15 Misleading Things You've Been Told About Starting A Blog

15 Misleading Things You’ve Been Told About Starting A Blog

Hey, mama! Are you raising littles and juggling that hustle? I am so with you! To all you heroic mompreneurs out there, I applaud and support you! Whether you’re a single mama building the life you want for your family, or part of a dream team, you are amazing! I’m in your corner, which is why I’m going to totally debunk 15 Misleading Things You’ve Been Told About Starting A Blog.

Why am I doing this?

Well, I’m certainly not what you would call an expose’ writer. No, better than that, I’m also a mompreneur, and we girls gotta look out for each other, right?

I’ve been blogging for a year. Wow. It seems like such a short time, yet like forever too. In that year’s time, I’ve read enough mythical advice and been hooked by enough misleading titles to last a lifetime. I’ve followed the advice.

It’s gotten me nowhere.

This is going to be a long article about the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad things that have deceived and tripped me up while pouring my all into building and creating a blog.

Mama Fearless

15 Misleading Things You’ve Been Told About Starting A Blog

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15 Misleading Things You’ve Been Told About Starting A Blog

Warning: This is a long article as I go in depth about these 15 Misleading Things You’ve Been Told About Starting A Blog. If you’d like to skip on down to what I found works, just click the Real Formula in the table of contents!

5 Basics You Need To Know When Starting A Blog

First, Who Am I, And What Is My Blog About, Anyway?

I started Mama Fearless one year ago. The entire purpose of the blog was to lend support and encouragement to all mamas out there–particularly first-time mamas.

It shocked me to encounter the amount of fear-based ideas and concepts that society so easily accepts when it comes to moms being, well, moms, starting with the pregnancy and childbirth experience.

Fired up and feeling like I needed to do something, I started Mama Fearless, wrote a book (Simply Mama Fearless), and started working to encourage and embolden all mamas out there.

It wasn’t long before I started getting questions about blogging, entrepreneurship and being a full-time mom in the middle of it all (oh yeah, did I forget to mention my husband is also an entrepreneur in the trenches of building his business? Yes, we’re crazy.).

That lead me to branch out and share everything I know about my own entrepreneurship experiences as well as what my husband and I have learned together.

15 Misleading Things You’ve Been Told About Starting A Blog

The Ugly Truth

For me, blogging has been a serious hustle, and I love all the components of it–from writing, to marketing, to connecting, and so on. It doesn’t matter how much I love it, though. It’s been a serious climb.

Yes, Mama Fearless does earn, but it has taken some dedication.

It’s also not a million-dollar blog in one year’s time.

Sorry.

It could have been so easy to get discouraged after a few months and realizing the K’s just weren’t coming in each week like I was promised in those misleading Pinterest pins.

Sometimes it was discouraging when I made pennies after all my hard work.

But I love blogging, so I kept going. Not only for me but for the mamas out there who got in touch with me and have such supportive things to say about my content.

Now, after a year, I’m calling the bluffs of many blog posts, Pinterest Pins, and webinars to give you a look at the real, nitty gritty truth about starting a blog and what it entails.

Let’s do this.

Get The Latest Resources to Slay Your Blog

Misleading Titles

Here is a list of 5 misleading titles to articles, pins, and posts everywhere. Most likely you’ve probably clicked on at least one of them. Look, Sister, I get it. I did too. Sometimes I still do, when the concept is creatively buried in what sounds like a practical truth.

15 Misleading Things You’ve Been Told About Starting A Blog

1: Make Money On Your Blog With No Traffic

After a year of hustle and following all that advice, here’s the truth:

You can’t make money without traffic.

You must have traffic to your blog in order to make anything happen. With no traffic, no readers, no one to engage with your content, who are you writing to? Who are you selling to? Where is the connection?

It makes zero sense.

You’ve got to build up that traffic–and it isn’t easy. It’s as grueling as building a traditional business from the ground up. That’s essentially what creating a blog is.

2: Make $1000 Your First Month Blogging

I’m not going to say it’s impossible. I can believe that somewhere out there someone made $1000 their first month blogging.

But here’s what I want to know.

Did they spend any money? If so, how much? How much expenditure went into marketing and promoting their blog to quickly gain enough traffic to earn $1000 in the first month?

Also, is the blog from scratch, or was it purchased as an established business? That is a thing. Sort of like online real estate.

Before you buy into that super promising headline, consider that there are probably more details that are undisclosed at the moment.

A massive percentage of the time, those misleading titles are to a post that funnels you into buying an expensive e-course or product.

I’m not against e-courses. I’ve taken some and learned a lot. But just make sure if you’re purchasing one that you’re going in with your eyes wide open and with the understanding that that was the intention of that post in the first place.

