If you read freelance writing blogs to help yourself create a better career then I've got news for you. Not every blogger out there (in any niche) is everything they say they are which means you could be using untested or bad advice. Consider those MLM bloggers who talk about how much money you can make with their awesome pyramid.. er... multi-level marketing schemes... er... strategies. You know without even venturing into their realm that they are full of it.
Hopefully, you realize that the same is true about many of the freelance writing, marketing, and social networking blogs out there. But which ones are full of it and which ones aren't? In fact, how do you even know that I am a real freelance writer with what you would consider a successful career versus someone who's just a poser? Would you want my advice if my career sucked? I hope not and sheesh, to some of you my career probably does, so maybe you should stop reading... but then you don't really know what camp you fall in, do you? Don’t you owe it to yourself to try to get to know your bloggers before you start taking their advice?
3 Easy Ways to Do Due Diligence Before Taking a Blogger's Advice (hahaha, I said doo-doo)
- Check out your advising bloggers’ portfolio sites, client lists and by-lined articles. Are they good? Are they professional? Do they have evidence of a career that you would like to emulate within your own specialty? For me, I want to take career advice from people whose careers are on par with mine or who are doing better. I did community theater for years. Do you think that means Sir Ian McKellen wants to read my acting advice blog post? Yeah, probably not, but someone new to community theater might.
- Look for bloggers who give examples with their advice. Do your favorite bloggers include personal anecdotes with their advice so you can see how they found out their advice worked or why they give it—or are they just parroting the same old tired advice given by everyone else? Personally, I want bloggers who talk from experience, not from reading other people’s blog posts. I want to know why something did or didn't work for them so I can get a better feel about how it will work for me. I'm a different person--maybe it will work better. Or, maybe I see enough similarities that I recognize how it won't work.
- Are they keeping it real? A “real” blogger is going to have ups and downs. Someone who is trying to be honest and not just paint a rosy picture is going to share their ups and downs with you—maybe not in specific detail but it will come out in their posts. Bloggers who are trying too hard to present a certain one-dimensional image are not being honest with you at least on a personality level, so what else are they not being honest about? I always wonder if these bloggers are coming from a place of insecurity. If they are, I totally get it, but maybe I don't want to take my career advice from them. And if they are doing it so they can promote their product, well, then I certainly don't want their bias limiting my career.
So take a few minutes and think about all the traits you want in a blogger and then do some due diligence to make sure your favorite bloggers measure up. Or don't. Oh crap, I'm being wishy-washy... the number one trait I don't want in bloggers I get advice from.