4 Reasons Why Bloggers Should Not Participate in SOME Advertising Campaigns

If you are a blogger or website owner, you may want to read this.

This URL was initially a post sponsored by daily deal site, nomorerack, who hired a company called Blogsvertise to find bloggers to write about their site. The day after I posted my post, I started getting pingbacks from really random sites. I also received emails from other bloggers I know, who are members of Blogsvertise. They alerted me that Blogsvertise was paying other bloggers to link into my post, and wasn’t that weird?

I am a member of Blogsvertise, a site that has been recently heavily marketed to bloggers as a supposedly legitimate way to make a little extra money (this site take quite a bit of $ to maintain) while writing about topics that suit your readers. Though I hadn’t done any work for them, I was made a VIP member of Blogsvertise and was supposed to be presented with more desirable opportunities. I didn’t log in or pay much attention to the assigned tasks until one of their reps kindly asked me to do so. She needed to assign the tasks to other bloggers if I wasn’t going to take them. I saw an opportunity for a daily deal site called nomorerack that has a large number of Facebook followers (265,000) and apparently some very good deals. It was also payment in line with what I normally accept (I am inundated with sponsored post requests and take very few). What caught my eye was the media mentions Martha Stewart, The View, and other popular shows had given this particular site. If Martha likes it, then why wouldn’t I? But, here’s what I learned from this experience.

You May Be Writing About Something Questionable And Not Know It

I saw a deal on a particular brand of handbag I own, as do many people I know. I thought you’d all like to know about that. I thought the suggested MSRP of the handbag seemed way too low and I didn’t recognize the design. I know the catalog, but thought perhaps I missed this one. And, wow what a great deal if you were able to snag this deal, a Kindle for $15 or any of the other deals.

Turns out, that the handbag company is investigating this bag’s authenticity.

You Are Not In Control

I was not told when I accepted the nomorerack campaign that Blogsvertise would immediately send out a follow up nomorerack campaign asking other bloggers to link into my post. I am all for incoming links, but some of them (definitely, not all) were low quality sites with poor grammar and poor English. One site was foreign. Blogsvertise said this was a US campaign and whoops, letting the foreign site in was an accident. This shows what little control they actually have.

The sales manager was astonished that I was upset about their failure to notify me that I was going to be in the middle of an SEO scheme. And, as it was confirmed by people I know who were assigned this task, it actually looked like I paid Blogsvertise to run this campaign on my behalf for some reason. Can you imagine?

You Are Not A Concern

After my emails marked URGENT went unresponded to for a day, I received a phone call from a sales manager at Blogsvertise. She explained that they get thousands of emails a day and are understaffed. That’s why it took so long for them to get back to me. I asked her (twice) to provide me with a list of all the bloggers who received the campaign asking them to link into my post and I asked for a list of those who accepted. I know a lot of people in this space and want the opportunity to explain what happened and also monitor the incoming links.

She has not responded and I don’t think that she will. I have seen a few sites break their links to me, which is what she promised. Will Blogsvertise check to make sure this has all been done? I doubt it.

You Are Being Used For An SEO Campaign, Not Word Of Mouth

The home page of Blogsvertise says this:

Our Advertisers want YOU to mention and talk about their websites products and services in your blogs and journals. They want the publicity, the exposure, the Buzz! that online bloggers and internet journals can generate for their web site products and services. In exchange blogsvertise pays YOU in paypal per task/blog ads placed to their website in your blog!”

Deceiving, isn’t it? My experience had nothing to with this. I was in the middle of a very deliberate SEO campaign.

Final Thoughts

In a way, I’m grateful I got to experience this. Going forward, I am only working with a handful of brands and local companies that I know and trust. I also think that companies need to make sure that their marketing practices are in line with the results they’d like to achieve. I will never shop at nomorerack. I emailed their customer service telling them what happened.

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  1. February 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm — Reply

    That really is scammy! I love that you left the URL the same and wrote about your dealings with them so that anyone who stumbles upon that link will see what this was really all about!

  2. January 19, 2012 at 2:52 pm — Reply

    Thank you for posting about this. I had signed up with them, but never worked on anything. I just went in and removed my blog from their listings…I don’t care to ever work with them.

  3. January 18, 2012 at 11:43 am — Reply

    Wow! Thanks for sharing, Katie. Another reminder to keep my eyes and ears open…

  4. January 17, 2012 at 3:11 pm — Reply

    Good for you for speaking out about it! This is very underhanded and shady.

  5. January 17, 2012 at 12:44 am — Reply

    According to emails that I was made privy to, this same company has also asked bloggers to purposely conceal that they were being paid to write specific advertorials, otherwise payment would be withheld. I find their behaviour appalling.

    • January 17, 2012 at 8:12 am — Reply

      After my incident, I turned to Google and found mention of what you’re talking about and something about how they now require disclosures. I automatically put a disclosure in, but I can’t swear it was in the instructions I was given. I don’t remember.

  6. January 16, 2012 at 1:25 am — Reply

    I have not bought anything for myself last Christmas for I was busy giving gifts to other people. I decided to buy something for myself this January, my birthday month. But since I am also busy with my life at home, I tried to look for nice things via the internet. I came across nomorerack.com and I can’t believe the price they are offering. They have nice and stylish jeans, branded perfumes and fine jewelries that are offered for a very low price!Because they are offering great deals that you can hardly find it in another store, some people would think that this was just a hoax. I guarantee you that this not a nomorerack scam . I have checked with their site to make sure of it and indeed it was legit. I’ve read nomorerack reviews from other buyers as well as bloggers and they were able to purchase some products with them. I was even quite envious that they were able to buy great items for a cheap price. Once I’m done browsing their site, I’ll make some lists on which items I’d like to get. Try to visit their site if you are also interested to buy things from them!

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