Creating Value: The not so fine line between self promotion and canned ham

We all want to offer something that is valuable and important to others, and we all have some type of agenda. Whether that is to satisfy our own desires to write and be read or to make sales or to reach some numerical goal, we all want to be appreciated. This is very true in the world of self marketing and self promotion. As authors, artists, musicians, etc. word of mouth or lack of it can make you or break you. I respect this, I really do. I don’t mean to sound like I don’t appreciate someone who works hard to achieve their goals.

I like to promote other bloggers and authors. I find that putting the time into giving someone a shout out and trying to shed a bit of light on their endeavors is good for myself and them. I love it when I form a connection with someone and we both work equally hard to promote one another. That is not what this post is about.

When does it go from promoting yourself and your blog, work, whatever it is that you are trying to put before people to shameless spamming? Here are my thoughts on what you should and should not do and why.

When promoting your (       ) fill in blank with whatever it is you are trying to promote, remember that you did not get to where you are all alone. It was other people, readers, fans, family, friends and so forth that got you to where you are right at this moment. Turn about is fair play. There are plenty of opportunities for you to get the word out in a respectable way. One of the better ones, in my opinion, is by sharing the spotlight. If someone does something for you, return the favor. The most successful people in social media (aside from celebrities) are the ones that remember where they came from. Give a shout out to your fellow blogger, author, friend. Do offer to host guest posts and interviews and let people other than yourself enjoy a little time on your blog.

Don’t: make everything about you. Yes, you want followers for your blog and your other social outlets. I understand this, I like comments and “likes” and attention as well. Who doesn’t? Moderate yourself. When every sentence begins with “I” the other alphabet letters begin to feel neglected. Allow others to speak their minds and support them.

Do: Share things about your daily life once in a while. I will not read a blog that is all about “Buy this from me it is the best thing you have ever seen and it is all I know how to talk about!” Will you? You don’t have to get overly personal, but it is nice when people know that you are not a narcissistic robot. Ask other people questions and show them support for the things that they find important.

Don’t: Become a constant “here is my link” commenter. When I see people constantly leaving a “and you can find my blah blah blah here” comment on my blog, I shut them out. You might think you are being sneaky by leaving a 3 word comment or worse just a smiley (okay smarty pants I am expecting it after this)  with a hundred lines of follow me here BS attached to it, but you know what? Most people are smart enough to see you coming from a mile away. I am not saying to never support your interests this way. If you have a line in your email about your blog or other promo item, great. I don’t have to look at it if I don’t want to. But if you are only going to comment just so you can leave a link, don’t bother. You might just be hurting your chances of gaining a follower more than you are helping.

Do: Take an opportunity to put your book/project/thing in the spotlight when you are invited to do so, but follow the posted guidelines and offer to the person a favor in return.

Don’t: forget to realize that people are busy and that they might just have a life of their own that does not revolve around your schedule. Making unreasonable demands of people who have offered to do you a favor will eventually work its way through the grapevine and suddenly *you have been blackballed*  us blogger boogers tend to talk to one another.

If you want successful relationships that keep giving back to you, give as much or more than you expect to receive. When you stop visiting other people’s sites because you feel you have reached the magic number and now you are too popular to worry about it any longer, you will explode in a ball of self-righteous flames. I will not pee on you to put you out.

Ever notice how we think roses are beautiful and we cherish them but we will quickly pull a weed from our garden and discard it as a pest? Well there you go folks. If you want to come out smelling like a rose stop popping up in people’s gardens as a pest. Do your part. Work hard, and you will get there. If you truly want to gain more than just numbers and have people that you can rely on that are happy to reblog you, retweet you, re-whatever-it-is-they-re you rather than repel you, put some thought into how you address the other people who are also working to get somewhere in this world.

I know how hard I have worked to have the minor success that I have. I am willing to share with those that I feel are deserving. If that comes across as crass I do apologise. Plain and simply, I am not willing to help someone who only wants to use me as a promotional tool. I am human, (last time I checked) and I would like some respect.

That concludes my rant of the week. I would like to thank all of the smart and amazing bloggers who already know this and live by this unofficial code of honour. For those of you who were not aware that spamming is annoying, here is your hint. This concludes my rant of the week. Thank you for attending my bitch session.

