It’s always nice to get compliments, perhaps especially from strangers. In the blogosphere, nothing can be better relied on to put a metaphorical spring in the step than getting a WordPress notification that somebody has ‘liked’ your latest post (even if they almost certainly didn’t go so far as to believe that it was ‘pretty awesome’).
Naturally, whenever I get one of those notifications, I hit the link back to my new liker to see what in particular may have sparked the positive response, and what we may therefore have in common. Very often this has led me to something amusing and interesting: in other words, just the kind of enriching experience that blogging should be.
On other occasions I struggle to see what possible interest my post could have held. For example, I posted a few photographs in early December of wintry conditions locally and gained an African tour company as a new follower. Go figure.
Of course, everyone wants to encourage traffic to their own site and in this sense giving a ‘Like’ is akin to baiting a hook. But this is a hollow victory and far less satisfactory than truly eliciting a favourable reaction from another, like-minded, individual. On the upside, at least this process of checking out your new fans keeps you grounded and stops you getting carried away with your own superficial ‘success’.
Generally speaking, I think I’m pretty philosophical about the whole process, but I got a few ‘Likes’ on my latest post that, frankly, rather riled me. Although (purportedly) coming from individuals, when I pinged back to them, the – suspiciously uniform – content of their own blog appeared to consist almost exclusively of offers to enlighten me as to how to make inordinate amounts of money for doing nothing, through a process called ‘affiliate marketing’, which, one respondent asserted, ‘makes a free life possible’.
Well, excuse me all to hell, but no it doesn’t. I tend to the view that if something seems too good to be true then that’s almost certainly what it is. This suspicion (‘world-weary certitude’, more like) was confirmed when I did some on-line research. It seems that while affiliate marketing, per se, is a valid sales tool in the right context, the inducements offered by these new ‘friends’ of mine are designed to create opportunities for them to part me from my own money. Sign up to watch an explanatory video….and then hand over some money to join up…and so on, and on, and on.
Sorry guys, it’s not happening. The fact is, I’m not doing this for the money or even trying to, so for any more ‘fans’ out there tempted to ‘like’ me as an inducement to get involved, don’t bother wasting your time or mine.
Incidentally, won’t it be fascinating to see how many ‘Likes’ from affiliate marketers I get on this post?