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Rant: My Latest Blogging Annoyance

I only posted this rant as a last resort. At first, I thought that maybe I was just coming across a few bloggers who didn’t know better. But then I realized that I was running into them on a regular basis. The offenders? Blogs that only post reviews and affiliate hype posts.

Any of my readers know that I rarely post reviews or posts specifically generated to sell affiliate offers. Why? Because I actually value my readers and their time. With that said, I am tired of coming across blogs that post nothing but reviews and updates about their “coaching class” or offers they learned about through their class. I personally feel that these so-called mentors are helping overcrowd the blogosphere with copycat junk posts with little or no value.

I hate to say that about these coaching programs because I have a few good fellow bloggers who I feel close to because we all started blogging at the same time. But the ones in my actual circle who have attended these programs do not offend or they would not even be in my circle. The ones I am complaining about are the new ones I keep coming across in the past week while exploring the “100 comment challenge” participants. There are a couple on there who do nothing but try to make a buck blogging. What’s wrong with making money blogging? Nothing… if you don’t alienate your readers. By providing value with your blog, the money will come if you want it to. There is no need to force feed your readers and hope that one of them takes out their credit card and checks out on ClickBank.

What’s wrong with providing a valuable reading experience and interlinking to an affiliate offer every now and then? It is much less obtrusive and you are much more likely to build a community this way.

Want to avoid turning off potential readers?

Here are a few steps to ensure that I will comment when finding your blog:

  • Do not post reviews only (unless you are a review site, which should be named “reviews” and not a blog).
  • Comment notification is a must have feature. I am less likely to comment on a post where I will not be notified when someone replies to what I have said. I like to take part in conversations, and frankly, you are probably not that memorable in a huge crowd of blogs that I visit daily. I need to be reminded to visit you.
  • Give me love: I prefer blogs that use CommentLuv as blog commenting is not only about forging relationships but also for promoting your own blog content or websites. Give me some incentive to leave an informed comment that gives your blog substance.
  • Popup craziness: I am all about having an inline popup in order to help build your newsletter. But I do not want to see that popup every single time I visit your blog. There are plugins out there like the one I use which set a cookie and will not display more than the time I set. In my case, it is currently set to display to a single visitor once per month.
  • Give me a reason to subscribe. I have subscribed to blogs before only to be presented with nothing but newsletters containing affiliate reviews. How horrible! I thought I was subscribing because you were going to actually spend some time writing something with value rather than trying to milk the money out of me.

I am sure I can come up with more turn-offs. But I don’t feel like it at the moment. It is actually bringing me down into a bad mood.

Your chance to vent!

Let me know what makes you want to puke when you visit a blog.

About the author

Brandon Connell

I am an author, blogger, investor, musician, and internet marketer among other things. I believe that one person can do many things in life.

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  1. I agree Brandon. I think the number one thing about a blog is to add value to other people’s lives.

    Affiliate posts and product reviews can be a part of the equation, but I agree that one would be wise to offer more than just those types of posts to engage readers.

    Posted on 22-Aug-10 at 6:08 pm | Permalink
  2. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Luckily, the offending blogs that made me write this were new to me. So there was no disconnect with anyone I knew. I simply closed out the tab and moved on to the next blog.

    Posted on 22-Aug-10 at 6:35 pm | Permalink
  3. Lisa
    Twitter: roonie_g

    Hello Brandon,
    Yep! That was a rant!
    I always thought that people could write whatever they wanted on their blog and if you didn’t like it, well then go on to the next blog. I mean, it’s their blog. It’s there for the blogger to write whatever he or she wants.
    Some folks may not know what to write. maybe they are being taught by mentors to write about an affiliate offer, who knows?
    Seriously, If someone has a blog and that blog is about dating. Would you rant because you don’t need a date? Nope. just hop on over to another blog. Duh!
    Some blogs are for blogging. Some blogs are for how to, some blogs are for showing the world who you are and what you do.
    That’s what makes them so cool.
    I would like build a community of people(fellow bloggers and subscribers alike) that blog about whatever they want. Share ideas, hopes, dreams, new stuff they’ve learned, their trip to a seminar, a new product that they love, etc. Get real. Blogging is fun! If it’s not fun, then why do it?

