Advice: more than ever, be discerning

17 Jun

Everyone is jumping on the ‘how to make money online’ idea, usually sprinkled with a dash of ‘digg-loving lists’.

But advice is suppoused to be something accumulate over the years. People who shouldn’t be dishing out advice are. And it is bad advice. To pick out an example: 5 myths about blogging.

Claim #1: “You have to be passionate about your subject”
If you want to be successful, damn straight you have to be passionate. To really ‘win’ you need to slog through the bad times. You need to put in the hours. And you won’t put in those hours unless you care.

Claim #2: “Focus on creating good content and the readers will come”
I agree to a certain degree – I had previously argued that unique content is not enough. Emphasizing enough. Yes you need to promote online – but half the battle is getting people to come (promotion), the other half is to keep them coming back (content).

Claim #3: “Commenting on lots of blogs will draw readers to your blog”
Commenting on other blogs is one of the best things I have done. Quality and quantity have no bearing on each other. I am a frequent commentator on various blogs – in the last 30 days I have commented on roughly 250 different posts. What commenting has done is two fold:
1. It qualifies who I am to other people. People associate a voice with who you are – in my case, I (like to think) that I comment thoughtfully. You can easily extend this concept to messageboards – often times as conferences I meet people who have read what I write and come away with a positive image.
2. It is a way of selling ‘hello’ to the blogger. Most bloggers watch comments on their blogs obsessively. Commenting is my way of saying ‘Hi, nice to meet you’. Many times I’ve commented on blogs for months before contacting the blogger – and when I do, the blogger knows who I am.

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Claim #4: “You must stick to a regular posting schedule no matter what”
Yet again I disagree. I have more than enough anecdotal evidence that posting intelligently regularly is the best way to increase subscribers/traffic.

Claim #5: “The most popular blogs have the best content”
This one I actually agree with. It goes with my previous statement that you need both promotion and content.

So – one for five. Advice and good advice are two different beasts.

And some good advice on writing.

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