7 Popular Content Marketing Myths You Need to Stop Following

content marketing

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.

Download this cheat sheet of 7 popular content marketing myths you need to stop following.

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:

traffic

Then I decided to stop blogging for a period of 30 days, and my traffic tanked:

traffic drop

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!

traffic drop

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 look at WiseGeek. They have tons of content, but its poor quality eventually caused them to get slapped by a Panda penalty.

Conclusion

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?

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Comments

  1. Hey Neil,

    That’s great! Glad to know such information. Don’t you think republishing guest post will make copied content issue? Is there any effect? I know you mentioned it as a myth, but some people do so. Then what’s the reason they don’t get hit by google penalties? Will be glad to know

    Thanks for sharing
    ~Nitin Singh

    • I have the same doubt too, but I guess the rel=canonical tag (pointing to the guest posted content source) can be used to one’s advantage when republishing content on your own domain.

      • Nitin,
        Debjit answered the question here. There are many ways to republish content without getting in trouble. Keep in mind though, as I mentioned above, republishing your content will not always get you the exposure you want.

    • Instead of simply just republishing, I believe another idea is to re-purpose your content into different forms.

      Turn your articles into videos, infographics, a collection of informatonal images, slideshows, podcasts, etc.

      With a bit of slight tweaks, changes and touch-ups.

      • @Daniel Dou this is good idea, but what about the other thing content is important to tell what the videos, infographics, a collection of informatonal images, slideshows, podcasts, etc. is all about, not only this but also for the use of keywords. We are talking about content marketing here!

  2. Well put. I hate the myth ‘Everyone should have a blog’, it’s just ridiculous really. Businesses in certain industries will benefit from having a blog but in a lot of situations it’s completely inappropriate.

    • Luke, great point. Blogs perform well depending on a number of variables. As I mentioned above you have to follow a blueprint and post consistently. Without that, you can’t expect sustained traffic just because you are “in the right industry”

  3. Great stuff Neil

  4. Yet again another great bookmark worthy post. Loved it.

    Err…my suggestion for an alternate headline: 7 Blog Myths You Need To Stop Following.

  5. Hi

    I have a blog about meditation and meditation/relaxation music. Should I write longer blog posts for this blog (like 1000-1500 words each) or maybe shorter ones (up to 500 words)?

    You write about publishing the best posts on someone else’s websites. What about such an approach.
    I write a very good article and put it up on my blog and then I spin it (manually, not using some special tools, say, spinrewriter) and then I put it on someone else’s blog to get more traffic. So actually I have two unique articles on the same subject.

    What do you think about it Neil?

    • Luke, I definitely think that strategy can work. I would suggest testing it out and tracking results. You’ll never know what works until you try it. Come back and let me know how it worked out 🙂

      • Thanks for the answer above Neil.

        One more question. I asked above about the length of the blog posts.
        I have a blog about meditation and meditation music.
        Do you think I should write longer blog posts for this blog (1000-1500 words each) or maybe shorter ones like 500 words.

  6. Good post with some great tips. Definitely post the best content elsewhere. Why spend time writing a great post and put it on a site with little or no traffic. Build your credibility externally.

    Little dubious about the 100 word blog post and quality. Yeah a 100 word post can rank but how much quality or value to the reader can there be in 100 words (take rich media out of the equation as this would/could be the value add)

    • Michael, you’d be surprised. If the article is contextual and attracts the audience’s attention in a captivating way the results can be tremendous. Looking forward to hearing much more from you 🙂

    • Sometimes you only need a few words (maybe just one paragraph) to explain something people are dying to know, or to get a conversation started on some timely topic, that can generate millions of pageviews and thousands of dollars. However, that doesn’t really happen in a vacuum, you’re probably posting “related” content leading up to that big breakthrough.

  7. Nishant Bazzad :

    Again great stuff Neil. Sometimes I don’t have words to explain in the comment section and yes, Sharing old posts is one of the best method to boost your traffic for free.

  8. Thank you Neil , my website even ranked on first page Google with many keywords but the alexa getting worst , i hope it is due to i am not updating content on blog page , is it so ?

    • Manas, I would focus less on those vanity metrics and focus primarily on the traffic you are getting and the content you are producing. Looking forward to hearing much more from you!

      • we are well ranked and before two month even our alexa was around 1 lakh but we did not update content on our blog page and now the alexa is around 4 lakh , your suggestion are welcome , Thank you Neil .

  9. Neil, I’m planning to launch my website soon. Your blogs, inforgraphics have always been an inspiration to me and I used them as much as I can for my website.

    I would like to know what kind of an experience was it, having just one blog post on the day Kissmetrics was launched? Was it just one blog post or many?