    Take care and God Bless! ๐Ÿ™‚


    Posted on 22-Aug-10 at 9:21 pm | Permalink
  4. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Hi Lisa. That’s what I did…. I moved on. As per your reasoning, I also had the right to rant about it ๐Ÿ˜‰ But the fact is that the blogs I mentioned clearly did not do it for the love of it, but for the blatant need to make money. It was obvious in how the blog was presented.

    Posted on 22-Aug-10 at 9:28 pm | Permalink
  5. TrafficColeman
    Twitter: TrafficColeman

    Well put my friend, I do got one good friend that only post reviews. You know it’s not my thing, but for some apparent reason some bloggers love to do those types of post because they get the most attention.

    “TrafficColeman “Signing Off”

    Posted on 23-Aug-10 at 6:58 am | Permalink
  6. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Me too. But I don’t often get to comment on such blogs because I end up with nothing to say. Look at it like this… Review sites depend on people who either already use a product and can comment on it because it’s something they know, or they badly need a product and are researching it. It is less universal a topic than say… something related to bloggers. I have posted a review here once or twice, and I noticed instantly that it did not perform nearly as well as a regular post with commentary.

    Posted on 23-Aug-10 at 8:44 am | Permalink
  7. Alex@nichesitemarketing
    Twitter: buildrankprofit

    So that explains why you got all up me about posting my second ever review on my blog – ya bum! LOL!
    I totally agree here man, in fact I was just talking to Mark on skype about this very topic. Itls like affiliate clone wars.
    Im in this 100 comments challenge (unfortunately) and even some of the posts are written specifically for the challenge – talk about original thought!

    Hhahahahha, I did enjoy this rant man. (and I will make sure comment luv links back to a rant of my own and NOT my last review ๐Ÿ™‚ )

    Posted on 23-Aug-10 at 8:33 am | Permalink
  8. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    LOL. I knew I would hear about that message. But whether you believe me or not, I did not have you in mind when I wrote this. It was new sites I never heard of before, and will most likely never hear of again.

    Posted on 23-Aug-10 at 8:41 am | Permalink
  9. Mark Bell
    Twitter: markbell10

    I hear you Brandon. I don’t think what you have mentioned is particularly unreasonable either.
    I’m unaware of this 100 comment challenge. What’s that about?

    I’m not on any course or have mentor. My fear of such things, as brilliant as they are for many people, is that too many people with be educated with the same train of thought leading to lack of uniqueness across many blogs. I know I’m in for a steep climb going alone with a guru, but I feel more comfortable that way.

    Posted on 23-Aug-10 at 6:25 pm | Permalink
  10. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Good choice, and my exact thoughts about the mentors. To answer your question, I saw the 100 comment challenge on John McNally’s blog originally, then I followed the challenge over to Sally Neill’s blog. You can find their posts about the challenge which is almost over as the month is winding down now.

    Posted on 23-Aug-10 at 10:24 pm | Permalink
  11. Sathish @ TechieMania
    Twitter: techiemania

    I am not using Comment Luv in my blog. Still I am glad you commented. Actually you have shown us what to add to bring more commentators. I will try them and will let you know, if i get more readers comment.

    Posted on 24-Aug-10 at 3:33 am | Permalink
  12. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Thank you Sathish. I would love to heard about your experience after you add that plugin.

    Posted on 24-Aug-10 at 8:01 am | Permalink
  13. Steve Scott Site
    Twitter: stevescott1

    I think as people get more savvy they will avoid the “pure sales” sites. If no one visits them they will have to change or die.

    That is one of the bad things about the “100 comments” challenge and finding good blogs to comment on in general. It highlights all those people who are just out there to make a buck. (not that there is anything wrong with making a dollar).

    I have no problem with site I trust taking an occasional swipe at an affiliate product, if I believe THEY believe, but there has to be a reasonable limit. If it is more than 1/8 of what you do, they are not going to keep me interested for very long.

    Posted on 24-Aug-10 at 2:14 pm | Permalink
  14. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Same here Scott. As far as reviews go, I didn’t even do my free blog review this month which I am supposed to do on the 1st. There are ways to make money with your blog, but you really have to like blogging instead of making money doing it. The money is a natural thing that follows once you gain that reader trust.

    Posted on 25-Aug-10 at 11:39 am | Permalink
  15. ** RJB **
    Twitter: robjbradley

    Hey Brandon,

    First time visitor to your blog and got to say I do occasionally enjoy reading a good rant and that was a good rant!!

