You know what? I missed my 10th anniversary of blogging on I’m Just Sharing. I wrote my first post on 12/12/07; it was probably the 2nd shortest thing I’ve ever written here. The best post I wrote that month is now on another blog because the topic works better there. The second best post of that first month was about diabetes, and even though it shows up as the 2nd post on this blog it was actually the 8th article I wrote.
Back then I wasn’t sure what I wanted this blog to be about; I only knew that, unless my business blog, I was going to try to make money off it. To that extent, I was marketing a lot of things from Commission Junction that I didn’t know all that much about. I was also dropping general thoughts about my day and things I thought were interesting; nothing like what I write about now.
I learned a couple of lessons early on. One, It’s hard to sell anything well that you don’t know much about. Two, until you build up some trust, you’re probably never going to sell anything. Three, even after you’ve built some trust, it’s hard to sell stuff! lol
That second point is the most important though. The truth is that you might sell something you don’t know anything about, but if it doesn’t work out then those customers will never buy anything from you again. Not only that, but they won’t come back to your blog, and might tell others bad things about you. Luckily that’s not a problem I encountered, but putting it out there like I did wasn’t wise; I never thought about it at the time.
After all this time, I believe those who come back consistently trust me to give them my best, no matter how long or short my articles are; you’d have to ask them how much, but for now I’m good with 50-50. 🙂 I have nothing to gain by being dishonest or sneaky; I can’t think of any way that can benefit me or help me in any way.
The same goes for comments I make on other blogs. I like to think I’m a good commenter, even if I don’t tend to write tomes when I comment (though I’ve been known to do it). I never comment on an article I haven’t read, and I always touch upon something that was in the article. I may not always agree, but I’m always honest. If any of my regular visitors have seen a comment of mine on their blog, they’ll tell you that… I hope! lol
Yet, I don’t get the reciprocal here all that often. It’s not from those who return but from new commenters. Frankly, I’ve gotten to the point where I’m starting to be tougher on the comments I approve. The reason? I’m not sure I trust them.
None of these people can do anything to me, but I know they’re hoping to drop a link on this blog back to their site. Yet, there are times when I’m not sure if it’s spam or just bad commenting; maybe a little of both.
Here are some examples of what I’m talking about.
1. Email address is different from the website/blog.
Marketing 101; if you’re going to do anything on the web/email, use an email address that helps reinforce your brand name in the minds of those you’re reaching out to.
dinner with her & her husband in DC
For the life of me, I can’t understand why so many people who comment here don’t use an email address with their website link on it. For instance, if I comment on your blog and it’s related to this blog, my email address ends with “imjustsharing.com”, because I want the blog owners to see that and associate it with this blog. Marketing 101, as I said before.
So many people these days use gmail addresses; unless I know you, I immediately don’t trust your comment. It makes absolutely no sense for you to do that; it’s bad business, especially if you’re adding your blog or website link.
2. Name in email address is different than the name you use on the blog.
If your say your name is David Smith but your email name is some kind of foreign name I don’t trust you. If you use a female name and comes up with a female picture but your email name is Andrew, I don’t trust you. Your comment is probably going to be lousy anyway, which means you make it easy for me to know it’s spam, but on the rare occasion the comment looks legitimate, I still don’t trust it all that much… especially because you’re probably never coming back even if I respond to it.
Almost all my emails begin with Mitch; that’s my name after all. If you visit any of my 5 blogs, you’ll see that’s my name. I visit a lot of the blogs that have dodgy names or what I’ll call broken English comments, and I’m looking for two things. The first is to see if the blog is written with better grammar than the comment. The second is to see if I can find the name on the blog. When I find either of these things out of place… I don’t trust you or your comment.
3. Your comment is too generic
Most generic comments are pretty easy to figure out as spam, which is lucky for us bloggers. Every once in a while a comment is kind of borderline. It might touch on the topic of the article, but if it doesn’t have anything specific that correlates with the article, I don’t trust you.
I make it pretty easy for you to have something to say; at least I think I do. Almost all my articles are over 1,000 words (like this one), and I touch upon a lot of different themes often enough, especially when I have numbers listed like I do here. If I don’t know you and you write something like “I love this article, especially point #2”, and you don’t follow it up with anything, I’m probably sending your comment to spam… because I don’t trust you (sense the theme?).
4. You’re trying to sneak a 2nd article link in
If you’re new, I have a commenting policy. The short version is right above the comment box. There’s a line in that short paragraph which says: “don’t put subdomain links to other articles in the area where you put your website, as it will be removed and any CommentLuv you might have received from your link also won’t show.”
If you link back to a blog, CommentLuv will give you an opportunity to get a link back to your site. You even have choices of which link you want to pick (you have more choices if you’ve installed CommentLuv Premium). Adding a subdomain link to the web address you put in is not only sneaky (I know this because CommentLuv gives people a link to their blog only if you don’t use a subdomain article link, which means you’re doing it intentionally) but on this blog those articles automatically go to moderation.
Only a very good comment will be pulled out and approved, but only after I remove the subdomain article… which also kills any CommentLuv link you might have had. At least I don’t pull the domain link… often… because I don’t trust you all that much.
Those are only a few examples of what I see. I’m more than generous most of the time, but with my new policy towards being more authentically me I’m going to start killing more borderline comments that show up here. As I said earlier, none of those people ever come back, and because I regularly do maintenance on this blog I know those folks are getting notification of when I comment back to them.
I close by asking this question again; are your comments trustworthy? Well… are they? 🙂