7 Reasons Self Development Blogs May Be Bad For Your Well-being
The growth is being fueled largely by the surge of new Life Coaches entering the profession and people who think they may want to become a coach at some stage and are using a blog as a first toe in the water.
On the one had you’d think this must be a good thing. After all, never in the history of human existence have so many people had such easy access to self development material, most of which is free.
What’s not to love about that?
Well, quite a lot really, because a growing number of self development bloggers are failing to think about the impact their advice may have on their readers well-being.
Or worse still, either don’t care or think they know way more than they really do.
Here are 7 reasons, or rather 7 types, of self development blog to avoid for the sake of your well-being, and probably your sanity.
1. The ‘This Is The Way It Is’ Blog
Ever read a blog written by some person who has gone through a radical and positive transformation in their life?
Maybe they’d previously been broke, homeless, and starving when they fortuitously stumbled upon the meaning of life in the bottom of a dumpster whilst searching for a small rodent for breakfast.
Now they can’t wait to tell you their story so you can reap the same undoubted benefits.
Many times they are sincere and genuinely want to help people, but in most cases they forget one crucial piece of information.
You are not them.
What worked for them may not only not work for you, it may do the opposite, so tread carefully.
- Some people thrive on setting long-term goals, whereas others shut down
- Some people thrive on being challenged and pushed, whereas others feel threatened and intimidated
- Some people thrive on setbacks seeing them as learning opportunities, whereas others have their self esteem and belief system shredded
The Cure: Always be asking, “Is this advice relevant to me?”
Never think there’s something wrong with you because some general self development tip or trick didn’t have the desired effect.
It’s not you that’s the problem, its the advice.
If everything worked for everybody every time I’d be out of work because there would now be a book written that maps out life. There isn’t.
Potential To Negatively Effect Your Well-being – Very High
2. The ‘I Think I Know What I’m Talking About’ Blog
A couple of years ago I was looking at a long list of self development blogs that had been nominated for awards in various categories.
I knew perhaps 20% of them and I was keen to see which ones won so I could check them out to see if I could benefit from subscribing.
When the results were announce the winner of the ‘Best New Blog’ piqued my interest.
Largely because so many of his readers were raving over him in the comments (which is why he won by the way) and I’d never heard of the author or the blog.
I followed the link and started reading the first post.
I forget exactly what the topic was, but the writer was describing how you apply some hypnotherapy techniques as a way of dealing with some random issue.
The post was written well, with confidence and with total authority that the author knew his material.
Except he didn’t, he was absolutely and utterly wrong.
In fact, some of the advice being dispensed could in certain cases have exacerbated things.
This is a big deal because if you had no understanding of hypnotherapy you would have bought into the advice because it sounded on the surface like the guy was an expert.
But he wasn’t, he was highly ignorant missing out crucial elements and mixing up different techniques.
The comment section was full of enough, ‘Great post’ type responses to have me banging my head on my desk in frustration.
The Cure: Make sure the author of the blog you like best, knows his or her material.
Don’t be fooled by lots of positive comments, especially when it comes to anything remotely technical like therapy, NLP or hypnotherapy.
The trouble with many really popular self development blogs, is that more often than not the owner hasn’t created a tribe but a flock. A flock of people who don’t want to think for themselves.
Check his credentials, look to see how his peers view his work and ask searching questions in the comments. I did, and I got no response, nuff said.
Potential To Negatively Effect Your Well-being – Very High
3. The ‘I’m Desperate For My Readers To Like Me’ Blog
It would be quite nice if you liked me, but truth be told I’m not really that arsed.
And the reason I’m not that arsed is because I cannot allow my concerns of what you may or may not think about me to dictate what I write about.
If I did, you would now be reading a vanilla blog giving general advice that would offend nobody and bore everybody. A blog with no depth, no real takeaways other than platitudes and no real reason to exist.
There are a lot of these blogs about and they are not the blogs making breakthroughs, challenging their readers to think deeply or adding much value other than maybe a nice community of people all looking for a nice community of people.
