The Brown Nosed Blogger Epidemic

It may be a surprise for some of you to know, but between the ages of 22 and 28, I was a police officer. I spent two years doing general policing duties in communities, and 4 years as a firearms officer protecting fissile materials at various facilities around the North West of the UK.

In that time, I became aware of a really strange position that anyone could apply for.

It was called ‘The Bagman’. The Chief’s Bagman, to be exact.

And the job was exactly how you might have expected. You were the chief’s dogsbody. You would carry his bags. You would be his personal assistant.  You would drive him to meetings. You would be at his beck and call 24/7. You would arrange his schedule. And you would high and mighty him ’til the cows came home.

What a s**t job.

The Police Constables and Sergeants that carried out this role were often referred to as brown nosers. They were referred to by this less than charming name because it was a well known fact that doing this job, might, just might, help that person into the upper echelons of the policing family.

These were people who wanted to be noticed. People who wanted to be propelled into the spotlight, to get known by the hierarchy in order to get a promotion to a higher rank. These were people who thought ‘I’ll get where I want to be by riding his slipstream’.

Ring any bells?


For those that missed my post on linking far too much in a single post, I’ll describe again what I think makes a brown nosed blogger.

Richard Martin SmartIncomeDetective.com

A Brown Nosed Blogger will go out of their way to piggyback someone who is already successful in order to try and get to where they want to be. They will furiously promote the hell out of said person, praise them even where praise isn't deserved and of course, name and link drop until the cows come home. All in the vain hope they will get noticed and said blogger will introduce them to their (far bigger) audience. It's as short sighted as it is ugly.

I’ve never been one to suck up to someone in order to get something. And I’ve never been one to ‘brown nose’ and blow smoke up someone’s backside to gain some sort of favourable outcome.

I’m a respect and merit kind of guy, and I’d much rather go places on merit and authenticity rather than selling myself down the river for something that isn’t guaranteed anyway. 

In fact, my recent $10k in a week showed this quite clearly when I was searching for a laser focused affiliate to promote my course. I certainly didn’t waste my time in promoting those people, brown nosing them or anything like that.

I just sent one very polite and respectful email to each potential affiliate.

No linking out required. No spamming their social media stuff. No praising or high-fiving them. And definitely no brown nosing.


I only noticed it a few months back. And it truly is an epidemic – every man and his dog seems to be doing it these days. As soon as I see a page full of links to bloggers such as Starak, Patel, Flynn, Ferris, I yawn.

Because I know your game.

At this point, I realise that you don’t really give a flying hoot about me or your other readers.

Because these links are there for your sole gain, and not mine.


For those of you who can’t see the wood from the trees, let me spell something out for you.

This strategy cannot possibly work for everyone. In fact, it will FAIL for 99.99% of you, and all that hard work you have just put in means absolutely zilch. Nothing. Nada.

And the only winner is the authority blogger you have been heavily linking to, heavily spreading their content through social media channels, and bigging them up to anyone who cares to listen.

Well done. You’ve just officially become their Unpaid Backlinking Assistant.

Let’s see an example.

An ‘authority blogger’ writes a post telling his 10k weekly uniques the formula to connecting with key influencers in your niche and getting them to promote your content. He tells you the best way to do this is to follow them, promote the hell out of them and buy their stuff.

In return, they will reciprocate, and share your stuff with their much bigger audience. Sounds a great strategy doesn’t it?


It’s the most short sighted, deluded strategy I have ever heard.

And here’s why.

How to become an authority blogger's UNPAID backlinking assistant:

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Ok. Let’s assume you take on the strategy that the authority blogger has mentioned (the same strategy that is promoted by ALL A-List bloggers, funnily enough).

You choose an authority blogger. He’s up there, he’s got the readership levels, and he’s got his header crammed full of his awards – and you want a piece of the cake he’s so happily munching away on.

You write a post about him. You email him to tell him so. You stalk him on social media, and promote the hell out of him. You link to him in every article you publish. Hell, you go back and edit your previous content and include links to his articles.

You can’t do enough for him. You even think about paying a personal visit, with a freshly baked cookie in hand. And you look at the calendar, and it’s been 6 months, and he still hasn’t even bothered himself to reply to your email.

In fact, he hasn’t even bothered to acknowledge you anywhere.

But, Sir, why not?!

Because 5,000 other bloggers are also doing the same!

Think about it. If 5,000 other bloggers are doing exactly the same, what are your chances of getting noticed and Authority Blogger X actually sharing your content?

I’m terrible at math, but I’ll say it’s as close to ZERO as you could possibly get.

And this is why this strategy is the most flawed strategy I’ve ever come across. It’s a strategy that will waste hours of your life away, and for what? 

To build somebody else’s business. That’s what.

Imagine hundreds of people trying to get the attention of an authority blogger in the hope they will promote their content, promote their latest course or plugin. All in the hope that one day, they will reciprocate.

Let’s see EXACTLY what that looks like: 

brown nosed blogger


With the above graphic in mind, I now want you to think very carefully.

When an authority blogger encourages you to make false connections with people based on their status (like themselves), who is it benefiting in the long run?

Is it you?

Or are the scales firmly tipped in favour of the authority blogger?

Are you a Brown Nosed Blogger? #blogging

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I was on Matthew Woodward’s blog, and I read a post on how to get key influencers to share your stuff to their big audience.

In my opinion, the advice was all wrong.

Because everything he wrote was selfish. In that post, Matthew Woodward was selfish. The strategy he shared was all about promoting the hell out of ‘influencers’, and in return he said they would reciprocate. 

He said it would be a ‘breeze’ to get influencers to promote your content.

Absolute Tosh.

The biggest problem I had with his article is that he made it sound so easy, and didn’t include the factors that would dictate whether or not such a strategy would work.

Like I have said here, and in the comment I left him, the strategy will NOT work for 99.9% of bloggers.

Below is the comment I left him:

My Comment To Matthew Woodward

Ok Matt.

Before I start this, I respect you and your blog.

But in this specific post, I think you are seriously giving false hope with such a strategy. I recently wrote a post about too many links in a blog post, and in that post I described the 'Brown Nosed Blogger'.

