As content marketing gets more popular, people are coming up with their own notions of what everyone should be doing.
A lot of these notions are myths, and if you keep following them, you will hurt your traffic.
What are the 7 myths you should be avoiding? In this post, not only will I break each one down, but I’ll also tell you what you should be doing instead.
Here it goes:
Myth #1: Everyone Should Have a Blog
Having a blog isn’t for everyone. Sure, it can help drive more traffic to your business, but the big problem with creating one is time commitment.
If you can’t blog on a consistent basis, your blog won’t be popular. It doesn’t matter how great your content is. Unless you can crank out good content on a weekly basis, you’ll see a huge traffic drop when you slow down or stop blogging.
At one point, I used to blog 4 to 5 times a month, and my traffic looked like this:
Then I decided to stop blogging for a period of 30 days, and my traffic tanked:
That 21% drop happened because I got lazy. When I started blogging again, it took 3 months for my traffic to return to where it was.
If you don’t have time, don’t start a blog. Or if you already have, just stop blogging. Instead, consider guest-posting on other popular blogs. All you have to do is follow these steps, and your content will be published on some of the most popular blogs.
Myth #2: You Should Republish Your Guest Posts on Your Own Blog and on LinkedIn
Why not republish your content on as many places as possible? It’s a simple way for you to generate more traffic and exposure, right?
We did this at KISSmetrics. Can you guess what happened to our search traffic? It tanked by 225,418 visitors!
We got hit by a Panda update, which caused our search traffic to plummet.
So yes, although it sounds like a great idea, the penalty you incur will lose you more traffic than you gain from the republishing of your content.
Instead of trying to republish your content, focus on picking the right spot. Choose the blog that you think is the best for each piece of content you write, and only publish it on that site.
Myth #3: Longer is Better
I used to be a big believer in the longer the better approach to post writing. Heck, I used to even blog on how your meaty content can help you capture search traffic.
But then Upworthy came out. It showed us that not only can you get millions of visitors a month to your site with fewer than 100 words per blog post but that you can also rank for competitive keywords like “tattoos” with that strategy.
You don’t necessarily need text-heavy blog posts, especially if you are writing for the consumer-based market. Sure, if you are writing for businesses, you should consider writing longer posts as it will help build trust, garner more backlinks, and improve your rankings.
Focus on the quality of your content. Having high quality videos, podcasts, and images is a simple way to gain more social and search traffic. Just look at Upworthy’s growth. It’s grown faster than any other blog without writing thousand-word posts.
Myth #4: B2C and B2B Content Marketing Strategies are The Same
Content marketing isn’t the same for a consumer blog as it is for a business blog. Consumers prefer shorter content and content with more visuals, emotions, and trendy information.
Businesses, on the other hand, want How-to type of articles – dry informative pieces that are also actionable. They want to be able to read an article, apply its advice to their businesses, and see some sort of change.
There are many differences between B2C and B2B content marketing. Follow this checklist to see you what you need to do if you are a B2C or B2B blog.
Just don’t use B2B strategies on consumer blogs as you’ll probably bore your readers to death.
Myth #5: Post the Most Popular Piece of Content on Your Site
Why would you post the most popular piece of content on your site?Because you want more traffic, backlinks, and higher rankings, right?
Sure, it will help your blog grow, but what if I told you that you would get 10 times, if not 100 times, the reach if you posted your best articles on someone else’s blog?
Don’t take my word for it. Look at Aaron from Louder Online. When he blogs on marketing-related topics, he gets 1,000-1,500 visitors to one of his blog posts.
But when we published The Complete Guide to Personal Branding he co-wrote with me on Quick Sprout, instead of his blog, we were able to generate 126,304 views within 30 days.
He got 82 times more exposure by leveraging Quick Sprout instead of his own blog. The exposure has helped him become a blogger on other popular industry blogs like Search Engine Journal and Mixergy. Plus, he got a $5,000 a month client – all from posting on Quick Sprout.
If you want to build up your own blog, you should. But consider posting your best pieces of content on someone else’s blog as it will help you gain more exposure and let you tap into an audience that you didn’t have access to before.
Myth #6: Content Marketing is Successful Only When You can Trace it Back to Sales
In an ideal world, it would be great if you generated sales each time you wrote a blog post. But that is very rare.
Unless you blog on case studies like I Will Teach You to Be Rich does, you’ll find that most of your posts won’t increase your revenue.
It’s hard to monetize blog posts directly, which is why we don’t do it at KISSmetrics. Nor does Moz. What we’ve found is that blogging is a great way to build a loyal audience. Eventually, that loyal audience will think to themselves: “These KISSmetrics people have great content. … I wonder what their product looks like.”
To be more specific, we’ve found that if we can get a blog reader to come back to us 3 times, he or she is highly likely to convert into a customer. Which is why we collect emails and go for the indirect conversion.
Even if you can’t tie blogging back to direct conversions, it doesn’t mean it isn’t working. There is value in building your brand and gaining your readers’ loyalty. Plus, if you build a big audience, like KISSmetrics and Moz have, you’ll find that your blog will generate the majority of your sign-ups once you hit 500,000+ visitors a month.
Myth #7: More Content Means More Reach
Huffington Post, TechCrunch, and Mashable are all good examples of blogs that crank out lots of content on a regular basis. This strategy has helped them all get over 5 million visitors a month.
So, this means you should write a lot of content to extend your reach,right? No, it doesn’t.
Why? Because first, you have to perfect the art of writing high quality content. If you crank out a lot of crap content, your traffic won’t go up. Instead, you’ll get hit with a Google penalty.
Focus on writing high quality content first. Once you figure out that process, write tons of content. But without the quality, more won’t equal a bigger reach.
Just because people have blogs doesn’t mean they are experts in content marketing.
Be careful whom you choose to follow online as some people will give you advice that will help you grow, while others will give you advice that may get you penalized.
If you stop following the myths above, your social and search traffic will increase over time.
What other content marketing myths do you know?
This post originally appeared on QuickSprout, and is re-published with permission.