Thank god for the internet.
Because without it, I would never get my craft coffee fix.
Or be able to sleuth booking sites for the best airfare deals.
Or get distracted for hours on end searching for the perfect blue velvet couch on Pinterest.
(Can anyone relate to that last one? No? Ok. Thought so. I am secretly a child of the 70s.)
But with all that good stuff, the internet brings some bad, too.
Namely, it has the remarkable ability to spread myths like wild fire.
Unsurprisingly, you see this a lot on topics like blogging, marketing, and the like.
All it takes is one person to say something half-true or totally-not-true, and then BAM, one year later, you have a fresh myth on your hands. And marketers like myself have to do the dirty work of cleaning up those myths while gently bursting some hopeful bubbles along the way.
This is why I compiled this list of the top 7 blogging myths I’ve encountered that stop you from making money on your blog.
I’m curious to know – have you believed any of these below?
(If you did, no biggie – all of us probably have at some point.)
And if you’d like to avoid the myth-drama, sign up for Blogging Biz Bootcamp below, my free 5-day challenge where I take you from starting, branding, and launching your profitable blog!
1. More traffic will fix my blog’s money-making problems.
A broken pipe with a leak.
Now imagine you get more water to flow through that pipe.
You start to see more and more water escaping the leaky areas in the pipe, right?
This is exactly the image that comes to mind when I hear people say more website traffic will fix their blog’s money-making problems.
Focusing on driving more traffic to your blog when you may not have foundations in place to monetize that traffic is like increasing the flow of water through a broken pipe – it’s just wasteful!
It’s true that every blog needs traffic to grow.
But blog owners also need to know how to speak to their target audience.
They need to know how to nurture this audience.
They need to know how to build know, like, and trust, and ultimately, sell to this audience.
Without all the other necessary elements working together, thinking you will solve your money-making problems with more traffic is foolish.
Some may argue this isn’t the case if you’re monetizing your blog with display advertising.
But what if your blog content is poor, with at least half of your readers never returning to your site, as you work like a madman to get more traffic to your blog?
That’s still at least 50% of your display advertising income potentially lost because poor content isn’t retaining your visitors.
So remember: more traffic does not mean you’ll make a ton more money on your blog.
2. “The money is in the list.”
This is one of the worst blogging myths people spread about email marketing.
This myth gets beginner bloggers excited about growing an email list blindly.
They buy into the mania about building lead magnets, funneling subscribers into segments, and emailing their subscribers monthly newsletters only to find their email list isn’t helping them grow their blog income!
It’s disheartening for so many beginner bloggers.
But here’s the truth:
The money is in the list only if you know how to use it.
Email marketing can be one of the best ways you add value to your readers’ lives while making money in the process (did you know, for example, that every $1 you invest in email marketing, you get $44 in return? No joke!).
But if you don’t know how to draft persuasive email copy and email your list the right things at the right time, then what’s the point of having an email list?
The money is in the list only if you know how to use it.
I’m not discouraging anyone from growing their email list; on the contrary, I think it should be one of your top priorities as a beginner blogger.
I’m just reminding you that your blog-monetization woes don’t end with having a list. They end with you knowing how to use that list!
3. Monetizing your blog is impossible unless you sell a high-priced product.
High-priced products like online courses and coaching packages work really well in some blog niches (I’m specifically talking about price points above 1K).
But they don’t work as well in others.
While online courses and coaching packages are a great way to monetize your blog, display advertising, affiliate marketing, and sponsored posts are just some of the other options beginner bloggers have.
Blog niches that tend to be naturally high-traffic, like food blogs, for example, can get a significant portion of their blogging income just through display advertising. Pinch of Yum, a popular food blog, is a good example.
Depending on your audience, a high-ticket item may also seem absurd or out of place (just picture a high-ticket online course for $499 offered on a couponing blog).
Lastly, jumping straight into creating a high-ticket product may also come with a lot of failure, especially if you haven’t tested a low-ticket item with your subscriber list first.
So please avoid jumping into high-ticket offers unless 1) you know your audience will respond well to them, 2) you feel ready to create one, and 3) you tested it on a small audience and it delivers on its promises.
4. It’ll be really easy to monetize a blog.
Some blogging experts will make the whole blog-monetization process sound so easy.