Basically what you describe here, is how to become a brown noser. And I have a number of points and concerns to add to your article, if I may.

1) Linking to an influencers blog/posts. I have followed other bloggers who have adopted such a policy. And it becomes quite evident that the links are there not to serve their reader, but to serve their own agenda. I've seen it, you have seen it. Link after link to blogger/influencer X. It's unsightly. It becomes sickly. And quite frankly, it's embarrassing.

2) Choosing an influencer. You touch, very briefly, on the fact that it needs to be authentic and from the heart. Too right it does. I see people all the time choosing these 'influencers' based on their status rather than on any genuine merit. I will link to an article by anyone (doesn't have to be an authority or influencer) based on 2 facts - 1, the content is valuable, and 2, that content relates directly to the content of my post. Yet I see so many bloggers just blind linking, all based on status rather than merit or relevance.

3) The biggest problem I have with your post Matthew? That this WON'T work for 99% of bloggers out there. In fact, make that 99.9%.

You have a big readership, and you are successful Matthew. What if what you have just shared here, results in 1,000 bloggers trying to gain your attention? What if 1,000 emails land in your inbox tomorrow - "Hi Matthew, i just featured your post in this article here". Is this going to gain your attention? Are you really going to go and read every email and read every post you are featured in? Are all those bloggers going to be on your radar? Are you going to reciprocate in a way which will result in that linker getting 1000's of visits? No.

I don't know what your email policy is, but I know this. You won't be reciprocating anything to the majority of those bloggers, maybe you'll say thanks, but inevitably, that email will end up in the deleted folder.

I have read about this strategy before. By other influencers/authorities. I consider you as an influencer/authority. No doubt the 'Me too' crowd will follow this to a T. And they'll see absolutely nothing in return.

All I see is the same old names cropping up in posts, everywhere. Patel. Flynn. Ferris. Starak. You. There's no surprise that all of these encourage their readers to adopt the very same strategy you outline here.

Sorry mate, this is a false narrative, which only serves to make the gap between smaller bloggers and authorities like yourself bigger and bigger, and all it does is give you and other influencers free backlinks over and over again in the vain and deluded hope that those who link will one day, see some sort of reciprocation.

Which 99.9% won't.

Challenging the status quo? Yep.

(*Matthew and a few others did reply, but I haven’t posted them here because I wanted to avoid a scroll-fest. Visit the link if you are interested in the replies)

Before I go any further, I do want to say that Matthew has a very good blog. I’ve dipped in and out many a time, and the content is usually solid. In fact, look at his header and his vast collection of awards, and you can see that this guy knows what he is talking about.

Not this time.

This post, and the posts of other influencers/authorities that sing the same tune, is all about them. Of course, those that hang on every word these people say will jump to the whatever height the influencer asks.

And the thing that really had me shaking my head? The fact that some of the commenters took his advice literally. See below.


So even following Matthew’s advice, Freedom blogger is rejected for an interview, but Matthew is quite happy for a post to be put up about himself with links in.

Two things here:

  1. How many other bloggers have seen this and are doing the exact same thing for Matthew?
  2. How many times will Matthew, as an influencer, reciprocate and promote the content put out by the likes of Freedom Blogger?

One thing for sure – it’s all win-win for Matthew here!

Even the title of his article is missing the point:


‘Trick’? Really Matthew?

Are you really trying to tell me that the likes of yourself and other authority bloggers can be tricked?

Absolute RUBBISH!

Just using the word ‘trick’ in his article title is plain wrong. The word trick conjures images of being underhand, being sneaky and having an immoral agenda.

But again, it’s all in keeping with the message of the article, and the general portrayal that such a technique is easy to implement.

In my opinion, ‘authority bloggers’ will have seen this 1,000 times over.

Note: If you do visit this post, you may see a different post title because I happen to know Matthew uses a plugin which rotates article titles for split testing purposes.

CONTROVERSIAL? Is this really a bad strategy for content promotion?

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I’ve said that this strategy works for only 0.1% of us. Who are in the 0.1% then?

  • People who are established. Established meaning that they have been around for an age, have lots of content and are consistent. 
  • People who have already built a following on MERIT.
  • People who have unique, top drawer content.

Even if you are in this group of people, the strategy is not guaranteed to work.


Don’t get mixed up between a genuine outreach campaign and being a brown noser.

They are two entirely different things.

Because when you start promoting the hell out of someone elses content, and it starts looking unnatural, then Authority Blogger X will spot you a mile off.

The first thing they will think is this: ‘What do they want from me”.

Of course, they already know the answer.

Not only will Authority Blogger X spot you a mile off, but so will your readers. Readers that you’ve probably built up by merit, all by yourself, however low that number may be.

Don’t sell them out.

A genuine outreach campaign should be about creating MEANINGFUL relationships with bloggers you like and trust, with no ulterior motive involved whatsoever. And any back scratching that comes from such a relationship should be on an even footing. Not because one side went out of their way and started promoting the hell out of the other.

There’s a saying out there that goes a little like this:

"Stop chasing the money, and the money will end up chasing you"

And I’m going to say that it is similar to building meaningful relationships. When you start trying to force relationships, they feel unnatural and lack any real authenticity.

"Stop trying to force relationships, and the relationships will build themselves"


It goes without saying that this post will probably ruffle a few feathers. It will split people, I know it. It’s controversial, I know it.

But I know it has credibility.

Not everyone will agree with me, but that’s totally cool by me.

I’ve given you my view on it, now give me your view.

What’s your view on promoting the hell out of authority blogger X in the hope they will reciprocate? Have you had success using this method? Or maybe you have tried this method and failed miserably?

Let me, and other readers know below.

I’ll publish and respond to every comment, as long as it contains no bad language and no personal insults.

Do it now.

All the best,

Richard Martin

  • March 9, 2015
Richard Martin

I'm just a normal guy, earning money online, hoping to help you do the same.

Click Here to Leave a Comment Below 59 comments
Martin Lindeskog - March 9, 2015

Richard: Thanks for speaking out against “brown-nosing”. For the record, it is nothing wrong to be selfish. But you have to understand the true meaning of the concept.

