Thursday, February 23, 2012


Have you noticed that some bloggers publish articles with little useful content that seem mostly designed to carry links to commercial web sites? Here is a great example of the kind of “helpful” emails I receive:
“I know producing high quality content on a daily basis can be time consuming and I believe I have a solution that can help you on slow news days. [Our organization] has a team of in-house writers that can provide you with unique custom written content covering any relevant topics. I’m certain we could provide some valuable unique articles that would engage your users and expand your site. This is provided completely and entirely free of charge to our partners. We also have [a web tool] that [steers users to our clients]. For placing these we would be able compensate you for each user [directed to our clients], creating a new incremental revenue stream for your website.”
What I’m being offered is a chance to publish advertising that masquerades as content. I have no philosophical objection to advertising, but readers should be able to distinguish the real content from the advertising.

With product placements in movies and television shows and other examples of advertising “hidden” in content, I realize that my philosophy probably isn’t a majority view, but if I were only writing this blog for the money, I’d have quit a long time ago.


  1. I hate those "guest posts". If I'm going to publish crappy content, at least it will be my own work.

  2. The best way to kill a blog is to have a few of those clearly "sponsored" posts, since from that point onwards we can't know if the blog is still objective.

    I can accept posts that aren't up my alley (or just that were rushed), as long as they're original content.

    Keep up the good work. Love the blog as it is, now !

  3. I live in a tech town and one company was in the news recently because of financial troubles and layoffs. I had never heard of them, but found out they basically create websites (with a thin veneer of content) that link to one another to game google and serve ads. Too bad for the lost jobs, but I figured smart people could find different jobs at companies that don't wreck the internet. Good riddance!

  4. @Echo: I take pride in my crappy work, too :-)

    @Anonymous: Thanks for the kind words.

    @Lewin: I wonder if I've been solicited by this company. I occasionally get "offers" to join a network of content providers. This amounts to a request for me to provide content to them for free. I'd rather toil away in obscurity than help some company game Google.

  5. The Blunt Bean CounterFebruary 23, 2012 at 11:15 AM

    Michael, I guess that was not you driving in the Mercedes with the Ufile logo on the side, I could have sworn it was you :)

    You have integreity, something to be proud of.

  6. @Mark: Thanks for the laugh. I wish my blog was popular enough that advertising on it was worth a car.

  7. I agree with Echo, I can create my own unreadable crap, that is only written to make money... whoops, the secret is out!

  8. Agree with everyone here. I get so much garbage in my comments that has to be filtered, you guys must get tons more