3: Create A Viral Pin In _(#)_ Easy Steps

How To Get Your Blog Noticed By Pinterest In 2020

If you’re brand new at blogging you need to know that it’s a universal truth that Pinterest is the number one traffic driver to your blog. The more successful you are on Pinterest the more traffic your blog will get.

Here’s where you can get sucked in.

There are a ton of promising Pin titles out there that claim to have some secret formula to creating a viral pin. Some even have e-courses and books they’ll sell you to share all the secrets.

After a year of wading through all the advice and following everything I read, here’s what I learned:

Success on Pinterest takes just as much hustle as building your blog. There is no one-size-fits-all formula for magically creating a viral pin.

I have found the most success by taking pieces of advice I’ve gleaned from other successful bloggers and learning through trial and error what works and what doesn’t.

Those bloggers have been honest from the start and have never made false claims. Keep an eye out for those gems.

I’ll be creating a separate article about finding success on Pinterest and all that I’ve learned soon–stay tuned!

Mama Fearless

4: Start A Blog In _(#)_ Minutes

Yes, you can technically have your blog up and running in minutes (like 150 minutes at least? Certainly not 15!)

Where this title becomes misleading is that it makes you think you can have everything you need to have your blog up and running and earning in this ridiculous amount of time.

The truth is what I stated earlier.

Creating a blog that earns money takes time and serious hustle. Notice I said earns money, not profit? There’s a reason for that. More on that later.

5: _(#)_ Pin Titles That Will Go Viral

This is another misleading promise. There are certain titles comprised of the right keywords to generate more traffic than others, but the overall success of your pin relies on much more than what you title it.

First of all, you’d better believe Pinterest, Google and other engines are crawling all over your pins and your blog to see what you’re about before they showcase your content or you score showing up in the Smart Feed.

Second, don’t buy into the idea that one magical pin miraculously drives all this traffic to your blog by itself. Though it’s possible, it usually just doesn’t work that way.

You’ve got to establish good rapport on Pinterest through consistency, good content and marketing.

The healthiest way to use Pinterest is to think of a pin going viral the same as winning the lottery with slightly better odds. You have a good chance as time goes by, but most of your success is going to come with hustle.

Are you catching the theme to real, actual successful blogging, here?

15 Misleading Things You’ve Been Told About Starting A Blog

Misleading Concepts

So I’ve thrown some popular pin titles under the bus. Now I’m going after popular concepts that are routinely shared in blog posts.

How To Get Your Blog Off the Ground

6: You Can Make Money With No Traffic

Not only is this a popular pin title, it’s also a popular blog topic and while it’s stated often, I just haven’t found it to be true at all.

I’m not sure how a blogger is supposed to make money on a blog with no readers or traffic. I don’t understand where the money is supposed to come from.

Most bloggers make money through affiliate marketing, which means that we’ve used a product, have reviewed it, and we recommend it to our readers. We’ve built trust and rapport with our followers and readers, which makes them comfortable with our recommendations.

Those that are more experienced in a specific area may offer a course or class to share their knowledge. That’s another way to earn. Others get paid sponsorships.

All of those types of income require blog traffic.

A company won’t sponsor you if they think you’re typing to no one. You can’t earn through affiliate marketing if no one is reading your blog and trying your recommendations.

And you certainly can’t sell your course or class if no one is hearing about it.

So unless there’s some crazy trick out there, I haven’t yet figured out how one makes money on their blog with no traffic.

7: Make Thousands Right Away

I do believe somewhere out there is a blog that made a fortune really fast. What can I say? I’m optimistic. Maybe.

For most of us, however, we’ve got to work for it. Just like you would with a business, you can’t expect to see profit pour in just because you’ve started a business. You’ll invest into your blog (more on that in a bit) and reap the benefits in time.

It takes time, building, hustle and maybe some tears.

After a while of hard work, making mistakes and learning from them, you start to see results trickle in. Then you learn from those results, capitalize on them, and increase your success.

One day at a time.

8: Make $1000’s With Affiliate Marketing Your First Month Blogging

Mama Fearless

I don’t believe it’s impossible. I’m not that grinchy. I certainly didn’t see it happen for me.

Here’s why.

I started my blog from scratch, by myself. I didn’t have the funds to pour into having professionals do it for me, so I learned and researched things on my own, felt capable and passionate, and gave it a go.

Chances are that just clicked with you, because that’s what you did, too.

It took me more than one month just to figure out how to properly run my blog, keep it organized and how to start going after the traffic.

There was no way I was in a position to even see any real income on my blog, let alone $1000 or more.

Now, you can plunk down $500 on an e-course with professionals to get you started, if you have that kind of side cash and can invest. For those of you mompreneurs like me, however, there’s just no way I was willing to do that, especially while trying to help my husband build his business and pay those bills!

Just keeping it real.

So, no. $1000 in the first month was not a realistic expectation. Thankfully I was okay with that despite what I read.