I am promoting other bloggers, based on the notion that I know, like and trust them. It is based on the ideas on referral marketing, described in the works by Dr. Ivan Misner, John Jantsch, and others.
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    Richard Martin - March 9, 2015

    Hi Martin. Thanks for your input.

    I’ll google that name. Like I said in the article, there is a difference between what I describe, and what you refer to as referral marketing.

    A genuine outreach campaign is good. Of course, I link in to other bloggers who I respect, like and trust on this very blog. But I have no ulterior motive. I’m not doing it because I want something back. i want nothing back. I do it because they have great content which happens to be highly relevant to my own article.

    I recommend their article by including a referencing a link – I don’t ‘spam refer’ in every possible article at every possible chance. That is selling yourself down the river IMO.

    Again, nothing wrong in shouting out about other bloggers and their content. My issue is where it is constant, and I’ve seen it in action on many blogs.

    Good input with some good names, I’ll check out what they say.

ebijayashanti - March 9, 2015

you are absolutely right , though i am not a pro blogger just starting but your points are spot on. And every conscious and good blogger so do it more often.
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Ron Killian - March 9, 2015

Oh your stirring up the pot again! LOL

Seriously though, I agree with your thoughts. Not to brown nose you, but that fact that it makes sense.

It sure makes you wonder, then the big dogs post articles like that, if there are selfish motives at play. Not saying it’s the case here. But makes you wonder. Just think how much promotion/linkbacks that particular post will draw because of what was said. hhmmm…

But you hit the nail square on. It should be about building genuine relationships and promoting because of respect for the content. It should always be about the content not just about the person, or what they “could” do for you.

Course, sadly it doesn’t matter what you or any one else says about it, the herd will always follow.

I think it’s great that you’ve called it and put it in public. Hats off.

The other thing that bugs me when it comes to brown nosing, is when content is praised when it’s clear the writer doesn’t know what they are talking about, doesn’t really make sense, or hard to read, such as very poor grammar. This happens SO SO much in post comments. I’d rather have some one call me out then be praised when it’s not deserved. But the game goes on.

Awesome post. Dinner and a show 🙂
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    Richard Martin - March 10, 2015

    Oh yes Ron. Stirring up the pot again 🙂

    Hopefully I have done it in a respectful and well thought out way though 🙂

    Exactly Ron. When it becomes all about what someone ‘could’ do for you as a centre focus, then that’s when the lines get blurred between creating a meaningful relationship and brown nosing.

    I have called it in public yes. 2015 for me and this blog is all about getting real, and giving my opinion on things. True opinions too, and not just following. Of course not everyone will agree, but that what I want, and that’s what blogging is all about. None of us are right all the time, but that is the beauty of blogging.

    Thanks for the value you have provided in your comment 🙂 Show and dinner, eh? 🙂

Don Purdum - March 9, 2015

Hi Richard,

This is a really well thought out article.

There is a big difference between using our blogs to network with someone how has brought us value in some capacity and share that person with our audience because it’s a match for the article and it makes sense; and then just linking to someone who doesn’t care if you exist.

I always look for bloggers who serve the same audience I do but in a different way and connect with them for a while through their comments to see what kind of response I’m going to get.

I don’t care about the big boys and girls and they don’t care about me either. They have their networks that already help them. They certainly don’t perceive I can help them and that would be true and fair.

But the bloggers that I can help and can help me… that’s a win-win all day. At some point it becomes a two way street or I turn off head down another street.

My community has come through HUGE for me. It was through my community that SEMrush found me and I’ve been published twice there now and I’ve got a seminar coming up with them as well. Big audience that came as a result of networking with the right people that wanted to help me and I wanted to help.

Using someone for your own gain is apparent. I’ve had some people try it to me and it doesn’t sit well. I’m not even at the level of the guys you mentioned.

Very, very interesting post Richard. Food for thought…

Hope you have a great week!

~ Don Purdum
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    Richard Martin - March 10, 2015

    Hi Don.

    Thanks for your valuable comments and input.

    It is really interesting what you have said about your own community. This to me is building your business and community through MERIT. And now through that community, others have sat up and noticed you. How awesome is that? That to me is the RIGHT way of doing things.

    Let’s turn it around a little. Imagine if your community wasn’t as strong, and you promoted the hell out of SEMrush to try and get them to notice you. Don, I don’t think they would. Far better for a big fish to ask you based on the value you provide, rather than for you to ask them.

    Thanks for sharing Don, have a good day.

      Don Purdum - March 10, 2015

      Hi Richard,

      Absolutely, I couldn’t agree with you more!!!!

      My very first strategy last summer was to connect with bloggers of influence in their own unique niche and who served the same audience I do in a different way. People I could tell really quickly through their comments and social environment who were engagers and interested in building their own communities.

      People who are true networkers and collaborators is who I’m interested in giving value because they appreciate value and will give it back.

      SEMrush took notice first of my content and THEN social proof through my engagement.

      You know what they said to me Richard; “Lots of people say they will share their content on our site and bring traffic; you are the only one who really does it.”

      Because of the relationships I built all I had to do was ask and they obliged. They know I will do it for them as well. It’s all predicated on reciprocity based in networking and friendship.

      Now my blogging friends have carried the mantle on my eBook which is doing marvelous on Amazon. Because of my social proof I’ve been asked to come on a live in studio interview on a radio station in Philadelphia in a few weeks and this week I have a live webinar on SEMrush and two major podcasts reached out to interview me about the book.

      NONE of it would have been possible without my community!!!!

      But it wasn’t me trying to trick anyone into saying hello or begging them to share my content. I made it worth it for them by creating content they resonated with and is completely different than anything they have read online to this point.

      Networking works online! But it takes work and the big boys could care less if you have nothing to bring them. It really is that simple. Occasionally you can get fortunate like Ryan Biddulph did with Chris Brogan. But Ryan also emailed him and was able to build a relationship so it was so much more than just commenting on a blog and sharing on social media.

      Again, great post Richard!

      ~ Don
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        Richard Martin - March 12, 2015

        Terrific story on how to do things properly, and in an authentic manner.

        A radio station? WOW Don, that is amazing!

        In my eyes you were already an authority, but this is pushing you up a level or two.

        Now, beware of those brown nosers trying to get something out of YOU!

