There Really Is No Such Thing As Bad Press

Watching the AGLOCO melt down has confirmed that there really is no such thing as bad press. As a matter of fact, bad press translates to more traffic than good press most of the time. My AGLOCO post got over 170 comments and pingbacks, with many of them from the “I told you so” crowd. I particularly like this one.

And you were the IDIOT who was so confident in them and now they’ve flopped. And you look like a moron hahaha.

The post and resulting backlinks spiked traffic by nearly 25% and my RSS count is now coming up on 15,000. With these kinds of results, I’ll be happy to look like a moron any day of the week.

Bad Press is Good for Business

While I would like to have people write good things about me, I rather have them write bad things about me than nothing at all. Most movie and TV stars claim they hate the tabs and paparazzi that following them around. However, I bet they’ll get real worry if they stop following them. Whether the news is good or bad, having press about you keeps you in the public eye and that is good for business.

Look at how many times TechCrunch slammed PayPerPost. It almost seems like Michael Arrington has a personal vendetta against them. However, instead of putting them under with each negative post, Arrington helps them grow. In a recent blog post, Izea (parent company of PayPerPost) thank Michael Arrington and Jason Calacanis for helping them pass the 100,000 member mark.

Our good friends Michael Arrington and Jason Calacanis have also done a stellar job of driving traffic and making sure the entire blogosphere knows our name. We simply couldn’t afford that type of advertising if we had to buy it. I really need to find some time to write these guys a thank you card or send a fruit basket.

When my friends at the Inquirer call Truemors the worst website ever, they probably knew they were going to send it a lot of traffic. What did Truemor founder, Guy Kawasaki, thought of the article? He answered in the November issue of Entrepreneur magazine.

That diatribe generated our biggest day of traffic. I hope that it happens again. Great products piss people off–although everything that pisses people off isn’t necessarily great.

Bad press, like negative comments, is something you should look forward to because it’s an indication of growth. Remember, if you’re not pissing somebody off, you’re not doing it right.

91 thoughts on “There Really Is No Such Thing As Bad Press”

  1. Good advice, I’ll try to piss more people off in the future.

    1. mubin says:

      Dont you Think you owe your readers some sort of apologies though? I mean you pushed this thing so hard on your readers and not so much as an apology?

      1. Steven says:

        In some sense, I see where you are coming from, but in the end, you didn’t lose anything either. It didn’t cost you a single penny to sign up so I don’t know what John need to apologize to you (or anyone else) for. He gave advice on what he thought would have been successful. It’s a hit or miss sort of deal and no one ever said you had to follow any of his advice. Keep in mind he’s not a professional finance advisor with a finance degree and all, he’s just merely sharing his opinions.

        That said, I understand where why you felt like it was a waste of your time and all and I am not saying either side is wrong, I just don’t think this is something John need to apologize about.

        1. Mubin says:

          I didn’t lose anything because I didn’t promote it very hard. The people that may have taken his advice and actually started PPC campaigns are the ones that actually lost out. If you think about the fact that John was actually getting paid for his numerous posts about the topic it would make some people angry.

      2. In my opinion, no matter how much someone promotes a certain program, it’s your choice alone if you want to sign up or not. And you sign up only if you yourself believe it’s a good deal. You can’t blame the promoter if it doesn’t work out, and therefore he doesn’t have to apologize for it.

        1. Etienne Teo says:

          That i will agree with you.

      3. Why should John feel guilty that AGLOCO didn’t worked out? When he recommended them it did, if they later on failed on that it is obviously not John’s fault, so asking apologies for something you haven’t done really makes no sense, and in this evil world apologizing is a sign of weakness πŸ˜›

    2. I only piss of my girlfriend because it’s so easy. Readers on the other hand… I guess I have to try harder. 😈

      1. Hahaha, hope you are enjoying doing that πŸ˜› I do that too all the time…well, later on I figure out it was not really a smart move, but heck I can’t resist to see her reaction

    3. Anyone want to try starting a simulated blog fight? We can start something like John’s RSS Contest against Shoemoney. :mrgreen:

  2. Gary R. Hess says:

    We were the idiots anyway. Shoemoney said that John Chow even got paid, we didn’t.

    1. Zac Johnson says:

      John partially made Agloco into the success (as far as signups) that it was. Just goes to show how effective marketing and persuasion on can be. If Agloco ended up sticking around and paying, I’m sure John wouldn’t get as much praise as he did slack for it not working.

      1. Etienne Teo says:

        The thing is agolco is made to win people’s heart and mind but they fail to action what they need to do.