I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily hard, either.
But you do need to get pretty skilled at several things before your monetization strategies take off.
Some of these skills include:
- Getting traffic to your website
- Understanding your audience’s wishes, dreams, pain points, and more
- Solving your audience’s problems with useful content
- Using email marketing to nurture your audience to buy from you
- …and more!
As you grow your blog, you’ll get better and better at those skills.
The better you get, the more money you’ll make.
The key is consistency, not intensity.
Focus on staying consistent in your monetization efforts and mastering several methods in your first year of blogging.
And most importantly, don’t put pressure on yourself if you’re not finding it easy, especially your first year (that’s renowned for its trial-and-error).
5. [Insert method of choice] is the worst way to monetize a blog.
Like I mentioned before, not every monetization method works well for every blog type.
Take this blog, for example, The Love and Life Toolbox. I’d classify this one into the “Relationship” blog niche.
Relationship blogs do really well with selling coaching packages.
Troubles in paradise often lead people to want to share their love-life woes with close confidantes, which is why positioning yourself as a personal mentor or coach in a relationship blog works well.
Before believing the hype you hear surrounding monetization methods (including affiliate marketing, creating online courses, and more), do some research to see if others in your blog niche actually use these methods and how well they work in your niche.
Ask yourself some important questions, like:
- Would my audience respond well to this kind of offer?
- Can I create content for this kind of offer?
- Do people in my niche already buy these kinds of products?
- Do people in my niche expect to see this much display advertising?
- Do I want to leave out display advertising for aesthetic purposes?
After all, you’ll waste a ton of time and effort trying to do EVERYTHING out there without a clear strategy in mind for your particular blog.
6. You need to be super tech-savvy to make money off your blog.
Starting a blog with the purpose of making money is one of the easiest ways to start a business.
This isn’t the 18th, 19th, or 20th century anymore when you needed loads of capital and several small business loans to create a storefront.
The barrier to entry to start a business has never been so low, thanks to the internet.
That said, people still tout a self-limiting belief of tech-inability as a barrier to starting their blog.
Avoiding starting a blog just because you’re “technically-challenged” can’t be an excuse anymore.
If you can operate a smartphone, you can start and run a blog successfully.
And if something goes wrong, there’s customer service for all the services you’ll ever need to run your blog, so you’re never in the dark.
If you’re one of the people who are avoiding the prospect of starting a blog because you’re wary of the tech gremlins you may summon, then I have two pieces of good news for you:
- Those tech gremlins are not as bad as you think.
- There are not many of them.
I swear, they aren’t lurking in the dark corners of the internet, waiting to wreck hell on your blogging efforts.
In fact, I promise you that starting a successful and profitable blog doesn’t require as many tech skills as you think.
7. If you want to be successful at monetizing a blog, you need to copy exactly what [insert famous blogger’s name] is doing.
It’s always good to have bloggers you look up to.
You can learn from their mistakes, and they serve as good inspiration for how you want to run your blogging business.
But remember that doing exactly what successful bloggers are doing now may not yield the same results for you.
You’re just starting out in your blogging journey. You’re on Day 0.
And the bloggers you aspire to be are on Day 1,705!
The way you position yourself will be different compared to someone who’s been blogging for a while.
The same goes for the way you monetize your blog.
You may not be able to get away with an initial $1,299 online course offering.
You may not be able to sell as many affiliate products through your blog posts alone because people still have to get to know you better.
Your effort and consistency aside, sometimes the magic ingredient is just time.
Time for you to grow your blog income.
Time for you to get more experienced blogging.
Time for you to become a better online business owner.
My final words of caution: Avoid going into a comparison spiral where you question all the things you’re doing wrong when you’re actually doing them perfectly right.
Find inspirational figures in people, but don’t make them the benchmark for how you run your business.
What’s a myth I missed?
There’s no question that the blogging world has boomed in the last several years.
With so many people aspiring to be their own bosses (as they should be!), there’s so much content out there that helps new bloggers do just that.
But with all that content, some of it is prone to be inaccurate – some of it is baked in half-truths, and others, outright lies.
Now, over to you:
What are some blogging myths I missed?
Let me know in the comments below!