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New bloggers have many misconceptions about starting a blog and making money blogging. It’s not surprising. It can be a bit daunting to read all the threads, intimidating advice, and all the hyped-up promises. But you don’t have to worry! I’m here to set the record straight and steer you in the right direction to successfully cultivate your blog and get the right ideas about how to make money and succeed!
Blogging as a business can be quite profitable and has become quite popular as an online income source. Unfortunately, there’s also a lot of hype around making money blogging, which has led to people believing a lot of blogging myths and starting their blog on false promises.
You know, when I first started E-riches Club, I had made it to be all about making money online without blogging. I was really annoyed at how hyped up the blogging industry is and wanted to make it a point to not talk about blogging at all in my blog.
What changed? Well, I realized how I was doing a disservice to people who wanted to learn about blogging because if they went elsewhere, they would just get the sales copy for blogging and not the facts.
I also have taken quite a few blogging courses since I first started blogging and realized that not all bloggers are sellouts with inflated promises. So, when I relaunched E-riches Club, I decided to explore blogging as a business to at least offer reliable resources and unbiased information.
Okay, let’s dive right in, shall we? I’ll list 10 myths about making money blogging and tell you what’s the actual truth.
10 Myths About Making Money Blogging
Myth #1: You Can Start a Blog in 15 Minutes and Make Money
Many people out there will try to tell you that starting a blog is quick and easy and that you can make money instantly. This is not the case.
The truth is that it might take 15 minutes to set up a blog, but to run the blog, add content and actually make money, it will take you quite a while with a lot of hard work and perseverance.
Don’t get me wrong; I’m not trying to discourage you and dissuade you from starting a blogging business. But please don’t go at it thinking that it’s super fast and easy.
The only thing that takes 15 minutes about blogging is to set up WordPress with your host service. If you get a good host like SiteGround, yeah, that’s pretty fast. But that just gives you the frame to blog; it won’t give you the knowledge to work with WordPress, nor the strategy to actually start making money.
Myth #2: Blogging is a Get-Rich-Quick Scheme
Depending on who you talk to, blogging may seem to be a get-rich-quick scheme because of the seemingly easy outlets for creating your blog and getting it up and running. But if that’s the vibe you get, you need to start reading content from more reputable people.
The truth is, there is no way to make money instantly. With blogging, much like most legitimate ways to make money online, you have to put in the work and take the time to build up followers and create good content.
Blogging is a business, not a scheme!
Do your research, invest time and money putting the right framework and strategies in place, only then you have a shot at making money blogging
Myth #3: Blogging Is Free
If you’re blogging as a hobby, as a purely personal pass time, then yeah, you can find free platforms to blog. But if you want to generate income from your blog, you will need to invest money.
Buying a domain name and getting a self-hosted service – the two must-do steps of staring a blog – require monetary investment. Specifically, it’s about $15 for a domain and about $50 for the hosting just to get started.
If that’s not the answer you wanted to hear, I suggest you go explore HubPages – it’s a writing hub where you can grow as a writer and share your content with the world. They do have a shared revenue system through Google AdSense, but you do have to go through a reviewing process and cannot add affiliate links, for instance.
However, in order to make money, you have to invest money. Buying a domain name, creating great content, and all the other pieces of the puzzle take an investment of money before you can ever see a profitable return.
Myth #4: Blogging is Just Like Writing a Journal
Blogging might have started as an online version of a journal, but much has changed since thenWhile it’s true that you can write about your own experiences, to turn blogging into an income, you need to write high-quality content that is well-researched, answers a question the audience has and goes beyond your personal experience.
You will need a focus topic to write about and to apply content strategy to answer your audience’s questions and concerns. In essence, blogging as a business is not about you, it’s about your audience and how you can help them.
That’s not to say that you can’t add your own experiences and perspective – it’s encouraged, actually – but you need to use personal accounts in a strategic way and always with the intent to answer a question and address your readers’ needs.
Myth #5: You Have to Blog About Blogging to Make Money
Here’s the thing… many successful bloggers out there did start making money online by talking and teaching about blogging to make money. Some of the most sought out content out there is about blogging as a business or making income blogging.
At any given time, if you search up how to make money online or ways to make money from home, no doubt you will get a lot of search results leading to successful bloggers making money blogging about blogging to make money. Try saying that 3x faster.