 

 

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89 thoughts on “Creating Value: The not so fine line between self promotion and canned ham

  1. I would add: DO remember to have fun forging new relationships and learning from your interactions and from what you’re reading.

    Also, I love what you say in particular about commenting places and leaving a link to your stuff. I HATE that. It’s a huge pet peeve of mine. Comments are meant to contribute something, and get a meaningful discussion going. Like you said, it’s not always about “I,” especially on someone else’s blog. Thanks for reminding us all of that!

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      • Thank you for reading! I’m not sure what happened, but it seems like in the last week there has been a flood of spam comments on my blog and it irked me! I love blogging and 99 percent of the reason why is because I love how people engage each other with witty conversation. I wish everyone could just settle down and enjoy it without marketing each other to death!

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  2. I (it’s unavoidable, sorry) actually disabled pingbacks on my blog, because I hate the idea that if I link to someone else’s stuff, it’s going to throw in an advertisement for my own blog. It’s definitely difficult to know where you are in relation to the dividing line between self-promotion, and spamming – even posting my own link on my own twitter account more than once for the same article feels like I’m creating noise.

    One question on this, is how do you reconcile feeling like nobody would want to be featured or post on your blog, with the need to share. I can’t imagine approaching someone to ask if they’d want to do a guest post, but pushing to do a guest post on someone else’s feels insincere to me (yet I don’t see a problem if others do it).

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    • Those are all excellent points. I struggle with this too. I know the just let it happen naturally angle only gets one so far, but that is what i have done so far. I like guest bloggers and I like to help promote others, but you are right, it is all a bit confusing. Thank you for your comment, I really appreciate it.

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  3. Reblogged this on A YoungEmt's Blog and commented:
    I would have to agree completely. I tend to delete all comments that are just people spamming trying to get a link. All bloggers could learn from this. There is a fine line between interaction and spamming. It is easier to click a link when someone has left a thoughtful, conversation provoking comment then someone who just says “follow me.”

    What are some of your thoughts on this, my awesome followers? Please leave a like here and check the original blog. I promise you will love it if you are a thoughtful blogger.

    -YoungEmt

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  4. Great post! If only people realized that the best marketing will always be in forging meaningful relationships. I have never once clicked a spam link (on purpose anyway hah), and never will.

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  5. Wow, so candid Ionia. As someone who’s been at it for a while, you have offered such a great guidebook to new bloggers (like yours truly). Thank you! And btw, I have to say how amazed I am by how many books you read! I subscribed to your blog only a couple weeks ago and already you’ve reviewed more books than I will probably have time to read all year! You’re a reading whirling dervish 🙂

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  6. Thank you – I’m a new blogger here, so really appreciated this post. What you say makes sense. I haven’t received any spam remarks here yet – only been around a month or so -, but certainly did on the content sites I used to write for. Looking forward to reading more words of wisdom from you.

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  7. PERFECT etiquette and courtesy!!! Now…..lets see how many rules I can break just to have you twitching your finger at me 🙂
    Seriously though, these should be known by lots of people. I’m still piddling around and have realized, with some help, integrating the blog with the page and making it look human was a good key. I thoroughly love reading your blog and get inspired for my own sometimes.I am beginning to love my blogging community.

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  8. I really enjoyed this post. I’m a typical repressed Brit who worries too much about “the big I am…” and so I found it encouraging to read your “rant” and to feel validated somewhat by what you say. Slightly off-topic, I’m still trying to work out how some bloggers can send thro’ a “like” so quickly after I press Publish. They can’t even have had time to read the post. I’m not into stats so I find the whole thing pointless – is this what is known as “fishing and farming”? Anyway, thanks for the post – good read.

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    • Thank you, I appreciate you taking the time to read it. In the beginning, I was annoyed when people would blindly like whatever I posted. I have threatened to post absolute nonsense before about me running of with Elvis in an alien ship, just to see how many likes I would instantly get, but then I would lose the respect of those who genuinely do support me.

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  9. Yay. Awesome rant. Perfect! Actually, pretty much everything you say applies to life in general.