    There’s nothing wrong, as you say, with creating an income source through a blog but I agree with Alex’s “affiliate clone wars” (LOL) statement in that’s there’s a lot of carbon copy, cut and paste 100% promo blogs…

    the thing is though…annoying as they are, I think their very nature will seal their own fate. I mean there’s not going to be a loyal band of followers for that type of site, it’s all very short term and eventually they’ll die out because they can’t compete with blogs that have more than simply just promotional content.

    Anyway, that’s just my 2 cents!

    Nice heads up on the comment notification feature…not something I’ve got right now but will look to add it on your advice.

    I’ll visit here again!

    (** RJB **)

    Posted on 24-Aug-10 at 7:36 pm | Permalink
  16. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Thank you Rob. And welcome to my blog. Can’t wait for you to come back! You are very right that those carbon copy sites simply cannot gain loyal followers. Nobody wants to read nothing but reviews. I mean there is a place for reviews. Like when you want to take a plane trip and want to know which airline gives a bad experience (like the one that had maggots falling onto seats). Or when you are about to buy something but want to hear what others had to say. When it’s a blog that does nothing but affiliate reviews, then you have to assume that they are not doing it for your best interest.

    Your welcome on the comment notification. Very important feature if you want to get return commentators.

    Posted on 25-Aug-10 at 11:46 am | Permalink
  17. Peter J
    Twitter: ideasbubble

    The review bit goes to far once you start talking about things that aren’t even related in anyway. If you are generally reviewing something because you know it has worked for you and your not just trying to sell your or someone else’s product then i think the occasional review is good.

    Posted on 25-Aug-10 at 4:48 am | Permalink
  18. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Agreed Peter. Those are the best reviews. I posted an unintentional review recently when I asked for help finding the name of a movie. It turned out to be “doomsday” which is a great movie. I didn’t make any money from posting it though.

    Posted on 25-Aug-10 at 11:50 am | Permalink
  19. Jean Sarauer
    Twitter: jeansarauer

    Well I’m so out of the blogging loop that I don’t even know about the 100 comment challenge and haven’t seen a review site. Sheltered life here ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve got a hate-fest going with pop-ups and have forever. Especially the ones that pop up about 30 seconds after I begin to read. I tolerate them because I know people want to build a list and supposedly they help. I still hate them though.

    Posted on 25-Aug-10 at 11:52 am | Permalink
  20. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    LOL Jean. Sorry about the popup I recently added. But it was necessary to help build my list. It will only appear once a month though. I also hate popups LOL. Damn hypocrite I am! I am surprised you didn’t know about the 100 comment challenge, especially knowing that you visit Sally’s blog regularly. You ARE lucky if you haven’t seen a review site. They will make your eyes bleed.

    Posted on 25-Aug-10 at 12:01 pm | Permalink
  21. I quite agree with your rant, Brandon. Actually, those blogs that post review to a certain product with affiliate links only lose their credibility as a blogger. As a reader, I wouldn’t believe his/her review especially if he/she is only talking about the positive things. They often sound like a sales pitch…

    Posted on 26-Aug-10 at 10:46 am | Permalink
  22. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    I would have to say that there is an expectation of an affiliate push here and there, and when it is often it should be in subtle ways like in-text links rather than review postings. But reviews where the blogger doesn’t get a commission whatsoever have the most credibility.

    Posted on 27-Aug-10 at 10:39 am | Permalink
  23. I agree with this post very much. There are a lot of bloggers who just want to make money some of them even overcrowd their content space with too many ads. Like you said there is nothing wrong with making money but, being greedy does not help either. When a blog does what you described, it distracts people away from them.

    Posted on 26-Aug-10 at 11:53 pm | Permalink
  24. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Thanks Mandeep. I like what you said about them being greedy because that is exactly the kind of blogger I am complaining about.

    Posted on 27-Aug-10 at 10:40 am | Permalink
  25. Blog Angel a.k.a. Joella
    Twitter: blogswithwings

    Thank you, thank you and thank you again. I couldn’t have said it better myself. There is absolutely no real value to blogs that are not about anything more than product promotion and reviews. I hate them and I won’t read them.

    And popups? I don’t mind the occasional one, but if I get slapped in the face by one every time I visit a blog…

    I’m outta there!

    Hopefully some of the offenders will read this and reform! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted on 27-Aug-10 at 5:54 am | Permalink
  26. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Hi Joella. I also hate pop-ups that reappear every time I visit. I have my new popup subscription to only show once every 30 days so I don’t offend. That is what I would be ok with as a reader.

