Is it unethical or just rude?
Expounding a bit on my prior post on ethics in blogging, after the umpteenth blogger friend told me they’d been given a shady offer on a “permanent” advertising link from the same person/company, I just couldn’t keep my mouth shut anymore.
I’ve dealt with a lot of advertisers in my time. Some who are great and respectful, some who haggle or stall at every renewal, and even some who just never respond to your renewal reminder as you let their link continue on until finally giving up and removing it. But never have I had someone offer a one time payment for a link on my site forever. The company owner of sextoy.com (a place I used to review for but he didn’t seem to know that when contacting me) is making the blogger rounds every month with a new batch of people that I can only assume he hopes will net him one who will be newbie enough to take him up on his insulting offer. He’s hit up newer bloggers, established bloggers and everybody in between. He emails you with a dollar amount for a link and he conveniently leaves out his time frame. All other decent advertisers ASK what your monthly rate is, do you offer longer contracts with discounts, etc. No, he pulls up a pathetically small number that basically says “I think your site is only worth $25/$50, period”. He’s never going to pay you again and he will expect you to keep up his link until the death of your site.
I hope against hope that he’s not had any luck and hasn’t screwed over a blogger who’s not dealt with advertising before. I did talk about these “permanent links” before over at the Blogger Education page on advertising, but I know that not everyone reads e[lust] and has seen it.
Let me bottom line it for you:
A permanent link is bad. Unless it’s in the many hundreds of dollars, it’s a fucking insult. The amount that he offered me for my sites was about equal to what I get for 3 months. First he contacted me at the e[lust] address and I couldn’t let it go with just a “no”, I told him off a bit and let him know that it’s insulting to all bloggers, no matter their stats or stature. I also let him know, since he didn’t bother to learn his audience before typing, that I owned this domain as well and already am involved in their affiliate program that he offered (without the offer to review toys, again, insulting as all it gets them is a link and you probably won’t see any sales). He asked for my rates though, and I can only assume that they were too high for this supposed multi-millionaire as he never responded. Until……he emailed me on THIS account a few weeks ago.All brand-new and fresh-like as if he hadn’t already tried to hit me up the month prior.
He’s not even TRYING to not be an idiot.
Is this post harsh? I’m sure some of you think so. And I realize that by calling this person out this way I might get bitten in the ass somewhere down the road. But I’m pissed. I’m offended. And I’m protective of all my blogger peers. I know that many of you who’ve gotten the offer and have discussed it on Twitter just laugh it off because you know he’s an idiot and you know you’re better than that. Jesus, I hope you know. I’m pissed because he’s trying to take advantage of us and momma bear is growling now. I don’t care who offers it, permanent links are never good for you and only really awesome for them. A company owner who is trying to take advantage of bloggers in this way makes me never want to support sextoy.com again. So if Dave emails you, either tell him off or just delete it. I don’t care what your stats are: You are worth more than whatever he offers. Much more.
Bloggers, I don’t care what your site is about, if you ever have any questions on advertising and even specific advertisers please don’t hesitate to email me. I will gladly let you know if someone is worth dealing with or a deadbeat, and will help you figure out what to charge. If we don’t stick together…..we all lose out. That’s just my opinion, though.