Image by arnold | inuyaki
Spam comes in all shapes and sizes (and apparently flavors). What happens when unsuspecting and ignorant bloggers become just that though– spammers?
A few bloggers were recently talking about the IFB forums and the growing number of new bloggers spamming people with emails that look like this:
I would like to have more followers by google connect. If you like my blog and you follow it, let me know and I will do the same for you. You can fallow my blogloving as well.
Or it may read like this:
I would like to call you to check my blog, and if you like it follow me I will love to follow u2~!Also, find me on polyvore and tumblr if You want 🙂
These are real messages sitting in my IFB inbox right now. Recently Eli at Thrift Eye posted an image of an email sent to her by a blogger– the blogger called herself very popular and noted that her popularity came through other blogs writing about her. Naturally she thought that Eli should write about her. People responded on twitter– she wasn't the only one who received that email.
Self promotion is a great tool, and in many ways blogging is still like the Wild, Wild West– untamed, wild, and without rules. Sadly, this approach likely works in the short term because these bloggers will simply add one another as friends on Bloglovin. In the long-run, I don't believe creates an interactive, vocal, or dynamic audience. As someone who works with brands, I know many companies value seeing comments over numbers– interaction is much more important to them than numbers!
There are so many resources on the IFB community (through forum rules, our current blog posts, and our extensive archives) and through social media that there's no excuse for lazy behavior. This doesn't mean that the blogger is bad– just misguided and a bit ignorant to how the community functions, along with the hard work required to grow your blog.
Responding to Unintentional Spammers:
It's up to you ultimately how to interact with these people– maybe you love to check out their links and explore new blogs. Maybe you see the email in your box & groan. Maybe it fills you with a Hulk-like rage (ASHE SMASH!). No matter how you respond, maybe there are conductive ways to help them out, lead them on a better course,
- Ignore them. This has typically been my response. If they can't be bothered to build a natural relationship with me (or even visit my own blog), why would I justify it by giving them a shred of traffic? This method doesn't necessarily help the blogging community at large.
- Write back. I believe this idea came from Bella at Citizen Rosebud, who mentioned schooling some of these misguided fashionistas. Create a response you can send when writing back– something fast & friendly. You could write back something useful like:
I know how hard it is to grow your blog, but writing messages like this is considered spam and many bloggers don't appreciate them. In fact, many do resent them! This might be why a lot of your messages go unanswered. While I'm happy to check out your site, I do believe in genuinely building up relationships with other bloggers. So perhaps getting out there, commenting on blogs, and getting active in the community is a better way to reach people. While this may create short term growth for your site, in the long-run it'll just alienate you from the community! I'd hate to see you stunt your growth before it can even begin! If you want more suggestions on how to grow your site, maybe check out the following articles/websites?
- Provide Great Tips. When Bella wrote back to a blogger she said, “May I suggest you reach out directly to blogs you like, and introduce yourself via THEIR blogs or email. This doesn't make me feel good, the “I'll follow you and you follow back” message, it makes me feel like I fell into a hole and landed back in gradeschool.” This is great because it's not only personal, but she provides suggestions on more efficient ways to get in touch with and build relationships within the blogging community.
- Share information. Ways to grow traffic aren't a secret. There are dozens of ebooks, IFB articles, and Problogger articles on it. Keep a short list that you can attach to an email, like the following links:
Don't Go It Alone: Relationship-Building for Bloggers
10 Realizations that Will Crush Your Little Heart Your First Year Blogging
IFB Forums: How do you get many followers/your blog noticed?
IFB Forums: How are you getting your blog noticed?
IFB Forums: How do you get people to follow your blog once they've visited?
IFB Forums: How to have more traffic and readers: my experience
Have you written these kinds of emails– and if so, what has the response been when you've sent them? Have you been on the receiving end of them– and what tends to be your response?