A Good Guide is a Guide and Nothing More

Bloggers take critical advice a little bit too critically. Fix this and this about yourself and maybe you’ll be successful. It’s a trait that I see far too often among “pro bloggers” and people who claim to know what’s going on. “10 steps to boosting your traffic, SEO optimization.” Guides like this I find, tend to prey on human weakness and appeal to those who want to “make it big in the blogosphere”.

Why do self help books sell so well? Because people want a quick answers to their problem. These books/blog aren’t a bad resource at all. The reader will either a) not read the book/post all the way though, b) take the advice a little too literally and fail to think for him/herself c) completely miss the point of the book/post.

If you’re read a post made by a fellow blogger, take the time to read it thoroughly before dismissing it. Skimming an article is bad and if you’re not paying attention to this article you would miss things like this. And this.

Taking a post too literally can be also dangerous. For instance, if you have a fellow blogger telling you to do x, y and z, you should at least consider why the blogger is telling you to do it. If an advice blogger is telling you to “write good content” what does that actually mean? Think and if that doesn’t work, experiment.

Tip c) goes alongside tips a) and tips b). If you read a post and don’t understand it, then well of course you’re going to get nothing out of it. Are you missing some key background information or is it that you don’t understand some of the vocabulary the particular blogger is using? Check Wikipedia for Tech terms or read the darn post again.

Now this is some pretty basic stuff, but you’d be surprised at how many people read online advice and don’t take the time to think it though. Am I telling you to be a skeptical reader? Well I suppose I am. Feel free to disagree and leave a comment.

12 Responses to “A Good Guide is a Guide and Nothing More”

  1. 1 JLB 28 September, 2006 at 5:28 am

    You make some great points! I think some bloggers might lose sight of why they’re blogging in the first place… or perhaps they never really sat down and thought about it.

    There is just SOO MUCH content out there for potential readers to wade through, and blogging for the gratification of being noticed is probably a means of setting oneself up for disappointment.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this subject. 😉


  2. 2 joy 28 September, 2006 at 6:01 am

    I think people take blog how-to posts too literally because they don’t know anymore. I don’t know any better, either… It’s also not always a great thing to make an attempt at applying EVERY piece of blogging advice to yourself. I mean, if you absolutely *have* to be a tech blogger, then “finding your niche” will be hard to do, and etc.

  3. 3 arick 29 September, 2006 at 10:11 am

    I agree with everything you say here. American culture has led people to think that there are easy fixes for every problem. Additionally, we (as Americans) wish to do everything ourselves, we don’t wish for others to help us. These two facts about American culture have lead to the rise of self-help. And these don’t always work. I believe self-help books are meant to be taken as advice, not as a do-this type of book. Every person is an individual, and therefore, no amount of generic help could ever help solve problems. It is more important to understand the reasoning for the steps/advice.

  4. 4 bonnieq 1 October, 2006 at 2:07 pm

    You are so spot on. A number of times someone has read? and commented on one of my blog articles; yet, their comment clearly reveals that they did not read it through. The give away is usually a question they ask in their comment that clearly was addressed in the article.

    As a Christian writer, I find the biggest fault among my readers is not looking up the scripture references I always provide. Instead, they tend to argue the word based on what they heard spewing from their chosen pulpit. This is especially troublesome, not for me but for them, in that a rude awakening is coming soon and they will not be prepared; simply because they would not verify God’s Word for themselves. Instead, they just take whatever some person preaches from that podium before them.

    By the grace of God go I and I am eternally grateful to God that He gave me the wisdom to not just listen but to verify.

    Thank you for posting a great article about this problem in all areas of life.

    Love in Christ,

  5. 5 disembedded 3 October, 2006 at 4:15 am

    Very good, concise bit of advice. I especially like “tip c.” This something that I find myself doing a lot. It’s so important, I think, to really try to get a good grasp or understanding of the other writer’s perspective, and to appreciate it. Thanks for this brief note!!

    Et Cetera: Public and Privat Curiosities

  6. 6 disembedded 3 October, 2006 at 2:24 pm

    But then, I do get a little down, the “blues” maybe, when I see that the TOP WordPress Blogs (for example, today) include:

    Mary Kay Sucks

    Angry 365 Days a Year

    The House of Zen (Hot Asian Hunks)




  7. 7 engtech 5 October, 2006 at 1:26 am

    Skimming an article is bad and if you’re not paying attention to this article you would miss things like this. And this.

    Are those supposed to be links? They’re plain text.

  8. 8 engtech 5 October, 2006 at 1:27 am

    And that “idiot proof diet” site comment above is from a spammer.

  9. 9 disembedded 10 October, 2006 at 11:22 am

    I think that maybe my last comment sounded a bit strident. I guess it just frustrates me somewhat that the blogs that I mentioned are the ones most people are interested in. But sorry if it sounded too hostile.

  10. 10 Manny 12 October, 2006 at 2:29 am

    Some excellent points made!

    I was reading the book “Dispatches from Blogistan” by Suzanne Stefanac, and in a section she publishes an interview with Bruce Sterling, from Wired, where he talks about the concept of “attention economics” and how people are more and more shooting for efficiency in their information gathering and exchanging efforts.

  11. 11 Anita Marie 28 October, 2006 at 9:55 am

    I started my blog as a ‘notebook’ for a Writer’s Site that I use. It sort of got away from me and now I get hits every day.

    As a struggling ( and Lord knows I struggle ) writer I’m just thrilled that ANYONE takes the time to check out my work and it’s even better when they think enough of it to list me on their own blog or pass my link along to their friends.

    So I’ve only got 1,000 Views…I know most of the blogs beat my brains out on a daily basis.

    But I write, I’m read…I’m happy.

    It’s all about perspective I guess.

    Anita Marie

  1. 1 The Moment of Realization + Different School’s of Thought « Best Blog on Wordpress Trackback on 3 December, 2006 at 4:33 am

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