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Link Baiting, Lists and More Bloggy Silliness

While I’ve been busy doing a makeover for Blog Bloke with a new logo, banner and cleaning up the template, I’ve also been contemplating my overall blog strategy.

Most of you are probably aware of the concept of link baiting, making lists, running contests or resorting to begging for links, technorati favorites (etc.) as a means to boasting more traffic and ultimately newsfeed subscribers.

Lately I’ve been noticing more of my copycat competitors using these tactics who are boasting fantastic results.

As you know the Bloke has poo-pooed on using such techniques for several reasons. Mainly because:

1. Everyone is doing it (at least almost everyone). I’ve never been one to follow the crowd, even at my own expense;

2. It’s been abused to attract readers to useless posts. All too often I’ve been baited to read a post with a killer headline only to be disappointed with the content beneath it. Time and again I’ve received comments of appreciation from readers who say that I am one of the few bloggers who actually delivers as promised;

3. It’s too easy. For example to make a list all one has to do is Google a specific topic, copy and paste a few links and oillà, you have a post ready made. I’ve been dead-set against this because it is pointless given that anyone can do it for themselves. Many so-called a-listers even do this;

4. I think contests are juvenile, corny and overtly obvious in its intent to get subscribers. Do people really fall for this stuff? To me it amounts to nothing less than bribery to get people to read your blog.

My “About” page reads “Why Eat Pablum When You Can Have Meat? I’ve prided myself on the fact that this blog is the real deal without the fluff.

5. I’ve never been a freeloader or resorted to begging and/or sucking up for links. I suppose I have more self respect than that.

Even established bloggers like Darren Rowse and Brian Clark (to name a few) encourage it. Is this what has become of the blogosphere?

So I wanted to ask YOU my loyal Blokesters, what do you think. Do you like this stuff and should the Bloke resort to making lists and other assorted link baiting techniques to boost my ratings?


1. Am I wrong? Do you like blogs that use these techniques and am I way off base?

2. Do you think I should start using techniques like these so I can boast 50 million subscribers like my competitors do and kick sand in your face?  

3. Or would you be disgusted with the Bloke and unsubscribe me if I did the same?

4. Have you ever unsubscribed (or considered unsubscribing) from bloggers who are using these tactics?

I’m open for suggestions.

Written October 16th, 2007 by | 10 Comments | Filed under: Blog Ethics, Miscellaneous Blog Tips, Opinion, Reader Questions

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There are 10 Comments so far to “Link Baiting, Lists and More Bloggy Silliness”

  1. I agree. It has been abused to get readers. I am very well put off when I run across someone’s blog that does link list a lot.

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  2. So the bottom line is, Bloke’s looking for more readership ?

    At the moment, Darren’s pretty worried about his subscriber count on Google Reader.
    You don’t what to be there do you ?

    I don’t care ! I don’t want any gifts from you or another opinion poll that I just voted for on another blog !
    I’d leave Darren to that.

    Just leave things how they are !

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  3. If you’re going to be doing lists and link baiting for the sole purpose of gaining rank and subscribers, then you’re just like the rest of them. But if you’re the Bloke we all know and love, then I know you’ll continue to present useful, informative posts, no matter what format they take.

    Write your blog for you, first and foremost. It keeps it fun and it keeps it you. Otherwise it just becomes a job.

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  4. Ok Curtis, that’s one vote against.

    Jaffer and Kirsten, I appreciate the vote of confidence but do you subscribe to bloggers like I described and do you like them?

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  5. I prefer bloggers who are honest and do original work. These are the people that make it to my RSS reader.
    Some established bloggers I subscribe to are ProBlogger, CopyBlogger, BlogBloke, Seth Godin, Veerle’s Blog and Vincent Flanders.
    The rest of the feeds are of my friends that post their daily musings and off-beat blogs like Cute Overload and the Itty Bitty Kitty Committee.

    Then there are bloggers who concentrate on getting more subscribers because they are pressured by sponsors or that they are the new kid on the block. They don’t make it to my RSS reader.
    But if they’ve got some good things to say, then I bookmark their posts to Del.icio.us.
    ProBlogger got this treatment first and it took around three weeks to make it to my RSS reader.

    If I notice a blogger do nothing but fishing for readers like you described, then they’re of my Del.icio.us and its goodbye forever !

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  6. The reason that I’m asking is there are so many copycat blogs out there now and that is what they’re doing. Even more established blogs like you mention. They’re boasting great results with these techniques and I’m wondering if I should do the same.

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  7. I was tagged and responded once to the “tag your it” contest; and published a “no more tagging” post a week later.
    Speaking of Tagging, Technorati has removed all tags to my posts!

    There seems to be too many Blog gimmicks and confusing SEO Advice floating around the digital waters of cyberspace.

    Also, I received a Google Server Error opening this page.

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  8. I agree with Jaffer.
    Surely blogging shouldn’t be about manipulating readers and websites just to get your figures up.
    I’m not even sure how to work out how many people have read my blog- probably just my mates.

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  9. That’s why they do it Dan. To see your stats grab this free program:


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  10. I agree Debbie. I’m fed up with the gimmicks and the hustlers myself.

    That’s not good news about the Google Server Error message. I haven’t seen one yet myself today. I hope it was just a hiccup.

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