When it comes to advice, blogging’s like anything else—everybody’s got an opinion, and these opinions often conflict. How can you know whose to trust? Which advice is the right advice? Are there certain tips that you can always assume to be untrue?
To help answer those questions, here are seven pieces of advice you can safely ignore:
1. “Always blog every day.”
One of the earliest and most popular pieces of advice given to bloggers was also one of the worst, saying you have to blog every day. While the experts say daily blogging is necessary for building traffic, the truth is that daily blogging is not the only way to gain readers. In fact, some bloggers find the pressure to post every day lowers their posts’ quality and therefore, in the long run, hurts them more than it helps.
Better advice: Blog regularly, but blog quality.
2. “You need to be controversial.”
Controversial topics indeed draw readers’ attention—but sometimes they backfire. When a site with a generally happy, uplifting tone publishes a sharp, critical article, the audience recoils. Controversy for its own sake is not beneficial; it’s alienating.
Better advice: Don’t feel you need to be controversial to be different. It’s just as interesting to approach a topic from a new angle or perspective. More than that, stay authentic to your own voice.
3. “Comment on other sites constantly.”
In blogging’s early days, everyone said to comment on other sites as much as possible because by responding on other blogs, you alert other bloggers to your site.
Better advice: Rather than commenting on blogs to bring traffic to your own, comment on other blogs when you’re genuinely interested in what the blogger has to say. This fosters real relationships.
4. “Don’t go too specific.”
The biggest blogs are about the biggest topics—or at least that’s what some experts say. That’s why specialists often recommend writing about the industries with the largest followings. But if writing about the popular topics isn’t authentic to your voice, readers will notice—and you’ll never get anywhere.
Better advice: When someone says your niche is too specific, don’t listen. Whatever your passion, an audience exists for it.
5. “You have to build traffic.”
Whether you blog about accounting or home design, the experts push for numbers, numbers, numbers. Everything is about building Web traffic and attracting more eyes to your content—but, in reality, building traffic is only one potential goal.
Better advice: Evaluate what you hope to accomplish with your site—Brand awareness? Better SEO for your website? New leads? More sales?—and see if that goal demands more traffic. If it doesn’t, don’t waste your time.
6. “Pull pictures from Tumblr.”
Everybody knows pictures make blogs more attractive and interesting—they give readers something to look at, respond to, and sometimes share. And if you look at other blogs, you’ll find other bloggers taking pictures from Tumblr or Pinterest and posting them on their own sites. You may do it, too.
Better advice: Most photos on Tumblr don’t link to the original source, and taking someone else’s picture without permission is not okay; it’s stealing. It’s better to use your own pictures, or use a resource that gives full permission for usage.
7. “Nobody reads blogs anymore.”
Here’s a piece of advice meant to discourage: Blogging is done. You hear this from cynics and experts alike, along with stats on how many blogs exist and how few find success. Why should you even bother with a blog? Stick to social media instead.
Better advice: The prevalence of blogging is less a testament to over-saturation and more a testament to its power. In 2013 more than ever, content is key for firms to stand out online, as well as for individuals. Blogs add relevant, authoritative content for businesses and draw big-time SEO power for websites. That’s why, whether you blog for business or pleasure, blogging is worthwhile.
Does this post resonate with you? Have you received advice like this from well-meaning blog experts and wondered what didn’t add up? What other bad advice have you received about blogging? What good advice?