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Secrets of Blog Networks and Experts

Oh oh, the Bloke is gonna rant again. There’s nothing quite like a little contrarian blogging to stir up the pot because… well, why not? Besides, that’s what I’m known for and I see no reason for changing now. What was that they say about old dogs and new tricks?

Anyhow, have you ever noticed that a lot of the blog networks out there didn’t even make their own template? Yup, that’s right. They couldn’t write a stitch of code if their life depended on it.

They hire the “experts” to do it for them. And yet they are the first to offer you advice on how to make your blog look more “professional”. Can you appreciate the irony?

The same goes for some of the so-called blog experts out there. They preach about blogging for business and yet most of them have never been an entrepreneur before. They just dust off old books from the local library and throw an internet spin on it. It really makes you go hmm doesn’t it.

They are however very good at following SEO advice and packing their titles with keywords that guarantee traffic, and the gullible public and venture capitalists lap it up.

But it seems that they are more “expert” at being opportunists than anything else. A case of self-professed prophecy and reinventing oneself if there ever was. I could go on but I think you get the point.

For me it’s important that I practice what I preach, and if I’m going to toot my horn about how knowledgeable I am then I had better know what I’m talking about from personal experience.

If I haven’t already been there and done that, or rolled up my sleeves and got down and dirty in the trenches then I believe I should keep my mouth shut.

I mean, is it not reasonable to expect an “expert” to at least have some prior experience before calling themself one? To me it’s just common sense. Or even better — whatever happened to that long forgotten word called integrity? Call me old fashioned or a putz if you like but that’s what I believe.

Personally I don’t care how many books they may have wrote or podcasts published. Thanks to technology and the media almost anybody can get published these days.

Find out what their background was before they became so-called “blog experts”. Do they really know what the difference is between an html tag or a link? Have they ever run a successful business before?

So when you are contemplating linking to that so-called expert out there, do your due diligence before helping them with their already overinflated pagerank (and ego).

Because that’s what it’s all about. SHOW ME THE MONEY!

That should rile them. Heh!

UPDATE: Blog Networks Offer any Real Value?

Filed under: blog, blogging, instabloke, blog networks, business, today’s rant

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  • Do Blog Networks Offer Value to the Blogosphere?
  • Written November 6th, 2006 by | 7 Comments | Filed under: Blog Tips, Business Tips , , ,

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    There are 7 Comments so far to “Secrets of Blog Networks and Experts”

    1. Thanks Bloke for saying what needed to be said.

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    2. you’ve got brass kahunas bloke, and you are usually right too.

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    3. Not all Blog networks use default template or common software like wordpress. Few blog networks like Instablogs and Weblogsinc have their own software built. Instablogs, the network I am part of, has custom designs for all 100+ blogs we have in our network. But nevertheless even if the template is same across all networks or common software is used, it doesn’t put any blog network in bad light. Since a blog network is supposed to generate good content, not good designs. Good designs are a bonus.

      You second point of being good at SEO, might hold true for an amateur blogger. But today search engines are way too smart to get fooled by stuffed keywords in title. Good ol’ days are long gone.

      Venture capitalist might be gullible to fall into blog networks trap, but a common reader doesn’t care if any blog is a part of a blog network or not. This is one of the biggest flaws of current blog networks model. Currently they offer no incentive to the readers. But coming to VCs again, most of the blog networks who have been funded recently have shown great growth in past few months, whether its b5media or Popsugar network.

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    4. I once knew of a paralegal organization that allowed anyone into it who had a few dollars burning in their pockets regardless if they had any real world legal experience.

      In my view that offers little or no value to anyone except to the network owner who is skimming from the proceeds.

      Nor am I really discussing the value of content or the use of canned templates.

      I was just using a little tongue-in-cheek humor there to make a point (sorry for the warped sense of humor ;-).

      It is some of the network’s hypocrisy and their writer’s general lack of real world experience that I am ranting about.

      Don’t you think that if you are going to pass yourself off as an expert in a niche market you should at least have some real world experience besides just having a passion for the topic? That is what I am saying.

      I don’t know what SE’s you use naveen but stuffing certain keywords into blog and page titles really does influence the search engines. In fact it is still common practice and I’m not knocking that either.

      I’m just pointing out that it isn’t rocket science propelling oneself to the top of the list, but that doesn’t necessarily reflect true value of a blog.

      I will admit however that is one advantage that the networks do have. The blogger needn’t worry so much about SEO techniques to drive traffic and to make money. And isn’t making money really the bottom line with networks?

      However, as a former writer for Blogcritics it has also been my unfortunate experience that at the end of the day it is the network that gains most of the traffic and the value (and the money) — not the individual writers.

      Cheers and thanks for the comment.


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    5. >> It is some of the network’s hypocrisy and their writer’s general lack of real world experience that I am ranting about.

      If by joining a network you get real world experience, don’t you think its real worth of your money and time. And if a network is able to provide you a steady income in addition to it, you can call it a bonus too.

      >> I don’t know what SE’s you use naveen but stuffing certain keywords into blog and page titles really does influence the search engines. In fact it is still common practice and I’m not knocking that either.

      I totally agree with you, stuffing keywords in page Title, page URL is a Common practice, and since it’s a common practice it’s no longer an effective practice. Today the most effective way to get high rankings is getting linked by authority sites. Age of domains also play an important part.

      >> However, as a former writer for Blogcritics it has also been my unfortunate experience

      I really feel sorry for your “unfortunate experience”. But, I am more than lucky enough to be a part of Instablogs Community. While joining a blog network, you should check a network’s background, people associated with it.

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    6. And I too am happy for you naveen if your experience in a blog network has been good. But I think a writer should have some “real world experience” first before passing themself off as an expert writer on any given topic.

      I also have to take you to task about pageranking. That is only one small part of the equation for getting a good search listing. I recommend that you read Googlebot’s faq files if you haven’t already, and you will see that linking by authority is only a part of the algorithm equation.


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    7. I wonder how much money they are really making.

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