Mar 072011
 

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.

Seriously?

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.

*headdesk*

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.

  • http://definingdelilah.blogspot.com Delilah

    I think it is possible to be both rude and unethical, this person is certainly both. It seems like he is hoping that by hitting large numbers of bloggers (and our numbers aren’t few) that he will get a link here and there. Should they take it down he will probably kick and scream. Not a nice fellow at all!

    ~ Oh without a doubt you can be unethical and rude at the same time but I was wondering if perhaps I was being melodramatic bc of how offensive I found it.

  • http://www.29-pearls.blogspot.com frances

    Thank you so much for posting this. Although our blog isn’t necessarily “new” we are currently thinking about advertising (etc) and are awaiting our first toy for review. Although we figured out pretty quickly it was a bad idea, it is nice to have friends who know the game and will tell it like it is. Without blogger peers, I imagine one could really be taken advantage of. Thank you for your vigilance in informing and attempting to keep us “safe.” We love our momma bear. ;-)

  • http://100waystobeperverse.wordpress.com Janie

    This time it’s both – unethical *and* rude. I don’t think you’re being harsh, he’s trying to scam people and it’s just not good business practice. I love that you are looking out for bloggers :)

    xoxox

  • http://joker-satx.livejournal.com/ Joker_SATX

    Don’t get angry…get creative. Take the money. Set up another blog. Import your old blog. Kill this one. Then when he comes back, repeat. I figure, if you do this every month, you will rack up a good chunk of change off this guy!

    ~ For all the many other reasons that wouldn’t work, the most important being that I would lose my pagerank and alexa ranking, the things that all the valid advertisers are paying for.

  • Riff Dog

    I got this email, too. Laughable, but a fellow blogger emailed me that he got the same offer and asked whether I thought he should take it. I said no, of course, but it did make me think that it’s sad that this company just may find some suckers.

    So it’s good that you post stuff like this. It really is a service to other bloggers.

  • http://sextoygeek.net/ Lucid Obsession

    He’s emailed me twice (same account). The first time I asked if it was a one time payment and he said yes and I told him I get $xx a month for another link and he wanted to “try it for a month and see how it goes”. I don’t think I even bothered replying. This month, he emailed me again with the same generic email offering me the same amount one time payment. I told him I thought I had replied to your previous offer but I currently get what you offered per month for links but I didn’t want to support sextoy.com at this time.

    Have you guys seen a picture of him? He even looks like a douchebag and my one friend and I have been referring to him as Douchebag Dave.

    ~ He actually said the same to me about “try it for a month and see how it goes” when I discussed it w him for elust. He tried using against me that there’s already a number of text links. Then he tried to get me to post absolutely horrible laughable bullshit posts he’s put up on the site, on elust. I had to point out that he clearly hasn’t even looked at elust, bc it’s clear I’d never put up anything that’s not an edition. I don’t DO blog posts there. In the end both email conversations ended with him asking about and seeming like he would be willing to pay my rate, but I simply never responded. I don’t want his money, and it takes a lot for me to turn down an advertiser.

  • Hubman

    I’ve heard from him before as well. I just said “no thanks” and left it at that, I was aware of his reputation already and figured it wouldn’t really accomplish much to tell him how insulting his offer was.

    I wonder if there’s anyone he HASN’T contacted…

    ~ Judging from what I’m hearing, there’s few stones he’s left unturned. He’s even doing it so much he’s forgetting who he’s emailed and does it again!

  • Serafina Brightside

    Hmmmm. Excellent post. I’m glad that you’re telling us all, and I didn’t know sextoy.com did this! Well, now I’m forewarned, and I appreciate it.

    So I’m sure the prior comments are all better than mine, haha. I don’t really know what to say because I agree with every one of them.

    Good luck in your endeavors. I hope the ToySwap Network’s doing well. That was a good site, though I’m random saying this. ( :

  • http://duskinchains.wordpress.com Dusk

    It’s funny because he hasn’t actually contacted me yet. I’m just waiting for it….so I can tell him to piss off.

