Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Looking for a Spammer with an Ounce of Creativity...

Unlike most bloggers, I don't really mind when other bloggers (and even businesses) try to piggyback on my posts to gain some traffic for their own sites or draw attention to their services. That's just good marketing strategy, and I'm all about a collaborative environment where potential customers know what their options are and make informed choices. I don't want my law school admissions consulting business to be the only one a prospective student finds online--I want it to be the one they choose after they read the information on my site or talk with me on the telephone. And I certainly don't want my posts on topics I consider to be socially significant to be the only opinion someone sees. So post away--comment, disagree, add supporting points and feel free to include your link.

But add something of value.

I have a lot of blogs, but the two that draw the most targeted spam are my relationship blog and my LSAT / law school admissions blog. That makes sense--one is a competitive area and the other is a money-making venture. That being the case, I'd expect the people who drop spam comments on those blogs to be good at it. I'd expect them to be thinking in terms of marketing their sites or their services when they commented.

If they were, and they made intelligent comments, I'd leave their links alone. Even direct competitors are welcome to add valuable insights and information in my space, and when they do, they should take credit for it.

It's when they show themselves up as lazy and incompetent that I get annoyed. If my subject matter is also your subject matter and you have something related of value that you're trying to draw readers back to, shouldn't you have the ability to craft a sentence or two reasonably related to my content? And if you want someone to trust you with their hard-earned dollars in return for a service, shouldn't you show that you have the capacity to perform that service well?

I'm always torn in this situation. This morning, for example, I found a spam comment on my law school admissions blog from an LSAT tutor. As I said, if he'd added anything at all of value to the conversation, I'd have left his link. In fact, I'm only tutoring a very few students at the moment under pretty narrow conditions, so if he'd impressed me I'd have checked out his site to see whether he might warrant adding to my list of referrals.

If he'd just dropped a link, I'd have deleted it and moved on.

But no--he left a "comment". His comment was that he was glad I'd posted this LSAT information because he had been looking for it for a long time.

And then he left his link. As an LSAT tutor.

Can't you just feel the confidence bubbling over?

I deleted the comment, but I had to think twice about it. Part of me wanted to promote that post all over the place and let his prospective market see that either he was too stupid and lazy to formulate an intelligent sentence to post or that he was reliant for his "expertise" on information found on a stranger's blog.

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