How to Kill Your Blog with Bad Marketing

By now we all know that in order to make money from a blog all we need is good content coupled with good traffic. It’s funny how these two simple things really aren’t that simple at all. In fact, we struggle with this every day. We struggle with providing good content and most really don’t have an idea on how to get traffic.

In John Chow’s monthly income report, he always emphasizes that to make money with blogging you need to have a good traffic. That is still the case today. Although it is entirely possible to make money with traffic that is not as big as with this blog, the general conclusion still, is you need good traffic.

This is where the need of marketing comes in. We have to get noticed so we have to market our blogs competently. That’s the only way to get a good amount of traffic. That being said, we as bloggers try different ways to market our blogs, some are unconventional, some are unique and most are obsolete ones. The problem with this is sometimes it brings more harm than traffic. This is what I call bad marketing.

What is Bad Marketing in Blogging?

Bad Marketing happens when you promote your blog for all the wrong and ugly reasons. Because of the nature of the internet, we sometimes tend to “pitch” our blog to a huge variety of people and as a result, not really all of the audience we’re marketing to are the ones targeted to our readership. And in fact, it’s more likely that you will just annoy these people rather than have them visit your site.

Bad marketing also occurs because of bad marketing practices. Sometimes we’re targeting the right people but the problem is we’re not doing it competently enough. Promoting and marketing your blog is more than just “hey here’s my blog, click the link and subscribe to my feed”. And up to now, a lot of people are still in this wrong mentality.

Ways to Kill Your Blog with Bad Marketing

1. Aggressive Link Spamming

This is one of the most common thing I see bloggers do ever since. What a blogger usually does is comment on blog post and then explicitly puts his link and asks people to visit the blog. Obviously that doesn’t make sense and makes more harm! Who wants to visit a website just because you are told? It also doesn’t work because first and foremost, comments are nofollowed and second bloggers are wise enough to understand whether a blog is worth paying a visit to.

This bad practice also occurs in forums and social media sites. I often see people who post to forums and then beg ask people to look at his/her blog. Remember forums and social sites are good and tight communities. You just once make a bad action there, they’re more likely gonna tune you out forever.

2. Wrong Targeting

One of my favourite forums is the wickedfire forum because of the affiliate marketing resource and help that I get there (I know most of you don’t like there). What happens a lot of times is that there is one new member each in every while that would post there promoting his blog or a certain ‘premium’ ebook. Of course knowing the nature of the forum, that guy would then start getting criticisms and rickroll which would open up heated arguments. Long story short, it’s the whole forum versus that one poor guy. The guy would later get banned.

The lesson is simple, know the audience. Know who your readers are, make sure you’re certain about the demographics. After all you don’t introduce sex to 10 year old kids right?

3. Mass Promotion

Before, mass promotion is a quick way to get good readership to a blog but now it has become obsolete.

Mass promotion is basically when you promote your site to a wide no.of audience without really offering anything unique. Think of it as writing a non-personalized email to VIP’s, which is its equivalent to blogging. The problem with this tactic is that people have gone tired with this. It’s just like any other thing they’ve seen before.

The best way to combat this is to actually write something useful first and then try to bait them to go to your site. Providing that you have superb content, people would start reading more and eventually subscribe.

4. Offering something not really present

I was into BlogCatalog the other day and I’ve seen an interesting discussion there about some guy who has a blog and offering people are free food coupon for a comment in his blog. Like many other fool bloggers, I was enticed and I went to the site. I commented and read some of the posts which are really good. Long story short, the guy revealed he really doesn’t have any coupons and just people to read his blog. I, myself obviously was disappointed.

Overdelivering is really an overused word nowadays. People don’t just get it. What you offer and the value behind it are two different things. Right now in my blog, Im offering a free info product about Blog Marketing but is it really valuable in terms of learning how to competently market your blog? That’s the same question that you need to ask to yourself.

5. Not Scaling, not tracking

Obviously marketing is about trying and testing, trial and error. There are good traffic tactics right now but at the end of the day, you’re still not sure its useful tomorrow.

Tracking just like in anything is crucial here because this will determine whether its still worth doing those marketing tactics or not anymore. You need to measure it and if its successful, then maybe tweak some more and test again. Not just in blogging but pretty much everywhere, tracking and testing are the two things that can either make you successful or broke.

