Speak carefully

Ian Lurie

I’ve now written this blog post three times. The first version was 1500 words. The second, 400 words. This version is much shorter, and I think more fair.

wsj blogs

Yesterday I wrote about the Wall Street Journal, bad SEO advice and subdomains.

There’s a deeper lesson, though: When you blog, report or speak, you have an audience. It might be 1 person or 1,000. Doesn’t matter. You might be a professional journalist, a doctor, or a single marketer with an audience of 3. That’d doesn’t matter either. You have a responsibility to your audience.

Follow one rule:

Your audience assumes you’re right. Speak carefully.

Have a good weekend everyone.

Other stuff


Ian Lurie

Ian Lurie is founder of Portent. He's been a digital marketer since the days of AOL and Compuserve (25 years, if you're counting). Ian's recorded training for Lynda.com, writes regularly for the Portent Blog and has been published on AllThingsD, Smashing Magazine, and TechCrunch. Ian speaks at conferences around the world, including SearchLove, MozCon, Seattle Interactive Conference and ad:Tech. He has published several books about business and marketing: One Trick Ponies Get Shot, available on Kindle, The Web Marketing All-In-One Desk Reference for Dummies, and Conversation Marketing. Ian is now an independent consultant and continues to work with the Portent team- training the agency group on all things digital. You can find him at www.ianlurie.com

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  1. I have a statement followed by a question that is slightly non-related, but I think fits into your thought process on this post.
    I’m currently what you might consider “newer” to SEO- I’ve been doing it about 6 months working with a small web dev company. When doing competitor research, I find a lot of ad agencies in my area that offer SEO as a service, yet their site doesn’t quit reflect that (on and off site). I’ve come to the logical conclusion that they must not be very good at it for their clients- based on the reasoning you have made in this post as well. My manager who I like to bounce ideas off, of says that isn’t necessarily a fair judgement call.
    I’d like to get your stance on this if I could. If an ad agency doesn’t do it well for their own site, would you think that it is bad to assume a judgement like that?

  2. @Rachel I used to assume that but have to say I’ve backed off a bit. I know how busy WE are at Portent. We don’t always have time to do the job of SEO I’d like.
    That said, there’s “Slightly messy” and then there’s “Total disaster”. If the SEO for a site is so bad that entire site sections are invisible to search, something’s wrong.
    But I don’t hold a few bad title tags against anyone.

  3. Ideally readers would look at posts with a skeptical eye and decide for themselves…but you’re absolutely right. They most often ready what bloggers say as the absolute truth and we have a responsibility to be very careful about what we say and how we say it.

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