Like any industry, digital content creation has its own share of myths. Despite our collective obsession with content gaining intensity over the past five years, few people truly understand what it takes to become successful in this realm—meaning increasing site traffic, generating income, and maybe even establishing a killer brand through your blog and website copy. Misleading content on anything from the time it takes to write a post to outdated SEO advice has floated around the internet for years now, it’s finally time to set the record straight.
1. A Blog Post Takes No Time At All
Anyone who blogs knows how excruciatingly untrue this is, but this point isn’t for established bloggers who have already (probably begrudgingly so) figured this out. Most people who dream of starting a blog fall into one of two categories—those who think (amazing) content is easy to whip up and thus they’ll never need help with it, and those who are intimidated to death by the thought of composing a blog post. Whether you’re considering starting a blog yourself or hiring someone to provide assistance, it’s good to know this: No matter the word count, a blog post takes time. Good bloggers take style, voice, SEO, digital trends, presentation, visuals, audience, and a whole host of other things into consideration Every. Damn. Time. They write a blog post, not to mention the editing, formatting, proofing, and of course promotion. It’s no small feat! Luckily, over time bloggers get systems and strategies, get to know their audience, and develop their voice, but still—this pursuit takes time.
2. If You Write It, They Will Come
This could be true if “they” means your family or a small sample of your Facebook friends A lot of times, you have to really get to know your target audience before the audience is established. It’s guaranteed to change and evolve, but you’re likely going to find them, not the other way around. Sometimes it’s as simple as pinning your (original, optimized) images to Pinterest and tweeting a few times a day, but more often it’s social media combined with outreach, PR, cultivating a really strong brand, and maybe even some traditional marketing efforts. Contrary to popular belief, you actually do have to put some muscle into it.
3. Blogs are just keywords and SEO
Sometimes keywords and SEO can mean the difference between having really great content and no one finding you and having really great content and being recognized for it. But this shouldn’t be your first or only tactic in gaining traction for content, though it is a vital part. There’s also virality and longevity, like considering how relevant your content is now and to who it will be down the road and why. It often means balancing several different types of content on your website, like a blog post on current trends and another on something more evergreen, that people will be searching in 2015 and 2020. But if this is all you worry about, you’re likely to get caught up in the puzzle that is SEO, and most often the first thing to sacrifice is exactly what you needed to begin with: good content.
4. Social Media is Optional
There’s probably a few brands with a fairly successful website that don’t participate in social media, but they’d probably also be even more successful if they did—they could be missing out on a major opportunity. There’s this myth that you can create content on your website, and social media, should you choose to be involved, is just an added bonus. Not only is social media not really an option any more, you have to be deliberate about it: only sign up for the channels that make sense for your brand, and know the needs of each stream. It’s not as simple as translating the first line of your blog post to Facebook, twitter, and Instagram.
Stay tuned for more posts on the relationship between blogs and social media.