New Scammy Ad Sales Technique to Watch For

There is a technique in real estate (and other sales related situations) to offer a buyer in order to create a sale. The buyer is fake. In real estate the technique is used to keep sellers on the hook, hoping for a nibbling buyer. So the real estate agent keeps (or renews) the listing. The buyer then disappears.

I’ve been getting more offers to place ads on my sites again, now that I’ve been getting them active again. Some are the same old scammy things, like guest posts. A few are legitimate offers and I have accepted a couple and been paid. Others are sneakier, or is sneaky really a fair word? Maybe I should just consider them all sales pitches, even when they are deliberately misleading.

The sales pitch below came into my email this week. What do you think when you read it?

realorscam

 

I went to the site because I wasn’t sure. I do try different sites and services and then forget about most of them. So it was very possible that I did begin an account there. But, I was suspicious.

I had to get a new password sent. This wasn’t horribly surprising but it could also be a great way to get people to join a site they think they have already joined. I’ve seen other social sites pull this scam.

Then I looked at the ad they were offering. I wasn’t very interested. Also, I didn’t see a mention of payment, an actual amount or a time period the ad would run. That is a little red flag. I like set terms. Real advertisers will want set terms too.

Next, I looked at the site they wanted to run the ad on. That was when the final curtain came down for me. The link they were using was not one I would have used. (Or, very, very unlikely at least). It’s a link from my old Blogger site. The link now redirects to it’s own domain. So, if this were legitimate why would they be using that old link?

On the other hand, the description for my old Blogger site was there, along with other details which I very well could have done myself if I had set up an account on that site. Still, I really doubt I would have set up an account for an old redirct link and not any of the domains I currently use.

I’m careful. I try to be fair to the advertising services. Still, I’m not so trusting that I’m gullible (I hope). We all need to be careful. Most bloggers and online writers do not have a staff to help them keep up with scammers. We just have to do it ourselves and hope we get it right. Err on the side of caution, especially when money is involved.

Make Widgets Cater to Bloggers

A widget should provide something I want. Why would I want to give these buttons from Bloglovin space on my blog? They serve no purpose for me. I can already use WordPress functions to get email sign ups and followers (and keep the information on my own database). Unless I have a huge following on Bloglovin, I don’t need to show those numbers.

This widget really only advertisers Bloglovin. That’s fine but… my space is worth something to me. I like Bloglovin but I don’t like them enough to give them free advertising on my site.

If you design a widget you want bloggers to add to their sites – think about it from their perspective. What can you offer them? Why would they want to post your widget? What can your widget do with will give value to the blog/ blogger over time? (Why should they keep your widget?)

bloglovin widgets

Source: Widgets – Bloglovin

A Better Display of Categories

I often get ideas from seeing things on other sites. This time I had two great ideas from How to Write it Better.

First, this idea for showcasing my categories. Instead of the standard flat intdex… why not promote them to the reader this way? On this site it’s posted as an image file and not linking to the categories. But, it could be done with HTML and links. Not difficult and yet very smart. I’m adding it to my to-do list!

howtowritebetter1

The other thing I like is the post for her email list. Fairly standard really but reading it sparked an idea for me. I content curate offsite, for Scoop.it mainly. But, I don’t really do much with that feed beyond adding a widget in my footer. Instead I could promote it as a source for fresh, daily information. I don’t want to get into newsletters and email lists again. Email seems to be a dead horse. However… why not push my curated feeds this way? I keep them active (if not daily, at least a few times a week). howtowritebetter2

Source: HowToWriteBetter.net | how to write better | Everything you need for great results, whatever you write

So today I found two great ideas from one blog I happened to read a post from today. Pretty nice.

How to Switch from Yahoo! Mail to Gmail

Source for information – How to Switch from Yahoo! Mail to Gmail (with Pictures) – wikiHow.

yahoo to gmail

I found and tested this out myself. Using a Yahoo mail account I have had since 1998, I went into Gmail and used the Gmail options to transfer all my old email from the Yahoo account into Gmail.

On the con side… it did import a massive amount of spam email from Yahoo.

This was AFTER I had deleted every last spam in the account. However, it took a few days for the import and during that time yet more spam gathered. So not only did I get the old email I wanted but also all the latest junk I could have happily done without.

On the pro/ plus side… it worked!!!

I tried to find a way to import old email from Yahoo a couple of years ago. Yahoo had blocked any options (unless you paid for a premium account with them). I didn’t want a paid account when all I wanted was my existing email. I have not used that account in quite a bit longer than ten years. So, paying for it seemed nonsense. (Especially due to the more than average amount of junk/ spam which flooded in to an account inactive for son long).

