The hired blogger’s nightmare: the spam blog

While I doubt my personal site will ever get to the level that it is noticed by copyblogger or problogger, I actually do make some significant money blogging for clients (not enough to live on, by itself, but more than pocket change).

It was all so simple at the start
The first time I started blogging for hire, it was easy. I just searched for terms related to my client’s company and found blog entry’s that were written and read by people who were likely to be interested in the same things I was interested in. I directed traffic there way and basically generated chit chat. Between Technorati and the Google search engine, I had all the tools I needed. The only thing left to do was to learn about SEO.

Stepping into Stepford

Eventually, however, I found a client whose expertise was in an area of interest to litigators, and that was when I discovered the spam blog. Before, it was as if I had a magic guide that would lead me through the crowd to a group that was talking about something that indicated I could meet their needs. I didn’t hard sell or anything. I just had to converse and wear my name tag.

But now my magic guide was leading me to groups of Stepford wives all repeating verbatim from the news paper. Attorneys, for some reason, like to do web PR via robots who find relevant news stories and repost them. I know how to use the google news search, thank you, and so do my readers. There was no point in blogging about blogs as opposed to blogging news headlines when the blogs were nothing but search engines. I’m looking for commentary more than just straight news.

But they fill up the search engines with a bunch of news. And usually you can’t tell which it is until you click on the link.

Wanted: People to talk to
It took me three days to find a human being who was saying something interesting. He linked others. After a few more days I finally had a group compiled in a folder in my google reader.

I wish I knew how to create a customized search engine. Instead I scroll down until I have all the posts in the window since I last looked at them, and then I use my browser word search function to see if they have mentioned anything of interest to me and those who might be interested in what my client has to offer.

It takes a lot longer to do this than I had planned for in my business model. At the moment business is slow enough that I have time to learn to work fast. But, if I ever reach my goal in the number of blogging clients, I will need to be careful to find out how much spam is obstructing my path in that part of the blogosphere.

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