3 Easy Steps To Ruin A Great Blog

Mon 10 May 2010 16:27, Barry Adams

3 Easy Steps To Ruin A Great Blog

It takes a lot of hard work and dedication to build a strong group blog. You need to establish a brand, build a team of knowledgeable bloggers, create quality content, and basically work your ass off for very little reward. In the end, if you do thinks right, you end up with a strong blog with a solid reputation.

On the other hand, ruining that reputation and destroying the blog is very easy.

Step 1: Don't communicate
The best way to destroy a blog quickly is to stop communicating with its bloggers. When something happens with the way the blog is run (for example the chief editor leaves to pursue a somewhat different path), you can easily create a lot of uncertainty and confusion by not telling your blogging team anything. This is an especially good tactic to destroy your blog if the person in question has communicated thoroughly about his departure. One-sided communication is a great way to get people to think positively of the communicator and negatively of the non-communicator. All FUD (fear, uncertainty, and doubt) is rooted in a lack of communication.

Step 2: Stop moderating
We all know and hate comment spam. A good way to signal that you want your blog to fail is to stop filtering comment spam. Just let the spammers loose and don't filter their viagra-spam any longer. Anyone visiting the blog will quickly realise the owners have stopped caring for it, and voila your reputation takes another dive.

Step 3: Put spammers in charge
Now all the previous could be interpreted as simple negligence. If you want to appear truly malicious and really make sure everyone understands you want to totally ruin and destroy the blog's reputation, the best way to do this is to put spammers in control. Let spammers write posts filled with links back to their own site. As they're spammers the content will be disastrously bad and the link-spam so obvious that no sensible reader will take your blog seriously any more. After all someone had to give these spammers a login, right? So whoever owns the blog must really want that blog to totally fail.

Now all you need to do is sit back and watch your blog self-destruct. The old-guard blogging team will be disenfranchised and pissed off, the new spammer-bloggers will abuse the site with shitty content and spammy links back to their own sites, and the comments will be flooded with viagra-spam.

Mission accomplished.


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Comments (26)

 

  • Wow! Great article. I only count 3 steps, but it's still great :)
    Just wondering: are you pointing to some specific blog ;)

    Ma 10 mei 2010, 16:55


  • Yeah corrected it to 3 - I lost the ability to count there for a second. I need more coffee.

    And of course I'm not talking about a specific blog, that would be rude. These are just general comments, tips for blog owners to keep in mind, you know.

    If anyone was really so stupid to actually go ahead and implement these 3 easy steps, well, that would be rather silly, wouldn't it?

    Ma 10 mei 2010, 16:57


    • Gareth

    lol. yeah, that would be a silly, terrible waste.

    Ma 10 mei 2010, 17:00


  • Wow, tnx! I've really missed the great and insightful articles over here! :)

    Ma 10 mei 2010, 17:08


  • 1 easy step to ruin your brand identity: Stick a banner advert over your site's logo header. Good work.

    Ma 10 mei 2010, 17:09


  • 1 easy step to ruin your brand identity: Stick a banner advert over your site's logo header. Good work.

    Ma 10 mei 2010, 17:09


    • Guk Van Hose

    Where the articles that bad? I just read two and while they didn't set the world alight they were informative at least. Or am I missing something?

    Ma 10 mei 2010, 17:10


  • @Guk I don't know which articles you read, but look at these articles:
    searchcowboys.com/bloggers/781

    Like I said, it's not about the content in the first place, but do you think it's a coincidence that the backlinks are in the first lines of those stories?

    Ma 10 mei 2010, 17:18


  • haha great article. Unfortunately it's probably too late.

    Ma 10 mei 2010, 17:23


  • you could just moderate content before it goes on!!!

    Ma 10 mei 2010, 17:24


  • @Dave - regular bloggers like myself don't get full access. We can write and publish articles here on SC, but nothing more. We can't moderate comments, we can't change other bloggers' articles (to remove spammy links), so we're pretty powerless.

    And with the management not responding or stepping up to the challenge, all us bloggers can do is sit back and watch our hard work go down the drain....

    All we can do is write a snarky sarcastic blog post about it. ;)

    Ma 10 mei 2010, 17:27


    • Tom

    and another one:

    searchcowboys.com/socialmedia/1551

    Ma 10 mei 2010, 17:30


  • @Barry Adams

    As you say with your hands tied it just means that this is a really good blog that is,

    1. Getting destroyed by a couple of bad posts.

    2. Not being maintained by moderates to prevent the blog turning into a train wreck.(as in what has happened today)

    Think people need to stop comments and try and repair damage done.

    Ma 10 mei 2010, 17:35


    • Roberts

    It only needs one step...

    1.let you post something.

    Ma 10 mei 2010, 17:37


    • Fabs

    Is the only problem here that the company used SEO Company as the anchor text? Have read one of the posts which was ok, (not filer but not brilliant), so surely they are allowed a link back to their website?

    Not sure what al the fuss is over here.

