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What Gabby Douglas Can Teach Us About Online Influence (and other stupid blog headlines)

Bloggers love playing buzzword bingo, don’t they? They’ve got their sweaty fingers on the pulse of their social media timelines and are quick to scramble to their keyboards at the first mention of any noteworthy event. Ambulance chasers who don't have to leave their seats.

They begin their “writing” (and I use the term loosely) by dusting off the usual blog title template, “What [insert noteworthy event] can teach us about [social media/marketing/public relations]” and produce a handful of anemic references to the aforementioned noteworthy event in a shameful effort to justify the blog title (all the while featuring several additional links to other blog posts they’ve written).

I'm not the only one who notices this, right? Hello?

This past week, amidst a plethora of similar posts, I came across a real doozy, What Michael Phelps’ 19th Olympic Medal can Teach You About Smarter Online Marketing (think the author got enough keywords in there?). Allow me to apologize in advance if you head over to read it but if you decide not to, the author of the post makes a quick reference to Phelps’ “rivalry” with fellow Team USA swimmer Ryan Lochte before going into the bloodied and beaten “the audience comes first” blogging sermon. Oy vey.

Along the way, she features several additional links (6 in total) to other posts she’s written that further elaborate on the points she just recycled in her present post as well as links to sign up for additional services offered by the site. Linkbait, plain and simple.

Her post was far from the only offender:

What can the Olympics opening ceremony teach us about Social Media?

3 Things the Olympics Can Teach Us About Social Media

What the Olympic Games Can Teach You About Marketing Your Business

WTF?

Gabrielle Douglas Olympics Gold Medal

It really isn’t that surprising considering that you can unearth similar posts from the BP oil spill to the killing of Osama Bin Laden. This type of blog post has become rather predictable, yes? Moreover, it’s what the “blogging experts” teach us you have to do to attract eyeballs (and google) to your site. Content is king? Whatever.

Yeah, I get that there are people that “have to” blog daily or who get paid to blog or whose livelihood depends on their blog traffic. I get that. But what these types of blog posts really do is lower the bar on what is considered quality content and raise the flag of mediocrity in the blogosphere. Fortunately for these bloggers, there are enough people out there willing to leave a “Great post!” comment on even these types of lame blog posts just to increase their own SEO. Yay.

So what can the rest of us do? Take our eyes elsewhere, that's what. First, let these bloggers know (via SEO-boosting comments on their site) that you're wise to their tired game, then pop a red pill and journey down the rabbit hole to discover new and exciting bloggers (and even more bloggers!) who can actually write a creative post. Stop listening to the "blogging experts" and JUST SAY NO! to cookie-cutter bloggers simply looking to boost their own SEO, sign you up for their $47 webinars or get you to buy their equally lame social media books.

Then, and only then, will content truly be king…

(See what I just did there? Yeah, that.)

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