Friday, January 18, 2008

Blogging the Write Way: Bad Advice

If you go to any blogging community or engine with a tag cloud, you'll notice that "blog" and/or "blogging" is one of the largest words in the cloud. For some reason, everyone thinks they have some great advice to dispense.

Now, some people really do and the single, best piece of advice I can give you if you intend to build authority and/or make money in the Blogosphere is to research the field before you ever start writing. But there are so many people giving out advice on blogging nowadays, that you really have to be careful who you read and what advice you take.

Blogging is a very popular topic within the Blogosphere because people have heard you can make money doing it. But every housewife and WAHM who has bought a handbag with the $30 she made blogging thinks she has discovered "The Secret" and would love to share it with you. She tells you about traffic and SEO and "trustworthy" advertising programs and on and on. And she doesn't really know what the fuck she's talking about, nor does she have any practical experience in the matter; she's just regurgitating what she's read from other, more successful, blogs.

A few days back, I discovered one of these "blogging secrets" blogs written by - who else - a WAHM who "broke free of the rat race and now has time to spend with her family and [she] can show you how." I read one or two of her entries and they weren't bad - nothing new or revolutionary, but fairly well-written and all - so I subscribed to her blog and read along for a day or two.

Noticing that I had visited, she came and visited The Rundown, where I was going-off on Google for their unfair business practices when it comes to PR. The next day, she wrote a total kiss-ass piece, literally begging Google to give back her PR.

Not only was there nothing worthwhile in the post, every piece of advice she gave was very bad advice for bloggers! Now, established bloggers would know that what she was saying was utter bullshit and would see right through to the truth: she had just learned that a new PR update was underway and she was hoping her entry would gain her some PR. But newbies might take her "advice" to heart - to their detriment!

So I wrote a very well-worded, very low-key comment, explaining that, while I understood her motives for writing the entry, it was really bad advice.

She did not publish the comment.

She said that Companies A & B were "trustworthy," while Company C was not, however Company A on her list sent out an opportunity no more than a month before by mistake and not only refused to pay us for it, but lowered our ranking because they declined the post they sent out by mistake! Company B has a habit of sending out opportunities from companies who then cancel the transaction after the post has been written; they do not credit you for it nor pay you a kill-fee and don't even bother to send you an e-mail letting you know the company canceled the post! In other words, they get you to write the post for free and it sets on your blog for a month before you find out you are not getting paid for it!!!

Company C, on the other hand, was unfairly targeted by Google because Google wants to crush them and then buy them out. And Company C has always honored their payments and members, even when they made mistakes. They send out free product samples then pay you to review them, give away free swag to loyal users, and much more.

But little Miss BlogMom wanted her PR back and didn't mind blowing Google to get it.

She then told newbie bloggers to debase themselves: "lower your prices," she said! Of course, this is not bad advice in and of itself, but she went further, suggesting that bloggers should consider as little as $3-4 for a 200-word post! Seeing as how you need at least 1-2 posts between paid entries and those should be at least 50+ words in length, that means you'd need to crank out approximately 1000 words on 9-10 different subjects to make about $10.

If you're that bad, blogging is not your bag, baby.

Do your research, but pay attention. Read everything you can about blogging before you ever even start, but the more you read, the more you'll realize that 90% of what you are reading is the same advice. Just do the math: if there are only 20 blogs and 15 of them are about blogging... see where I'm going with this?

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