that website and then maintaining it.
Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with selling courses. Whether you’re a blogger or not. If you bring value to someone’s life, you should be paid. Absolutely no doubt about that.
I also agree that when you start a blog because you enjoy the work and you want to keep doing it – at some point, you can and you should monetize the hours of work you’ve put in. You need money to keep this thing going and you need money to pay your own bills.
different Blog income streams
Creating a course is just one option and I hate to think that people who don’t like selling products will hesitate to start their own blogs, because they don’t think they can make enough money.
There are countless sites and blogs out there that make a lot of money without offering any products. Physical or digital. They do this by diversifying their income streams. To do this they can use:
- display ads
- sponsored content
- affiliate marketing
- sometimes even donations.
Create A Product For The Right Reasons
Now, if you do want to make your own course and to be blogging at the same time – that’s great. If you have passion for both – do it. In fact, this year, I also want to create a course. Yes, integrity at its finest. But I do, I want to create a few courses/products because I know there are a few topics on my blog people want to know more about and I know it is not information you can find easily online. I also want to use this extra income to grow my blog and create more content that will serve more people.
I’m so grateful that I’ve been making enough income with my blog long enough (without selling courses), so I can now actually sit down and build something that others need not because I have to. Not out of necessity and lack. I want to create something that will get people the results they want and that will help change their lives.
What would be your reason to create an online course (one day)? Do you know what it would be about?
2. BLOGGING IS DEAD
I think this is one of the biggest lies about blogging out there. As long as you have something to say and something valuable to offer others, you’ll succeed blogging.
If you write mostly about your personal life that blog might not get millions of views every month. But if you infuse valuable information that people are actually searching for with your unique insights and experience that people can connect to – people will love your blog and come back for more.
Start with what you have right now, adapt as you go and show up consistently – you’ll see results soon enough. This was the strategy we used for my sister’s and my dad’s blogs last year and within 6-9 months they were getting enough traffic to start working with MediaVine and to monetize their content this way.
3. YOU NEED TO GROW YOUR EMAIL LIST
Listen, I think growing your email list is a great thing and it is important. If you have the right intentions. If your intentions are to connect and to offer some extra insights to your email subscribers, or to keep your subscribers up to date with the blog – then I think that’s truly wonderful.
But you don’t have to grow your email list at any price. I want to share about my experience as a subscriber. I get many emails from people who built trust with me by reading their blogs and sadly every other email I receive is about a product they’re either selling or promoting for someone else.
It’s a very weird feeling – I feel both used and annoyed and quite frankly those emails have made me lose respect and trust in many bloggers I used to admire. They “blackmailed” me into signing up for their emails with an offer (which in most cases sounds great, but isn’t) and I feel like another number on that list. A number that may or may not bite when they offer me that “bait” 5 times within one day. Tick tock, the offer will be gone.
If you’re building your email list, because you’ve heard: “The money’s in the list” (why does that sound so bad?) and you simply want to make some money…You don’t need a huge email list to make money. In fact, depending on the niche you’re in, you might not need an email list at all. I know a lot of people selling their products without an email list. They promote them on Youtube, on Instagram or within their blog posts. It also works.
4. YOU NEED TO PUMP OUT NEW CONTENT 5 DAYS A WEEK
I used to beat myself about this one so much in the past. Why haven’t you posted yet? It’s Friday, how long does it take to write one little blog post, really? It’s not a dissertation.
Listen, sometimes you just need a break. You’re one person, you have a long to do list when you’re a blogger and content creator. Let’s not forget the time you need to create a strategy. Don’t just pump out any content, create the right content and the right people will come.
Creating the wrong content just because you have to post every day will not yield the results you’re looking for. Be strategic – what is going to get more views, what will people connect to more, what would be useful for others and easy for you to write?
Create a simple structure that you follow every time and post 2-3 times a week. Even if you can create only once a week, that’s okay. But do show up and share your work on social media too.
5. AFFILIATE MARKETING WILL MAKE YOU RICH, IT’S YOUR FAULT IF IT DOESN’T
Have you also seen the millions of articles about someone getting rich from affiliate marketing? Yes? I have too. And I don’t quite believe it. Affiliate marketing doesn’t make a big part of my blog’s income and I don’t believe it makes for the majority of blogs.
Now true, I don’t include links in every single post I write, that’s not what my blog is about, but I have a few links here and there and my experience with affiliate marketing hasn’t been exceptional. I do make a few hundred dollars every month from affiliate marketing, but it’s not my main source of income for the blog.
I think there are a few reasons for this.
Why Affiliate marketing might not be working
Not finding the right products. I haven’t found many things I want to promote in my niche. My other blog is about eating healthy and living a healthy lifestyle. Turns out, the main way to earn money with affiliate sales for this type of blog is by promoting weight loss products. Believe it or not they don’t make affiliate programs for fruits, vegetables and common sense. Who knew?
Not using new things. Another reason for me – I don’t use too many new products in my personal life and I don’t even want to talk about my personal life a lot. Therefore, it’s not easy to casually mention a product I’ve been using for ages (like a week) and ooops have a link for it. So that could be a part of it.
The Biggest Affiliate Marketing Lie
You know how you read all those income reports where someone makes $5,000 from commissions? Well, if you’re not blind you’ll notice most of it is from selling WordPress hosting or some save-money apps or other expensive courses. I don’t know many people who make thousands of dollars every month from Amazon products.
But, let’s assume you make all that money with affiliate marketing. You know what? It is not yours for quite a while (or at all). The sales you made need to be reviewed and approved by the brand you work with and there’s really no way for you to track exactly how many people actually purchased through your link or canceled after they purchased.
What you end up getting in your bank account, usually about a few months after you made all those sales, is not the commission from all the sales you made. It’s the commission from the sales that have been approved and not canceled. Very few people disclaim this.
They act as if they already got that money in their pockets when it’s not actually there yet. And it probably won’t get there in full. It might be true for a few people, but definitely not for everyone. So have a better strategy for your blog than just relying on affiliate links everywhere.
I hope you learned something new in this blogging about blogging post, I will be sharing more of my blogging experience here from now on.