I wanted to blog today about something that’s been bothering me lately….
I read a lot of blogs. Even more now that I also blog- I find more and more blogs on an almost daily basis that have amazing content and keep me coming back, eager to hear what they have to say.
Most of these blogs are written by young women with little to no training on what they’re blogging about (now note, I do say most. I know there are many blogs which are written by nutritionists, fitness trainers, etc. and I am not including them in this category). I am including myself in this category though- my blog motto is how to stay healthy while busy, but nothing I’m writing about is anything more than my own opinion and what I have found that works for me. I have no formal training in yoga (not yet anyways), and no training in nutrition. I’ve done a lot of personal research and would like to think I have some knowledge, but I am certainly not a professional. I wouldn’t feel comfortable advising someone with a meal plan, or how to change their life around. I love to share what has worked for me, but I try and throw in a disclaimer that *while it worked for me, it may not work for you*.
Lately I’ve been noticing more and more bloggers who are offering coaching sessions, either offering a one time “free of charge” or charging a small fee, to give advice to others. And this bothers me. In my opinion (free of charge!), the moment you start charging someone for your services, you are entering into a different relationship- one of a professional and a client. But if the individual entering into the arrangement as the “professional” has no formal training beyond their own experience, I feel like this could potentially set up the client being given bad advice. Or even more alarming, dangerous advice.
The internet is certainly a source of endless information. And as bloggers, we all have our own biases, opinions and experiences. But how far can we go before it becomes inappropriate and potentially dangerous to those reading?
So I put out the question to anyone reading- Where do you think the line is?
Do you need someone to have formal training before you would pay for their advice? Is the fact that someone has personal experience in something enough to warrant them charging someone for their advice?