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?
WHAT IS A BROWN NOSED BLOGGER?
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.
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.
BROWN NOSED BLOGGER EPIDEMIC
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.
A COMPLETELY FLAWED STRATEGY
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:
A SAMPLE STAT THAT SHOWS THIS FLAWED STRATEGY
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:
THE WEIGHT OF BALANCE
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
THE REASON BEHIND THIS POST
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.
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
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:
- How many other bloggers have seen this and are doing the exact same thing for Matthew?
- 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?
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?
THIS STRATEGY WILL WORK FOR…
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.
A GENUINE OUTREACH CAMPAIGN
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"
WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON THIS?
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,