Are you a content marketer or a content carnie?

carnival worker

One sign that your blog is becoming successful is that it begins to attract attention from all sorts of spammers who want to buy back-links on your site, place promotional content through guest posts, or even pay you for favorable reviews.

That is certainly not my game and the spam has gotten so bad that I don’t even read the email “pitches” any more. But I recently responded to one particularly nagging spammer and asked him to take me off his mailing list.  He was an SEO gamester who was trying to get me to feature his lousy self-help infographic on my site.

After I asked him to take me off his list, this how he responded:

As a marketing professor and writer of Tao of Twitter I’m surprised that you aren’t impressed with real content marketers.

You could at least give me a tweet, maybe?

Content marketing? Really?

Here’s the reality. Deluging bloggers with desperate attempts at content placement is not content marketing. That is being a pain in the ass.

If you’re engaging in this practice, you’re having about the same impact as a carnival worker shouting on a crowded midway hoping that somebody will look your way and toss you a link.

I’m not against featuring new ideas and perspectives, and run at least one guest post per week on my blog. In fact, I LOVE to help people who are part of this community by giving them the exposure they deserve.  This is what the SEO spammers are missing. The new world of content marketing is not about building links, it’s about building relationships.

Real content marketing places helpful, useful, and entertaining content in the path of potential customers to help them make money, save money, or live a happier life.  Successful content marketing results from putting on the shoes of the customer and asking yourself — “What content from my company will help you, entertain you, or answer your questions?”

Over time, if you consistently produce content that is RITE — Relevant, Interesting, Timely, and Entertaining — it will result in the small interactions that eventually lead to trust, relationships, sales, and loyalty.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your comments on this topic. Are you trying to place content? What are you learning? Or, are you on the receiving end?

Illustration: Photo by Jack Delano: Sideshow barker at the state fair, Rutland, Vermont, 1941, no copyright restriction

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