Blogging for Links: Is That All There Is?
Yesterday I wrote a post about my experiment to spend more time perusing the social network discussion groups. Team Bloke member Jaffer brought to my attention a post @ doshdosh about using social networks to get more traffic.
This was my response:
Yes, a nice piece of link bait there. A little too verbose for my liking and could be easily summarized in a few sentences or less.
Interestingly, he seems to agree in a round about way with what I have been saying … that social network avalanches rarely transfer into more newsfeed subscribers. But it will provide sufficient links to keep the SERPS happy over the long term. I also agree the Stumbleupon traffic is more preferable than Digg.
What I don’t like about posts like this is they have a tendency to abuse superlative keywords, aka copyblogger style, and exaggerate the content — using words like “massive“, etc. This sort of hype plays upon basic human nature and is one of the oldest tricks in the book for titillating a reader into taking action. In this case the motivation is for the viewer to continue reading the article and to subscribe to his newsfeed for his series of topical posts.
It’s reminiscent of late night infomercials that tell you “But Wait! There’s More!!!”, or “Don’t Touch That Dial”, or “Stay Tuned For Part 11… and so forth. I would argue that there is nothing really new in his post that has not already been said.
It doesn’t impress me because I’ve seen it all before, but it will for some who don’t know any better. I see this article for what it really is. It was written as link bait to impress newbies. It merely recycles information that has already been said so many times elsewhere.
Let’s face it, the post was written for one reason only — to gain more readers and to put money into the pocket of the author. Frankly I don’t like being played by bloggers to make them rich, but that’s just me I suppose. I’m weary of the hype and recycled posts that are contrived to play upon our greed and our need to be popular. Let’s get back to real blogging and writing original content instead of trying to manipulate the public just for links.
What do you think?
1. Are the masters-of-hype leading us astray from real blogging by focusing too much on traffic and making money?
2. If our content is good then does it not follow that our blog will become popular?
3. Shouldn’t we be concerning ourselves with writing original content for ourselves, our niche and our community, and not just for the sake of getting links?
4. Or is it all of the above, and if so then how do we find a balance? What is that balance and how do we do it ethically without being hypocrites about it?
Related posts: Making Money Blogging and Ethics - Why Don’t They Mix?