  3. Jack says:

    Finally, being lazy has paid off for once. I was too lazy to actually promote my Agloco link, and it didn’t get me anything, but I didn’t lose anything this time either. I’m chalking this one up as a win.

    1. I didn’t even bother to signup to AGLOCO not because I was too lazy, but because it didn’t really add up, the way they had everything set up would generate money yes, but not enough to go around and be shared by everyone.

      I’m sure they made some nice thousands out of the program, but imagine trying to divide that with everyone in the network. You’d end up with fractions of pennies.

      1. Agloco just sounded like too much of a pyramid scheme that only rewards the ones at the top. Were there really MBAs behind this? I wonder where they got their MBAs. Then again, the negative press might be Agloco’s strategy to come alive again. Who knows?

        1. Agloco won’t come alive again, the next thing I’m expecting is them selling out to some rich dude that would spam for decades on the millions of email addresses agloco has in it’s database.

          And trust me that database is worth much more than anything agloco has been trying to earn hehe

          1. So why don’t they profit off that? Maybe that’s illegal…

  4. Dom says:

    I think there comes a point where you have so much bad publicity that nobody trusts you and people just laugh and point at you in the street. I don’t think anybody really wants to be the next Britney Spears…

    1. John Chow says:

      And when Britney released her new CD, it hits #1. A good marketing rule to remember: People have really short memory.

      1. Kenneth says:

        Yeah, Britney’s album did go to #1 but with all the bag press she has gotten I don’t think people are very receptive of her next movie part that she is getting cast into “The Virgin Mary”. Yes, bad press is good in some cases, not all..

      2. Yea you still remember that πŸ˜› It’s one of the first rules in the marketing class wasn’t it πŸ˜›

        1. Jack says:

          First thing they teach in Marketing class, I know because my final is in less than 2 hours, is that if you ever forget the 4 P’s, you fail.

          1. HeHe It’s been a while since I attended a marketing class, but I still remember stuff.

            Right now I’m doing a BSCIT degree course so I had to drop all the marketing, and stuff it’s a shame coz it was all quite interesting.

          2. By the way Goodluck for your final! I hope you do well.

      3. Dom says:

        And you think she’s happy?

        1. You can’t put feelings in the equation, It’s all marketing she might be happy she might not be.

          One thing is for sure, she got much more $$ in her bank account that I have, and she got most of it from good publicity.

          I have no doubt that there are better singers better than her, ones that we never heard of and never will, ones that where unlucky and didn’t get the marketing they deserved.

          Let’s mention another Star, Paris – Have you ever even bothered to look at her? She’s like blehh but she’s what you see on tv all the time!

      4. I agree, I think Britney did a great job, especially when she shaved her hair. That probably got more publicity more than anything.

      5. Who is britney spears? Ohhh the hot milf exposed, if you just said like this it would have saved me time πŸ˜›

      6. Zac Johnson says:

        Hey, everyone still loves Kobe now too! Didn’t he do something bad and was the most hated person for a while… πŸ™„

  5. Web Cosmo says:

    Its an old truth. Its called negative marketing. But thing is it has to come from somebody big. If Google starts saying crap about you, its good for you Where if I do it at its no good for you.
    Now let me try this, lets see if it works. John Chow is a self declared Mogul. With his crappy writing I don’t know how he earn big bucks. People shouldn’t pay him more then 20 bucks for reviews.

  6. Carl says:

    Maybe bad press is a good thing then, looking at it from a different angle πŸ˜•

    1. Fat Man says:

      press is press. it all depends how you spin it.

  7. bad press is free press

    1. That’s true, let’s go back to the celebrity e.g. have you ever noticed that whenever a celebrity starts going out of the picture and want to come back, they usually do a really silly thing.

      Let’s take Britney again, do you remember when she got married and divorced the following day.

      Or when she shaved her hair, you could read it all over the internet, and it didn’t cost her a thing!

  8. Try picking fights with sites 10x bigger than yours. The result is incredible. I did a study once where I fought with a more popular blog in one of my niches and they blogged about it. Record day in terms of traffic and earnings and once the people got there, the majority stayed. It was a beautiful thing.

    1. Oh yeah?! Well I think that idea is stupid! Put ’em up!


      1. Lol it’s one of the best ideas I’ve heard in weeks actually.

    2. Wow, great idea. You know I think you might even be able “plan” it and make it look like a big fight kinda like John and Jeremy does on regular basis here. πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ

      1. Oh yeah?!?! Up yours wiki-man!
        I actually wrote an article about you a few days ago. It’s called “*Number* *Currency* Wiki” and it’s in my most-commented section.

        1. Lol… thanks for the post, I will do a counter-attack post on One Buck Wiki right now. Just so you know, don’t get offended, we will keep this planned fight between you and me.

