This month there has been a lot of interesting debate about fake stories. More specifically, the traffic they can generate and the potential damage they can do to the authors crediblity. It all started when Money.co.uk posted a story entitled ‘13 Year Old Steals Dad’s Credit Card to Buy Hookers‘. The story reported that a 13 year old ordered a credit card through his fathers existing credit card company and then treated him and his friends to a $30,000 spending spree involving him, his friends, an xbox and of course, the hookers. The story was completely fabricated though it generated a lot of traffic for the site since it was picked up by a lot of mainstream news publications (online and offline). It was also Digged about 2500 times.
The problem with this story was that it wasn’t posted on a satirical site, it was posted on a serious site about financial issues where the reader had no reason to believe that the story was fake. The author of the story was a man named Lyndon of CornWall SEO, who promotes his Linkbaiting and Social Media Optimisation service on his website. He wrote an article on his blog explaining his side of the story but later removed it. Thankfully, WiderFunnel reproduced the story on their blog (it’s worth checking out). I don’t believe the owner of Money.co.uk realised the negative side of using this traffic technique, sure he got a lot of traffic but who is going to believe the articles printed on the site from now on are true.
Are the traffic benefits from fake stories worth losing your crediblity over?
There is a great article which summarizes this whole affair on Jonathan Crossfield’s blog entitled ‘Linkbait at any Cost?‘. He rightly points to the old story of ‘The boy who cried wolf’. How can your readers trust you after you have misled them in order to get some extra traffic?
Some blogs use link bait a lot however not all link bait can be tarred with the same brush. For every good example of link bait, there is an article which generated traffic using questionable tactics. Is writing fake stories for your blog wrong, unethical or even just plain stupid? This is something where opinions can be divided but personally I wouldn’t risk losing my credibility just to get extra traffic. James Mowery from Tech in Demand feels the same way. Today he wrote an excellent article on Performancing entitled ‘A Warning to the Blogosphere About the Potential Increase of Fake Content’. In the post he explains why he has lost faith in the blogosphere with regards to credibility. Unfortunately, I have felt the same way the last few months. I have unsubscribed from a number of blogs because I have lost faith in their integrity, whether it was because of a fake story or whether the author was completely raving about a product just to make some commissions.
An example of a fake story backfiring
Around the start of April, Jim Kukral, Sam Harrelson and Shawn Collins decided to create a fake spat between them all. They all openly threw mud at each other on each others blog and critized Jim’s new site TwitterMeThis. If you want to how it developed then please read the post I wrote about it all in April.
So what happened? Well, they later let everyone know that the whole thing was staged. Some commenters suggested that it was probably fake at the time but others did believe it and unsubscribed from the authors blogs because they were disappointed with them. I have to hold my hands up and say that even though I read others saying it was probably fake I did actually think the spat was true because after subscribing to Jim and Shawns blog for a few months I didn’t think they would be stupid enough to create something like this. I’m not sure if they created the spat for a laugh or if they did it to gain some extra traffic but in my opinion it backfired as it hurt their credibility.
Crediblity is something which is very delicate. It can take years to build up a good reputation and minutes to throw it all down the toilet. I am not disputing that some web developers have benefited from marketing fake stories to promote their sites however in my opnion it’s something top bloggers should avoid like the plague.
It’s also very important to check the reliability of a news source before you report it (sometimes this isn’t always as easy as you think). You may find you have to apologise to your readers if you report a story which turns out to be fake, at the very least you would have to explain what happened.
From a collective point of view an increase in fake stories will definately hurt the credibility of blog writers. Top news agencies might be more reluctant to link to articles on blogs, at the very least they will scrutinize them more. James Mowery made a good point when he said that ‘Bloggers are beginning to prove why journalists still have jobs’.
So what do you think. Are fake stories hurting Bloggers Credibility?
For reference, here is a list of the articles mentioned in this post :
- 13 Year Old Steals Dad’s Credit Card to Buy Hookers
- Something is wrong on the Internet
- Linkbait at any Cost?
