How Do You Bait Without Looking Stupid?

Dan Thies wrote a number last week titled Link Building: Are Bloggers a Bunch of Morons?, a title that got one of his foreign readers a little riled up. The intent of the title is plain as grey, but does it get the job done? Don’t cry wolf unless there’s really a wolf, and don’t fret over a wrinkle on your forehead. In Shoemoney’s case (a post that got at least 557 sites buzzing), the wolf was plentyoffish. At the end of the day, his post got more people questioning his own credibility than Markus Frind (one guy at Threadwatch asked: “Who is Shoemoney anyway?”, to which SEObook jokingly replied: “I don’t know Shoemoney. He is one of DaveN’s friends.”). In Dan’s case, the wolf is natural links of pure hate. What’s that?

When a blogger cleverly links to Microsoft’s web site with words like “evil empire” in the text of the link, they think they’re sticking it to the man, but they’re actually passing link love to the man.

Is that really a wolf? Or is it a rat in my girlfriend’s closet? If the point of Dan’s post is linking to sites you hate is dumb - I’m not sure what else to take away from it — isn’t that like telling a 9-ball A player to chalk up after every shot?

When you shine a spotlight on yourself, deliver a good rendition of Stairway to Heaven, not a “yo momma was so ugly, she looked out the window and got arrested for mooning.”

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2 Responses to “How Do You Bait Without Looking Stupid?”

  1. I think it’s a rat in your girlfriend’s closet… that post came out of a chance meeting with another blogger at a bar. If I’d really wanted a bunch of links for it, I would have described the blogosphere as “one big circle jerk,” which is what I say in private, or when I meet some doofus at a bar who thinks he’s going to destroy Microsoft by starting a free grass roots link building campaign for them.

  2. Hey Dan, thanks for the back story. It’s been a long while since I’ve been to a bar, and as silly as it sounds, I miss having ridiculous conversations with perfect strangers at 3 in the morning.

    Anyway, I never understood why people get all worked up over Microsoft. You’re also not far off about the blogsphere being one big circle jerk. I wasn’t implying you were looking for a bunch of links though. I was basically getting my feet wet with linkbaiting with this post, trying to stir up conversation by being a little edgy and provocative (at your expense, sorry). I’m glad at least I got someone to comment.

    BTW, I tried a similar post with another blogger in my niche, and he wasn’t as generous with his response as you, which makes me wonder if its worth pulling people’s chains when trying to create buzz.

    On the other hand, I praised a blog I regularly read in one of my posts without having any kind of linkage or buzz in mind. Ya know, I just like reading her blog so I linked to it. Last night, I was surprised to find she left me a nice comment about how she discovered I was pimping her blog.

    Still, Ann Coulter made it to #1 on NYTime’s best seller list by baiting the public with her 9/11 widows comment, so in the end, I’m not sure where I stand on pulling people’s chain. I guess like I said in my post, do it if you see a wolf, not a rat.

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