A good reason why most bloggers really don’t get a lot of traffic is because they don’t market their blogs competitively. It’s amazing that the industry is so huge yet there’s a skew towards people who don’t really make any money from their blog because of lack of traffic. If you think you are marketing your site well but hardly making any progress then maybe it’s time for you to re-evaluate you marketing practices.

This is a guest post from Melvin of MelvinBlog Dot Com, a blog that provides solid internet marketing tips for bloggers. Check out his best posts and don’t forget to follow his tweets.


49 thoughts on “How to Kill Your Blog with Bad Marketing”

  1. Quality unique content = quality traffic.

    Be consistent with your content and you’ll eventually get the traffic.

    1. Enoch Fung says:

      I have to agree – you don’t necessarily need to aggressively promote your blog. That’s how viral marketing works – it’s not aggressive – it’s using unique content and letting other people do the hard work.

      1. jtGraphic says:

        Word of mouth is still king, queen, and court.

    2. Right on! Content is King!

    3. Harry says:

      Wake up plz. There is no such thing as bad marketing. Only marketing that failed in the past. Oh and content + traffic = money? Really? What type of traffic, from where, investment needed to get traffic, expected return?

      1. “Quality unique content = quality traffic.”

        I never said anything about “content + traffic = money”

        I’ve spent $0 dollars on my blog (other than domain reg), I’ve been writing unique content like crazy posting 5 times a week. I started to get traffic last week…about 30 uniques a day now.

        Although I have some traffic, I will not monetize my site until I reach 1000 visitors a day and have a strong following. So, let me correct your formula…”content+ 999 visitors/day (traffic)= no money”….then “content+1K visitors/day (traffic)= money”

        How you convert the traffic into money is up to the individual, but at the very least slapping adsense will bring in some revenue at that volume.

        1. That’s pretty impressive to have the discipline to wait it out until your traffic builds to that level.

          I would say though it depends on how you plan to monetize your site. If you’re only going to place ads, you’re right not to rush into that.

          But I think if you’re going to create real value, preferably with a product of your own, or at least recommending products to others, there’s no need to wait for that kind of traffic.

          If you’re offering real value, it’s not going to turn off visitors, they’ll be happy you’re helping them out!

      2. E Brian Rose says:

        Content plus traffic does not equal money. There are a few more ingredients that you would have to add to that recipe before the cake is baked.

  2. d3so says:

    I hate it when people offer false promises. They tell you to tweet something for a chance to win a prize and they either fail to mention the winner or don’t say anything at all. This is very shady and I can’t believe I’m still reading stuff they say lol.

    1. Agreed…the spammers of the world do suck 🙂

  3. Interesting opinions, Melvin.
    “…first and foremost, comments are nofollowed.” – That depends entirely on how a blog is set up, for example, some of my blogs have the comments set to nofollow / some to dofollow, some have comments disabled.
    And then there are also the top commenter and similar plugins (like here on John’s blog). But as your guest blog post is mostly not about SEO /SEM, it doesn’t matter really, If a blog comment is dofollow or not. Do/Nofollow is only important for search engines, not for human readers.
    As for the rest, I bite my tongue, I am not a native English speaker myself, but when I do a guest blog post or similar, I always get a native English speaker to proof read what I wrote. Why? Because people will judge you and your competence also by your grammar and spelling skills. You also should put a bit more information about yourself in the guest blog post, like how you implemented these tips yourself and how it affected the success your blog has or has not. With what experiences and proofs can you back up your opinions? SY

    1. Melvin says:

      That’s a great insight. Im not a native English speaker as well and although I dont hire someone to proofread my article for me, my grammar is still a bit glitchy.

      Anyways I would really love to but the author bio box is just so short to put a lengthy paragraph about myself.

      1. Nice to see that you change your gravatar now.

      2. You could have put it in the blog post itself, along the lines of:
        As I started I did xyz, it didn’t work, then I changed to do yxc and saw on improvement in traffic / earnings / whatever”. SY

        1. I think with author details John should allow to post the photos of writer as well.

          That will be a nice way to give little more recognition to your guest poster.

          1. Melvin says:

            @irish I was thinking of that but that would’ve made this post two to three times longer.

            @zk hey man, why? is my former avatar ugly? 🙂

    2. “Do/Nofollow is only important for search engines, not for human readers.”

      While there is certainly a difference, I think it’s generally a good idea to completely disregard the follow status. In that I mean, if you only have limited time, and you have a choice, by all means get the dofollow link. But I’d never let it stop me from pursuing a nofollow link.

