Article by Charlie Wright
Evil! Stupid! Vile!
These have been some of the accusations I’ve seen levelled at sploggers.
If you’ve not heard the term before, I’ll explain…
A splogger uses special software to create dozens – or even hundreds – of automated blogs.
No harm in that right?
Well no… except for one teeny weeny thing…. wily Mr Splogman doesn’t use his own material. His software sucks the content from other people’s blogs and splashes it onto HIS blogs in a random fashion.
That’s right. The Mr Splogger doesn’t credit the source. There’s no link back to the original website or article. Instead he uses the stolen material to push his blogs up the search engine rankings… and fills these pages with google or yahoo adverts…
Every time anyone clicks on one of these, he makes money.
(By the way, I am sure there are FEMALE sploggers, but I’m using the masculine here so you can imagine him as some Jack The Ripper with an evil laugh, twirly moustache and top hat.)
So how much money can a splogger make?
The profit margin is small. The sites themselves are a mess and ultimately useless. They rely on the sheer volume of visitors, hoping for the occasional click.
A fully automated splog would probably make around £5 a month… depending on how good you are at getting the page up the rankings. But this would become worth it if you do it on a grand scale.
A thousand splogs could generate £5K a month, which is a handsome amount of money….
—— “Er, hold your horses, Charlie… you’re an internet writer and publisher… yet you seem to be RECOMMENDING splogs?”
Aha – good question – you’ve caught me out.
But you know what? I am all for people using initiative, being cheeky and making money.
To me, the internet is like the Wild West. It’s an exciting lawless land of opportunity and danger. I quite like the idea of opportunist cowboys roaming cyberspace, scalping the blogs of hard working writers.
Yes, yes, I know, I’m a contrary old sod. If there’s the ‘wrong thing’ to be said, I’ll say it.
My wife accuses me of having a form of “Opinion Tourette’s”… where I can’t help but blurting out my controversial views… usually at weddings, dinner parties and other inappropriate places.
The upshot is…I’m not as against the splogging idea as you might think.
That said… I don’t think it’s a particularly GOOD business and I wouldn’t recommend it.
Firstly, you’re ripping people off, which over time will rot your soul and lose you sleep/hair/self-respect. Secondly, you’re doing something that has almost ZERO point or job satisfaction. It’s boring, mindless technological skullduggery.
And finally, look at what you end up with. These splogs are – essentially – a load of cr*p slattered on a page. Don’t know about you, but I like to take pride in what I do.
But there is a way of using what I call the ‘Splogging Principle’ to make ethical money and run a proper little part-time business.
In fact, my OmegaProgramme students use this principle in an ethical fashion. I made it part of my programme because it allows ANYONE to set up an information email newsletter and blog without having special expertise.
How to piggyback ride on other people’s expertise and research!
What you do is this…
You visit a bunch of people’s blogs and websites every day. You collect all the most interesting information and bundle it onto a Word document. You then use this raw material for your blog or newsletter. Rather than pass it off as your own, you report on what you’ve discovered.
You can quote from these websites… describe the ideas… pass on the news… as long as you do three things:
1. Credit the source – that means you say where you saw the information, who wrote it, and you supply a link to that site.
2. Avoid plagiarism… like the plague. Don’t take large chunks of text and replicate them as if they were your own. Don’t quote large sections of an article. Don’t pass other people’s unique views or discoveries off as your own.
3. Use a wide variety of sources. Don’t ride off the back of one person’s blog or website every time. Use fifty or more sources over the year. That will spread it out nicely.
Done sensitively, you CAN create an online business by borrowing from other people’s expertise.
Many people will thank you for it. I’ve let plenty of people quote from my newsletters, and even take whole issues for their website. As long as I’m credited and my website link is in there, I’m happy to let people spread the word.
For me it’s free advertising, for the blogger or writer it’s free copy.
This method is superior to splogging in every way. What you’ll end up with is a blog, newsletter or website filled with USEFUL information.
And if you update your website twice a week for 6 months, just watch what happens…
As if by magic… you’ll start climbing up those google rankings!
Why? Because search engines LOVE a unique, topical, regularly updated website packed with freebie content.
This really is THE best long-term list technique I know.
When you start up an online business, don’t panic too much about SEO and adwords and all those techniques that internet marketers rave about.
Yes, if you’re starting out you need them at first to kick-start your list before your website gets going. And yes, they’re something to do alongside your other strategies.
But ultimately, the best way to grow a business is to keep filling your website with valuable content.
…Make each issue of your blog or newsletter as newsworthy and topical as you can. This keeps you in with Google.
…Mention specific people, products and events so that when people search for these things you magically appear.
…Get onto social networks like Facebook so your presence is far-reaching… in a sense you ‘get yourself known’ around Google town. (Or ‘put it about’ a bit).
…Get 500 word articles onto directories. These will be used by other ethical blogger and newsletter types who will legally take your article, reproduce it, and give you some valuable leads in return.
…Do as many link swaps with other similar sites as you can… get in touch and offer to recommend their website if they do the same for you.
…Get your hands on a product… create your own, take a resale rights product you’ve got hanging about… or find a public domain book and repackage it. Then get other publishers and bloggers to sell it for you. You can then direct those customers to your own freebie blog / newsletter / website. Even if you let the publisher take most or ALL the profit from the sale, it’s worth it for the new people you get on board.
This is pretty much my entire online marketing strategy in a nutshell. Apologies if you thought I had secret list building weapons that I was keeping from the world. Anyone who claims this is probably talking tosh.
The simple approach is best in my opinion. And the above steps are something you can do without any special software, marketing skills or investment.
If you THEN want to up your game a bit with some clever SEO techniques, then by all means do so. The wider you cast your net the better. And if you’re ambitious to crank up the profits, this is how to do it.