    And just like another comment above, there are a couple of other bloggers who sometimes like my posts so quickly after I’ve published them that I know there’s no way they’ve read them. I do like the stats (!) but I want them to be genuine.

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  10. This seriously deserves a reblog and that’s what I am going to do! Great post…full of common sense (which people take as intelligence nowadays). Way to go! 😀

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  11. Don’t you just get frustrated when you spend quite a bit of time reading someones work or reading their most recent posts,Then they venture over to your blog and tell you how much they liked your post about how you are so good at giving advice or how your comments on world hunger really hit home with them…when the only posts you do are about Book Reviews and Poems =p HaHa

    Don’t get me wrong I don’t ever expect anything in return for me enjoying someones hard work and art…it’s thanks enough me being able to view their incredible talents and not having to pay for it, when in reality a lot of these Writers/Artists on here deserve to be paid for creating such beautiful masterpieces, It just bothers me when they don’t even take the time to read the tittle of my blog before posting a smiley face or comment just to promote their blog.

    And don’t even get me started on the blogs trying to get you to buy a 500$ video on how to become a millionaire by blogging LOL! Sometimes I wish they wouldn’t come view my stuff at all,if they can’t even take the time to read the title.

    Great post!

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    • Definitely! One of the things I have thought would be a good idea would be for wordpress to give us a block user button. Instead we just have to accept that they follow us. LOL. I try to be open minded about everyone and their various interests. I mean after all, it is diversity that makes blogging interesting in the first place, but there are some people out there that…scare me? Yep. Frighten me, I think that is the best way to put it. I don’t begrudge them their happiness, but I’m also not sure I want to associate…you know? Boy that makes me sound like such a bloody jerk, no?

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      • I totally agree, I am very sociable online and it has bit me a few times for sure.
        Even in my day to day life I love talking to new people and going to new places. (This can be rather dangerous I know)
        In the past I have accidentally come across some pretty menacing and strange characters, I think we all have. So nope you just sound like the rest of us HaHa.

        The block button would be a great idea,someone following me that wants to sell me some laundry detergent or a get rich quick scheme is a bit frustrating, and the possibility of even stranger people keeping up with my posts is a bit frightening I agree.

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  12. Great rant.I was soooo scared at first to share myself, until I realized all I really needed to do was be me. If people want to check out my book, or my blog, then great. If not, well, I got to meet someone new, and I like that!

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  13. Brilliant. I’m having so much fun meeting other bloggers who share my interests, and if that works out to be a positive thing when it comes to promotion, great! But I can’t imagine wanting to take advantage of them. It happens, though. Totally justified ranting.

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  14. If I meet someone in the market when I’m shopping, I have a chat. I don’t try to sell her/him anything. Ramming your product down someone’s throat is simply bad manners. In the network market, the same applies; if people are interested in you, they might well find out more about you by visiting your site, but that still doesn’t mean they want you to sell them anything! You have struck many chords here. Thank you.

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    • It’s funny that you mentioned that. I was telling a friend of mine last night (outside the blog world) that I don’t understand why people don’t treat others online the way they would face to face. If someone walked up and said hey I like your shirt I wouldn’t respond with “Buy my book” lol

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  15. Pingback: Rome Crew Update – Issue # 7 | Green Embers

  16. Wow, Ionia, I think you can tell you hit a nerve! Way to go!

    I ranted about something similar some time back on my blog (and no, I’m not going to include a link!!!) What I was ranting about was the “Like” game some people play where they go around “liking” peoples’ blogs apparently just to get you to go check theirs out and “Like” it back. They don’t even have to include a link–WordPress does that for them by sending you an email suggesting you go check out the blog of everyone who “likes” yours! This game doesn’t exist on Blogger because they don’t have a “Like” button–and I don’t miss it!

    But I will say that WordPress has done a marvelous job of keeping spam comments out of my blog. There have been quite a few, and WP has caught all but one. Blogger is so bad about catching spam that I finally had to put a Captcha code on my Blogger blog because all I got was spam!

