Friday, October 26, 2007

The Marketing Whore on Dominance Humping, Tact and Grace(ie)

One of the things I'm known for is being nice. Well, I'm also known for being opinionated and a former escort too. But most folks who know me, have worked with me, will tell you I'm nice ~ in that patient and tolerant way (which has led me into giving away lots of help and advice for free in many arenas). But sometimes...

Oh, sometimes, I just don't understand how people can be so rude. I can understand and accept ignorance. Ditto for a difference of opinion. But rudeness?

The example I'm about to share will not name names ~ not out of respect but because I don't want to give them any attention. They do not deserve it.

And while I'm on the subject of 'outing' people, or addressing the concerns of people's feelings, let me say that I'm not worried that they will visit here and notice themselves in the example ~ because people like this never see themselves in the bad examples or as the ones needing the corrections. In all my years of working with people this is the case. Meanwhile, those who would be mortified to make such errors ~ those who never do such things because they are people filled with common sense and decency ~ these kind-hearted people always fear these things are about them. Please don't flood my inbox with apologies or concerns; if you were the person who did what I'm about to describe, you'd already know of my displeasure. So no worries for those of you reading here.

Now, on to today's lesson.

As most of you know, my site Sex-Kitten.Net (NWS) has the Sex-Kitten Feed (NWS), which is a way to promote our friends and associates by helping to broadcast their blog's RSS feed (NWS). (The feed is featured on the home page of the site, on other blogs in the feed & with it's own page.) When persons submit their site and feed for such promotion, I always check to see that A) the feed is working properly and 2) that they have linked back (to either the feed itself or the main site). If they have errors or have not reciprocated with a link, I contact them.

Recently I had to contact several folks to tell them that I would activate their feed once they linked back and then contacted me to let me know they had done so. Usually one of two things happen: they apologize for the oversight and correct it, or they ignore the emails (and I delete the submission). But this week I had one of the rare fellows who reacts rudely.

His first response was to tell me to go ahead and drop his submission because he "never got a single referral from us". I calmly wrote back that of course he hadn't ~ due to no recip, he had never been activated. I'd be happy to remove his submission if he wished, but thought he should know why he'd never received any traffic.

At this point I expected an 'ah-ha' moment, followed by him placing the link and emailing to telling me so. Maybe even with an apology for not understanding... But no.

Instead I receive an email asking demanding me for my site stats. "How many unique visitors do you get per day?"

Now folks, there are several problems with this response.

First of all, asking a webmaster for their blog stats is rather like asking a person how much they make a year. Sure, some might not be offended; some might even give you the answer. But many people, in either situation, will be greatly offended. Generally, these matters are considered none of your business. So why risk offending anyone?

If you think that I owe this person my stats because we're doing business together, remember this: the SK feed is free. He's not paying ~ no one's paying ~ for this service; it's not advertising. I, the person offering the service, isn't asking him (or anyone) about their site traffic (or pagerank or anything). For him to go there is rather like your brother-in-law asking you what your salary is or how much your home cost. It's inappropriate.

Secondly, if this man feels he is owed this info in order to evaluate the opportunity, or if he thinks this sort of questioning shows that he is Mr Serious Internet Businessman, then he needs to get a clue ~ and some tact.

He, you, I ~ anyone, can do some simple research to get an idea of traffic on any website. It's not rocket science.

If he doesn't know how to do this, or is too lazy to do it and expects me to tell him, or if he has done his homework and is trying to 'test me' for my honesty and credibility, well, I'm completely unimpressed. And I'm not playing.

His inability to employ good old fashioned tact and common sense leaves me cold.

The lesson here is that when you approach someone, including to take advantage of their opportunity, mind your manners. Don't ask questions which are none of your business. And if you should think it is your business, proceed politely. Don't pose questions as demands.

In fact, after some research of my own on this man, his sites and business practices, I'm of the impression that this man was dominance humping. He read my polite, and perhaps somewhat girly closing (typically I sign-off all my emails, business and personal, "with much affection, Gracie"), and concluded that I don't know what I'm doing. He assumed that he could intimidate me with a hard-boiled-business-numbers response to make me sit back (with my pretty head spinning from all that thinky math!) and take notice of his manly knowledge so that he could negotiate some other situation for himself. (As in I'd really really want his link to 'me' and be willing to give him additional promotions &/or advertising to get it.) But all I noticed was his bad manners and lack of respect.