      My theory: even if nofollow links don’t help your pagerank, they are still counted as links, and more links is always better. Also, from my experience the anchor text of nofollow links can still help a great deal with keyword relevance.

    3. Mike says:

      I would can (fire) your English proof reader. They are doing you more harm then good.

  4. I think people have to stop using the “sales pitch” as that technique doesn’t fool anyone anymore.

  5. Awesome Post Melvin and Great point ‘ Aggressive Link Spamming’ . There many people who just comment for there profits. 🙂

  6. Yasagun says:

    Careless action = killing the blog. Professional blogger should understand about it all. Perhaps they (bloggers who “kill” their own blog) just think simply how to get traffic without knowing the “long time side effect” after all. It’s greet sharing. Thanks John.

  7. wow wow, I love this sentence “It’s funny how these two simple things really aren’t that simple at all”. It’s so hard to make it happens, right lol

    1. I agree. Simple doesn’t equal easy.

      The other day I read a quote I really appreciated: “The advanced is merely mastery of the simple.”

  8. George185 says:

    Our culture is used to getting things right away. This is why the mindset of most newcomers (myself included) is “why should it be different with website promotion?” Everyone determined enough will learn either from reading posts like this, or trial and error.

    Great Post

  9. eh… theres good things that can come from spamming!! ahaha

    1. Melvin says:

      sure definitely there is BUT just be prepare to take myriads of bad things, 😉

    2. Unfortunately, whenever I see people being really spammy, as frustrating (and disappointing) as it is, I always have to remember that it must be making some people a lot of money, or they wouldn’t keep doing it.

      I guess it comes down to what can make you MORE money in the long run, and beyond that, it comes down to personal integrity and character.

  10. DC Figures says:

    Scalability is key in any online business.

  11. Free Picks says:

    These tips will help to improve my blogging skils
    :d

    1. If you actually apply them.

  12. fas says:

    Very well said. These are the things to avoid.

  13. Wrong marketing does create a downside on your business!

  14. Just give a time to your blog with regular contents.

    I think blogging is like cooking. If you add too much spices than it will kill taste, if you will heat it more than it will ruin the flavour.

    So give it a proper heat and keep adding spices as per taste. At last you will get a tasty (successful blog) food.

  15. Nice relevant post, John. I agree that you must get people on your side before trying to aggressively push your agenda, otherwise your efforts are going to be in vain. Being labelled as a spammer is no good for your ultimate web marketing ambitions.

    1. Net age this is our Melvin who wrote this post.

      Certainly I like his writing skill.

      1. Your Melvin writes real well, ZK. I like his style too! I’ll be popping over to your blog just now to come see what else is new your side.

        1. Melvin says:

          thanks for the complement people!

  16. Karen says:

    Very well said. These are the things to avoid.

  17. Jane says:

    Hi John:
    So important to put rich content material of value for your readers. Marketing authentically is key with blogs.

  18. Sam says:

    I think with author details John should allow to post the photos of writer as well.

    That will be a nice way to give little more recognition to your guest poster.

    1. Melvin says:

      heheh, tell John that. I would be happy to get a space for my face. 🙂

  19. I & O says:

    Hey John,

    You have striked the right chords as all the above mentioned points are really responsible for killing a blog.

  20. You make some great points here! Thanks for sharing these tips with us.

  21. seo basics says:

    Being labeled a spammer can ruin an otherwise well thought out blog. Thanks for the information!

  22. Thanks for the post Melvin!

    As a marketer it’s really easy to focus on finding actions to take, new ways to build traffic, links, and a reputation. It’s definitely helpful once in a while to go back a review the things we shouldn’t be doing. It can be sadly easy to fall into bad habits.

  23. Jonathan says:

    “Do/Nofollow is only important for search engines, not for human readers.”

    While there is certainly a difference, I think it’s generally a good idea to completely disregard the follow status. In that I mean, if you only have limited time, and you have a choice, by all means get the dofollow link. But I’d never let it stop me from pursuing a nofollow link.

    My theory: even if nofollow links don’t help your pagerank, they are still counted as links, and more links is always better. Also, from my experience the anchor text of nofollow links can still help a great deal with keyword relevance.

    1. I’m really confused as to how this comment is attributed to ‘Jonathan’ from criminalmadness.com, when I’m pretty sure (100%) I wrote this yesterday…

      strange bug…

  24. I often read about articles that teaches people how to market their blog but this article is interesting as it teaches me how to prevent bad marketing my blog.

    Thks for your advice

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