For small businesses, blogging is a great way to improve search engine optimization, social media optimization, and add value for your audience. While many entrepreneurs and associated professionals are jumping on the blogging bandwagon, many fail or falter because of these common misconceptions.

Blogging Myth #1: I only need to post every once and while.

Blogging on a regular basis takes a lot of work. Coming up with 500 to 2000 words constantly is daunting. If you want those articles to be high quality, it’s an even greater burden. As a result, many business owners do the bare minimum when they start a blog.

If you’re blogging once or twice per month, and your competitor is blogging once or twice a week – then they are getting about 4.5 times more leads that you are. That equals more business, and a greater market share.

If you’re going to commit to blogging, you should shoot for a minimum of one blog per week. Ideally, you should be cranking out two to three quality blogs every week. The optimal length for a blog (with an SEO focus) is between 1500 and 2000 words. The longer, the better.

Blogging Myth #2: My business blog should be about my business.

When many businesses start a company blog, they make the mistake of using it as a place for their press releases. Meaning, they post updates about their business. While that may seem harmless, it’s not the best approach to build a successful blog.

In order to build an active and attractive blog that drives traffic to your website and generates leads, you need to focus on what you can give. Your blog shouldn’t be about you; it should be about your audience. What information do you have that will be useful to them? What can you offer to your audience that will improve their lives and their business?

I like to use the following model for digital content: Give, Give, Give, Ask. So, three out of every four posts should be providing value to your audience. Blogs are a great way to do that – they are less effective for pitching. With that in mind, you can focus your content and set your goals more effectively.

Blogging Myth #3: Everyone has already said everything, so why bother?

Some small business owners give up on their blog because they think that it’s too competitive, and everything has been said already. While blogging is becoming an increasingly popular option for many brands, there is still validity in putting more content out there.

Look at it this way, your competitors likely offer many of the same or similar products & services as your business. They follow the same research and get their information from many of the same sources. Does that stop you from competing for customers? Of course not!

Your blog is an opportunity to put YOUR spin onto a certain topic. Don’t worry about what everyone else is saying. Use your blog to demonstrate why your brand is different.

Blogging Myth #4: Blogging gets instant results.

Like social media marketing, you will likely not experience overnight success with your content. That’s not the purpose of content marketing on any platform. Blogging, like other forms of content marketing, is designed to give your audience a chance to develop trust with your brand. This takes time, quality content, and consistency.

You should expect to spend a few months blogging on a consistent basis (at least once per week) before you will start to see results. Your results likely won’t be instant sales, but you should expect your blog to shorten your sales cycle by educating your target audience and increasing brand awareness.

Blogging Myth #5: If I write a blog, people will read it.

Writing the blog is just the first step to a successful campaign. In order to see maximum results, you need to develop a strategy to promote your blogs on your social media platforms, through email campaigns, and personal connections.

It’s a lot of work to build and maintain a successful blog – but the rewards can be substantial in the long run.