The Blogging Bible, Courtesy of Josh Brown

The post I link to below is not new, but hopefully it is to you. As I try to ease back into a more regular posting schedule, I can’t think of anything that encapsulates what kind of content resonates with me more than this post by Josh Brown on his excellent financial blog The Reformed Broker: bullsh*t-free recipes for success that you can use immediately to be better at whatever it is you do.

In the post, he describes the methods he uses to write one of the most respected blogs in his field. And simply put, it’s the best blogging advice you will ever find. Actionable tips from someone who is killing it daily.

There is not much I can add, I just wanted to give you the opportunity to read it.

Here is a particularly good section on linking:

There are a million wrong ways to write a links post and then there is my way, the right one. We can debate if you’d like, but you will not win – my linking Kung-Fu is way stronger than yours – learned from the Master (Tadas Viskanta) and honed on the thousand or so link posts I’ve thrown up over two years on my own site and at Wall Street Journal. I am gathering links 24 hours a day, storing them in folders and files, and awake at 5:30 am to harvest and curate them into posts before you have even lifted your head off the pillow – so don’t f*ck with me about this stuff. The daily Abnormal Returns linkfest is the linkfest against which all others should be judged in the financial blogosphere. No one else matches the depth, breadth, consistency of content, dependability of timing and attention to detail. No one even comes close.

Read the entire post, apply it to whatever field you are in, and make your blog better. (The Reformed Broker)

Why Amazon is More Dangerous Than Walmart Could Ever Dream of Being

Like Walmart before it, Amazon has proven itself to be a tough company to compete against if you are a business that sells the same products. And while both are often held up as a prime examples of capitalist efficiency and bastions of low prices for their customers, they each also have a darker side they prefer no should ever hear about.

In my line of work, office supplies, there’s no question that Amazon is a thorn in the side of the industry, from the top companies down to the smallest. Mostly because it is hard to compete against a company that, at least up to this point, has largely been exempted from collecting sales tax and is held to no standard of profitability by its investors. Advantages other office supplies companies definitely don’t enjoy.

The customer benefits from this arrangement, it is argued, by receiving the lowest possible price for their goods. Whether that is always true is debatable and unlikely, but it is the perception (and that’s what really matters).

The consumer should be aware of the cost of their low prices, and Salon.com does a nice job of explaining it in the 4 ways Amazon’s ruthless practices are crushing local economies .

While it’s true that Amazon is innovative, efficient, and focused on customer satisfaction, such factors alone did not elevate Amazon to its commanding level of market control. To reach that pinnacle, Bezos followed the path mapped by Rockefeller and other 19th-century robber barons: (1) ruthlessly exploit a vast and vulnerable low-wage workforce; (2) extract billions of dollars in government subsidies; and (3) wield every anti-competitive weapon you can find or invent to get what you want from other businesses.

In the process, and with the same deeply discounted prices they used to conquer the book business, Amazon has poached millions of customers from neighborhood shops and suburban malls. The chase for cheap has been great for Amazon, but it is proving intolerably expensive for your and my hometowns. Our local businesses lose customers and have to close, local workers lose jobs, and local economies lose millions of consumer dollars that Amazon siphons into its faraway coffers. What makes that even more intolerable is that much of Amazon’s competitive advantage has been ill gotten, obtained by dirty deeds.

Is that enough to make you forgo the low prices?

Staples to Shut 225 Stores to Trim $500 Million in Costs

Staples to Shut 225 Stores to Trim $500 Million in Costs

This Rewritable Paper Uses Water Instead Of Ink And Each Piece Of Paper Over And Over

This Rewritable Paper Uses Water Instead Of Ink And Each Piece Of Paper Over And Over