        2. Here’s my counter attack post:

          Maybe you can leave some nasty horrible comments for me on our blog. Plus, maybe you can do another post saying how horrible we are and make it as nasty as you want.

          Boy, this is getting more fun… Later, we can trade blogrolls if you’d like and we can tell the readers the truth.

          1. Nice post Can’t Get Rich,
            I left a nasty comment, well at least I tried. Let’s see where this goes and see if some people get pissed off. 😈

          2. Ahahaha, this is great. Let’s see if our readers flame each other’s sites to death.

  9. I agree. All you have to do is rile people up a bit and you get lots of traffic. I need to quit being so nice.

  10. Steven says:

    I read this on John Cow earlier. I forgot my login details for Agloco so I don’t really care (now). At first I thought Agloco was in it for email addresses. They might be, according to the milkman. Who knows?

    I’ve tried to piss off Linux people (i actually do like it) because I know they feel so strongly about Linux. its good to piss people off about something they’re passionate about.
    PS: Pissing off linux Haxxors didn’t work.

    1. Hey, I am a linux fan, I will have to kill you now. πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ πŸ‘Ώ

  11. hts says:

    Controversial articles and bad reviews are one of the guarantees of a “buzz-generator”. Stand against the crowd, against the flood, and everyone will get to know you πŸ™‚

    As for the Linux thing mentioned by steven above: indeed, there are people who support linux just because they think it’s cool to do so. But there are ppl who really believe in free software philosophy – and that’s admirable, really.

  12. Steven says:

    i just wrote an article attempting to pick a fight with Alan Liew. i despise that guy. Here’s the article –

    I’m attempting to start a petition to kick him off the top spot.

  13. Steven says:

    Oh and John, you can take the 1000 Agloco member post down in the ‘top posts section”. For real. I know its really good. But still.

  14. David Savage says:

    Silly people thinking they are hurting John. 😈

  15. The second I heard about this I thought here comes some more traffic for John Chow!

  16. Manik says:

    I am trying to figure out how to start pick a fight. Anybody have any idea?

    1. Write a nasty blog post or leave a really nasty comment that someone would have to respond to like, “I did th*s to your mother” πŸ™‚

  17. Fat Man says:

    this is so true. i got banned from cows site for him being too soft and it sent me traffic and conversions. I also made the first page of digg and got tons of traffic and negative comments, but it was great.

  18. This is so true, take a look at our latest review on John Chow:

    We hit record sales for both QuarterWiki and the OneBuckWiki.

    The lesson learned?
    Build a big fire with negative and positive comments. A big fire cannot be put out. A small fire, on the other hand, will be put out very easily.

    Think of every comment as your driest kinder for your fire. Use the power of nay-sayers to promote your sites.

    There’s even a Chinese Martial Art devoted to using opponent’s power to fight back. Will have a report about this on http://Zedomax.Biz soon.

  19. Great post John, I read that article too on Guy’s new Treumors site. It seems like bad publicity can be more powerful than good publicity.

  20. Neil says:

    One Buck Wiki must be trying this approach. The spamming nature of his comments pisses me off, 6 of the 43 in the post so far are his.

    1. Hey, you must be pissed off since you do own 50% of MEW. No offense but you rejected all my ads on EntreCard. I can understand your competitive nature but to tell me I am a spammer?
      Well, here is goes again, I rather fight your hidden agendas then stay quiet.

      1. Zac Johnson says:

        Write a case study on your traffic from being in the John Chow Top Commenters list! πŸ˜†

      2. Neil Duckett says:

        I don`t ever recall seeing your ad on entre card, the only ones i have ever rejected were when people would put multiple ads on.

  21. BTW, i didn’t spam, if you look at my comments, 90% are constructive comments. You are the one spamming this post by commenting on “off-topic” attack on me.

  22. One more thing, I have visited your blog Neil often and read about your experiences in Japan. There’s nothing wrong with that, I enjoy your blog but this isn’t something I enjoy doing.

  23. johnCard says:

    ha ha john chow u such an idiot for promoting agloco, and kumiko told u so.
    hey, has anybody heard from kumiko or know if she started a new site? any help would be grateful. we miss her!!! really, where the hell is kumiko!
    john chow, please write a post, “where the hell is kumido?”.


  24. Low says:

    Been an idiot many times. I once dugg Guy Kawasaki’s article and post an idiotic comment at Digg, the article ‘went popular’.

    Totally agree with John. In such ugly times, it’s not even a bad press, it’s the part of sensation. There really so such thing as bad press that bad.

