Guest Blogging, Mark Schaefer, and Influency Marketing

Are you writing blog posts for other web sites, spending that time in the hope that you can attract enough traffic to yours to make it worthwhile? This ‘guest blogging’ has been a popular way for lesser-known people to build their web sites’ Influency for a few years, and had benefits for both sides. Article creators got traffic and the sites where their articles live sow their content farms. Win/Win!

Stop it. Stop it RIGHT NOW.

Last week, I came across a very thoughtful piece on this subject at Mark Schaefer’s {grow} business marketing blog. Mark asked his community whether they thought guest blogging was—or still was—a viable way of {grow}ing traffic.

Mark Schaefer is one of the great marketing minds around today. I’ve mentioned him here several times, he’s commented here in response, and I’ve done so at {grow}. Mark Schaefer suggested a couple of years back that SEO was an evil practice, and I objected. He’s pointed out, correctly, that the whole point of marketing and other types of blogging is to engage people. He’s a really smart guy. Listening to Mark makes me think.

And I mean to take absolutely nothing away from that statement with what follows.

Mark Schaefer seems to have devolved his way of thinking to a point that matches something I first commented on when an editor at C|Net scolded me for being self-promotional, nearly four years ago. And when I weighed in on the story at {grow} last week Mark deleted my comment (he told me so this morning). In fact, this was the third time something I wrote at {grow} has been deleted, although the first two (here and here) went away when {grow}’s commenting system, rather than Mark Schaefer himself, flagged them. Here’s the comment that Mark deleted from {grow}’s discussion on guest blogging:

Are we talking potatoes or potahtoes?

If you have no time or
If you have traffic already or
If you have a community built

then of course spending your time on someone else’s stuff is a bad idea.


If you spend time posting YOUR stuff to twitter, facebook, et al , you’re already ‘guest blogging’, even if you think you’re doing something innocuous. I’m talking time, effort, value to them vs you, everything

For that matter, the very fact that I’m writing this, now, here, is an example of that. Do I hope people will come visit and thereby make this worth my effort? You bet.

So there’s no answer. Seriously. BUT: if I had to fall on one side or the other, then after you eliminate what I started this comment with, the answer is any time you spend on anything media-wise that isn’t directly under your control is a bad idea.

Now click the link, people, or I will have wasted my time …

Think about the topic. Think about the position I took in the comment—and am taking now. Think, by all means, about the link back to Answer Guy Central that I embedded and also that I tried to weave all of that and my not-always-obvious sense of humor into the comment. And then ask yourself whether, as Mark told me, the comment comes off as ‘overtly self-serving’ (the italics are mine).

Let me repeat that I’m not picking on Mark Schaefer and that {grow} is a worthwhile read. The point of today’s post is that as the Internet evolves we all need to think hard about the way we build content and create Influency, and that ultimately, you must embrace the ‘more is better’ element of coopetition. Mark, I added to your content, and I’m no threat to poach your clients.

But that said, let’s remember that Influency and Integrated Marketing involve many elements, and the original question at {grow} was whether you should be blogging in a way that helps others more than it helps you. And for now and the foreseeable future the answer is no, you should not.

Want to talk Influency? Me too.

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