Promoting Vs. Spamming – What's the Difference?

There is a fine line between promoting your content and spamming your content. Both will end up getting you more page views, but one will give you viral views that keep coming back for more and build a solid readership slowly, while the other will end up hurting your page views and might even get you kicked off some sites.

So how can you tell the difference between spamming and promoting?

It’s a fine line sometimes to be sure.

It’s acceptable although rather gauche to add all your family and close friends to your subscribers list. However, it is spam to add someone you do not personally know or whose permission you have not received. Believe it or not, I’ve had several CPs add me, based on my email they find online, and I start getting published notices for them. I don’t subscribe to CPs through the AC subscribe method, but rather have their feeds on my feed reader and read new articles that way. Much easier for me to keep up with. This way, though, if I get a publish notice from a CP, I know I did not add myself to their list.

No one has asked me for permission to do this – thus, adding my email and name to a subscriber list is spamming me. I detest spam and get very irritated with those who choose to spam – so one sure-fired way to get me to STOP reading your content is to spam me with your links. I’m sure there are others who feel similar about it.

I’m sure many of you have heard that putting links up on forums is a good way to get the word out about your articles. Well, they CAN be provided a couple of things 1) the link should be relevant to the conversation on the forum and 2) you should be an active participant on the forum doing something other than just dropping links.

I run a forum for writers, and I will remove people who come in and do nothing but drop links, and if they are not relevant links, I’ll ban them. Fortunately, I’ve only had to do this twice, but I know other forum operators who frequently have to deal with spam signups – it’s not nice, it’s not professional, and it’s a good way to get you banned.

DIGG and Slashdot and Stumble are all great sites, but you have to be careful how you promote on those site. Again, they want active participants, not spammers. To keep from being considered a spammer, you have to participate – that means use them as the social networking sites they are, share, and be sure to put up things other than JUST your own work and JUST AC things. I have had a blast with some of the stuff I’ve found on the DIGG weird news section – browse through and leave a few comments and have a few laughs.

If someone asks a question on a question site or on a blog, it’s okay to answer the question with a brief answer and then give them a link to more information by linking to an article of yours that answers the question. The big BUT in this though is that you should always give a little information, introduce yourself, partially answer the question – SOMETHING other than just dropping the link.

Promoting doesn’t require spamming and in fact, spamming will end up hurting your page views in the long-run. The best bet for you is to write evergreen content with great keywords, good SEO, and promote where appropriate.

Don’t spam.

Just don’t do it. Trust me, spammers might get a lot up front immediately for their efforts, but the real writer who really wants to make good money and to be read will build up their readership slowly but surely, with people who will keep coming back from more. It might take a little more time than spamming, but you have a solid readership that you know you earned!