Yesterday I posted an article about affiliate marketing and the underhanded, despicable lies they use in their come-on websites to hook gullible people into buying worthless products.
Surprisingly, this post attracted a flurry of new followers:
- Online Health Offers
- Net Millionaire Dudes
- Online Arts Marketing
- Digital Tools For You
- Motivated to Lose Weight
- Marketing Trends Secrets
- Digital Marketing Blog Updates
- Set Up Multiple Income Streams
- Create Your Own Lifestyle Online Business
- Three “empty” blogs
- Marketer’s Handbook
- Lose Fat in 21 Days
- … and three empty blogs, placeholders for who knows what.
Clearly the keywords that triggered this inrush were “Marketing” and “Weight Loss.” Now, I’d like to think that all of these “fine people” were interested in what I have to say, but every single one of these was clearly out to promote their own product/scheme/system/scam, take your choice.
For what it’s worth, all of these were deleted this morning, just on general principles, but I have one very persistent follower, a cryptocurrency hawker, who came back five times before he finally gave up.
I can only assume that they think the more blogs they follow, the greater the likelihood that others will follow them automatically. In the case of WordPress, every time someone follows my blog, I get an email like this:
[Blogger] just started following you at http://playingintheworldgame.com. They will receive an email every time you publish a post. Congratulations.
You might want to go see what they’re up to! Perhaps you will like their blog as much as they liked yours!
The fact that WordPress tacitly enables this behavior ¹ is a bit disappointing, but in a perfect world where there were no spammers, it would not be a bad thing. I wouldn’t mind at all if like-minded individuals followed my blog or liked my posts, and I would be more inclined to go see what they had to say about relevant topics. Sadly, the vast majority of my current 1,578 followers never interact with my posts, so I can only assume they are – if not outright fakes – simply promoting their own schemes.
Fortunately, I’m not writing this blog for the purpose of making money, so I really don’t lose any sleep over how many people follow me; a lot of my posts are a form of public service announcement, placed out there so that people who are investigating potential scams can be warned and save their money. If people find me, and occasionally they do, then I’m satisfied.
The Old Wolf has spoken.
¹ The referenced article is 7 years old, but interestingly still entirely relevant. WordPress is a good platform, but they obviously have to monetize, and also have to live in a world where less-than-reputable people will do whatever it takes to increase their own exposure. It’s an ongoing conundrum.