Blogging, Spamming, and Blog Spam
Email marketing once proved to be immensely effective, but the greedy and idiotic polluted the well by spamming the planet with everything from weight-loss products to sexual enhancement drugs and beyond. Because of the stench, filters and laws have been created to attempt to fix the problem, but still the Internet is polluted with more and more junk each day. So obviously, filters and legislation are not the solution, for consumers, publishers, or marketers.
Everyone has been left scratching their heads and asking... What do I do to avoid this crap and make the Internet mine again? How do I build my business and promote it without having to deal with email? After all, what's the point in spending money on email advertising campaigns when there is no guarantee that the emails will even reach their destination?
Enter... RSS. RSS is the perfect communication tool. It's applications far outreach those of email for marketing, publishing and personal communications. RSS is the answer to our communication woes.
Using RSS to create blogs for communicating with customers, affiliates, partners and family is far and away more effective and reliable than email ever was. As a marketing tool, it really packs a punch that email never could. The reason being is that blogs are targets for search engine spiders. They are themselves, a web presence, whereas email never was and never will be.
Just like a web page, search engine spiders hit blog pages and rank them. The difference between the static web page and the RSS feed is that web pages seldom update their content, RSS feeds, by design, are created to be dynamic and provide regularly updated content, in theory, depending on the blog owner of course. This prompts the search engine spiders to revisit and rerank them more often.
For writers, publishers and and anyone else with something to say, RSS has been a godsend. It has provided the answer to the question of what to do now. Blogging has replaced email for those who have become frustrated with dealing with the problems of email publishing and marketing. Publishers can now get their message out to their subscribers without the headaches associated with sending email, or posting static pages to the web. Even publishing an ezine to the Internet as a web page required the sending of email to make readers aware of the newest issue.
As with anything, there is a right way and a wrong way to do things, and blog publishing is no exception. Now that RSS has become the rage for marketing purposes, several people have taken it upon themselves, in the name of the almighty dollar, to pollute this well too. The newest rash of 'RSS tools' have created some issues of ethics and and credibility. With perhaps the honest intention of being search engine optimization tools, or an automated system for fetching content, this batch of stuff has too much potential for misuse. The result of misuse of these types of programs can be devastating. Already some of these programs have been banned from places like Google and Blogharbour because of this potential.
Programs such as these in the hands of the inexperienced, will cause future problems for bloggers down the road. More and more pages generated using these programs will be banned, and getting banned, right out of the gate, for a newbie, would be a sad thing indeed.
The right way to use blogging to increase your search engine presence is to publish good content. Period. Provide useful information to those who are looking for it. Become someone's trusted information provider, and you have a customer for life. Publish keyword rich articles that give the searcher what they are looking for... solutions for problems.
Publish your information regularly. Weekly is good, daily is better. Sending pings and things too often will get you blacklisted too.
And here is where networking comes in... Find content for your blog from article banks, where authors submit their work for reprint. List yourself in databases as one who accepts article submissions. Get to know other authors and publishers and share content with them. Syndicate your blogs in exchange with other bloggers. Watch your world explode with new opportunities.
Automation in business is a good thing, but it has its place. Nothing beats human communication when dealing with people and creating partnerships. Do you want to talk to an autoresponder? No, and I doubt anyone else does either.
Some of the new programs designed for the automation of article collection have legal issues to consider. The biggest being copyright infringement. Not every author wants their work reprinted, or they require control over where their work is displayed. (Which is as it should be.) Without manually seeking your content, you could very well find yourself being served papers for publishing someone else's work without permission.
Plagiarism is another issue. If you don't follow certain rules for reprinting contributory work, you stand to be hounded for plagiarism. Yet another sticky issue.
Some of the new programs mock safelists, or resemble FFA sites. Before long, those types of blog pages will become banned as well. Search engines will figure out a way to block non-informational blog pages, those that carry nothing but links or classifieds. (Is your head sore from hitting that brick wall yet?)
Still, there are other programs designed to post spam to blogs using the comments feature. This is referred to as comment spam. The only solution thus far, to battle comment spam, is to disallow your readers the option of leaving comments. This is a bad thing, because allowing your readers to interact with you is supposed to be one of the benefits of using this form of communication.
The makers of these programs may have had good intentions to start with, but have ultimately created Frankenstein's Monster. Many are stating that their programs are not spam, because they do not involve email. That is a cop out if I ever heard one. Spam is the transmission of unwanted stuff, whether it is sent to your inbox, or your blog, or even the search engines themselves. Search engines want relevant content, not pages of of keywords, or links. So feeding them page after page of nonsense is spam.
Everyone hates spam, except the spammers, so why be a part of something loathed by so many and embraced by a few? Bad business if you ask me.
The only real way to combat these issues is to simply not use the programs themselves. Do your due diligence and create a reputation as a trusted information provider, not a blog bomber, and your business will prosper. Using these programs will ultimately diminish your reputation and your livelihood.
Your customers are looking for information, a solution to a problem. Give that to them, not just endless pages of links. You will achieve your rightful spot in the ranks, and you stand a far better chance for longevity. There are good RSS tools available, you just need to look beneath the sales copy to find them. And if you are new to RSS and blogging, do some research. Find someone who knows, really knows what RSS is and how to use it, and ask some questions. Don't go out and spend buckets of money on something you're not sure how to use, because you could be doing yourself more harm than good.
A few good books to read some solid information on RSS and blogs...
RSS, Blogs and Syndication
RSS Advertising Secrets
Taming The eBeastie
Copyright © 2005
The Trii-Zine Ezine http://www.ezines1.com
Trina L.C. Schiller - http://www.trinaschiller.ws
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