Blogging can be an important part of any online business strategy. I’ve blogged here for 7 1/2 years, creating over 2,500 posts and getting as many as 100,000 Unique Visits per month at one point. I learned a lot during that time, but earlier this year I tossed it all out and started over.

Why? Because I didn’t start out with a plan. Conditions have changed a lot since I started in 2002 and a lot of the advice you get today is still based on the old reality. Can blogging contribute to your success? Sure. Will it? Not necessarily.

There are a lot of misconceptions about blogging — it’s simple, easy, and a sure-fire marketing tool. Technically these things are true, but practically it’s a lot tougher than it appears.

Over at DailyBlogTips guest writer Bob Bessette has collected a nice list of the Top 5 Blogging Misconceptions (summarized with my comments below):

  • If you write it they will comeā€¦ No, they won’t. Promotion is key.
  • People will read because of my great writing. This falls in the necessary but not sufficient category.
  • Other bloggers will always be willing to help. Maybe. Usually. Sometimes.
  • You will start making money right away. Only if you’re already famous. I used to get a few hundred dollars a year from Google, but it came out to about $0.10/hour. Be sure you know what you’re after.
  • It’s easy to blog. Persistence, planning, predictability. After 7+ years I’m still working on these.

Successful blogging takes effort and a plan. Writing, even good writing, is not enough. The quantity of content and competition has grown exponentially. It used to be easy to get linked by “A-List” bloggers. Today — not so much. The technical barriers to entry have crumbled, but the quantitative and qualitative barriers have skyrocketed.

Blogging is like anything else in business — you have to treat it seriously if you’re going to succeed. You need to be clear on what’s required and what you expect to get in return. Bob’s list is a good starting point.