Tag Archives: 12most.com

12 Ways Best Blogging Practices Aren’t

I like Blogger Brad Shorr‘s list of 12 Most Horrible Pieces of Blogging Advice. It’s a good list, well worth reading, good food for thought. More important, in my opinion, is that it’s also an eloquent reminder of the essential case-by-case rule that applies not only to business blogging but also to all of small business, beyond blogging.

Here’s Brad’s list of 12 pieces of bad advice:

  1. Keep posts under 300 words
  2. Stick to a rigid publishing schedule
  3. Blogs are an SEO shortcut
  4. Bloggers need to be edgy
  5. Images aren’t important
  6. Blogs should be monetized
  7. All it takes to succeed is quality content
  8. Cultivate reciprocal links
  9. You must use a custom design
  10. Blogging has been replaced by social media
  11. Corporate blog content can be outsourced
  12. It’s all about subscribers.

In most of these cases, Brad takes a commonly accepted best practice or general rule and points out the exceptions. He sums up most of this with his very first item, for which he explains:

Beware of absolutes. This advice stems from the generalization that all blog readers are in a hurry. However, if your blog’s purpose is to provide information or analysis, and you’re good at it, people will be willing to read five times that word count.

In other cases, advice that used to be good advice has gone stale. For his #8, on reciprocal links, he explains:

This is an outdated SEO tactic that can now do more harm than good if you have links coming in from bad sources. For audience building only, reciprocal linking is OK, but only when you are selective in terms of the relevance and quality of your link partners.

And that, aside from blogging specifics, is the real nugget in this particular post. Attractive as advice and guidelines are, out here in the real world everything is case by case. The only rule is that there are no rules. Best practices only work when applied carefully with a lot of respect for the specifics of context and a lot of flexibility to use not as directed.

I’m sure that applies for small business too, not just blogging. And maybe for life in general too? What do you think?

Don’t Compete on Price. Please.

I caught Ted Coiné’s 12 Most Irrefutable Laws of Business Heresy the other day. I really like that list. And it’s a great title for a post. And it’s an excellent post, great advice coming one delightful rule after another.

Still, I want to highlight one of his 12 rules for this post: Don’t compete on price:

You know who competes on price successfully? Walmart. Ryan Air. And… okay, two companies, in all the world. Let your competitor compete on price. You compete on quality, at a fair price. If for no other advice on this list, you’ll thank me for this.

I couldn’t agree more. And – I thought it was worth noting with this post – I have pretty good indications that you also agree: of more than 1,250 posts on this blog, my post warning against lowball pricing is in the top 20 by page views. I put that as #4 in my top 10 business plan mistakes, but, interestingly enough, it has roughly twice as many page views as any other post about any other of the top 10 business plan mistakes.

And, while we’re on the subject, read the rest of Ted’s list.