This morning I read this week’s focus point in the Summit Consulting Newsletter and one line in it particulary had me thinking. That line was:
“perhaps we should be following those who truly lead and not merely direct”
So I proposed this question to myself: When people read this blog, does it look like I’m leading by doing or just directing people to do things I don’t appear to be doing myself?
I took a moment to reflect.
Once in a great while there may be things I recommend on this site that I don’t actually do when it comes to marketing it, however I may be very family with the practice from other experiences. For instance, I link-build to this blog very cautiously because it is a blog about search engine optimization and I fear it will be overly scrutinized by the search Gods and perhaps even reported by some SEOs who prefer to try and bring other sites down instead of building themselves up. I simply don’t have the luxury of “playing stupid” when it comes to acquiring back links and SEO. And, although there are plenty of additional back linking methods that DO work, I simply cannot justify taking those risks here. So, for the most part I have to rely on “natural” link building for this website. Which sucks!
If you take a look at the most expensive recommendations I make when it comes to acquiring back links, which is submitting your website to my list of the top 5 general web directories, you’ll see that I’ve also spent the nearly $1000 to have this site reviewed and listed in those directories because I believe in them and they are the what I consider the safest web directories partially due to their strict approval process. Submitting to the four paid directories: Yahoo!, JoeAnt, BOTW, and Business.com allows me to manually acquire some authoritative backlinks while also resting easy at night.
So, it appears I am taking my own advice. When I make a recommendation for something that is going to cost you money, I’m making the recommendation because I believe in it and I use it too.
Awhile back I started reading a particular blog and was very impressed by the sincerity of the writer. Over time I lost interest but still checked in occasionally. A few months had gone by and this writer started doing a lot more affiliate promotions in his blog posts. Which is fine, I don’t mind that at all as long as you’re promoting things you believe in. But, what caught me by surprise was when this person wrote in one of his posts how article marketing had been the key to his success followed by an affiliate link that would go on to make him thousands of dollars in commissions that month. Just a few month earlier this person replied to a comment on his blog noting how he hadn’t really done much article marketing and couldn’t comment on how effective it was. Needless to say, I no longer trust anything this person recommends whenever there is an affiliate link associated with it.
If you’re sincere about what you do, then I’m sure you work hard at doing the best you can. But, sometimes it’s not always easy to see yourself as others do. Perhaps you should ask a friend to hold you accountable. In the long-run, maintaining your trust is worth far more than any short-term pay-off.