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Content – Is It Really King, Or More Like A Court Jester?

Michelle Dale - Friday, April 29, 2011

Today is the day when Prince William gets married to Kate Middleton. I have to say that if you are a Brit, then whilst you may be a little bit tired of all the hype by now, it’s nice to see him finally tie the knot, and I for one will be glued to the screen! Whilst Prince William may one day become King of England, there is another “King,” which is often coming up in the online world and that King is “Content”  -  or is it… 

Blogs are interesting things…. Anyone can start one, and anyone can pretty much post whatever they want on it. Which means that the online world contains some of the most valuable information, and also some of the biggest piles of rubbish you have ever seen in your life.

Although I blog, clearly! I am not a “blogger” as such that blogging is not my area of expertise. I know a thing or two about it from my own experience and I can provide information on things which work and don’t work for me in the realms of blogging, I can also discuss how blogging can help you obtain clients in your virtual assistant practice, but I can’t tell you the best forms of advertising, how to make loads of money blogging, or how to be a professional full time blogger, I freely admit, I have not yet done it myself, possibly may never, therefore I am not the best person to advise you on this point.

“If you are unable to do something for a client, do you tell them?” 

In a recent interview I did for Digital Nomad Academy, somebody asked me, If you are unable to do something for a client, do you tell them?” – the answer was of course, “Yes,” I absolutely tell people when I have no experience in what they are asking me to do, and the same goes in my blogging, coaching and online business consulting, I only touch on things that I have personal experience on, and if I happen to be writing about a subject I don’t, then it’s important for me to make sure my readers know I am speculating… Speculation is a risk, a gamble, a 50/50 — it’s not fact.

It’s very wise to always consider these points with information you see or read online, not all content is king, and much of it, is more like a jester. If for example, someone tells you that you that opening an ice-cream shop is more profitable and better as a business venture than buying an ice-cream van, when all that person has ever done is opened an ice-cream shop, how is it they are able to advise on this without experience? I suppose they could have met someone who owns an ice cream van and it made much less than their shop, but still, that’s not personal “experienced-based” information, the guy may have had many reasons why his van wasn’t making money, anything from only going out in it once a week, to selling bad ice-cream…

If the person can give you the pros and cons of having both an ice-cream shop and a van, providing insight into how each one is run or managed, deducting the better option is the shop, because they have learned from personal experience — then that person is truly a wonderful guru style source of information.

Opinions are fine, as long as they are clearly advertised as opinions.

Statements of fact are a different ball game altogether, which is how I whittle out the good content online. I like reading “opinion-based” articles for recreation, I find them thought provoking, sometimes entertaining, but if the content I am seeking out is directly related to an important decision in my business, then I don’t take any chances, I go for the “fact-based / experience-based” information as opposed to the “opinion-based stuff.”

This particularly goes for anyone advising on how to make, or not make money in business — if it’s not clearly shown as fact or opinion based, that’s kind of playing with people’s lives. It’s not good. That’s like me saying you can’t make money from blogging, because I haven’t, but then again, I have never tried, so that statement I just made is tosh…

Content is everywhere, article directories, blogs, podcasts, videos, books and websites — the key is to not believe everything you read unless the person can somehow demonstrate that what they are saying isn’t all fluff, or like the ice-cream shop owner who says that owning an ice-cream shop is more profitable than an ice-cream van — when they have never owned an ice-cream van…

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Hi I'm Michelle, an entrepreneur specialising in virtual assistance, a digital and real world nomad, and a down-to-earth mother of three.

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