I’m not going to name names or point fingers but once upon a time, I did a Q&A with a web 2.0 up and comer. You see, I kept receiving email telling me how spectacular this person was. So I decided to investigate. She was a joy to interview and I posted her profile on one of my blogs and the testimonials and positive comments rolled in. And by rolled in I mean they kept coming…and coming…and coming. After a while it occurred to me they were all basically saying the same thing. I looked a little deeper and saw they all came from the same IP. I dug even further and realized all the letters sent to me about this great person were sent by that same IP as well. I had been had.
When I decided to pull the interview the self promoting diva confronted me. How could I do that? Look at all the nice things people were saying about her. Was there a problem? I told her of my findings and that I felt kind of stupid. She got angry and told me it was my own fault. I’m always telling bloggers to get involved in a little “shameless self promotion.” She was only taking my advice. Well yes, I do say that. But there’s a big difference between promoting a blog or a product and spam.
To promote my blog I have contests and polls, I put my URL in signature lines in comments and forum post, and I might even Tweet out a title now and then. Do I send email upon email to a high profile blogger asking her to check me out while pretending not to be me? No. That’s not shameless self promotion, that’s deceit and spam and it’s not what I mean at all.
People in the blogosphere are kind. They’re always willing to help out other bloggers. They don’t take too kindly to others trying to pull the wool over their eyes. When you promote do so in a way that’s not going to annoy or upset your fellow bloggers. You’ll find your traffic may happen slower, but you have a good honest fan base. Besides I’d much rather know people came to my blog because they liked what I had to say and not because of a bunch of false testimonials.