- A Warning to the Blogosphere About the Potential Increase of Fake Content
- The best example of linkbait this week
- Twit VS Twat
- Let Ideas Simmer
Blog Traffic Loves Generous Service
Blog traffic absolutely loves generous service. Do you want to succeed? Help oodles of people for free through blogging and guest posting. Toss in helping bloggers by noting bloggers on your blog, by commenting genuinely on blogs and by mentioning bloggers on social media. Traffic flows your way. Because blog traffic loves generous service. The more help you offer through your eBook, course and blog, the more traffic you drive. Simple equation. Give, to get. Keep giving freely and blog traffic finds you. Hug this super simple, powerful law of life. Service prospers you. Blog traffic flows to generous bloggers.
What gives? Why do many bloggers struggle to drive blog traffic? In essence, most human beings vibe mainly from an energy of fear and loss. You and I learn to do stuff with fear being our main driver. So, blogging becomes another outlet through which to do stuff from a dominant energy of fear. Like, publish one post for the week and do no more. Because you fear not getting enough return on investment. Plus you fear wasting time. Plus you fear working hard. Plus you fear looking like a fool if people come across all of the awesome content you create and, due to your increased exposure, you become the object of intense criticism. Ouch; that would hurt, eh? Being burdened by these fears, you play small, be stingy and just publish one post every 1-2 weeks. If YOU are stingy with the Universe, the Universe BE’S stingy with you. Give. Receive. Don’t give. Don’t receive. So, withholding generous service ensures blog traffic gets withheld from you. What a simple strategy to put into action, right? But of course, what an uncomfortable strategy to put into action, too, because facing and feeling fear, never feels all that comfortable. Nobody loves this process. Me included. But ya gotta take that route to be a successful blogger.
Help as many people as possible daily through a few clear strategies. Keep publishing content to your blog. Keep guest posting. Gain immense exposure and gain skills and yep, gain credibility……and of course, gain blog traffic. All occurs because you gave freely of your time and talents. Give freely. Gain blog traffic. But giving freely FORCES you outside of your comfort zone. For example, I publish 9 or more guest posts and blog posts daily, between both. No joke, this taxes me sometimes. I face fears about doing billionaire work and not see billions in my bank account yet. All that crap. Yep, I proceed. I blog into deep fears, feel fears, and clearing these fears helps me drive more blog traffic, leading to increased blogging success. All about that free giving, folks. Give freely, and you shall position yourself to receive more easily.
Be with scary emotions. I feel you. I have been there, guys. Nudging through to feel these energies is the way to clear these energies. Keep giving, and the getting becomes easier and easier in blog traffic terms. Imagine guest posting on 30 blogs over the next 3 months. Visualize how this increased exposure boosts your blog traffic. People see you all over, click your bio link and you get more blog traffic. Your generous service through guest posting put everything into motion.
Why Ask Blogging Questions Already Asked Thousands of Times?
Ya know what?
I feel awesome teaching bloggers with my friend Sue-Ann. We are currently helping course students via the creative, innovative, never duplicated: How to Bling Your Blog and Feed That Hog course.
Live, interactive and engaging, students already noted how we cover new, different topics compared to virtually all other blogging courses. Sure we cover the basics. But we do so quite differently than your average blogging course. Sue-Ann and I both became successful by doing things differently than most other bloggers. We think. We deliberate. We virtually never do things mindlessly. Alas, many of my fellow bloggers – most newbies – move in the opposite direction. One quick Quora visit reflects this mass sheeple mentality crippling most newbie blogger careers. Again, a few moments ago, I spied at least 4 bloggers asking the same, old, “how do you succeed at blogging” type question again, said questions being asked for the millionth time.
I have compassion for new bloggers. I also understand how every new blogger feels entitled to ask virtually any question. But just because you can ask any question, does that mean you should ask any or every blogging question popping up in your mind? Nope. You should note Why? Asking the successful blogging question wastes your time and my time because tens of thousands of bloggers have answered this question accurately tens of thousands of times across thousands of online platforms. We covered it already. I even created an entire course to devote to answering the question. Why litter Quora and the web in general with the same blogging question for the 10,000th time? At best, it is a time waster. At worst, borderline spam.