    Ma 10 mei 2010, 17:43


    • Tom

    SEO company / SEO / Click Consult :- Talk about milking it for your own brand.

    Ma 10 mei 2010, 17:50


  • No, nobody says something about dropping a link in great content.
    But putting 5 backlinks from the homepage with anchors like "SEO", "Internet Marketing" etc. is somethink different.

    Ma 10 mei 2010, 17:50


  • @Fabs: we had a "gentleman's agreement" on this blog - write great content and don't abuse it for self-promotion. Once in a while you could put a link in to your own site, if you felt it added value to the article. But SC was never a vehicle for shameless self-promotion. SC stood for quality search & social news.

    That changed very quickly when spammers were put in charge. Self-promotion became the norm, totally irrelevant links with juicy anchor texts were inserted in every post, and the quality of the content became mediocre at best (and I'm being generous here).

    On top of that none of the owners behind the site ever took the time to communicate with the established bloggers. We heard nothing, knew nothing, all we saw was bad content with spammy links appear on the site and comments filling up with spam.

    It would have been very easy to stop the decline - moderate comments & articles and put someone in charge who knows what to do. The owners did no such thing, and what you see here on the site today is the inevitable (and, yes, sad) result.

    Ma 10 mei 2010, 17:53


  • @Barry,

    well said!

    Ma 10 mei 2010, 21:12


  • I would like to add another one: thinking the value of a blog is in anything else than the quality of your bloggers. The bloggers make your blog, not your name or your reputation but the continuous flow of high quality posts. It's a shame to see a blog with such a great group of bloggers (probably one of the best in Europe) crumble down like this.

    Di 11 mei 2010, 09:33


    • Jim

    Didn't you forget step 4?

    * When editor in chief leaves all follow his footsteps.

    Di 11 mei 2010, 09:51


  • @Jim: no, we did not follow our editor in chief. We stuck around waiting to see what would happen to SC. When it became clear that what was happening was Bad Stuff, then we looked for greener pastures. Cause and effect - the cause is horrendously bad management, the effect is departing bloggers.

    Di 11 mei 2010, 10:05


  • you want to know my point of view on the whole thing in detail

    Di 11 mei 2010, 11:34


  • @Jim I think every blogger writes because he wants to get some attention from an audience. I don't have an own blog, because I don't have enough time to write good content on a regular basis. So I like to post on bigger blogs, because they already have an audience and it doesn't matter if I blog only once a month or something.

    When Bas left I asked him if I could write for State of Search too. I never thought about leaving Searchcowboys but I thought I could write different articles on both blogs to attract more attention.

    For me it's better to have writing opportunities on both blogs. I even have one blogpost for Searchcowboys ready on my computer!

    But a few things on Searchcowboys weren't okay from the beginning:
    - the lack of comment spamfilters.
    - the publicity in Dutch on an english blog.

    We told the owner's of Searchcowboys of these problems more than one year ago, but nothing happened. Okay, no problem.

    But then Bas left and we were all asking what will happen with Searchcowboys, what will happen with our content? And we never got an answer to that! We never got not even one e-mail of the SC owners.

    Than we saw new bloggers getting introduced. That's okay. We didn't know if these were the new chief editors, but okay we got new colleagues....great.

    But now we see what some of these new bloggers are up to (spam). We started discussing this, hoping the owners of Searchcowboys would react. But nobody did.

    @Jim I think every blogger writes because he wants to get some attention from an audience. I don't have an own blog, because I don't have enough time to write good content on a regular basis. So I like to post on bigger blogs, because they already have an audience and it doesn't matter if I blog only once a month or something.

    When Bas left I asked him if I could write for State of Search too. I never thought about leaving Searchcowboys but I thought I could write different articles on both blogs to attract more attention.

    For me it's better to have writing opportunities on both blogs. I even have one blogpost for Searchcowboys ready on my computer!

    But a few things on Searchcowboys weren't okay from the beginning:
    - the lack of comment spamfilters.
    - the publicity in Dutch on an english blog.

    We told the owner's of Searchcowboys of these problems more than one year ago, but nothing happened. Okay, no problem.

    But then Bas left and we were all asking what will happen with Searchcowboys, what will happen with our content? And we never got an answer to that! We never got not even one e-mail of the SC owners.

    Than we saw new bloggers getting introduced. That's okay. We didn't know if these were the new chief editors, but okay we got new colleagues....great.

    I love working with Bas, because of his dedication to our industry, but for me personally it would be better to have the opportunity to write on both blogs. But when colleagues abuse the reputation that we build together in the past 1,5 years I just don't want to write anymore.

    I was hoping to get a reaction of the SC owners, but all I saw is that they are blaming Bas for this. Bas didn't even know about my post until I posted it!

    Di 11 mei 2010, 11:49


  • Oops something went wrong copying/pasting my comment. Sorry for that! I still have an account, but unfortunately we cannot edit comments :(

    Di 11 mei 2010, 11:54


  • Great post. I can't believe that someone would give the viagra spammers a login though - that's just suicide!

    Di 11 mei 2010, 13:54

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