Rant Alert: Problogger Generated Content Is Not A Business Strategy!

by Robb Sutton

Ok…I am really f’in sick and tired of this played out model that some bloggers are trying in attempt to make it to the “big time” without any time investment of their own. And I am calling you out right now to put an end to this crap…because that is what it is…crap.

The process usually goes something like this.

  1. They ask for you to answer some interview questions (I’m cool with that…so I answer them. 9 times out of 10 they are unoriginal and cookie cutter)
  2. They put these questions together into some kind of product that is free or paid (free…ok…paid…questionable but if it is packaged correctly it could work…ie…you put more into than just the interviews and there better be a damn good affiliate program)
  3. They then hound you and tell you how to promote it because they have no traffic or social reach. (wait…what?)

This model sucks. Why on Earth should I do all of the work for your product? Why am I building your list? Why is the only thing you have to provide for all of my work is your “hope” that everyone does exactly what you say without any credibility, to create exposure?

Oh yeah…and they want links back to their site that has a dozen posts and no real content.

For some reason, bloggers that have zero experience in creating successful sites have made the decision to try to piggyback off of the hard work of others and this has happened to me on more than one occasion lately. Does the “I don’t have an original idea so I need to get it from others in order to be successful” model really work? No…because people will just go to the real thing.

What happened to generating quality, unique content? Why is everyone trying to make it in the blogging/make money online niche by just rehashing the thoughts of others? Do you not have any real experience? If you do…why are you using mine?

So do I like doing interviews? Absolutely. It not only gives me a chance to other bloggers but it also gets my ideas out there. I have been interviewed and I have interviewed other bloggers. Do I think I should have to promote your product for you to be successful with nothing in return? No.

Whenever you look to others for help, you should always ask yourself…“am I offering more than what I am asking for?” In business, you are always trying to provide more value than your cost. If you are asking for more than you are giving, you are probably on the wrong track and need to rethink your strategy. In 99.9% of the cases I am talking about here, they are offering nothing and asking for a lot.

10 comments

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10 comments

David Risley March 1, 2011 - 2:35 pm

For me, such requests seem to have died down a bit, but yeah…. and, you know, I love doing interviews for people, but that “cookie cutter” thing is a problem. I get the same basic questions all too often, and I’m tired of answering them, really. More importantly, people don’t want to read them anymore, either.

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Robb Sutton March 1, 2011 - 3:01 pm

They end up just reading the same thing over and over again. If the interviewer is doing their job, they would research other interviews already done and try to provide a unique angle. Some “generic” questions are expected…just not all.

Interviews are a great way to create engaging content (I use them on Bike198 as well), but centering everything on the hope that the interviewee will do all of your promotion for you is expecting too much out of a new site.

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Glen Allsopp March 1, 2011 - 3:08 pm

Hey Robb,

Just curious. Have you, do you, run any other blogs?

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Robb Sutton March 1, 2011 - 3:11 pm

Glen,

Check out the about page. I own the Bike198.com network and several others.

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OpportunityLOL March 2, 2011 - 2:06 am

I’ve found that interviews have yielded a lot of hits for my website, but I focus on people I blog about. So I had an interview with a rapper who had a great album w/ 90s TV show beats + a great comedy podcast host whose show ended after 2 episodes and I wanted to know where they went. I also have a pending interview from two artists I think are amazing.

However, it sounds like what you’re describing above is a really lame way to be a bother on the internet.

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Patricia Millman March 5, 2011 - 1:03 am

Hi Rob

Rant away. I do at times and I have been blogging for less than a year lol Even in the short time I have been blogging, there are now blogs I don’t bother visiting anymore. Why??!! No original content and I can watch paint dry if I am into being bored 😉

Yet ironically, some of these sites get tons of comments like “awesome post” when the content is clearly not. Then I will go to another site where I learn heaps and I see very few comments….go figure! I think a lot of bloggers, comment for comments back and probably don’t even read the post a lot of the time.

I visit blogs to learn and hopefully interact with the blog owner. That way I have met some really great bloggers/marketers who have encouraged me along the way and from whom I have learnt heaps.

As I want to take my fledgling business to the next level, I tend to visit more marketing sites nowdays and find myself visiting fewer blogs on blogging. Too much same old, same old fluff!

Patricia Perth Australia

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Kavya Hari March 9, 2011 - 7:24 am

Actually, quality content would be more important in the blog post and at the time have to create the unique content. These type of information will help me to write the high quality content, so i would like to say thanks Robb for written great article on here.

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Michael Martine March 9, 2011 - 4:34 pm

I am so with you on this transparently bullshit tactic. The only way this is of value is if you have something unique to bring to the table without it and if you’re a good interviewer (which most people are not).

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Owen Marcus March 9, 2011 - 6:36 pm

I agree – provide more value, give before you ask. I would love if there was a easy and quick way to build a creditable blog. I haven’t found it. Or I should say, I haven’t found a way that fits with my model of integrity.

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Paul Piotrowski April 2, 2011 - 9:29 am

Yup, I’m usually a nice guy and like giving newcomer bloggers a break so I usually say yes to interview requests, but just the other day I got one and I flat out said no because there was zero quality to anything they were doing and everything was so cookie cutter.

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