David Martin - March 9, 2015

Hi Richard,

I’ve just recently begun dipping my toes in the sea of online income generation. Thank you for sharing your knowledge on the topic; your down-to-earth and straight-forward approach is easy to get on board with.

Though blogging is not my current priority, I’m always on the lookout for good information for when I do get started, and this post has supplied the perfect response to one I came across a couple of days ago. I’m sure you’ve seen its likes before, and I’d like to ask you for your take on it.

On one Authority Blogger X’s blog, he offers me a simple way to earn $s. For a cost of just $49, he will show me how I can build a website to promote his own in 21 days, and for every sale he gets from leads which I have generated, I’ll get 50%. He guarantees this by promising to give me $500 if I haven’t earned $1000 in the first month.

Of course, he doesn’t give any other information, and the general pitch of the offer warned me off straight away. But I read on with intrigue, and from what i could gather, his offer is to pay willing participants to be ‘brown-nosed bloggers’. Could this actually be a feasible (albeit degrading) ‘partnership’? Or would this the one-sided relationship I suspect?

Have a great week!

    Richard Martin - March 10, 2015

    Hi David.

    Nice to have you on the blog. Welcome!

    The opportunity you describe is called affiliate marketing, as you may be aware. I’m not sure on the offer, as I have never paid anyone to become their affiliate. So I am slightly confused, but does sound like a way for that blogger to get paid (the $49 setup cost) and then have an army of affiliates who will promote his product/program in a positive light.

    The issue I have with this is first the cost (you can setup your own site for a small fee – i.e hosting and a theme), and then the product. What sort of product is it? If it’s something to do with the Empower network, then personally I would steer well clear as this is basically a pyramid scheme masked as something else.

    I promote products as an ‘affiliate’. But all the products I promote here on this blog are products I use myself. So I’m not just promoting them, I’m recommending them. I personally wouldn’t recommend anything I don’t use or don’t like because that would then tarnish my reputation and trust factor with my readership, so this is something you must look into.

    Hard to say without me taking a look, but on the small facts you present here, I would probably steer clear.

    Good luck David.

Sylviane Nuccio - March 10, 2015

Hi Richard,

Aw! I love this blog post, as I myself, just like you hate those brown nosed bloggers, but gosh they are everywhere. Have you noticed?

And another thing I’ve noticed. Let’s say you are a very popular blogger and you get 100+ comments on each of your post, but YOU again the same fabulous, fantastic, all well liked blogger post on my blog which might not be popular at all.

NOW! Guess what happens? You guessed it! Not nearly as many people will comment on that post. WHY? Because they can’t be seen as much. Those are brown nosed bloggers too.

You the popular blogger can promote that post left and right, you still won’t get as many comments.

It’s not so much that they love that guy or gal, it’s that they want to get a slice of their popularity.

It’s how the world goes round, unfortunately, Richard. But I can’t stand it either. So I’ll give a thumbs up for that post of yours.

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    Richard Martin - March 10, 2015

    Hi Sylviane.

    Yes they are everywhere, and it only seems to be getting worse and worse as more people adopt this ‘strategy’.

    It is how the world goes round, I agree Sylviane. It’s almost like the popular kid at school, most wanted to be in his circle of friends and I always remember people doing silly stuff at school to try and impress these people. I say, be yourself.

    Thanks Sylviane.

Craig - March 10, 2015

What a great post Richard! I’m not sure I’ve ever read a post that calls out another blogger like you just did. I honestly don’t see anything wrong with calling something out that you don’t agree with. Especially when you can make a case the way you just did. All well thought out points. Bravo!

I really wish there was more honest feedback like this in the blogging world. It seems like 99% of the comments you see on posts is always the same – great post, wonderful points, etc…

I guess I’ve been lucky with the bloggers that I’ve been trying to network with. Every single one of them has welcomed me with open arms, including you (not brown nosing). If I came across a post like the one you mentioned, and saw a comment like the one you called out above, I would definitely not be trying to network with that person.

BTW – heading over Matthew’s blog now to see if he replied to your comment. Hoping he did, as I’d love to hear his rebuttal. You should add that to your post if he does reply.

Thanks Richard. Have yourself a wonderful week…

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    Richard Martin - March 10, 2015

    Hi Craig.

    I’m so with you on what you say about people agreeing with everything we write. Sure, it’s nice to have that confirmation that what we have written has been well received and people agree. But sometimes, sometimes, it’s nice to have somebody not agree and present another perspective on things.

    Matthew did reply Craig, but I chose not to put all of the replies because the post would have turned into one big, long scroll. I guess I should mention that within the post.

    Thanks for your comments craig, appreciated as always.

David Hartshorne - March 10, 2015

Hi Richard,

It needed an honest, ex-copper to expose this horrible practice! I can’t rally argue with the evidence you have presented. I can only imagine ‘greed’ being a driver for those bloggers seeking more linkbacks, etc.

It doesn’t sit well with me and I prefer the ‘Simple-Honest-Support’ approach. I would much rather have one person leaving a genuine comment than a thousand brown-nosers.

Thanks for sticking your neck out!
– David
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    Richard Martin - March 11, 2015

    I must admit David, I was a little skeptical about putting my head above the parapet. But it was something I felt I had to do. I see so many people using this strategy these days, that I feel sorry for them because they are completely and utterly wasting their time.

    I also prefer the simple and honest approach David as you know. Thanks for the comments!

Adrienne - March 10, 2015

Hey Richard,

I’ve been taught this same strategy myself. I think also in all fairness, it depends on the person. Granted, if someone is out there telling you to do this and just like the example you just gave in the comment to Matthew they all flood one particular person and they know why they’re doing it then they aren’t going to respond.

In my opinion you need to go out of your way to build a relationship with them first. Get on their radar and share their content because it’s just darn good. Of course I know your whole point is that the people doing this are selfish and are out there with the attitude of “what’s in it for me”.

I get this a lot myself and since I’m not quite overwhelmed with it yet I let them know that I don’t know them and since they’ve never visited my blog I’m not sharing anything of theirs. I get so many requests from people and it’s pretty obvious that they could care less about me individually. Oh yes, I tell them that directly.