    Posted on 27-Aug-10 at 10:42 am | Permalink
  27. Hi Brandon,

    Your post is spot on, personally I get p….. off with blogs that are all sell, sell, sell. I also detest pop ups as well. They both are a complete turn off to me.

    To my mind blogs should be full of good information, helpful tips, interesting discussion and a touch of humour.

    I shall return.



    Posted on 27-Aug-10 at 9:44 am | Permalink
  28. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    Hi Bill. I also used to completely hate pop-ups. But then I realized the need for them, but not in a pushy way. If a pop-up only shows once every now and then, I am fine with it because I know it is a tool that the blogger needs to build their list. Being pushy with one every time the blog loads though is just unforgivable.

    Posted on 27-Aug-10 at 10:44 am | Permalink
  29. Jeffrey
    Twitter: BloggersMarket

    Hi Brandon,
    Of course review Blogs in and of themselves are not necessary a bad thing or format in which to commutate information. Sometimes you have to feel around a bit to find the gold.

    A Big, Big, Big red flag! When such sites provide a “This Section Closed To Comments” notice, seen over and over again under their reviews or posts. I start heading for the exits as soon as I see this warning on anyones site if used for any other reason than extreme age of post. Say, when a Blogger closes a section to comments after say ……… two years or so.

    A closed section to comments to me, is little more than a static Website. I don’t feel its a Blog.

    Posted on 27-Aug-10 at 4:25 pm | Permalink
  30. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    I feel the very same about the closing of comments. It doesn’t make any sense. As for review sites, they do have their place when they provide value to the reader. Like that of a business review site. But when it is nothing but affiliate offers, it’s just ridiculous. I find it fairly easy to find the gold ones though because they properly rank well for keywords.

    Posted on 28-Aug-10 at 1:05 am | Permalink
  31. Sally
    Twitter: sallyneill

    Hey Brandon

    I HATE pop ups on blogs, like you said I don’t mind the “show once” ones, but those ones that show everytime get on my nerves.

    I especially hate the ones that pop right onto the middle of the screen halfway through me reading the bloody blog post!

    Everyone and their dog seems to be churning out reviews for the latest and greatest product that has been released, I can honestly say I never really buy the products from these reviews sites.

    I think there is a better way to promote or review products rather than simply posting a blatant advert for the product.

    PLUS my guess is half of the people doing these reviews have not even accessed or tested out the product either.

    Sally ๐Ÿ™‚

    Posted on 29-Aug-10 at 2:44 am | Permalink
  32. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    I believe you can really sell a product by referencing it in an actual blog post rather than dedicating a blog post to that product. For example, if I wanted to sell the IBP seo software, I would reference it in a post about search engine optimization as a product I like to use. The reader can relate that way, and they would be more likely to click the link and possibly buy the software.

    Posted on 30-Aug-10 at 10:33 pm | Permalink
  33. Hasham from Sell Property Fast

    Review blogs is quite good enough for writer to entertain readers as long as he/she keeps her topic interested.

    Posted on 15-Sep-10 at 8:52 am | Permalink
  34. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    It’s not review blogs I was describing. It is affiliate review blogs that are offensive.

    Posted on 15-Sep-10 at 4:54 pm | Permalink
  35. Your rant is right on the money. The one that drives me nuts is the popups. A lot of times, I just exit out if I keep getting blasted with it. I do give a chance, but if I click on an article, and it boings up again, I am outta there. It is to distracting to keep having the little box harass me.

    Posted on 19-Nov-10 at 11:40 am | Permalink
  36. Brandon Connell
    Twitter: Brandon_Connell

    I hear you Wally. Popups are a necessity for building subscribers. But they don’t have to be “in your face’ and obtrusive like that. I don’t like the ones that pop up every time I go to their site. What happens if you are already a subscriber and it keeps popping up every day? It’s annoying. But if it pops up once a month, then it’s no big deal.

    Posted on 19-Nov-10 at 11:43 am | Permalink
  37. Brandon,
    I am driven crazy by popups. I can agree, though. I can just exit if doesn’t pop up ALL THE FREAKING TIME. I don’t want to go back if it is in my face all the time. There are some sites that the popup comes up when you go to any different page on it, too. That is way too excessive.

    Posted on 12-Jan-11 at 6:07 pm | Permalink