Amen, Dos Equis guy. I learned this lesson the hard way by posting what I thought was an interesting article but others called “lazy blog spam.”
Here’s what happened:
Jeremy and I co-wrote a guest post for the Where I’ve Been blog about the best cheap eats in San Francisco and Los Angeles. We’ve been doing some guest posting as a means of link building and finding new readers for the Tortuga Backpacks’ Blog.
The post featured four restaurants in each city and clocked in at 1,300 words, far from flimsy spam.
When we guest post, we always make sure to promote the post heavily.
Promoting the post and responding to comments are important follow up tasks for any guest blogger. Let the blog owner know you’re not just in it for the links. You’ll be repaid with future invitations and more guest posting opportunities.
As part of the promotion of this post, I submitted it to the SF and LA subreddits (categories) thinking that it might lead to some great crowdsourced restaurant suggestions from and for redditors.
Previously, I haven’t posted much to reddit but have read a lot of the travel threads. On a few occasions, I’ve responded to users asking backpack-related questions.
When suggesting a Tortuga backpack to anyone, I’ve always indicated in my post that it’s shameless self-promotion. Reddit can appreciate self-deprecating humor, right?
The response to the post in the city-specific reddits was surprising.
The LA thread was fairly quiet (4 comments, 4 up votes, 5 down votes).
The SF thread was a bit more, um, lively.
The voting was equally split (15 up votes, 15 down votes), but the link received some very negative comments:
Talk about a lazy blog spam attempt.
You have 3 spots for all of SF. And then ask “Any to add?”
“So hey guys, Abraham Lincoln had a beard and was the 16th president, anything else remarkable about him?” [...]
Have you even been to San Francisco, Fred?
[L]ooks like he’s a blog spammer — mostly dedicated to “travel ideas.” (and probably attempting to monetize the information he gleans from Reddit)
At least, everything he’s submitted leads to his own websites … or ones where he “guests blogs” (read: uses someone else as a front while he tries to cash in on the traffic).
(From a moderator) It appears nearly all your posts here on reddit are for self promotion. As [username] pointed out, you have a low-content post with lifted images from yelp. Please do not use r/sf as a means of advertising — if you would like to advertise please use reddit’s built in system.
Clearly, reddit users consider content marketing to be spam. Noted.
Obviously, I take issue with some of their points, but there’s no reason to continue the vitriol.
Despite the negative comments (and up votes they received), only 5 of the 40 comments were truly negative. The rest were helpful restaurant suggestions, which I look forward to trying.
On the positive side, the link received 15 up votes and 35 helpful comments (some were my responses). So how do we, as marketers, reach these users without incurring the wrath of others?
A few ideas:
- Submit content consistently, only a small percentage of which belongs to you
- Use reddit exclusively to promote others in your niche. Hope for or ask them to reciprocate.
KISSmetrics wrote a helpful Reddit Marketing Guide, but it, unfortunately, doesn’t really offer a solution to this problem.
Have you had any success with content marketing on reddit? If so, what was your strategy?