    I hate spam and I like to think there’s a special circle of hell reserved for spammers and computer hackers. 😀

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  17. Great advice! Thank you! I have a personal facebook page and a page where I promote my children’s books. I wasn’t sure if I should share things about my life on my book page or not. I have seriously thought about this for a few months. After reading your blog, I think I will try to post a little more about things that happen in my life. Thanks again!

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    • I find that as long as you don’t become one of those people that post literally everything they do, people respond well to a little well placed info about your life. It makes you seem more accessible

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  18. Oh no! When i commented on two of your posts with a link to mine because i thought from your post you would appreciate the link, i hesitated at the second one because i was like, there’s an unwritten rule about this being a no no, isn’t there? I’m sorry if i annoyed you 😦 It wasn’t my intention to at all, i just wanted to share my similar experience with you, not to spam you. Anyway i’m making this all about me, aren’t i? Gosh i can’t get this right, can i? Broke another rule!
    Seriously though, i hope that you don’t hate me 😦 You are a fantastic blogger; you review books so unbiasedly, every day i can’t believe how many books you read (it’s amazing! I thought i could read fast). You have certainly expanded my reading list (i don’t know whether to be happy or annoyed about this 😉 ) I really like your posts about random stuff too – like the Scarlet Letter and falling asleep. You are interesting and funny, and it’s a pleasure to follow you (apart from all the emails that fill up my inbox with a new post 😉 )
    Anyway i promise i won’t spam you anymore 😦

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    • Not you! I’m talking about the ones that only leave a 1 word comment on everyone’s blogs with a bunch of links. We banter back and forth all the time and I appreciated your links!

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      • Really? People do that? I’ve never had that. I mustn’t be very popular! Haha. Anyway, phew. Glad to hear i’m not a pooface then. And don’t be sorry 😉 I was just joking. I just really can’t get over how many books you can read in a day! You should be in the Guinness Book of Records 😀

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      • I really don’t read as much as it seems. I just have to wait to post them until the publishing house says I can. Many of them have restrictions on when I can post my review, this my nonsense in between!

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      • Wow. That is annoying. I can completely understand your rant now.
        That’s interesting. You still read a heck of a lot 🙂 And again, i like your ‘nonsense in between’.
        Anyway cheers to reading! I love it. Always have, always will.

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  19. I recall being on a forum once where a new member posted regularly in every single thread….but had nothing at all relevant to say about any of the topics. All he did was tell us all about all the wonderful, insightful posts on his blog and constantly linked us to them. Needless to say it wasn’t long before people were asking him to either be quiet or just go away. I think he was actually surprised — he automatically assumed everybody would want to hear what he had to say because his posts were based around the same theme of interests the forum had to do with. Unanimously we reminded him that it wasn’t the content, it was how he was presenting it. Beating people over the head to stare at you is a surefire way to get them to look in the opposite direction.

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      • Can you Paypal a nickel? I don’t know…

        But I can comment a nickel, or even a dime, as I’m feeling generous. Heck, I’ll give you both:

        15 cents (but it’s all in pennies, I have to be contrarian, I can’t help it.)

        😀

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      • Yes, yes you do. This institution only currently accepts pennies if they are in a roll, this I must have at least a dollar. Then you can wine and done me at the local fast food chain before we conquer the world with our (your) genius;)

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      • When I was in high school, I had to pay a 50 cent fine for something, so I actually went to the bank, got a roll of pennies, tore it open, then went into the office at school and poured them on the secretary’s desk. I’m sure she thought I was a horrible person. In retrospect, I would have to agree with her. (I know this is off topic, but I like long comment threads.) In the meantime, I’ll see what sort of plan I can come up with for conquering the world with a roll of pennies and a fast food meal for two. I’m sure it will be legendary in scope, and universe-shattering in effect. McDonald’s hamburgers really ARE dangerous. 😉

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      • I think the McDonalds salads are made out of plastic shavings, so you’re good to go with those. Yes, cholesterol is a mass murderer, worse than nuclear bombs and stuff.

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  20. I have no idea. I didn’t click them. I imagine whoever would make a post like that for real probably wouldn’t click them, either.

    I do have an ass, though. I can’t attest to its loveability (is that a word??)

    Like

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