Puh-Lease Don’t Ask Me to Check Out Your Blog

December 12, 2011

Whenever I get an email or auto-DM after following someone on Twitter (big no-no in itself) that asks me to check out their blog or Facebook page or whatever, I automatically delete.

Yup, that’s right. A big, fat DELETE.

Not only have I not checked out your blog, you’re now on my I’m-not-interested list. Which means I’ll probably never check it out. Double whammy.

Talk to the hand.

Why? Because you shouldn’t tell me to check out your blog. Instead, you should lure me there.

When you tell me — or even ask me — to check out your blog, it feels forced. It feels like a chore. It makes you look like you’re desperate for readers. It puts you in the red automatically, which means your blog has to be that much more awesome to impress whoever you asked to visit.

If, however, you lure me there on my own accord, I’m checking you out because I want to. Then, if I’m pleasantly surprised, I’ll contact you, interact with you, maybe even become a loyal member of your community.

The bottom line is, no one wants to check out your blog just because it helps you. They want to check it out if it helps them.

So how do you lure someone to your blog or Twitter feed or wherever you want them to go? A few ideas:

  • Make it easy to get there. Post the links to all of your social media channels prominently on your blog. If I’m interested in you, I shouldn’t have to hunt you down. Ironically, the people who ask others to check out their stuff are often the same people who don’t make it easy to find those links if you happen to stumble upon their blog.
  • Add the link to your email signature. This is a subtle, not-in-your-face way of telling people you interact with where they can find you. But please, get rid of the beggar’s message! Don’t say “please visit my blog” — the value there is for YOU. Make it valuable for the reader. Either succinctly say what value they’ll find if they go to that link, or simply offer the name of your blog with the link. For example, here’s a screen shot of my signature; I switch it up whenever I have a new product I want people to know about.

  • Make yourself look interesting. This is, by far, the best way to lure people to your site. Who doesn’t love discovering bloggers they can relate to? Make yourself interesting, and people will follow you to the ends of the earth. And don’t forget that interest can come in the form of value. What will a reader find on your blog that will help them get where they want to be?
  • Interact. Um, yes, it’s that easy. On Twitter, @reply or RT the person you want to notice you. Play the same notice-me game on Facebook by tagging pages. Or simply write the person an email asking a question about their business or offering to help them. Don’t make the email all about you and the community you’re trying to build online; remember, this is all about value. Why should the person you’re writing to care about what you’re up to? How does it help them?

So whatdoyathink? Anybody planning to retool their email signature or next email or Twitter DM?

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19 Replies to “Puh-Lease Don’t Ask Me to Check Out Your Blog”

  • Great tips that I couldn’t agree more with! I hate hate hate auto DMs.

  • AJ says:

    Amen!

    The auto-DM is nothing more than spam.

  • Has there been a rash of bad DM’s lately? Or are we all getting fed up at the same time? I completely agree! So much that I wrote about this recently myself! I think I’ll try to go back and sneak in a link to your post somewhere.

  • Susan says:

    Couldn’t agree more. In one auto DM I received, the person asked me to fill out a survey on their Web site! Totally the wrong approach. If you can’t figure out what to write about on your web site, why should I have to tell you?

  • I so totally agree! AutoDMs are spam. “Auto” is the absolute opposite of “social” media.
    Usually, AutoDMs link to something that was already on the user’s profile, and that I saw when I chose to follow them. So for them to spam me with a DM that assumes that I did NOT see that (i.e. they assume that I am not “social”, that I just auto-followed them) almost always makes me auto-UNfollow!
    Same with tweets that just say “Please like my Facebook page.” Sounds desperate and needy. Sorry, but no…

  • All good tips. I also do not respond to requests for retweeting, reposting, mentioning, or any of the other shameless ploys. As you say, when the post speaks to the reader, it will get noticed and all of those things will happen organically.

  • Cat York says:

    Whatsa DM? Lol! This is how clueless I am about networking!

  • Red Hunt says:

    Agree 100%. I am all for integration of digital messages but you need to allow people to choose or, as you say, lure them, to be interested in all the ‘places’ you are. I usually chalk up auto DMs to someone’s inappropriate effort at trying to connect…so I let them fly by.
    However – I am rarely logged into Facebook when I am on Twitter, so more annoying to me is people who tweet a link – to Facebook – that isn’t publicly available, forcing you to login. Umm, no thanks. I have been known to stop following those people.

    • Ooh, that’s another good faux pas. Making you log into anything is a barrier. That kind of goes along with commenting on blogs. If I have to sign up for an account, 9/10 times I’ll just leave with my comment still in my head.

      I currently have my blog set to screen the first comment, but if they’ve been approved once, they have a free pass. I’m wrestling with just opening everything up and relying the spam filter, for the same reason I mentioned above. What’s your commenting policy?

  • Elisa says:

    I think I get a little too much satisfaction out of not only deleting auto-DM’s that ask me to “check out something” but going back to the original profile and deciding if I REALLY want to following someone so spammy in the first place.

  • Miss Sassy says:

    This is so true. I’m only partially active on Twitter and it’s one of my goals to really develop a greater understanding on how to use it in 2012 (which is why I am here to learn 🙂 Having said that, I’ve noticed even a couple of ‘bigger players’ in Internet Marketing field started following me and I thought hey this is pretty cool. Then I would get a DM to say check out their Facebook page and because I was naive at the time and didn’t know any better, I would reply to them to do the same. Of course they never did and now I realise this was a ploy for them to get more followers. It’s all take, take, take because there was no return. I’m all for active marketing and promotion and doing what you can to promote yourself but I would rather get people to follow me if they see genuine value in what I do and if that means having only a small amount of followers while I develop my business, so be it.

  • sue says:

    I’m new to all this too, so am reading with the hopes I remember all the tips & suggestions. 2012 is my year to have more fun with Twitter.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Planning to? Already did. My goodness this is great advice. My email signatures will be changed soon too….

  • Tunde says:

    Really helpfull article, I have been guilty of this a few times. I have noticed that people with large followers dislike dms.

  • frenchadele says:

    I have just updated my email signature. Great tips, thanks Alexis.

  • Nina says:

    YES! I wish everyone would read this. But there’s actually a new, annoying thing I’m seeing on Twitter and Facebook that is bothering me A LOT. I cannot stand being tagged in someone’s tweet or status update as their way of letting me know to read their newest post. The same rules apply as the auto DM issue, even if the person tagging is an online “friend” of mine (i.e. someone I have interacted with before). If someone has been visiting my blog and I truly have not been over to theirs in a while, then sure, tag me. But if it’s someone who rarely visits my blog or interacts with me on Twitter or FB, then I think it takes a lot of chutzpah to basically pressure me to come read their newest post. I always want to tweet back, “How about you read SOMETHING I wrote this year first?” Usually I just ignore. But it all feels pretty awkward.

    Okay– sorry to vent!!

  • VNikol says:

    Agreed, though that’s pretty much how I feel about newsletters with too many links or “subscribe to me” pop-ups that appear as soon as you click on a site, it’s all annoying & can result in deleted newsletters & ignored posts..

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