Don’t let it discourage you. Most of us are still climbing and learning and stumbling, months in.

How To Make Money On Your Blog

9: Get Paid Sponsorships Without Being Established

This one is misleading and even feels a little spammy. You’ve seen the claims, “How to Look Like An Experienced Blogger When You’re Brand New,” and so on.

While there are some good tips in there to build your professionalism and credibility and yes–you need to be able sell yourself, it’s a lot harder to fake out the big companies and blogs.

Ugly Truth: There are a lot of online resources where other entities can verify your online authority.

So no, you’re not really able to truly fake out the big companies.

You can get paid sponsorships. It’s possible, but guess how?

Hustle. Work. Time.

5 Blogging Mistakes That Cost Me

10: Guest Posting Is Easy

One of the most reliable ways to get some serious online credibility is to guest post for other bloggers out there who backlink to your blog. You’ve seen this advice on countless pins and articles.

But there’s more to it than that.

In order to boost your credibility in any way that matters, you need to score a guest post on an esteemed blog.

This sounds great, right?

It is! But it’s also a lot harder than it sounds. Scoring a guest post on a well-known blog is basically the same thing as getting a written worked accepted by a publisher, with fewer rules.

If you’re a small blog, however, your post won’t be doing the larger blog many favors in the sense of online authority or reputation-based traffic. That’s their gift to you.

So in order to win that guest post, you’ve got to write something excellent and in demand for their blog.

You’re also in competition with countless other blogs doing the exact same thing. You’ll find when you’re researching how to submit a guest post that because of the high amount of contributions, you probably won’t hear back from that blog unless your post is accepted.

What does that sound like to you? A book publisher.

15 Misleading Things You’ve Been Told About Starting A Blog

So Is It Even Possible to Guest Post As A Small Blog?

Yes. It is.

You just need to go into it with the right expectations. Be prepared to be denied. Over, and over and over.

I still believe in this. Realistically, I just don’t believe it’s as easy as it’s commonly claimed to be, and it’s discouraging when you’re being told how easy it is yet it’s not happening for you.

The truth is that it’s hard–for everyone–to score those guest posts. Unless you’re a blogging superstar, you’re going to have to climb on up with the rest of us, one step at a time.

But we’ll get there, won’t we?

12: Blogging Is Free

No. It’s not free.

You have to subscribe to a hosting platform in order to make money. It’s not expensive, but it’s not free, either. You also need to be able to pay for certain upgrades on things that will boost your blog.

2020 Update: I used to recommend Bluehost as a hosting platform. Based on personal experience and my ethical beliefs to only promote products I believe in (and use), I recommend SiteGround to host your blog for the best experience and performance.

Mama-Fearless-Entrepreneurship

There will also be certain resources that will help you become a better blogger, marketer and entrepreneur, and those resources most likely will cost something.

In the beginning, to get your social media presence out there, you may need to invest in promoting your site on those social media platforms.

I stand by the belief that it’s unwise to spend a ton of money right out of the gate on your blog, but the truth is that you will need to spend some, here and there, as you get your blog off the ground.

15 Misleading Things You’ve Been Told About Starting A Blog

Misleading Ideas About Blog Content

I told you this was a long one!

Not only are there a lot of misleading titles and concepts about starting a blog and making money, there are a lot of misleading ideas about your actual blog content.

Here are some things I’ve discovered through trial and error–and landing on my face.

12: Content Doesn’t Matter

Beginner's Guide to Bloggoing

Say what?

But seriously, I’ve read this! In my research and hungry desire to learn and grow as a blogger I’ve read articles that actually claim your content isn’t really a big deal to make money on your blog.

That struck me as kind of like calling your readers dumb.

They certainly know when what they’re reading is crummy writing or spam.

I mean, don’t you?

You know when what you’re reading starts to sound a little far-fetched.

You can’t disguise poor writing or sloppy, lazy content, and you certainly can’t expect to hide it behind keywords and links.

Your content is the entire reason your blog exists and its what draws (or repels) your readers.

If you aren’t a great writer, it doesn’t mean a blog is out of the works. Most people are pretty forgiving, as long as you’re providing the answers they’re searching for. But you do need to improve your writing. That’s the essence of what blogging is.

There are a lot of resources out there to help you improve as a writer.

I have a 1-hour course that will help you become a better writer. It’s super budget-friendly (like less than the cost of a dinner out) and will give you the tools you need to write excellent content and boost your blog’s earnings.

Yes! Boost my blog’s earnings and help me SLAY writing!

13: SEO and Keywords Are The Most Important Element of Your Blog

Yes, SEO and keywords are super important to getting your blog seen, but they aren’t the most important element, either.

You are the most important element!

What you choose to write about, how you choose to write about it, and how you can connect with your readers sets the entire tone of your blog.

SEO and YOU go hand-in-hand. If you’ve got all the right keywords and phrases but your readers don’t really connect with you and don’t come back, then all that is wasted effort.