People need to have your attitude. Just be you, do the best you can, be honest and genuine and you’ll start to get noticed in time. People pay attention to people like that and that’s how they can start picking up some steam.

Just my two cents worth but you did good here. I agree with you about Matthew too but that was a pretty sneaky topic. 😉

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    Richard Martin - March 11, 2015

    Hi Adrienne.

    A good 2 cents too – thank you 🙂

    You summed up my article in just one sentence actually by saying this:

    “Just be you, do the best you can, be honest and genuine and you’ll start to get noticed in time.”

    Absolutely SPOT on Adrienne.

    I spoke out about this because I see far too much of it going on these days. I have even had people in my bookmarks that I used to like, who I know no longer follow because they were selling me out by linking and mentioning this one person all the time. I got pretty sick of it, and no longer bother to read that persons blog. And that’s what I mean by selling out the audience that they have built on merit.

    Like I have said, genuine outreach is awesome! Genuine, authentic and from the heart. I have recommended yourself and promoted you in the past Adrienne. I do this to others as well. And it’s because I like them as people, I like their content and I trust them. I never had an eye on ‘what they could do back for me’. In fact, thought never even crossed my mind.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts Adrienne.

Sherman Smith - March 10, 2015

Hey Richard,

Now this is what I’m talking about! I agree with everything that you said.

Selfishness can be used in different ways, but in the case of authority bloggers preaching how they and other bloggers on their level will easily reciprocate the effort you gave in promoting their content doesn’t happen 99.9% of the time. They already know this!

When I was doing network marketing, I use to see this a lot. Not to bad mouth this business model, but many of the reps inside many of the companies I was in were really on the jock of the high achievers there. I’m not going to say I didn’t admire them, but at least I wasn’t brown nosing them like many others.

I can understand as a novice blogger how you would fall for this. I even fell for this type of advice when I first started because I thought they were genuine when they gave these tips and as well as promising they will reciprocate effort. But little did I realize why they were an authority figure and the limited time restraint that would hinder them to reciprocate the value. It’s possible that they have a bunch of VAs to help them reciprocate, but would this really happen?

But when it comes down to it, us not so popular bloggers don’t gain anything from them while they gain a whole lot! So if anything, we should promote each other. At least the ones that reciprocate the effort back!

Great share Richard! This was something that needed to be said!
Sherman Smith recently posted…5 Hypnotic Elements To Write An Effective Call To ActionMy Profile

    Richard Martin - March 11, 2015

    Thanks so much Sherman.

    I can also totally understand why some novice bloggers would fall for this too. It seems too good to be true. And it is! But the novice bloggers will learn the hard way unfortunately because they will not get anything back from their endeavours.

    You are right. We gain nothing and they gain everything. And that’s why I used the word selfish in my article. I truly believe that Matthew was selfish with that article because he did not present the caveats that would dictate who this strategy would work for.

    Thanks Sherman.

Sunday - March 11, 2015

Hi Richard,
First of all, this post is “controversial” but it has clean, provable credibility. I see you took time out to proof your points, and this is good.

Influencial bloggers don’t have the time nor take the time to respond to emails or links of many people. This, indeed is a bad for outreach.

If this is not bad strategy ( from ‘brown nosed bloggers’) then I would have loved Mathew Woodward to proof this article wrong by responding to the allegation.

Personally, I don’t want to be an unpaid backlink assistant, or a blogger that help others to build their business without reward or among the 99.9% of bloggers that apply this strategy.

However, I want to believe that authority bloggers that allow this strategy should have a policy in place to reciprocate the gestures – but I have not seen them reciprocate even 10% of the free promotion made for them!

Its the authority blogger that gains and not the “brown nosed blogger”! I have no doubt about it.

Genuine outreach borne out of genuine relationship should be adopted. I only wish that Mathew Woodward will respond swiftly to proof this controversial but credible post wrong!
I left this comment in kingged.com as well.

    Richard Martin - March 11, 2015

    Hi Sunday.

    Thanks for your comments. I’m so glad you found my post well balanced. the last thing I wanted was this to become a slating of an authority blogger like Matthew. It really isn’t. Rather, it’s a post that I disagreed heavily with.

    You are right – you hardly ever see an authority blogger linking out to anybody else but the same circle of people. Yet, there are so many people out there that link to them, but it is IMPOSSIBLE to reciprocate on such a grand scale, despite even the best of intentions. This was my main gripe with his article. The fact that he calls it a breeze also really annoyed me. It is nowhere near a breeze! In fact, I said to Matthew that he makes it sound as easy as popping to the supermarket for some milk!

    Agreed – a genuine outreach campaign based on authenticity is the way to go.

    Thanks Sunday.

Andrew M. Warner - March 11, 2015

Hey Richard,

*wipes sweat off brow*

That was intense and on the button.

I’ve noticed this as recent as a few weeks back, when I would be brown-nosing some influencers. I would strategically mention them in my post. (Making it relevant to whatever I was talking about, of course)

And while there are some that I did get some shares back from, there are some that I didn’t get diddly-squat back from. Even when I sent them a personal email and connected with them on social media. And I know they opened the email too because the program I used showed me that. But they didn’t even bothering replying or sharing.

It was frustrating. And the thing is … a lot of influencers are doing this.

I remember a popular blogger, a while back when he wasn’t popular, wrote a post about 3 authority bloggers. Darren Rowse, Jeremy Schoemaker and Brian Clark. And it was a fairly good post, really praising each of those guy and that blogger didn’t get a single comment from any of them — and I believe it wasn’t shared either.

Truly messed up.

But let me play devil’s advocate for a moment. Perhaps these influencers are looking out for their image. If you have a following of 200K people who think you’re the greatest thing since whatever, you would be cautious too on what you would share with your audience, wouldn’t you? If the content just isn’t good, even if you were mentioned in it, would you risk sharing that? Perhaps many influencers think that way.

Or how about this, maybe they don’t want to share because they like the fact that too many people are trying to piggy-back off their success. If you’re a popular blogger and each week you get 200 people mentioning you in post, chances are you wouldn’t promote them all either.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I link to authority bloggers. But certainly not all the time. And certainly not to the same one each time. But in a sense, I doing my own mini experiments to see who actually takes the time to share posts that they’re mentioned in. Those that do, are the ones that I want to build relationships with.

