Over the past 24 hours, I have seen 2 people advertising their services as business blogging experts. In both cases, I decided to check THEIR blogs out. As a marketing guy, I was curious as to what kind of blogs these expert business bloggers had. I’m really glad I did, because it motivated me to write this “buyer beware” post and hopefully, will stop people from wasting their time and money.
Business blogging experts?
One of them has a blog, which has not been updated since last year! This blog expert wants you to pay him, to coach you on the benefits of business blogging, yet his primary business blog looks like he has just given up on it.
The other blogging expert was even worse! Her blog is not even configured correctly. I was on her blog for 5 minutes, and was unable to find anything, other than the most recent blog post, because the navigation was so poor. Equally, the blog was almost unreadable, (even on my 24 inch monitor), because it’s written in a tiny font. It looks a total mess and lacked even basic social bookmarking options. I have seen many new bloggers, with far more professional looking blogs. Unbelievably, she is currently offering a free talk on successful business blogging, via a local networking group. Clearly, no one bothered to check her out before allowing her to talk.
Researching a business blogging expert: The basics
Both of these self proclaimed business blogging experts, have thousands of followers on Twitter. This is not an indicator of how good they are at what they do, yet many use the size of someone’s social network as a short-cut to their decision making process. If you want a better indicator as to how good a blogging expert REALLY is, check out their blog!
Here are a few of the basics to look for, before you decide to take any advice from them:
- Check that their blog looks professional. If it isn’t, do you really want to take blogging advice from them?
- Check that their blog has an active community. A quick look at the number of comments their posts attract, will give you an idea as to how well they are engaging THEIR readers. Look at the last 10 or so posts, as some posts get a lot fewer comments than others. Bottom line: if their blog doesn’t have an active community (which is the heart of a great business blog) they are hardly going to be able to show you how to build a great community on YOUR blog!
- Check that their content is valued by others. When people find something on a blog or website interesting, they will often link to it. For example, there are around 20,000 links pointing to this blog right now. You can check how many links point to any site, using Yahoo Site Explorer.
Even if someone is offering you free advice via a local networking group or webinar, ALWAYS check them out, before you waste your time and money following what they say. Just because their advice is free, does not mean it will not cost you a great deal, if you use what they say and it’s based on bullshit. Sometimes, free advice can be very expensive!