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The First Linkbait of 2008 – Talking About Linkbait

It only took a few hours for us to begin another feast on some linkbait. This time, it’s linkbait about linkbait. From Scoble…

Remember the learnings I put up yesterday. What was one of the key themes that I learned in 2007? That if you want traffic you must cause the metaphorical equivalent of a traffic wreck, right? Remember my seven Amazon Kindle videos? Here, let’s look at them again. Note which one got the most views: the one where I was a real jerk. This isn’t by accident. Human beings are attracted to conflict as stories.

UPDATE: This post is in reaction to this post by Scott Karp which was in reaction to how Gawker Media now pays its bloggers.

Me and Mike Arrington shaking hands at a party? No audience attention.
Me and Mike Arrington yelling at each other at a party? Audience gathers around.

So the question is. Is it linkbait if you’re talking about linkbait? Or is that just a clever way to say it’s not linkbait when it really is?

Robert, good luck to you in the new year with your plan to be less negative. I think that is a good idea, for you, and for others.

What I will say though, is that you are an established brand in your space. For new bloggers and industry people, they sometimes have to go the negative route to build an audience quicker. We’ve all done it. The questions are, how often should we do it and how long before we should stop doing it?

I’m done with it as a tactic, but sometime, you know, you just get cheesed off and have to be an asshat.

More: Dan Blank, Mathew Ingram, Scott Karp.

You Want Short-Term Traffic, Or Long-Term Trust & Respect For Your Blog?

Here’s your Kukral blog tip o’ the day. You can’t fake or quick-hit your way into being a “big time blog”. There is no quick road other than to provide high-quality content consistently over time, while building respect and trust.

Here’s what you shouldn’t do, and I’m sorry to have to do this because I recently added this blog to my blogroll because I noticed it was everything I mentioned above. Yet now, it’s going down a path that won’t work for me.

Sorry Mark at 45n5.com, but you are losing me. Here’s why.

#1 Reason Your Blog Is Almost Off My Blogroll: Blog Attacks With No Merit

You attacked a respected industry person without merit. Now don’t get me wrong, attacking respected industry people is something I have done as well, and it works. However, you can ONLY do it when you’re right and can back up your case. What you’re claiming to Sam is crapola, and a very transparent attempt to get yourself some controversial traffic.

The problem is, again, controversial traffic is great, if you can back up your points, and you’re only concerned about short-term hits. If you want long-term readers, this is not the way to go.

45n5.jpg#2 Reason Your Blog Is Almost Off My Blogroll: Don’t Try To Fool Your Readers

You’re gaming your stats to try and fool me and your readers. So, all of a sudden your blog is ranked #1 in Alexa, you charge $10k for a Reviewme review, and you have 368k feed subscribers? We all know how to game those stats and that’s what you did. Your sitemeter stats show you have 73 visits a day.

I ask why? What do you gain by trying to fool readers into believing something that isn’t true? Don’t make the mistake of thinking that deception is successful marketing and branding, it’s not.

Advice: Decide What You Want Your Blog To Be & Stick With It

Then live with the consequences of your choice. I see what you’re doing. You’re trying to hyper-grow your readership though some of the oldest blog tricks in the book. Believe me, I know, because I’ve used them all, and they work, however, excessive over-use of them will define what your blog and you become.

Know what I’ve learned since having been blogging since 2001? Long term, that strategy won’t work, assuming you want to build a long-term brand and trust level in your community. Chose wisely is all I’m saying.

I’m hoping to keep you on my blogroll because until today your blog was winning with me. What’s it gonna be?