Excellent post here, Richard, and this post gave me an idea for a case study.

And I agree. I would like to hear Matthew’s response to this.

Have an awesome week.
Andrew M. Warner recently posted…How To Keep Your Readers Always Coming Back For MoreMy Profile

    Richard Martin - March 12, 2015

    Hello Andrew.

    Agreed – they are of course looking out for their image Andrew, and they can’t reciprocate for everyone, but this is precisely my point. Why do they call this a ‘strategy’ and post it to their audience when they know this already? And that is why I call it a false strategy, designed for them to benefit massively. It’s not for us, it’s for them.

    Of course, only a handful of readers would think ‘Hang on a minute, if there are loads of people doing this, it cannot work’. Whilst many will not think about it, jump the gun and take every word they say literally. Just like Freedom Blogger did in my example.

    Glad I gave you an idea for a case study!

    Thanks for commenting Andrew, appreciated it!

Mark Curtis - March 11, 2015

Hey Richard,

This post makes me laugh! Because all the while I was reading this, the one thing I kept thinking about was politics.

Some people are so ingrained in their political support for a certain party that they will promote and/or defend that party’s choices til the day they die. Right or wrong becomes irrelevant.

As you stated, linking to an “Authority Blogger” is fine, as long as it’s for the right reasons. But if you’re just going to be the “mouthpiece” for this person then, eventually, even your own readership will stop taking you seriously.

I don’t really see how this method can be successful (as you pointed out), but to each their own.

When I write a post, I look for areas that out-going links would make sense. I then find articles that match what I’m trying to communicate. If it’s to an authority blogger, then awesome! If not, who cares? As long as I’m getting my point across.

I follow up my post with an e-mail or a tweet to said blogger to let them know.

I never even thought of trying to get reciprocation. I’ve just always asked for permission. I communicate to them, just in case they would rather not be mentioned or to have the link removed.

Thanks for sharing,

Mark Curtis recently posted…Show Your Power in the Digital WorldMy Profile

    Richard Martin - March 12, 2015

    Hey Mark.

    Nice to see you again. That’s exactly the approach I take; as long as what I’m linking to is relevant and of good quality, I’ll link to anyone – doesn’t have to be an ‘authority’ at all. What you describe sounds like a genuine outreach campaign as well *thumbs up*

    Good point about politics lol 😀 Yep, these people will promote and defend no matter what.

    Thanks for your input Mark.

Ron Killian - March 12, 2015

Seems to me the thoughts in this post combined with the thoughts in “Authority Bloggers: 5 Secrets They Don’t Want You To Know” could lead to a better idea of smaller bloggers helping each other out, instead of trying to chase the so-called big guys.

Just a thought. Actually been running around in my brain for some time.
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Brandon - March 13, 2015

Howdi Richard.

You have a superb post here with some very valid points. 2 years ago I tried this very method to promote a product I had on Clickbank. I literally followed everything here, and got nowhere fast, and that’s when it flopped and I quit the online game.

It was a huge waste of time. Now looking to make a comeback with a blog, I wont be making the same mistake twice because as you say, you need to build yourself up on merit before doing anything else.

I admire your honesty Richard and I think if you keep being honest and telling it how it is (this is the 3rd post I read from you blog now) then you will find yourself as the person everyone wants to brown nose lol.

Peace out.

    Richard Martin - March 16, 2015

    Hi Brandon.

    Glad to hear you are giving things another go and you saw the error of your ways. All the best with it, and if you need any help, just ask!

    Thanks Brandon have a great day.

Kerry - March 14, 2015

Hi Richard,
This was a risky article to write. I was holding my breath the entire time, through the comments, to see if you received any backlash or if the blogger you speak of here took your reference to him in good humour.
I am only a year into this whole blogging scene, am still what is known as a beginner, so I don’t know what I’ve learned. I do know that I am in this for different reasons. I am a writer. I find it hard to imagine doing a lot of what it takes to make money from my blog. People tell me all the time how I should go about it, but it all feels disingenuous to me. I can’t do a lot of what it would take.
As for other bloggers and blogs, as soon as something feels unsettling to me I grow suspicious. I believe in authenticity and so much of what I see online, although claiming to be doing what they can to help others, feels self-serving in my opinion. Maybe this is me calling out my fellow bloggers.
I see a lot of the same thing that goes on in high schools everywhere. I see different groups, cliques, and those running in different circles with one another. I end up feeling as left out as I did when I was back in school. This leaves a bitter taste in my mouth. I decide to go back to focusing on my writing instead.
I do appreciate when another blogger does reach out to me and I have had some wonderful examples of it over the past year. I love to share a well-written and thought-provoking blog post when I come across one. I share all the time. I link back to another blog in my own, if it is relevant. I spent my one-year anniversary blog post thanking those who have influenced me. I love doing interviews and guests posts, on my own blog with another person or me on their blog. It can be highly rewarding.
I am also someone who avoids conflict and even one bad experience in this last year, an ugly exchange with someone online, it has soured me away from any controversy, but hopefully you have pointed out something worth mentioning here. I hate feeling looked down upon by a blogger who, just because they have several dozen comments and hundreds or thousands of followers, assumed they are more important and special. It is becoming all the more common online and I don’t like it.
Nobody is any better than the next person. A lot of the wisdom is nothing but a false smoke screen.
I look for the genuine personalities. I have a pretty good sense of people and have a relatively keen sense of character. I focus on those who seem real, not hiding behind anything.
This was an interesting post to read and hope you don’t get misunderstood by tyne wrong person, but sometimes it bears pointing out. Good for you for recognizing that.
Have a good weekend and I hope this comment wasn’t too long or off point.

    Richard Martin - March 17, 2015

    Hello Kerry.

    Thanks for the extremely valuable input you have provided here.

    Yep, the schoolyard mentality is here in the blogging world I’m afraid. People will look down on you, and dismiss you based on a number of factors that are similar to the school yard. Sad, but so true.

    I’m also more involved with seeking out the genuine people online. These are people that I feel come across as personable, and people who I would have no problem with meeting in person. I am the same as you in the fact that I believe I have a good sense of who a person really is, and whether or not they are putting up false smokescreens in order to get somewhere where they want to be.

