Blogger Spam - Who's With Me?

7:11 AM


Okay, I never do this. I never complain about PR. For the most part, I love PR people and have an amazing relationship with many of them. I understand that they are paid to do a job and that they have to fulfill the client;s needs in the way they feel is the best. However, that is exactly the point isn't it? They are paid to do a job. A while back, probably towards the beginning of the year, I started noticing a change in my email inbox. There was an increase in the amount of contacts I was receiving each day, but also an increase in what I like to call Blogger Spam!


{What is Blogger Spam?}

What is Blogger spam? No, it isn't a can of mystery meat we all sit eating with a spoon at our computers, it is an onslaught of daily emails that are asking, ordering or sometimes even guilting each of us into advertising for free for companies. I don't know about you, but I did not start blogging to post about flatulence medicine just for the heck of it.

Now, do I post things for free that may happen to promote a certain company? Absolutely, but these ideas are usually found on my own and rarely come from anything a PR person emails me. The bottom line is, my blog is a job. I like to make my readers happy and post useful content, but there are ads on this site and sometimes I will do an advertorial post or review/giveaway. What my blog is not though, is a 24/7 commercial where I live to spend hours of my time researching, writing, finding photos, editing photos, etc. for the glory of posting things for free about companies that my readers will not care about. I come up with unique post ideas on my own that I feel my readers will be interested in, because this blog was started for them.

{The Evolution of Blogger Spam}

Over the last few months, a few PR people have gotten rather inventive with how they word blogger spam in an effort to make it not sound like spam. Here is what some of it looks like:

  • Help promote other bloggers about writing about their accomplishments on your site for free and include a link to our company while your at it. (Meanwhile what am I? Chopped liver?)
  • Interview this person you have never heard of, but that you should feel honored just to get the opportunity to speak to. (BTW, minimum of 2-3 hours for this process between the interview and post.)
  • This is for a non-profit (<- read not a charity) and you should just send me the link when the post is up. (Please note. I have written posts about causes and charities I am passionate about for free in the past.)
  • This content would be extremely valuable to your readers and they would love it, so aren't you happy that we are giving to you to post at absolutely no cost to you. (So they are doing me a favor actually.)
Now, I realize that this may be coming across as harsh or a PR bash and that is not the point. I do not want to discourage PR from contacting bloggers or even myself. However, I would like them and their clients to stop and think. Would you want someone coming to your work, taking your paycheck away and saying that you still needed to do all of the work, but you would not be paid? It is the same thing when you approach bloggers in any niche. 

There is an incredible amount of work that goes into blogging when it is done right and our time is not worth less simply because we are moms. Yes, I am a mom. A mom who now has to work from home because I homeschool my dyslexic 10 year old. I am the sole bread winner for my home. So, when I ask for compensation for my time, I am not being greedy, I am simply trying to feed my family and put my time to use in the best way possible. 

Bloggers, have you noticed this increase in blogger spam or is it just me?


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27 comments

  1. It has gotten bad. I've even asked some to remove me from their lists. Just last week I got a request to pass on info about a company who donates 10 percent to charity. Since this is for charity, we cant share samples with you or your readers. Those PR must think mom bloggers are stupid.

    Like you said, if it's a special organization you like to support or you want to develop a relationship with this pr or company, that's different. But don't use cause marketing to try and trick us.

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  2. That is exactly it Heather. I week or so ago I did a twitter run for a cause. That is different. When they try to manipulate though, it makes me upset.

    The fact is, PR may not even come up with these ideas or even craft the emails. In fact, those could just be handed down by the clients in some cases. Either way, it is important for them to realize our time is worth something too.

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  3. I get these all the time now. I think these people honestly think they're fooling someone with wording their emails this way. And they probably are - new or clueless bloggers.

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  4. My favorite is companies being paid to promote charities and asking us to do it for free because it's "the right thing to do" (then why didn't you do it for free?)

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  5. I especially love the follow up emails on these spam emails. I understand these companies are doing their job, I won't bash them for it but don't harass me about not responding or posting.

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  6. These have gotten a lot more prevalent lately too Melinda. In fact, I just received several today.

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  7. I'm very new to blogging, but I've noticed that I have started receiving MANY email messages about prescriptions and that I have inherited millions of dollars via my royal family. Of course these are addressed to The Quirky Momma which makes them even funnier!

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  8. I am so, so tired of them too. And they are relentless with the follow-ups. It is time consuming enough to go through email and when you add these ridiculous ones in, it just takes up too much time that could better be spent with family or working on posts where you ARE compensated. Unfortunately I am going to have to ask to be taken off some of these lists as well, I just can't stand it anymore.

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  9. Great post! It is ridiculous. Today alone, when I got home from not being on email all day, most are blogger spam. Let me know when you post, can I send high res images? Every day is something new for us hard working bloggers to post for free, and you're right it isn't right. If I post for free (and I do often) it is because I feel it would benefit readers or those looking for something. Or because it is free for kids.

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  10. It's so true, I delete so much e-mail every day. I just look at the title and if it sucks then the e-mail goes down the drain

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  11. Unfortunately, the problem here is not all PR agencies actually have a budget, they are paid to get free press, and it usually comes in the form of email spam. But that's not to say there aren't some great ones that come through that I would NOT consider spam. It's all about the approach.

    Example ...

    I love Land's End home products.

    Pitch 1 - Basically tells me about some great deal they're having, will I share it with my readers?

    Pitch 2 - Starts off with a little research and a quick search on my blog to see if I've ever talked about Land's End, which they would find that I do and go on to acknowledge the fact that I like the brand, how I use it and asks if I'd be interested in sharing a current promotion with my readers.

    I would respond to pitch 2 because there was EFFORT and a teeny bit of RESEARCH that wasn't BS.

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  12. Couldn't agree more Cat. There are PR reps that I have worked with before and who I have a relationship with who I will post for for free sometimes if the content is useful. Why? Because they have taken the time to build a relationship with me and my blog. There has been a ROI in the past so it is nothing for me to do a post for them for free now and again if it is a fit for my blog.

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  13. There's such an increase lately. I'm having a hard time doing a decent gift guide this year, everyone just wants features for nothing in return.. Um no..

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  14. Gone are the days when a bloggers were naive and didn't know their worth.

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  15. It's getting ridiculous, especially with my fashion blog! They'll send me tons of images of expensive fashion pieces, yet expect me to advertise it for free. Also, I get tons of requests for interviews. That's just a slick way of getting free advertisment! I don't know about anyone else, but I don't blog for my health. :o

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  16. You know, it's not the spam that gets me because I understand why they do it and I can choose to use the information they are passing along or not. What DOES get me is when they "follow up" 2, 3, 4 or 5 times to "make sure" I got the info about their press release or asking me if I think this is something I want to write about. If I want to write the piece, I will let you know...otherwise, I'm sorry but I can't respond to all 5,121,548,468,223 emails I get in a day.

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  17. i agree, it is getting pretty crazy but I understand it. that definitely doesn't mean I go along with it and 90% of the time I don't even respond to those emails

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  18. I delete. And then I delete the follow up. And the second. They're getting ridiculous.

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  19. They are getting to be like vultures. I delete it and keep right on moving.

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  20. I hate when they spell my name wrong..

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  21. I am totally with you on this.

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  22. I get so frustrated with spam every day. Not only on my blog but so many spam emails I have to go through.

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  23. It's very, very frustrating!

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  24. I think with the holidays comingthere are more.

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