On the other hand, if you are an incredible writer, connect easily with people and have engaging content, it’s still wasted if no one can see it because it’s not being found online.

You need to be able to write good content, engage with your readers, and market your blog, too!

It’s a lot, right? But remember, it’s a business!

14: Marketing Beats Quality

The #1 Writing Tool

I see this argument way more than the other way around.

The truth I’ve discovered is that both work in tandem to make your blog “go”. You have to find the right combination of both to succeed.

It’s the most intricate and crucial aspect of blogging. It can be done, but not overnight.

That’s why it’s taken me a solid year (and some change) to write this post with any sort of confidence. And it’s still a learning experience.

Mama Fearless Entrepreneurship

15: Blogging Is Easy And Quick

If you’re a natural writer, enjoy it and have a measure of skill, the act of creating content is more fun.

If you’re talented at marketing, SEO and the back end aspect, then growing your blog is probably enjoyable in that way.

The entire process of blogging, however isn’t always fun. Especially when you fail–and you will–at one point or another.

It’s also work. It requires old-fashioned hustle like anything else. It’s not a get-rich-quick scheme.

If you chose blogging as a way to spread your passion to readers and you truly enjoy it, and now you want to earn income, it is possible.

If you’ve started a blog because you feel like it’s an easy way to make a quick buck, you’re in for a rude awakening.

15 Misleading Things You’ve Been Told About Starting A Blog

How I’ve Made It Happen (So Far)

How I Got Over 4000 Pageviews (3) (1)

This article is already quite long so I’m going to keep this short and sweet. I’ll write another post that goes in depth about how and where I’ve found the most success with my blog soon.

Here is a list of key elements that helped me get started:

  • Passion: I had an idea I wanted to share. That’s my ultimate dream for Mama Fearless. Note: Passion doesn’t replace a poorly chosen niche (which matters!).
  • Planning: There had to be some organized thought and content planning. This gave my blog direction and a strong start. It also required research to make sure I wrote about what people actually wanted to read.
  • Determination: After a couple months it became clear it wasn’t going to be as easy as I thought (like I’d read in a lot of other posts). That was when my true, honest determination showed me how serious I really was.
  • Learning: Blogging is a lot more of an intricate process and required more knowledge than I’d anticipated. It took a lot of learning and growth.
  • Resilience: Not everything worked. In fact, a lot failed. I had to dust off and keep going, learning from those mistakes. I still do.

But guess what?

Months in, I began to see some wind in my blog’s sails. It started happening. Traffic started (and still is) increasing. My email following started (and is) growing at a faster pace.

I also get to connect with other moms out there and encourage them. And they encourage me!

What’s the REAL Formula?

The real, honest-to-goodness way I’ve seen success with my blog is like this:

  • Good Content: I research what mamas want to know and do my best to deliver well-written articles of what they want to see.
  • Good Images: Every article has a pinnable graphic (more than one usually), and I put effort into making them look as good as possible.
  • Honest & Believable Affiliate Links: I don’t stuff my content with weird ads or spammy links. I link what I know firsthand, or what I’ve created firsthand (like my books and my writing course).
  • Yoast SEO Plugin: I make sure my content gets the green light from Yoast, making it SEO friendly so Google learns to like me.
  • Pin Like Crazy: Every post gets at least 5-10 fresh pins upon publication and I’m pinning content daily, including reviving the old stuff.
  • Watch My Stats: I keep an eye on what my readers are clicking and what they’re reading on my blog. I create more of that kind of content.
  • Update My Older Posts: A big project, but I go back and refresh my old stuff with simple edits that make it reader-friendly and current (without changing the bare bones of the post).
  • Build My e-Mail Following: Create a network of connected mamas who keep up with the latest content. It’s about relationship!
  • Social Media: I have 2 platforms I focus on (aside from Pinterest–it’s number ONE!), posting current content and connecting with people. I’m not the strongest at keeping up here but I do my best.

Yes–that’s a lot of work. But it’s running a business, remember? And I can do all of this while staying home with my son. I’ll take it!

Listen, Mompreneur, You Can Do It!

The entire reason I wrote 15 Misleading Things You’ve Been Told About Starting A Blog is not to discourage you but to encourage you! All those misleading pins and posts can easily make you feel like a failure.

You’re not! In fact, you’re just like everyone else.

After reading all of those misleading posts it’s easy to feel like you’re failing because you’re not earning $1000’s in a matter of months or raking in the dough like “they” say you should.

The truth is that blogging, building a business, or any other type of entrepreneurship takes some serious elbow grease. It doesn’t just happen overnight and it’s not handed to you.

You wouldn’t want that, anyway, right?

So keep going, and slay your business. You’ve got everything it takes. You’re fearless.

7 Lies You've Been Told About Blogging
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