    I’m just much more interested in genuine people, and for me that does not look at status or anything like that. Big blogger, small blogger, I will link to anyone who has good content and who is genuine. Unfortunately, a lot of people online don’t look past the status thing. Again, back to the schoolyard mentality.

    Excellent comment Kerry, thank you.

    Have a great week. 🙂

Carol Amato - March 16, 2015

Hello, Richard,

Well said, my friend – a very good resource on this important topic that has become an epidemic – I agree!

I’ve often been accused of leaving tons of money on the table because I’m taking the slow route to the top, but I want to keep a clear conscience so I do what I believe is right.

I’ve seen bloggers try their best to ‘fit in’ anchor text links to the million-dollar entrepreneurs every chance they get, and it appears that they’re being disingenuous.

I say ‘appears’ because I cannot judge their heart.

Remember when you mentioned about the ‘trick’ that marketers use about making a mistake for a link in an email, and then they send a correction email with the ‘correct’ link? And remember when I told you I’d done that and was mortified?

Of course, you understood, and agreed that sometimes that does happen.

Guess what?

It happened again about 10 days ago. I was in ActiveCampaign, which is a new platform for me, and it was late at night. I sent an email for a replay that was SUPPOSED to only go ONLY to paying members, but it got sent to everyone on my list because I clicked a wrong button. Ugh!

Did I test? Yep.

But I missed the section that showed how many recipients and thought I had segmented correctly. Totally my mistake.

As soon as that email landed in my Inbox, I absolutely died.

It ‘appeared’ as if I was trying to get my regular subscribers to click on the link, feel the pain from not being able to get in because they didn’t have log in credentials and then show curiosity for my membership. I was horrified because it looked like I was trying to trick them. I literally got tears in my eyes.

What did I do? Nothing. I did not send another email – I let it go.

Lesson? Don’t send email or do any type of business when it’s late at night and you’re dead tired!

So I said all that to say, sometimes you can’t lump everyone that appears like they fit in the mold you’re describing because some may have different motives.

Your article is excellent, and I agree wholeheartedly, but we judge actions, and not the intents of the heart.

Also, each person has a unique perspective. My opinion is not fact, it’s a perspective based on my experience and my journey.

You’ve given data to prove your point, which is the way to do it, Richard, because individuality makes the world go around and perspective is one thing, and data-driven results are another.

Awesome job!
Carol Amato recently posted…How to Use Piktochart to Create Your Own Infographics (and Save Money)My Profile

    Richard Martin - March 17, 2015

    Hi Carol.

    Thanks for your valuable input.

    I agree with your statement that we can’t lump everyone into the same mold and judge their heart. Nobody can do this. Some do have the absolute right intentions. Your example that you bring up about the emaily thing is great. And guess what, I did something similar recently too where it appeared I had sent an email to a list I have in the hope they would complete actions x, y or z. When in fact it was a completely sincere mistake to make (yep, it was late at night too!).

    Thanks so much for offering your perspective Carol which I found extremely valuable, we can’t judge everybody the same, and some are doing it with the right motive behind them.

    Have a great week ahead.

      Carol Amato - March 17, 2015

      Ah, you too?

      I hate when that happens – it really frames the person as a shyster. But anyone who really knows us knows that we would not do that. Mine was classic – send a link to a place that they cannot log into unless they pay! Ugh! 🙁

      Ended up doing nothing and letting it go so as to cause it to be forgotten quicker, but now I’m thinking I should have sent an apology with a gift, because nothing is overkill to regain trust.

      I work late because sometimes it’s the only quiet I get for work, but need to plan workarounds for this. I’m definitely not my best at night!

      Have a blessed day. 🙂

      Carol Amato recently posted…How To Stop Thieves Dead In Their TracksMy Profile

        Richard Martin - March 17, 2015

        Yep me too. And it was as simple as selecting the wrong list in GetResponse. So yep, my intention was good, just a mistake thats all, and proves it can happen to any of us, and as you say, we can’t fully judge their heart or their true intent.

        You too Carol.

Naomi Dinsmore - March 18, 2015

Hi Richard,

…Unpaid Backlinking Assistant… haha. You certainly have a way with words and obviously aren’t scared to name and shame!

I agree with what Don said and feel exactly the same…

“I always look for bloggers who serve the same audience I do but in a different way and connect with them for a while through their comments to see what kind of response I’m going to get.

I don’t care about the big boys and girls and they don’t care about me either. They have their networks that already help them. They certainly don’t perceive I can help them and that would be true and fair.

But the bloggers that I can help and can help me… that’s a win-win all day. At some point it becomes a two way street or I turn off head down another street”.

But I guess when you are new to the game you can get desperate and want to find a short cut.

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    Richard Martin - March 19, 2015


    Thanks for your comments.

    Yes, I don’t mince my words. It was a goal for 2015 to really speak out, and not let anything stop me. I think this post proves that.

    I agree, when people are new to the game, they try and take shortcuts – this is one of those shortcuts, albeit being led down the garden path.

    Thanks Naomi.

Frèderik Sïgporsson - March 18, 2015

The strategy did work for me no problems at all 🙂

Mi Muba - March 20, 2015

Hi Richard

Appreciate your sharing this post with very bold and upfront views on the topic.

Actually problem lies in definition of an influencer. It varies from blogger to blogger

Maybe an influencer to me is simple an ordinary blogger to you because everyone has his own standing in this field.

Here many bloggers pick the same influencer that is for John and Smith as well. So obviously Jon Morrow would not respond to me but he would love to respond to a blogger just a few step behind him in professional excellence.

So one needs to pick the bloggers a little better than him to get their support and then move ahead by taking one step up and up to reach the height.

Thanks a lot for sharing this very interesting post.
Mi Muba recently posted…You And Be A Money BloggerMy Profile

    Richard Martin - March 22, 2015

    Hi Mi,

    Thanks for your comments. I agree the definition of an influencer or an authority will differ from person to person.