    Any content marketing strategy that you would recommend for the first week after a website’s launch?

    Thanks,
    Dan

    • Dan, we definitely started off small and began scaling as we got a better idea of the direction we wanted to take the blog. I think you should just start writing and the rest will follow. I look forward to seeing how it all works out 🙂

  10. Awesome info, you did good job.

  11. Hi Neil~

    Great post.

    I have a question about republishing content: do you think this holds true for repurposing the content? I have another site that I don’t much maintain these days and I’d like to repurpose and updates several posts to use on my main/active site, but I always wonder how much I need to change to avoid penalties?

    Thanks for all of the useful tips!

    • Karla, I would definitely suggest being very careful when repurposing content. It’s all about balancing that line and making sure you are getting the most out of republishing, while ensuring you aren’t getting hit by any penalties.

      I always do updates on blog posts from the past, that seems to work best. It gives you an idea of the direction you should go when writing.

      • Thanks for the feedback, Neil. That’s been my concern. So updates are seen as different from repurposing and reworking? Does that include using different images etc.

        I hate to think of all of that good content sitting there getting unseen when it could be reused/updated/repurposed and getting page views.

        Would it be better to just delete the old post, wait a bit and then add to my new site?

        Thanks again for your tips — you’re a big help!!

  12. Hi Karla,

    I guess moving entire articles is the safest way.

    Or you may rewrite your articles. Or better – update and improve the content. Then you can check your new content uniqueness with copyscape.com. A good result if you get > 90% uniqueness.

  13. It seems like some of these myths are just things that work in specific situations, and people just take them as general guidelines. Great article! -Michael

  14. Great advice here, Neil! I love what you said about not just putting out crap post after crap post. Value trumps quantity any day.

    Another great thing about focusing on value and excellent content is that at some point, your biggest fans start talking about you without you even having to go to the trouble of guest posting!

    (This has happened with us recently on a big blog. Crystal Paine of MoneysavingMom.com heard about our podcast from some of her readers, and she liked it so much that she linked to it in a blog post!) Now we have her booked for an interview, and of course, we’ll submit some guest posts for her as well.

    Still, though, just putting out great stuff and being as helpful and genuine as we could be led to some great opportunities. And now, when our guest post comes across her desk, she’ll remember who we are and that she loves our stuff!

    Thanks again, Neil, love your blog!

    • Beth, sounds like you have your plan down pat. It’s great to have product evangelists, as you mentioned they do all the work for you. It’s kind of like celebrity marketing — the fans will do all the heavy lifting for you so you can focus on providing the quality content they need 🙂

  15. Great news!!! I rather prefer short blog posts too. This will make my life so much easier ???? Thanks!!

  16. Farcas Gelu Danut :

    Good post, sir! My business websites have over 1000…2000 words per page. I don’t use blogs, only business websites (static pages).

  17. Great Post Neil! thanks for this now i have an idea what kind of article i will write,

    God Bless :))

  18. Hey Neil,
    Awesome post. Having a fashion based website… Short and precise blogs would surely help us!

    Following all your blogs!
    Great work.

    Cheers,
    MUNIRA

  19. Woah, it took 3 months for the traffic to return. That’s a pretty long time. Great article, Neil!

  20. Hi Neil Sir,
    Thanks for providing a great article for us.Quite interesting and obviously helpful one too.
    Regards
    Debarpan

  21. Majorly helpful. Thanks Neil!

  22. Having a blog is an option for every business, this would be a way to interact with visitors too. If you don’t have time for blogging than focus on other marketing strategies to attract customers. That’s my opinion.

  23. I like the approach Upworthy has taken. 🙂

    It’s very effective. And flexible too.

  24. very helpful one.Thanks for this.

  25. hey cheers neil !

  26. Carlos Leasor :

    It is very interesting tips for business. I like your explanation method and all tips really recommend for successful business.

  27. Hi Neil i just want you to know that i really love your article and your website. A million Thanks 🙂 keep posting Okay? <3

  28. Again great stuff Neil. Sometimes I don’t have words to explain in the comment section and yes, Sharing old posts is one of the best method to boost your traffic for free.

    • haha I understand what you mean Jaydeep, like things “just make sense”. These are great little tips that can that will help see a noticeable difference

  29. It seems like some of these myths are just things that work in specific situations, and people just take them as general guidelines. Great article!

  30. jasa desain interior murah :

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    Brief but very precise information… Thank you for sharing this one.
    A must read article!

    • I’m glad you enjoyed Jasa. If there’s anything else I could help you out with, please don’t hesitate to ask.

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