  25. Jimson Lee says:

    I wrote an article comparing “white” vs. “black” sprinters, and boy, that was a huge spike in traffic!!! It wasn’t even racist, I was merely stating the facts and the obvious.

    Lesson learned: some topics are just too sensitive to touch with a 10 foot pole (or, should I say a 16 foot pole vault)

  26. Contest Beat says:

    Some good points, just make sure it doesn’t happen too often I guess!

  27. Robert says:

    There’s a big difference between being negative and just disagreeing with people. Hatemail implies you or your audience is maybe a little childish, whereas you could have lots of back and forth traffic over a disagreement. “YOU SUCK!” is definitely negative, but informed discussion with differing viewpoints isn’t necessarily negative. Lumping the two together will lead you to draw incorrect conclusions.

  28. Steven Finch says:

    With the Arrington comment i think you are totally wrong John. How can you make the assumption that Arrington and Calacanis helped PayPerPost get over the 100,000 member mark? You cant! It could have been for any reason or even just time!!

    Get a clue John!

  29. may be deliberately, may be not but Techcrunch has never been short of putting opinions. PPP is not the only company who has got this. Remember the post of $800 chaairs bought by PPP πŸ˜€

    1. Zac Johnson says:

      PPP is the king of press… good or bad, they take it, then market it!

  30. “True” as I can feel it on my own. Would you ever believe that the EntreCard developer (phirate) come to MyBlog and write a comment? (btw I gived him the 5 credits for the comment).
    It happent just because I say: I don`t like Graham asking for “How to make money?” because it`s not for the bloggers benefit (maybe just a part if he gets a better dedicated server).
    He erased one of my topic, closed another one and that made it kind of: There is something special here. I posted about a contest of mine on wich I give 1000 credits prise, but no reaction.
    Talking good about something will bring them traffic, but talking Bad it could get you some attention too. Is this a Marketing thing? I hope so…

  31. hehe says:

    hahaha all i can say

  32. Laptop Deals says:

    I disagree somewhat. There is damaging press, its of the quiet kind. example:entrecard

    #1- add entrecard to your blog
    #2- start getting lots of traffic that has a 97%+ bounce rate
    #3- watch google cut your adsense per click earnings accross all sites.

    I don’t have enough data timewise to confirm this but my test sites are showing it to be an alarming trend. Adsense seems infinitely tied to site bounce rate, with the highest amount paid per click coming when that rate is below 50%. Does entrecard have an achilles heel after all?

  33. Chris says:

    Hey, nothing in life is certain. At leats they (Agloco) tried.

    Keep an eye on your better half. They just might do a 180 o n you. No investment, whether be it emotional or financial – is safe.

    RIP Agloco.

    John did his best to promote a safe business opportunity. No one can predict success or failure.

  34. hts says:

    The business was fishy from the beginning. You could smell it – the surface at least, was rotten :). And in the end, it proved that the whole thing was rotten, not only the surface πŸ˜€

  35. Yep, I’ve seen the same spike in Agloco-related traffic to my blog…and I welcome it, with arms wide open. πŸ˜€

    ‘Tis true. There’s no such thing as bad publicity. The only bad press, is no press at all! :mrgreen:

    Shine on,

  36. 30 Day Man says:

    Soooo true. Any marketing is good marketing.

    Is that why even a bad review from John Chow still gets featured sites tonnes o hits? πŸ™‚

  37. Yeah, well I’d still prefer some good press. πŸ˜›
    ~ Dave

  38. bmunch says:

    Hey John, if a review from you cost $400, how much does a slam from you cost? I don’t have the money to buy a review from you to experience the John Chow effect, but a mini John Chow effect from a bad slam from you could be enough….

  39. I must’ve done something right then with my Miss World 2007 post. Apparently somebody didn’t like my comment on Miss Malaysia’s evening gown and told me to compare it with my face. Probably the designer himself. :mrgreen:

    *I deliberately misinterprete the comment πŸ™‚

  40. Indeed, John, it certainly is funny how those folks just “know” an A-lister made a “mistake”, and want to crow about it.

    AGLOCO and your use of it taught me a lot, you certainly were open enough at sharing the ways you were making money from AGLOCO long before they even released their toolbar.

    I looked at it and didn’t like several aspects and thus opted out, right around the time you went into it big … now it’s over, I invested nothing and made absolutely nothing, you’re still getting traffic … that’s what you cna learn on John Chow when you bother to read what John says he’s doing.

    You know what’s interesting? IIRC John Chow was never higher than #3 in the all-time signups list … what did #2 and #1 do to make money from AGLOCO?
    As I have said more thna once, it’s smart to learn from the masters.

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