Gmail let me know when the Yahoo transfer was complete. There was a note at the top of my Gmail account, highlighted in yellow. Everything imported over was labelled with the Yahoo email address. That made it easy to find. At first I thought all I had was the spam. There were 6,000+ imported emails. I had cleaned the account and left about 300 emails to be imported over. I had to dig and scroll to find the email I wanted to keep. Luckily, Gmail lets you select unread emails. I used that feature to select and delete the junk. This left the older emails alone.

So, you can save old email from Yahoo Mail and not have to pay for it. Next I’m getting my Mother to do the same. One thing you do need to do – pull all your emails into the InBox and out of all folders. Anything in folders will not be imported (according to the directions in the post on WikiHow).

Note: Not everything was exactly as WikiHow reported it. Maybe the procedure was updated since that article was posted. It was actually simpler and if you follow along with the instructions in the pop-up window from Gmail you will do fine.

Testing the Interest for a WordPress Group in Barrie

kijijiWordPressI have thought about starting a group to meet monthly or more often in Barrie to talk about WordPress. I have been building and maintaining my own sites with WordPress for over ten years. I don’t mind to share my experience and give help to others who are also working on their own sites. So, I’m posting this to see what interest there is in the idea.

I’m not offering to work for free – to build or fix a site for anyone. This would be a social group to share ideas, tips and help each other. I live in the North/East of Barrie so likely any meeting would be in a coffee shop on the bus route in my area.

If there seems to be some sincere interest I can work out details for actually getting together. So send me an email if this seems like a good idea to you – and you would actually show up for a meeting.

Posted this a few minutes ago. Will see what comes of it.

Yahoo! Profiles (and Avatars) are Going Away

Yahoo! is phasing out their Profiles. You can’t look up someone else and, I couldn’t even find my own to see what I had written about myself. (Though Yahoo! recommends I save anything in my “About Me” and “My Interests”, I can’t even get my profile to load up at all).

yahoo profiles

I thought I would look up my Yahoo Avatar but that put me back on the “Going Away” page for Profiles. So, it seems the Avatars are also going away.

Maybe Yahoo is using logic in removing things which have not been greatly used. But, I think they have it wrong.

Why not bring the Yahoo Profiles and Avatars into the new world of social media instead?

Connect Profiles and Avatars to Tumblr and Flickr. How much more colourful and interesting they could have made those sites/ services with the addition of the Avatars and an expanded profile. Yahoo Profiles (with it’s long running database of users) could have rivalled About.me for giving people a profile page to connect all your accounts and people in one place.

yahoo avatars

So why didn’t anyone at Yahoo do this?

I don’t know. But, it does seem Yahoo prefers to buy and then bail out on a lot of sites and services. There must be some business or marketing sense to it, I hope. I don’t see it. I do see what could have been wonderful as a web profile being lost instead. For no great reason other than taking the slow road to nowhere.

I looked at Yahoo Groups this week, just out of curiousity. At one time I ran email lists and newsletters through Yahoo Groups, when they were called something else and before then when they were MailCity and eGroups which were bought by Yahoo. But, the Groups are pretty silent now. Why aren’t bloggers using Yahoo Groups to run email lists? It’s free. It’s easy to set up and work with. It’s reliable… isn’t it? Hard to be sure when it looks so stagnant and neglected.

Why Yahoo!. Why?

I don’t want to see Yahoo! die. I’ve been watching them slip away for years though. No one seems to be excited about the possibilities any more. They almost seem content to slip into obscurity.

Google Marketing and Dear Webmaster Letters

Have you had an email asking you to remove a link? There are various reasons someone might ask you to remove a link, some are practical and make sense. Often it’s about a copyrights issue. The new trend I’ve noticed is the request to remove a link for Google.

You get a Dear Webmaster letter, not so unlike a Dear John letter about a century ago during the World Wars. Don’t take offense, it’s just marketers trying to please (or scare) their clients. They don’t really know what they are doing.

A Dear Webmaster letter:removelinksforGoogleThis is the second email (this year) which I have had asking me to remove my link to a site. Not for the reason you would expect. It’s not about how I mentioned the link, or that I linked in a bad way at all. Actually, the link was just an additional resource when I had written about a relevant topic.

Long ago I was asked to remove a link to Starbucks. But, this was back in the very early days. Starbuck’s concern was about their privacy online. That was so long ago everything was still new and no one knew what to make of the Internet and the very earliest websites, networks and web logs. (Yes, bloggers was not even an accepted word yet).

This time, I was asked to remove a link because the company was concerned about Google’s algorithm.  They are not interested in being part of a post, relevant to their content. Their focus is Google, not readers.

To me it is ironic that Google made their latest changes in order to get online content to change from spam created to please Google into writing created to please readers. But, some people do not quite make that connection. Instead they are just trying to turn things around to be what will please Google.