The Cure: If it’s all cute and fluffy and seldom or never asks you to think differently or step out of your comfort zone, do so by finding another blog.
Potential To Negatively Effect Your Well-being – Moderate To Low
4. The ‘Look At The Video Production – Who Cares About The Content?’ Blog
Ever seen any of my self development videos?
What do you think of the production quality? Pretty crap isn’t it?
I often trip over my words (I once urged people to take up medication when I meant to say meditation), I um and ah a lot, I’m obviously totally unscripted and I talk too fast.
But I really don’t care because the point is to get the information out there, not to win an award for clever editing, cool graphics or a fancy sound track.
I’m not saying those things can’t help make watching a video more appealing, but equally they can sometimes obscure the fact that the actual information being delivered is shit.
High end video production tells you two things only.
- The video production is high end
- The blog owner is probably fairly wealthy or has a friend into video production.
It tells you nothing about the quality of the advice or whether it’s relevant to you.
The Cure: Ignore the video whenever possible and listen to the information and judge it on its merits.
Potential To Negatively Effect Your Well-being Negatively- Difficult to gauge and can vary massively
5. The ‘Law of Attraction Expert’ Blog
To write a blog that is designed to help gain clients whether as a Life Coach or a Therapist I believe you should know what you’re talking about.
The alternative is to keep supplying your readers with a steady stream of poor and ill conceived advice, a bit like most law of attraction bloggers do.
Go and search ‘Law of Attraction Expert’ on Google and then start looking around page 10 and further back.
Amazingly enough you will find websites and blogs from a bunch of Law of Attraction Coaches claiming to be experts.
What you won’t find is any Google Page Rank, comments or traffic. I also doubt you will find any of them have many clients.
Surely if you’re an EXPERT in the law of attraction you can figure out how to attract some readers and clients? If not, then you’re not a fucking expert, are you?
The Cure: Er…..it’s the Law of Attraction, what do you want me to say?
Potential To Negatively Effect Your Well-being – Low to Very High depending on whether they have figured out marketing or not
6. The ‘I Can Make A Killing Selling Self Development Products’ Blog
Some self development blogs are merely a vehicle to sell over priced products that nearly always under perform.
The blog content is either an afterthought, or merely a strategy to coax Google into ranking the site as highly as possible or sell more product by using clever marketing techniques.
Rarely do I meet a Life Coach who became one to get rich. It has happened, but not that often.
Most coaches get into the field to help people, but that’s not the case with a lot of self development bloggers, they get in to develop a revenue stream often on the side of their ‘real’ job.
These blogs frequently have multiple high priced products or service offerings (often not even their own but affiliate product) that are heavily promoted throughout the site.
Most of these bloggers are aiming for passive income, which is why they tend to be products rather than coaching services, although sometimes it’s a combination of both.
After all, the owner can’t be trading their time for money because as Tim Ferriss said that’s for fools (like nurses, teachers and firemen) and we all know Tim Ferriss is da man!
Potential To Negatively Effect Your Well-being – Medium. More of a potential to hurt your bank account
7. The ‘Quick Fix’ Blog
These abound because they are so easy to write and people lap them up.
These types of blogs concentrate on list posts (a bit like this one!), motivational quotes and quick tips and tricks.
But they never really explain anything fully and avoid any topic even remotely controversial or complex.
They will tell you things like, “let go of fear”, “just do it” and “seize the day” without actually explaining how you do those things.
These are the TMZ of self development blogs.
They make people feel great for a few moments as they think they’ve finally found the ultimate life hack, but seldom does anything ever change.
It’s actually probably unfair to criticize these because whereas they seldom do much good, they also seldom do any harm and they can be entertaining.
Potential To Negatively Effect Your Well-being – Very Low
I’m interested to get your take. I know that I don’t have a flock of sheep reading my blog and that if you disagree, you’ll tell me!
Final Chance To Save Some Cash
Aligning With Your Core Values – The Life Coaches edition is now done and dusted other than the audio version which I’m hoping to have done in the next 2 or 3 weeks.
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