    Mi – you say this: “So one needs to pick the bloggers a little better than him to get their support and then move ahead by taking one step up and up to reach the height”

    What I have said here is that one should build natural and meaningful relationships with bloggers who one respects, likes and trusts – however many steps they are in front is immaterial.

Kimsea Sok - March 23, 2015

Thanks for sharing..! Honestly, I would admit that this is really nice and unique article what I ever read about blogging and online business.

Actually, I am not so clear about what you are trying to explain me in the but I could recognize sometime useful in your tips.
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    Richard Martin - March 25, 2015

    Thanks Kimsea!

    Basically I am saying that some bloggers will try and use authority bloggers to get where they want to be – by doing everything they can to get noticed in the hope that they will become friends with the authority blogger, and the authority blogger will introduce them to a much bigger audience.

Kimsea Sok - March 23, 2015

Thanks for sharing..! Honestly, I would admit that this is really nice and unique article what I ever read about blogging and online business.

Actually, I am not so clear about what you are trying to explain me in the but I could recognize sometime useful in your tips.

It is that you talk about Authority Bloggers. I would agree with you. Many people listen to the authority bloggers and spread what their word such as linked to their content from various articles and different blogs.

Sure that is unpaid backlinks assistants. LOL.
Kimsea Sok recently posted…How to Start Best Small Business With BloggingMy Profile

Philip Verghese Ariel - March 26, 2015

Hi Richard,
Indeed this is a bit controversial one!
But you brought it very well for a discussion with that life experience of dog story, ‘The Bagman’ etc…
Being an ex police officer you have the guts to bring out the truth and tell it on face! I appreciate that! Of course I believe that you will not take these lines as a brown nose personality!!! LOL
Coming to the point, yes, i have noticed many who said lot about such people with nothing in return! Alas! the intention was good but the result was not!!
Anyways, this post will be an eye opener to such people, one thing is for sure that, almost all newbies in this field will surely think on that line to get into the arena of such so called pro bloggers, but sad to note that on the run they miserably fail and the other side always win by some extra mileage!
In the initial time of my blogging i too faced or noticed such situations where many involved in it, but in the long run i learned a lot in this issue. But, Richard i slightly differ with the percentage you mentioned, I mean there are some exceptions to this, some even respond, of course that is a meager one but I doubt that on that percentage level you mentioned.
Anyways, Thanks for bringing out such a thought provoking piece.
Keep writing,
Yes, the authority will come on time if one is on the right track with right motive and of course with the effort you put in with your stuffs.
Have a great day
Hey, I found this post at kingged.com and I up-voted it,
~ Philip
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    Richard Martin - March 28, 2015

    Thanks for the kind comments Phillip.

    I think laying down the truth is the only way to go. I class myself as a truthful marketer, I don’t ever pretend anything is easy, maybe to the detriment of my blog and even my earnings. People believe something, and then someone tells them the truth and they go against that person. They would rather go with the person who is telling them what they want to hear, rather than the person who is telling what they need to hear.

    Thanks for the comments Phillip.

Ryan Biddulph - March 29, 2015

Hi Richard,

Really good points here!

Genuine. Authentic. These words ring true for me.

If you link in to pros, promote them freely, and do so here and there, you only pop up on their radar if you do so to genuinely benefit your audience, and yep, yourself too 😉

The thing is, these big dawgs see through brownosers. Can smell them a mile away.

Don mentioned Chris Brogan promoting me. I patiently, and authentically, wanted to be the guy’s friend. 99.9% of folks want to use Chris to leverage their presence, solely. Which is why he ignores 99.9% of folks who do lazy stuff, like just linking in a bunch of times, and hitting a tweet button, without building the intimate bonds, or without spending hundreds of hours leaving comments on their blogs.

I spent as much time on Brogan’s blog as mine for a few months…LOL!….so naturally, this guys says: ya know, that Ryan buy is helpful, kind, and pretty handsome too (that’s a joke), so since he lives a neat life, and since he’s promoted me, and since he’s spent countless hours commenting on my blog, I’m gonna endorse that guy.

If you receive a pro endorsement, a real high roller, you really had to bust your ass to do it, and I honestly worked like a dog to build up a friendship with the guy, to where he endorsed me. A few links and retweets ain’t cutting it lol 😉

Thanks Richard for setting the record straight!

Tweeting from Bali.

Ryan Biddulph recently posted…How to Become an Influential Blogger in 6 Months or Less (New eBook on Amazon)My Profile

    Richard Martin - April 4, 2015

    Hi Ryan.

    You got it spot on. You like Chris? You think you can connect with him personally? You rate his content? That’s true relationship building, without having one eye on what he could do for you.

    And you are right, a few tweets and a few comments just won’t cut the mustard in this game, it’s all about being genuine, genuine, genuine.

    Thanks for the insight Ryan.

Rajah Siwale - March 30, 2015

Got this through kingged.com and I am glad I did. I am brand new blogger- just starting and almost totally clueless. ‘Brown Nosing’ was one of my top intended traffic building methods, and I am glad you have exposed it before hand. It all seemed so innocent and beneficial but I guess it isn’t.

    Richard Martin - April 4, 2015

    I’m glad I saved you the time, effort and energy Rajah – look to build natural relationships, and couple ot with top quality content and you will build traffic naturally.

    Thanks for commenting.

Income Report - Smart Income Detective February 2015 - April 4, 2015

[…] posts I did publish went down really well. At the start of the month, I published a post on brown nosing in the blogging world. If you haven’t read it yet, I advise you to do so now, so you don’t fall into a trap […]

Chery Schmidt - April 16, 2015

Hello Richard, I love how you are so honest about this subject and YES their are those brown nosers everywhere HUH?

I have learned a long time ago you scratch my back I will scratch yours and I do believe this is the same here with blogging.

Just get yourself out there and start visiting and leaving Awesome comments, get engaged in all the conversations then truly go out there and share what you just learned, YOU will get more attention then BROWN NOSING Anyday!

Loved this article, Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))
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    Richard Martin - April 17, 2015

    Hi Chery, thanks for your comments.

    Absolutely agreed 100% – that technique you describe is all about being authentic, and that is the only way to go. Being authentic and building real friendships and relationships will naturally unlock doors, there’s no need to go brown nosing anyway.

    Thanks Chery.


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