While you can be a successful blogger if you write about making money blogging, the truth is you can be successful writing about anything as long as you put in the hard work and have the right strategies in place.
Myth #6: You Just Write, and They’ll Come
Wouldn’t it be nice if that were true? Sorry, it’s the biggest myth of them all!
I personally know someone who keeps on complaining about that. “I thought I just needed to build it and they would come!” – doesn’t work like that.
The bitter truth is that you can write to your heart’s content, but if you don’t put your content in front of an audience – the right audience, actually – your content will just sit there and collect dust, so to speak. Then, you get discouraged and feel cheated.
It’s not enough to have a blog and content, or good content for that matter. You need to get out there and find where your audience is at and then put your content in front of them and then still have to convince them to click through to your website and read through your content (try doing that without being salesy, harder than you think).
As a former retail store owner, I tell you, blogging to generate income is a lot more like a running a retail store – you can have the store and have the products, but without the right location, the right advertising and the right allure, no one will go in the store.
Myth #7: You Need to Be an Expert in a Topic
Does it make your life easier if you’re an expert in the topic you’re blogging about? Hell yeah! But do you actually have to be an expert on the topic? Not necessarily.
The truth is that passion speaks louder than expertise. There are so many bloggers out there who are quite knowledgeable but still make little to no money blogging. Why? Because while knowledge is power, passion speaks louder than expertise.
Let me explain… You should, no doubt about it, only talk and teach about topics that you know something about, but if you struggle to communicate your knowledge, it will fall flat and go nowhere.
You need to be passionate about your niche, be engaging in your writing and you need to communicate that knowledge in a clear way.
Myth #8: You Need to Have a Large Number of Followers
How are you going to have followers if you don’t have the content? Nobody starts out with a thousand followers off-the-bat!
It’s not about the number of followers you have when you start a blog, but the dedication and engagement of the followers you build over time. More followers are good, sure, but having a fan-base that is genuinely pulled in by your content and gives great feedback is more important than how many followers you have.
Myth #9: Blogging is Outdated
Blogging has been around for so long and there’s so much hype about it that it can, sometimes, feel like it’s way past its prime time. But that’s where you’re wrong!
You know, when I first started E-riches club, blogging looked a lot different from today. Even when I decided to relaunch this website in late 2019, I had to learn a few new tricks.
Because blogging is not outdated, it’s evolving!
With the ongoing internet innovations, new tools and even with all the competition out there, the art of blogging has evolved beyond the personal online journal are I shared with my friends back in the 90s.
Blogging is the new wave of news, information dissemination and even online learnings. People turn to blogs for personal research, to answer specific questions that their local newspaper won’t answer or understand a topic without leaving hundreds or thousands of dollars at the door.
It’s an evolving industry that certainly still leaves room for a newcomer like you.
Related Post: Bluehost vs. Siteground: My Honest Review
Myth #10: You Can Quit Your Job Right After Starting a Blog
This myth comes that the belief that blogging is a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s not!
I feel like a broken record, saying this so many times, but it really takes time and money to successfully cultivate your blog into a profitable business.
Can you quit your job? Eventually, maybe, but you would be wise to keep your current job until you start to see a positive increase in your blog’s profit and popularity.
What’s the Sum of All Truths?
Blogging is a great way to write about the things that you are passionate about and yes, you can make money from blogging, but it takes time and investment and it will absolutely not be an overnight thing.
So, if you skipped to the end make sure you go through the 10 blogging myths I mentioned before you start a blog so you can get all those pesky myths cleared up and out of the way.
If nothing else, what I would like you to take away from this post is that blogging for profit is a business, not a hobby, and you do need to invest money, dedicate time and effort, and have a strategy in place.
If you have that in place, you’ll get the hang of it in no time!
Okay then, after debunking all of these blogging myths I ask you: Do you still want to start a blogging business?
If the answer is yes, here’s what you will need to get started:
What You Need to Start a WordPress Blog:
Get a domain:
You will need to come up with a domain name and once you do, you’ll have to register the domain with a domain registrar like GoDaddy and Namecheap.
I use both, but I find Namecheap to be, well cheaper, but also much easier to use.
