The more you learn about blogging the more you’re going to find it’s like any other business – it takes a lot of time and effort to achieve long-lasting success. And, like any other business, once you learn what you’re doing you can start taking shortcuts to increase productivity. However, taking shortcuts that affect your reputation is never a good idea. And in the blogging world it’s especially important to put honesty and integrity above everything else.
In the brick-and-mortar world, it’s not acceptable to be an unscrupulous salesperson but it takes a while for people to notice. A used car salesmen might sell someone a lemon but by the time they notice there’s a problem they’ll think it’s something they did, or they’ll have moved to another city, or they’ll be too preoccupied with something else to register any kind of complaint. Nine times out of ten that used car salesmen is going to get away with it.
In Cyberspace it’s a different story. Give someone bad information or worse, sell them a lemon, and they’re going to follow you all over the Internet. They’ll talk about you on Facebook, tweet about you on Twitter, leave comments on your blog, put up their own blogs warning others to stay away from you. It only takes one dissatisfied customer to ruin your online reputation. Especially if they have plenty of friends to help spread the word.
What makes a dishonest blogger? First, it’s someone who provides shoddy content, filled with erroneous or misleading information. Someone who’s only out for the clicks. A used car salesman only sees two or three prospects a day but your blog might see hundreds, or even thousands. It won’t take long for those people to see through your hype and start spreading the word about your content.
Black hat techniques like article spinning, content scraping and paid traffic schemes will also damage your online reputation. These visitors may not be angry enough to start slamming you all over the Internet, but they will be angry enough to leave and never come back. More important, black hat techniques can get you in trouble with the search engines. And once your reputation is shot with Google it’s a long, hard road to recovery.
Sometimes it takes more time and effort to get back on course after you’ve taken a shortcut than if you’d just stayed on the straight and narrow path to begin with. You might look at those other blogs and say, “Hey. That guy’s doing it. Why can’t I?” but remember – Every dog has his day. Eventually, those dishonest techniques are going to bit that blogger in the butt.
Look around at the blogs you like to visit and pay attention to the people you like to do business with in the offline world. You’re attracted to those people who deal with you with honesty and treat you with respect. Your readers are attracted to that same type of person. In anything you do, whether it’s online or off, don’t be tempted to take short cuts that will hurt your reputation. Put honesty and integrity above everything else and you’ll always come out on top.