6 Dangers of Being a Know-it-All Blogger

This is a Guest Post by Karol K. (@carlosinho) is a freelance blogger and writer. If you’re interested in learning how to start freelance writing feel free to visit him at YoungPrePro and get a nice set of freelance writing tips.

“The dangers of being a who?!” – asks you.

If you go to Wikipedia, you will find absolutely nothing about know-it-all bloggers. Actually, I just made that name up a minute ago, but I had a good reason for this.

In my mind, a know-it-all blogger is someone who acts like they know everything about blogging, but they don’t quite show it in practice. In other words, people who can talk the talk, yet won’t walk the walk.

What’s the biggest danger of being someone like this? Not being aware of it.

There are, however, some common characteristics of know-it-all bloggers. Like these six, for example:

1. You think you know how to get comments

Commenting is a crucial part of blogging, or at least it should be in theory. However, not every blogger knows how to attract new commenters and provoke a discussion in the community.

Where it gets really interesting is when a blogger who does not receive a lot of comments starts giving advice on how to get more comments.

In their mind, they have all the knowledge, they’re just trying to put it in practice, and in the meantime they can share some advice.

The only problem is that you don’t really know something until you can use this knowledge in practice.

For instance, I try not to share advice on getting comments (at least right now). The fact is that I don’t have a clue about how to get more comments. I mean, I know the theory, but I have no results to show for. I could easily write a post or two on how to do it, but what’s the point?

I advise you to take the same approach. If your blog is not receiving that many comments, don’t fall for thinking that deep inside you know how to get them.

(By the way, have you created a comment policy for your blog yet?)

2. You think you know how to guest post

Guest posting is a great strategy to get new traffic and some recognition for yourself and your blog.

However, do you really know a lot about guest posting if you only send like two articles a month? Does the fact that you’ve guest posted once at ProBlogger make you an expert on guest posting?

Not likely.

For me, only people who are capable of sending one guest post per day can be considered experts. The fact is that anyone can secure one or two guest posts on various blogs a month. You need no expertise to achieve this.

So what to do instead of acting like an expert? Guest post, guest post a lot. Once you have at least 200 guest posts under your belt you’re starting to approach the expert level.

3. You think you’d be a great freelance writer

Essentially, for the most part of your blogging career you’re sitting at your desk and writing articles. This can make you think that you’d be great as a freelancer.

There are, however, many challenges to freelancing that people don’t realize before they actually start working as freelancers.

Just to name a few:

  • You have to deliver your work on time.
  • You need to learn how to write about topics that are not within your comfort zone.
  • You have to start searching for clients.
  • You have very little time left for your own blog (the most serious challenge, at least in my case).

The message here is that being on top of things at all times as a freelancer and blogger is not that easy. If you think that it only involves a little more work then you’re wrong, it’s a whole different career.

4. You think you’re better than ProBlogger, you just don’t have the traffic

This one is funny, but a lot of people actually think that way. When you take a quick look at some of the most popular sites you might think that the only thing that separates you from them is traffic. That if you attracted the same amount of traffic, you’d get similar results.

This might be true, but not necessarily. You see, every popular site is popular for a reason, not just because, at some point, it saw a sudden increase in traffic. If you want to get similar results, you will need a lot more than just luck, SEO, and one post that goes viral.

Building popularity is always a process. For some it can be shorter than for others, but no one becomes successful overnight. Instead of talking that you’re on the same level, do some actual work to get there.

5. You think you know web design

Owning a blog is not the same thing as being knowledgeable about web design. I know that most people spend a lot of time picking the theme for their blog, but this really doesn’t make them experts.

Web design has a lot of different elements to it. There’s user interaction, accessibility, usability, eye direction, goal-centered approach, and much more.

Saying that you’re an expert in web design just because you have a blog is like saying that you’re an expert in cooking just because you ate pizza twice this week.

6. You think you know SEO

SEO does not have a good publicity these days. Mostly due to the recent updates like the Penguin, which caused a lot of legitimate sites to vanish from the search engines completely.

Anyway, some bloggers see themselves as experts in SEO, just because they can get high rankings for a medium-difficulty keyword.

The fact is that if you’re a blogger doing some guest posting, and targeting a mid-level keyword, chances are that you will be able to get good rankings for it. But this doesn’t make you an expert.

For instance, spend a while reading one of the popular blogs like SEOmoz and notice how many different things are in discussion every week. This really gives you a nice perspective on how complex SEO actually is, and that no one is THE expert. We’re all on the same team … trying different things and, essentially, running in the dark.

What’s next?

Contrary to what you might think, the main point of this post was not to simply list all the traits of know-it-all bloggers, or to attack anyone. It was to point your attention towards these matters and save you from falling into such a mindset.

Being overly confident about your skills is never a good thing. As long as you remain honest with yourself and learn a new thing every day, you will be constantly growing and improving your skills as a blogger.

And I’m not trying to sound smart here either. We’re on the same team. I’m in the middle of my journey just like you are in the middle of yours.

Finally, can you point out any other indicators that someone might be a know-it-all blogger?