Note: you can try and save $15 and just get your domain free with your hosting service, but I highly recommend keeping your domain registration separate from your hosting service. I’ve kept both together before and it was a bit of a nightmare to move my domain later when I decided to move to a new host.
To run a successful blog, you will need to purchase a hosting service. Think about it as a landlord that will provide you with the cyberspace for your blog and will include some utility services in your rent.
The most affordable hosting service for new bloggers is Bluehost and it is also the #1 recommended service by WordPress. However, I much prefer SiteGround and that’s the host I’m using right now. See my comparison review Bluehost vs. SiteGround before you make any purchases.
For beginners, you can go with shared hosting (like SiteGround and Bluehost), because it’s cheaper. If you do quite a bit of research though, you’ll realize that some power bloggers are using dedicated hosting services – that’s because they have tonnes of traffic and need extra support. For now, going for dedicated servers would be overkill, but I wanted to mention it in case you have a bigger budget and know that your blog will give a high return on investment (ROI) quickly.
Both SiteGround and Bluehost come with a 1-click install to WordPress, without additional purchases or steps.
Related Post: Bluehost vs. Siteground: My Honest Review
Get a theme:
Themes are like the aesthetic canvas for your blog – they give the overall look and layout of your blog. You can either pick a free theme to start with, or you can purchase a premium theme.
Of course, premium themes have added benefits and extended features. Some of the best premium themes out there are themes from StudioPress, like the renowned Genesis framework and child themes.
Most WordPress themes have a free version you can try out before making a purchase. I’d recommend doing that to make sure you’re making a well-informed decision once you decide to purchase.
Whether you go with a free theme or a premium one, make sure they are optimized for mobile, are compatible with the latest WordPress version and have flexible features around adding widgets, menus, social buttons and related post features.
Plugins ad additional plug-and-play items you add to your blog to extend functionality, add features, protect your blog and/or optimize your website.
Us bloggers can go a little crazy with plugins and stuff left and right. But in reality, you should start with the basic needs:
Backup: You should not rely on your host to back up your website. You need to have a plugin like UpDraftPlus to back up your website.
Protection: There are many hackers out there trying to get in and leverage the information on your website. You will need a security plugin like WordFence and Sucuri.
Optimization: You will soon realize that you need something to optimize your website for speed and performance and clean up all the code. SiteGround actually includes an amazing optimizer plugin with their GrowBig and GoGeek plans. Super simple to set up, easy to understand and quite powerful in optimizing your website.
SEO: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a major aspect of a successful blog. You will need a plugin that will setup the technical stuff for you in an easy way, connect with your Google Search Console and help guide your content SEO as you create pages and posts.
I’ve used YOAST SEO and it’s one of the most recommended SEO plugins. It’s easy to set up and quite user friendly. Right now, I’m using Rank Match SEO as I find it has additional features YOAST doesn’t offer.
Both Rank Math SEO and YOAST have a free plan which gives you quite a bit of features to work with.
Additional Resources to Start a WordPress Blog:
That’s the basics you need to start a blog, but how exactly do go about setting up your blog and getting it all running?
I recommend you take a couple of courses to really understand how to setup a blog properly and avoid the technical mistakes many new bloggers make.
Go ahead and get your domain and your hosting service. But before you set up your blog, take this free course on WordPress from Grayson Bell.
Then, once you’re ready to start running your blog and adding content and strategies, you should check out these courses:
- Blog by Number from Suzi at Start a Mom Blog – Somehow, Suzi manages to break it all down and get you up and running with your blog without you even realizing how much technical stuff you’ve gone through.
Her Blog by Number course is specifically tailored to moms who want to start their blogging business and get it up and running without overanalyzing everything. I took Suzi’s course a while back and I still refer back to it because it’s packed with useful information and tricks and she updates it quite often with new tools and information.
- How to Start a Blog from HerPaperRoute – this is a free course that teaches you how to start your WordPress blog. Chelsea Clark (owner and author) walks you through setting up your blog and getting it up and running.
She also has a new course called Wicked at WordPress that helps non-techies go through WordPress like a pro – the free course gives you the basics to set up a blog, the Wicket at WordPress gives you more in-depth knowledge about WordPress itself.
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Did you believe any of the myths I mentioned in this post? Anything else you want to add in the comments?