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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Dealing with promo requests

One of the perils of blogging, if you wish to call it that way, is having to deal with emails from organizers/promoters/individuals who write with great passion about their event/product/service, followed by a request that you write a post about the same, letting more people know about that unique product/service/event.

If you’ve been blogging regularly for some time I am sure you have got few mails of this nature. This kind of unsolicited mails are otherwise known as SPAM, but due to certain differences listed below, I hesitate to call these mails as SPAM. The reasons:

  • While spammers send their mails to millions, knowing very well that success rate is very low due to aggressive spam filters, these promoters target a small group of people, primarily bloggers.
  • Spammers never respond to your mails-these people often do
  • Spammers use automated means to mail-these people often do it manually, sometime spending extra time and effort to address you by your name and even write a few good words about your blogs.
  • While there’ll be nothing useful in spam mails, the product/event/service promo mails by individuals will have at least some substance and at times might be even worth blogging about.
  • On the other side of the mail I see an enthusiastic individual who has ventured into something- a website or an event or a product/service etc and is hoping that more people get to know about his venture. With budget being tight, mailing few bloggers in hope of some publicity is the simplest and cost free thing he can do. If I was in his shoes, turning to fellow bloggers is probably the first thing that would come to my mind too…
  • Most of the mails begin with 'this is not a SPAM'..! Few explicitly request for a blog post on it, others hesitate to ask directly, but hint at that indirectly...
So with due respects to such promotional requests, I don’t treat them at par with SPAM, but we bloggers will have our own limitations-we just can’t keep entertaining each and every request that comes our way. That will dilute the quality of our blogs and with no gains involved (financial or otherwise) we won’t have any motive to give free publicity to someone else’s event/product services. At times certain products/services will not have enough relevance/significance to our readers or it may not go well with our ideology/principles. We’ll have to use our discretion to assess which of these is really worth sharing with our readers.

Viewing it from another angle, this kind of mails can be an indirect measure of your popularity as a blogger. If more and more people approach you seeking publicity for their initiative, then that is an indication that people are taking you seriously. What do you say?

Giving a quick mention to few mails I got recently about certain products/services-I am not paid to write this and I neither endorse nor recommend these products- Have a look at the description, if sounds interesting you can go ahead and give it a try.

Meridhun.com- Bollywood song customization site
This website lets you replace keywords in a bollywood song lyrics and the site will generate the song for you, at a fee of Rs 99 per song (recent songs under premium category costs more,Rs 275). For example, you can take ‘Kabhi kabhi Aditi…’ song of Jaane Tu and replace Aditi with ‘XYZ’, where XYZ can be name of your wife/daughter/sister/mother/girlfriend etc. You can give a pleasant surprise to them by playing this song in a party etc. That should be worth the money. (On registration you get one song worth Rs 99 free)

Also I noticed that this site is using an innovative mechanism- usually when you sign up at a website you get mails from ids like info@abc.com or webmaster@xyz.com or no-reply@sitename.com indicating that your account is created/needs to be activated by clicking a link or sending you a welcome note. In case of Meridhun, they are sending automated mails under female names- priyanka@meridhun.com sends you a mail asking you to click on the link to activate your account, Anita sends a welcome note, some other lady sends a promotional mail- all are auto generated mails sent under Indian female names…May be an attempt to give a personal touch or may be a cheap trick to fool men.

Another site for music creators: Muziboo.com

But I feel they should give out a sample for free- say atleast the title lines and a stanza, so that people can verify if the replaced name syncs properly. (For example, in place of ‘Aditi’ if I insert a very long name such as ‘Annapoorneshwari’ I am sure the beauty of the song will get spoilt- If people realize this after paying for the song, they are going to feel bad-will be good if they can hear the title lines for free and then pay for the full song.

Ajay Podar
http://www.ajaypodar.com/gallery.php
Ajay has photographs for sale- at a whopping price of Rs 30,000-Rs 40,000, which is termed ‘modest’ in his mail. Well, the photos look good, but not sure if they are worth 30k each- may be affordable to rich people and corporates who want to cover their walls with nice paintings. Nothing much artistic in it either. I like photos of Amogha Varsha and Arun Bhat slightly better.

Createonlinebuzz.com- A site similar to the Pay-per-Post concept which several bloggers had subscribed sometime back, before Google started penalizing such sites. Createonlinebuzz is a similar service which offers to pay you for your posts about certain products or services, if you write it as per their guidelines. But be warned, subscribing to this concept can be dangerous for the reputation of your blog, in the eyes of a reader, as well as that of search engines. I replied them saying “I don’t want to publish a post about your products in my blog, as this idea is not acceptable to search engines and majority of readers- I’ll compose the article and give it to you-you can publish anywhere you want”- I didn’t get a reply. Also at this point createonlinebuzz doesn’t seem to have enough inventory of products to ask you blog about. It is not sure how much they will pay per post (they charge Rs 900 per post from advertiser, even a 50% of that, if passed on to bloggers should be a decent amount, and a nofollowed link should be fine with Google as well as advertiser)

GluTV is another service which promises live streaming of various TV Channels
Maja Maadi Radio- A kannada online radio by SN Abhishek
Play MAJA MAADI RADIO by clicking on the play button

Other similar posts-Failcamp-MAD-IGF *
Thank you chief minister *

3 comments :

Sandesh said...

Instead of asking successful bloggers to write about their product, they can get ideas from them to make their product reach more people. Generous bloggers do support in that respect with all the knowledge they have i guess. =)

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Sandesh,

It is easier to write a post about their product than explaining them "ideas to make their product reach more people".. :)

What say?

ray said...

Hi,

I was reading ur blog posts and found some of them to be very good.. u write well.. Why don't you popularize it more.. ur posts on ur blog ‘eNidhi: A professional amateur’ took my particular attention as some of them are interesting topics of mine too;

BTW I help out some ex-IIMA guys who with another batch mate run www.rambhai.com where you can post links to your most loved blog-posts. Rambhai was the chaiwala at IIMA and it is a site where users can themselves share links to blog posts etc and other can find and vote on them. The best make it to the homepage!

This way you can reach out to rambhai readers some of whom could become your ardent fans.. who knows.. :)

Cheers,