How NOT To Get Bloggers To Help Your Company

posted on 06/07/08 at 10:17:16 pm by Joel Ross

The other day, I received a comment on my blog that was completely unrelated to the post. It happens all the time, and I usually use it as a judge of what my PageRank is - I could tell when it jumped recently because the flood of comment spam increased tremendously.

But this time, it was different. It was written from an actual person - valid email and all. And it linked to an actual company. So I decided to email the guy. I've removed identifiable pieces, but it's reprinted below.

I received this comment on my blog this morning:

Software re-use is what we do.
We are the porting and abstraction.

The link is to [His Company] and the email is yours. It's on my latest post, and at least for the time being, I'll leave it up there so you can go see it:

Did you leave this comment? This is a blog that I maintain and I don't appreciate the comment spam. If you want me to link to your company, then you need to give me a reason. I'm more than happy to look at what you have to offer and if I'm interested, then I'll post about it. But blatantly spamming my site is not going to work.

I will be removing the link in a few hours, and most likely banning the URL.

I've since removed the comment, but to his credit, I did get a response fairly quickly (edited to remove identifiable information).

I saw your comments about software re-use and I wanted to introduce you to [His Company]. [Marketing blurb]. Please check us out. I do apologize if you felt I was spamming you but as a software development professional I wanted to make you aware of a very good solution [More Marketing].

I don't think I was too harsh, considering that I have a do have a contact form and if his true intent was to let me know about his software, that would have been the way to do it. The only relation between his comment and my post was that I used the word "reuse" in my post talking about software I wrote in college, and it was meant as a joke! He obviously couldn't even be bothered to fully read the post, because that kind of comment is totally useless on a post about how I started in software development. The way he did it was, to me, a blatant attempt to get free advertising and link love. That's not fair to me, my readers or the paying advertisers who are part of The Lounge. If someone wants to advertise on my blog, then I'll be more than happy to point them in the right direction.

That's not to say that companies don't get free advertising on my blog. Just on the front page alone, I talk about and link to Michigan State, Deep Fried Bytes, KeePass, ISAPI rewrite, Filter.NET, Google Apps, Gmail, Outlook, Ninject, VHD Resizer, and Beyond Bullet Points. That doesn't even include links to many other blogs. Yes, I realize some of those aren't technically "for profit" but it's still promotion that they didn't request. Why was I willing to include a link to them? Because they're all things I am interested in and want to help them, even if it is just a link.

If the comment was even somewhat relevant to the conversation, that would be fine as well - for example, if someone had pointed me to StructureMap, that'd be great. It would have been relevant, even if I didn't include it originally. But comments unrelated to the content of the post just don't cut it.

Ironically, later that morning, I read this post from, which is all about the right way to get bloggers to promote your product. There's some really good advice about how to approach bloggers, but one thing it doesn't list is leaving random, unrelated comments. I'm seriously considering sending him that link so he doesn't make the same mistake again.

If this person would have contacted me directly and asked me to take a look at his product, I probably would have. I'd never heard of his company, but it looks like an interesting product. Too bad he spoiled it before I even knew anything about his product!

Categories: Blogging