Time to share another extract from my upcoming new eBook!
I am in the middle of the second draft and will go through six or seven more afterwards. So, as always, nothing you see here is set in stone.
To those who wonder if I have a title and a release date, the answer is “no”. I will soon start teaching a new series of social media classes that will keep me very busy for a couple of months. As a result, the eBook will have to remain on the backburner for a while.
I welcome your thoughts and suggestions in the comment section below.
Golden Rule #8: Aim for Quality
Do you know that the first spam in the history of emails was sent on May 3, 1978? Its author, Gary Turk, wanted to advertise a new computer he was selling. After going through the directory of the Arpanet (a.k.a. the ancestor of the Internet), he chose 400 names among the 2,600 available, and sent all these people an invitation to come and see a demo of the product. You can see a copy of the email and some of the reactions that the message triggered here.
Now, more than 30 years later, spam has become part of our daily lives. Kaspersky Lab reports that it makes up 71 percent of emails sent around the world. The biggest culprits? China and the United States, with South Korea coming in third place.
With that said, spam is not limited to emails. It is any kind of unsolicited message. From the artists who use people’s Facebook’s profiles and status updates as their own personal billboards, to MLM players who hijack Twitter discussions to tout their own horns, spam comes in different shapes and forms. It is ugly and annoying.
It is so annoying that people will not hesitate to let the world know about it. On Facebook, for example, they report seven percent of what they see from companies as being irrelevant.
A few months ago, I read an article stating that Google has been penalizing bloggers who “over optimize” their content (a.k.a. keyword stuffing) to rank higher in search engine results. Since then, the company has implemented several other changes aimed at putting an end to junk content and opening the door to better content strategies. You can read Moz’s Google Algorithm Change History for the main landmarks.
Like Google, I wish more entrepreneurs paid attention to the way they use social media to promote themselves. That they focused more on building communities of advocates and less on immediate financial gain. That they stopped believing that quantity matters more than quality.
Quality still rules the world.
How do you expect to meet your audience’s needs if all you do is prattle on social networks? And bragging about the greatness of your products and services instead of letting your deeds or others speak for you is a sure way to sabotage your strategy.
Refocus your efforts. Ask questions, listen, be humble, approachable, and educate yourself. People do not want more noise in their social media streams. They want entertainment, uplifting conversations, and products that last. Most importantly, they want to be taken seriously.
“Quality is not an act, it is a habit,” said Aristotle. It is a habit that helps you stand out from the crowd and gain credibility — among your peers and your audience.
In particular, be careful about the way you craft your messages.
Would you read a book or a newspaper whose content is full of typos and grammatical errors? Probably not. While perfection does not exist, entrepreneurs are expected to master the basics of the language in which they write. Poor writing will make you look like an amateur.
Here is a short list of some of the most commonly misspelled or mixed-up words in English:
As a perfectionist, I often find myself re-reading my content dozens of times before publishing it. I also know that I can rely on a couple of friends who know grammar well enough to help me.
It is hard to take a step back to catch our errors. So, sometimes, break is needed. Only press “publish” if you are 100 percent sure that it is what you want to do. If in doubt, go for a walk or do something relaxing for a while. Then, go back to your content. You will be surprised by the number of thing you will be able to correct — and that includes mistakes that could cost you your reputation!
Another tip is to first write your content in a Word document, then copy and paste it where you want it published. You can also read what you wrote out loud to check if something sounds off.
The ideas you defend, your slogan, the articles you publish and share, the people you follow… Everything you do as an entrepreneur becomes eventually attached to your brand. So, do not just self-promote or seek others for an ego boost. Instead, aim for the highest quality possible in every action. It matters much more than numbers!
Looking for tips to attract quality traffic to your blog? Check out The Little Big eBook on Blogging: 40 Traffic Generation Tips.