Today I read something where they decided the biggest problem for brands now is to create content people will want to share on social media.

They still don’t get it either.

Google and social media are software, basically. Software does not have a lot of buying power all on it’s own. It needs people with credit cards, online banking or some other method of making payment for goods and services.

Why don’t businesses/ companies still understand they need to attract people – not software?

Each time I think they’ve got it… it just passes them by… like a ship in the night fog.

Anyway, I did remove the link, as requested. It was actually listed once on a blog I moved to a new domain (in one post but showed up on several links with indexing). If any of the people who did this research on what Google likes actually understood how links and blogs work, they would have known that. But, that would be a waste of time when they can do so much automatically with software and then send out a form letter, with more software.

If they had actually checked any of the links, manually, they would have found them all 404. Still on Google, but not actually on the web. I wonder what kind of automatic form letter they will send Google’s bot?

I’m sure there are some marketers who will just never, ever get it.

PS- I was irritated that they want me to respond when I have accommodated them so they can take me off their list rather than nagging at me again. Just in case you wondered… removing a link for this reason (for Google marketing) is not something you are obligated to do. The link is public knowledge and my post was almost ten years old (from 2005). So, if you don’t feel very accommodating when you get a note like this… just ignore it. I just think it’s silly because the first note I got (for a different site) was from a company which had paid me for the link. See how backwards it all is?

I will likely continue to remove links when requested. Why not? It takes me a half minute to edit the post and I don’t mind not giving another site the promotion if they don’t want it when it’s free. Maybe later they can pay me for another link.

#NoCommentNoShare

#NoCommentNoShareBecause I am fed up with sites which expect me to register for another site, like Disqus, before I can leave a comment I am no longer going to share links to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc for any site which I can not comment on.

I have not been blocked or banned from Disqus. I just do not want to register for an account. For years we have given our email and name to sites in order to comment. That was more than enough. Trusting sites to collect our email addresses and not sell them was much more than enough to ask when I only wanted to comment on a blog post. To ask, or expect more is too much!

Disqus allows guest comments. If the site owner chooses to enable the feature – you can leave a comment without having to login or register with Disqus. So, it is fully the fault of the site owner if people can not comment. The site owner uses Disqus to track people. They want to track everyone so they can’t let people comment unless they become a number.

Well no more for me! I deleted my account at Disqus last year when I was fed up.  Now I’m taking it a step farther and putting the blame right on site owners. So, any site which expects me to register in order to comment I will not be forwarding or sharing links on any of my accounts: Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Scoop.it and etc.

#NoCommentNoShare

Buying and Selling Ads at Project Wonderful

Originally posted to HubPages, 2012.

I’ve been a member of Project Wonderful for more than 5 years.

projectwonderful1

You can begin running ads on your site/ blog without investing a cent. Publishing ads (as a publisher) is easier than starting to run ads for your own site (as an Advertiser). But, it’s interesting to create your ad campaigns and get more involved with selling ads as you get the hang of the Project Wonderful network.

If you do have any problem on the site, try the help section. But, Project Wonderful isgreat for giving real time support and feedback to anyone who contacts the site. This is one huge plus point in their favour.

This is what a Project Wonderful 125X125 Ad Looks Like on your Site

 projectwonderful2

Publishing Ads with Project Wonderful

Start by putting the code on your site. Wait for advertisers to begin picking your site to run their ads on. Then select the ads you want to run. You can investigate the ads and the products they want to sell. Just click on the ad before you accept it. I like to make sure the product being sold isn’t something I would find disagreeable. In the early years of Project Wonderful there were some spammy ads. I haven’t found that to be a problem these days.

Advertising on Project Wonderful

As an advertiser with Project Wonderful you don’t need to spend big money getting started. Ads can run for as low as one cent. You can even run your ads on sites which accept free ads.

I don’t run a lot of ads for my own sites. Most of the time I let the money I make build up and then I will run a few ads until I’ve spent about half of the money I made by just letting ads appear on my own site. In this way, Project Wonderful can be used without spending anything of your own money. If you want to spend money on running a lot of ads, of course, you can do that.

Read the FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Get started at Project Wonderful by clicking here and reading the FAQs on the site. If you need extra help send in a note through the site. They will give you any help you need to get started buying and selling ads on your blog or site.

Twitter Does a Smart Thing with Email

Twitter gets smart

This came in my email from Twitter. I think it’s very smart and shows Twitter is observing and acting on current trends. Email is blocked full of junk no one reads. I don’t read my email daily any more because there is too much to sort through to find anything I actually need or want to read. Even email lists I signed up for are mainly just ads for stuff they want me to buy. Content is missing.

So, a bold and slightly risky move from Twitter but I’m impressed.

All those who get upset about Twitter not emailing them… just like it says – you can turn it back on. But, why would you?