Content Isn’t King

I followed a link from Twitter he other day to a fairly popular self development blog. It’s not one I frequent regularly, but as the guest post was written by somebody who I like, I  knew it would be worth reading.

Unfortunately for my own sanity I loitered around after reading the original post and started to peruse the previous offering on self-esteem and weight loss.

I’m glad I’m not a violent man, because if I were I’m fairly sure I’d have wanted to punch the writer and probably the editor that agreed to publish it. Instead I just sat there shaking my head in dismay.

I don’t want to get into the details of the post other than to say the advice on weight loss being offered was not just poor, but potentially harmful.

The problem is a good proportion of the people that read it wouldn’t know that. There were even the ubiquitous ‘Great Post’ comments to indicate some readers actually thought the guy had the faintest clue as to what he was talking about.

As a Life Coach I take what I do very seriously. I know I dick about and like to have fun, but I still make sure what I post is either right or people can tell I’m just offering an opinion. I feel I have  a duty of care to you the reader to make sure I don’t send you off on a fools errand armed with poor advice .

Not every blogger gets this and I feel sure some believe the only real criteria for demonstrating success is their traffic stats and click-throughs.

Therein lies the real problem.

The blog I am referring to has way more readers than I do, probably 3 or 4 times as many and as such it has way more authority to the casual reader.

The higher the traffic, the higher the levels of social proof and it really isn’t unreasonable for people to think what they are reading has merit and is factually correct. Instead, it seems to me some blogs are more intent on screaming with their Comment, RSS and Twitter counters:

“Never mind the quality, just look at the Alexa page rank”

And no I don’t have anything against bloggers building social proof per se and flaunting their success, as long as they can back it up with content that has real lasting value.

I’m not sure if content ever was king when it comes to blogging. What I am sure of though, is if it once was, it has long since been stabbed in the back and usurped by its younger siblings called social marketing, networking and SEO.

Read blogs with caution (especially those that rely on a steady stream of guest posters) and if you are going to implement changes in your life based on what you have read, make sure you’re not taking advice from some kid that’s just read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and thinks he’s discovered  the meaning of life.