Thursday, March 04, 2010

An Invitation to Hell

If you are a beauty blogger who have been posting for quite a while, you would find many offers in your mailbox about freebies and great deals (not really, most of the time it's about spam, reader's hate mails and people trying to take advantage of you). I ignore most of these "amazing offers" from site owners (instead of making fun of them because they came with a nice, business oriented intention) as I reckon it would take me so much time to blog about things which I am completely not interested in. Finally, there is a deal that's too good to past: A few days ago I got an "invitation" to join "one of the biggest fashion and beauty blogs" (never heard anything about it) and I want to offer my common sense break down of the issue, in case you get the same "External Blogger Invitation".

The offer starts off with a flowery introduction about how much they like my content and they invited me to be "one of the cool kids", by joining the big family, I would get featured in the website and receive a lot of website traffic, new followers,plenty of self promotion and zero dollar.
If you get offended, here is a cute puppy picture I took in Fenghuang.

I know she used the word "feature" but for what I have seen, they don't feature by telling their large pool of readers about how wonderful your site is, instead, the "editors" simply come visit your blog daily and if they see anything they like, they would copy and paste your whole post to their site and give a tiny link at the bottom. Here is a screen capture of the e-mail I received.

You mean, sit back and let you steal my blog content (at least 3 posts per week!), hotlink my pictures (so that my bandwidth would ran out 10x faster?) to use it to generate new visitors and ad revenue? HELL NO. I have zero toleration on plagiarism let alone letting one of your so-called experts to decide which post is worth stealing and which one is not.

According to the editor, here are the "benefits" for being an external blogger for that site.
I am no expert in html but the benefits listed didn't even pass my common sense test: First, for what I understand, you will get very minimal traffic from joining the site because everything you have to say in your blog post is copy-and-paste into the "one of the largest beauty blog" and once they have gotten your permission, they would take as many posts as they would like. For the users who are familiar with that site's platform, it seems redundant to come back to your own blog to read the exact same thing.

As of the opportunity to reach a new/larger audience, I guess it depends on what's your blogging objective. If you want a group of Xanga posses/self-promoters to follow you like net idol, go for it. I don't think I want e-popularity that much that I had to resort to a group of sociable, giggly girls (Geeks like us don't blog to socialize, just so you know), it's a "No thanks" from me all the way.

Last but not least, here is the jargon "Google page rank" and "search engine visibility". I know you will get a better exposure if many people link to your site but at the same time, Google also detects malpractice like duplicate content and link scheme ("Link me and I will link you back"!) , they can put your site a penalty (thus not indexing your page at all) once they find out that you are having such a "partnership" with a certain "big girl in town". If you are html illiterate like me, there is no way to find out they are actually linking you or not, in a sense that they can put a no follow attribute at the end of the link so their link wouldn't even give you any search engine benefit. So what benefit are you getting at the end? Nothing.

Overall: Worst deal of the century, avoid it like plague!

P.S. I know I am not acting very professional (Heck! I am not professional/paid blogger to start with.) complaining about an e-mail I received personally and because of this, I would probably never get a chance to try out free lip gloss/lipsticks (I never get offers like that anyway) in the future but for what I understood, the offer is pretty much all about lying and stealing and I personally find it morally unacceptable.


  1. HAHA Citrine!! I love you and your straightforward honesty! I'm sure a lot of bloggers who don't have enough sense as you will sign up for this scam! Most of the time, it pays to read into the fine print and consider the pros/cons.

  2. I've seen enough of these too and I am with you! Why would I give someone permission to post my entry and make me feel like I owe them big time???? This is a very informative post, I hope everybody who reads this gets the point :) Thanks Dear!

  3. Kitty:
    It's not called honesty (to be honest).I simply felt insulted that they think I am this dumb and I had to vent somewhere. It would be impolite to put it into the e-mail reply (in which I just saved my energy and said I cannot work for them)so I will just do it in my own blog.
    Yeah, they sound like I should be honored to be ripped off by them...

  4. OMG, this is really a plague- I already received a invitation like that, but in a brazilian blog version and at the really end of everything I read in small size that signing it I was allowing them to use all my content- What's this f$%@ing joke?- I tought.

    It's really nice that you're exposing this and I think that I should had done the same. Maybe it's not too late...

  5. Cacau:
    At least they tell you at the end. For this email I get, they didn't mention anything like copy-and-paste the whole thing, hotlinking your picture... They just make it sound like you are going to get free advertisement for registering. (Of course, when I google the site name along with "stealing blog posts", many people fell for that scam.)

  6. You're awesome. Love your blog!

  7. Nowadays, everytime someone tells you "get free ..anything..." just don't believe it. It's never true.

  8. This is very informative, thanks for posting. I received a few emails like that and just deleted them for the same reasons you mentioned. Why would I let anyone steal my content (if they're so desperate for content, they can just write it themselves but I suppose stealing is easier)? They make it sound like it's so convinient for you, when they are the only one who are going to benefit from it. I'm sorry for all the people that fell for the scam though.

  9. Gio:
    I wish to have your temper because there is no way that I can just disregard this e-mail without yelling about it like a mad woman. (By the way, I wonder what sites are you talking about, the same one as this?)

    Sheesh, for what I have read,it's super hard to pull out as well and even if they do pull out. The site just delete the person's account while the stolen post is still there...

  10. Thats the good thing about having your own blog, is you can complain about anything you want to!! Their "sweet" deal sounds really sour to me!

    Yeah, this is kind of a reason why I started mine it's like if a blogger who sell dirt cheap beauty crunch items as if they are from Sephora and I complain about the malpractice on her own blog, she would either delete me/or me a liar/or her readers(posses) would attack me as a hater but if I do it on my blog, everything is different...

    Maybe that's what you called limited right of speech (I so made up that phrase...).

  12. MM, I don't remember the names of all the sites that sent me an email like that. I've had 4 or 5 sites approaching me and some still keep sending me emails even though I never answer back. But I've definitely got one from this site too. And I admire you for talking about these issues, I hope that'll help people that are thinking of joining to change their minds.


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