Are You a Spammer?

There is a hazy line between getting the word of your products and services out there in a helpful way and just shoving and screaming it in people’s faces.

A friend last night told me of a guy who had used 40 different email addresses to repeatedly sign up for http://tealit.com because he kept getting banned for advertising his goods. Eventually they had to ban his IP address. Now this site is primarily to help foreigners in Taiwan by giving helpful information and offering discussion. It’s about information for a specific community.

So when does a promotional message become spam?

It is spam when the sole purpose is to push your goods without adding any value to the community, especially when there has not been any consent to you sending those messages, or you haven’t built up enough authority within the community.

These messages were obviously not adding anything to the current conversations and were not part of a larger plan to build authority and then promote his goods in general.

There are two main types of spam I can identify along these lines (there are more).

Blog spam. Leaving comments that are very generic and oftentimes unrelated to the blog they are put on. This also includes pingbacks/trackbacks. These are often automated, and sometimes have messages like “Hey, cool site!” and are just there for the link that is made to the authors site from their username. These are easier to track down if there are multiple links to external sites in the comment itself. If there is a conversation, a link to your offer might be appropriate if left with a helpful comment that does keep the conversation going.

Forum spam. Forums are for discussion, they are for users to help each other and to contribute their thoughts and information to a topic. What the guy above was doing was not adding anything. Take, take, take. Building up your reputation is much harder, but much more beneficial in the long run than hit and run promotional lines.

You might not think you’re a spammer, but if you

  • leave meaningless comments just to leave a link to your stuff
  • don’t read the post before commenting
  • use generic posts everywhere
  • don’t add anything to the community before posting stuff for sale

then you might be a spammer.

Don’t be.

Spam them, and they’ll hunt you down. Build your reputation, and the crowd will beg for more good stuff from you.

Which kind of crowd woul you prefer?

Who do I follow on Twitter and Why

I only have a semi-formalized technique for doing this.

Firstly, I followed some of the big Internet marketers, because I am interested in their stuff and they happen to be on Twitter.

Next, I followed a few people who have sales and marketing related blogs. Their blogs were good, so I followed those authors who have Twitter accounts, and most of them do. I often follow Twitter accounts mentioned by these same marketers.

I also followed a range of Chinese Twitterers after going to a Twitter meetup a while back. Much less of the follow madness with this crowd.

Almost all of the deliberate follows I’ve made recently are from blogs and links to other related blogs, mostly English blogs on Taiwan.

Then, for the constant stream of followers that build up. I check out their Twitter page. No avatar, no follow. Backgrounds with big $$$, or make money scheme, no follow. Only very old tweets, older than 1 month, no follow. Otherwise I decide on if the most recent tweets are interesting.

You can follow me too: @pumpkinslayer

Email Autoresponder Series (7 out of 30 done)

So I started to write the email autoresponder series.

Let me first explain what an autoresponder series is.

Someone fills in a form with their email address and their name. They fill this out because of the promise of further information, or a giveaway of somekind, the important part is that they give their information.

After the information is received, a series of emails is ready to be sent to them. I use the Aweber service because they are just the best, with extremely high delivery rates and good reputation.

Emails in the series are set to be sent at different times.

There is an initial email which requires the person to click a link to confirm that they opted into the list. This measure has become required in recent years due to abuse of autoresponder series and people being signed up without consenting.

Immediately after they click the confirmation link in the first email they are sent the first email in the series. After that each email is set to be sent a certain time after each other.

It has been proven that multiple contacts with prospects yields the best results. Not simply because you keep bugging them, but because they see that you really do want them to do something or go to a particular site.

The Infomillionaire system recommends 30 follow-up emails, which is a helluva lot, so I’ve been wracking my brain over that one.

So I got some help by getting the autorespondermagic ebook and giving it a good read. It is essentially a collection of autoresponder series of other online marketers.

It doesn make good reading and I have been encouraged that the way I’m writing is not too bad. Not too pushy, but with a sense of urgency and enthusiasm.

Some of the messages in those series were very simple and just cut to the chase. Just my style.

Current progress: 7 out of 30 done

[This will not go up to much in the next few days due to other commitments, but I’ll push on when I can]