I love ya’s but you need to begin thinking like a successful blogger well before experiencing success. How would a successful blogger go about figuring out how to succeed at blogging? Pay someone to access the answer in 5 or 10 seconds. Hire someone to coach them. Buy a course or eBook in a minute. Why waste 24 or 36 hours waiting for an answer from some blogger when you get the answer 30 minutes after buying and reading one of my 100 plus eBooks? Failures wait for answers to questions asked thousands of times. Winners buy the answer immediately. This is the difference between struggling bloggers and future pros. Strugglers put no thought into the process. Why in the Hades would you ever believe 10,000 bloggers prior to you have NOT asked the successful blogging question? Of course they did! Think logically for 5 seconds. Of course hundreds of top bloggers answered the successful blogging question. And yes, of course you access that question through Google and Amazon in seconds, querying and investing money in instant answers from pros.
No brainer territory, guys. Buy the solution in seconds. Stop being like poverty conscious bloggers who put zero thought and little logic into why they ask a question obviously asked and answered accurately, thousands of times. Blogging gets easier if you think mindfully. Blogging gets harder if you mindlessly give zero thought to the craft. Invest money in getting proven answers to basic blogging questions. Accelerate your online success. Save your time. Save my time.
When Is It Too Late to Start Blogging?
Ego sometimes clings to limiting ideas. One such idea is the notion that starting a blog at some specific age proves to be futile because of it being too late. I recall hearing Gary Vaynerchuk professing how people in their early 20’s ask him if it is too late to begin a business. Do you see why ego deludes you? Fear manifests as all types of crippling beliefs holding you back. Someone clinging to fear, being 21 years old, asks if being 21 is too old for starting a business. Why? Some 21 year olds observe 14 year olds who create million dollar ventures. Or some 21 year olds see fellow 21 year olds who already became millionaires, when the limited-thinking 21 year old simply has never been an entrepreneur. Guess what? It is never late to begin blogging. It is never too late to begin blogging. I recall a 73 year old new to blogging who bought 4 of my eBooks after I wrote a guest post on Build Your Own Blog. He began blogging at 73 years old. Imagine that? Yet 21 year olds some 50 years his minor fear being 21 is too old for beginning a successful venture.
Fear makes you think silly things. Be beyond fear. Feel fear. Release fear. Move in a direction of possibilities. Move toward opportunities. Now is the time to begin blogging whether you are 21 or 101. Now is the time to begin. Seize the moment. Do you plan to be around for a bit? Blog. Begin blogging. It is never too late to start blogging because you and I sit in the perfect place at the perfect time for our individual journeys. I began blogging in my mid 30’s. 35 years old, to be exact. Being a 35 year old beginner blogger never crossed my mind as being too old because I did not cling to the fear fueling that too old, aged, limiting belief. I saw actual 12 year olds blogging during my newbie blogging days. Who cares that a kid 20 years my junior began blogging? I had 20 more years LIFE experience than he. Possessing 20 more years life experience puts you at a tremendous advantage when it comes to learning the in’s and out’s of blogging the right way. Heck; the 73 year old new blogger may have zero blogging experience but 73 years of life experience. What seems more important at that point in your life? Does knowing how to format a blog post at 73 count more than the fearlessness, serenity and peace you acquired from facing 73 years worth of fears? Dude begins blogging with the mindset of a Blogging Yoda, for all he faced and for all the experience he has. Does THAT sound like it’s too late for blogging?
The only thing I would say is to begin blogging now because blogging experience is your best ally. Do not wait on the sidelines. Even though you can begin blogging at any age, why wait until you turn 45 when you can begin blogging now, at age 40? Why hesitate? Experience benefits you tremendously. Whether you start blogging at 13 or 73, experience earned and learned from, accelerates your blogging success. But you need to see the journey through and you need to begin blogging now. Go ahead. Blog. It’s not too late!
Do you fear deleting your worn out, failing blog to start over? Buy my eBook:
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