  • http://anothersuburbanmom.blogspot.com Another Suburban Mom

    He has not contacted me. I must not be lovable. I am glad you told him where to go!

  • http://www.dustbunnyinthewind.com nitebyrd

    He contacted me and I put the link up. It’s just a text link and since I never figured to make any money off my blog, it was a little perk that allowed me to buy some supplies(I was paid immediately) for my Etsy store where I DO hope to make some money. I didn’t think it was rude or unethical so I didn’t see any problem. I have a few affiliate links but have never really made any money from them. I do like to review items so the affiliates fit the bill for that.

    One company I do feel is unethical is Fling.com. A Brian contacted me to buy space for a text link on my blog. He offered $300.00 for 1 year. I gave him my PayPal info, per request and put up the link. When I didn’t hear from him after one email and 7 days of the link being active, I took it down.

    Thanks, Lilly. I will do more research and ask more questions in the future.

    ~ Well, I’m sad to hear he “got” somebody :( Your site is worth more than a permanent one-time paid link. With the Fling.com issue, I’d suggest that of course first of all…..you never, ever put up a link until they pay. Never. I dealt with him, and while he did take a little bit to get back to me and I had to prompt him with a reminder email, he DID pay and then his link went up. Sometimes you have to allow more than one email just for benefit of the doubt (spam, forgotten, etc).

  • CLP

    I just received his email last week. Same generic formula I’m sure sent to all of us. $25? Umm, I really can’t even get a good toy for that price.
    The good thing that came from this was that I realized how great the sites that I *do* have business with are, and that it is probably time for me to comb through who I choose to endorse. Consider this baby bud blooming. :)

  • http://www.coypink.com Coy Pink

    I took your advice and emailed Dave back that I do not sell permanent links but that he may purchase monthly advertising on my site for X amount. He responded that he’d pay for three months up front if I put his link on my site AND if I also put some of his content up as well. He didn’t specify how much content I’d need to put up to meet his criteria but I can tell you how much I’ll be putting on my site – none. I’ll do the per month advertising at the rate I set but I’m not at ALL interested in hosting his content on my site.

    ~Ohgod yeah, that content is AWFUL. cringe-worthy.

  • http://www.buzzonvibes.com/ buzzvibe

    I think taking advantage of people is unethical. Thank you for posting this. I’m lucky that the first company I sold a text link ad to offered me a fair monthly rate upfront, otherwise I might have been tempted by a permanent link offer.

  • http://www.screaming-violet.com Violet

    omg as I started to read the comments I began to think I was the only person who had convinced this guy to actually shell out for a short term link… but no my story is exactly the same as coy pinks – let’s give it a try for 3 months….”I would also like to know if you’d like to just write a review or even syndicate some of the great content ”

    Even the responses are a god damn form letter!

    I just wish I had charged him a decnt price – If I told you how little I charged I’d just embarass myself. I’d like to take the link down but feel that would make me ve unethical as well. I’m just glad that you and others had been discussing these “permanent” ad links on twitter at the time as I’d have possibly fallen for his shite otherwise.

  • http://naughtystudent.blog.com/ Naughty Student

    I have never heard about this! I am pretty new to blogging and have never been approached by anyone about advertising. I’m glad I read this post though, in case it does happen.

  • http://alanandmichele.com Michele

    We just received an email from him last week, offering us $25 for a text link. I almost fell for it, but then Alan pointed out that the guy wanted it to be a one-time payment for a permanent link. No thanks.

  • http://seaofneptune-blog.net Sea of Neptune

    I got worried at first because I did make a deal with him. I put his link up for a short term price and worked that out with him. I refused to put a permanent link up on my blog. I also won’t be putting up any of that content either because I prefer my blog to be original and mine not putting up content from others.