I had the offer, the opportunity; I make the rules. In this case, I was offering to promote his site for free and all I asked for in return was a link. Not only is this a nominal 'price' it's a normal one. If he didn't like the rules, then he can take a pass on the opportunity. No one is forcing him to do this. For him to mistake kindness and the patience to continue to explain how the opportunity works for a chance to negotiate terms, or worse, some weakness on part, is a huge mistake.

I'm not paranoid about the dominance humping; I run into this quite often. And I'm betting you other ladies do too.

Gender, as in femaleness, combined with tolerance and understanding is seen as weak and unintelligent. Ask any mommy blogger if advertisers try to undermine their credibility and the value of their blog ~ to get cheaper advertising. (If you and your blog were so crappy, why would they want to advertise there?) But in the adult industry it's even worse. We're just dumb girls who whore ourselves and our sites on dumb luck and boobs. (I guess they think we are what we sell.)

Since I don't expect yet another blog post on gender issues to affect any real changes by the men who practice dominance humping, the lesson here is really for the women.

Don't let dominance humping (from men or women) undermine your actions. Know your business and make your rules. Don't let them negotiate the non-negotiable.

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Thursday, October 25, 2007

More Self-Exposure

Check out Sexy Blog Review for well, what I hope is a sexy review of your blog. *wink*

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Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Expose Yourself

Silent Porn Star emailed with this bit of info to share:
I just had a great review at The Naughty Guide, and while I can't say much for the traffic at the moment (I was picked-up at a link site which sent lots of traffic, yippee!), it was a pleasure to work with them. You can find the details on how to submit here, but basically it's just a link to their site and a form submit. Easy as pie!
Also, for those of you looking for something to replace Joyscape, you might want to try Free Smut Club. Like Joyscape, they use RSS for updates and seem to have an international audience. Here's where to submit.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Q & A The Marketing Whore Way

Like a Magic 8-Ball!

Q: Can anyone be surprised that the adult entertainment industry, historically proven to take on any all technological advancements, would appear in/at a document posting service?

A: Apparently so.

Q: Does spam really work?

A: What would you say?. (PS: Thanks, Sara, for the link!)

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The World Continues To Be Unsure Of How To Use Blogs And Pudding Cups

Some of today's readings make that all too clear.

Dosh Dosh writes The Smart Way to Get Traffic and Links: Creating a Prospect List for Bloggers, which is rather sound overall. A decent primer. However, I express caution over the suggest use of reciprocity:

The second reason for maintaining a prospect list is reciprocation. A lot of the cross-promotion you see online is the result of intentional reciprocation; doing something for someone because he or she did something for you.

Reciprocation is a basic aspect of culture and society. It pervades all human relationships and influences it tremendously. We may do something for someone with the hope (conscious or not) that someone may repay the favor in the future.

Cialdini’s rule of reciprocity explains:

This rule requires that one person try to repay what another person has provided. By obligating the recipient to an act of repayment in the future–the rule for reciprocation allows one individual to give something to another with the confidence that it is not being lost.

The decision to comply with someone’s request is frequently based upon the Rule of Reciprocity. Again, a possible and profitable tactic to gain probable compliance would be to give something to someone before asking for a favor in return.

Keeping a prospect list helps you to systematically record and reciprocate favors done for you, which dramatically improves the quality of the relationship you have.

This will help you to gradually turn bloggers into friends and future assets you can leverage for your business/website.

I believe that if you act as if a person 'owes you' or must 'repay' a debt, you'll not only be sorely disappointed, but aggravate others.

First and foremost you ought to be writing to and for your audience, not for a twisted case of I-owe-you ~ or in this case, You Owe Me.

Write with your audience in mind, link with your readership's interests in mind. Don't tell them about things which are unrelated to their needs and wants because you want to make the cool list or be invited to sit at the cool kids' table. Boing Boing is cool, but this blog isn't on their watch list ~ and why should it be? So no matter how often or in what context I link to them, contact them, The Marketing Whore is not going to get a post or a sidebar link.

Writing a post to get their attention (which I am not doing ~ look ma, no link!) is a waste of my time. Sending my readers, readers who are interested in marketing, is literally a time waster (a cool way to waste time, but wasting time nonetheless).

And just like those kids who bring extra pudding cups to school to try to get 'in' with the cool kids, no one falls for your clever pandering. They'll just take your pudding-cup-of-a-link and (at best) ignore you.

As a general rule we don't eat the pudding cups proffered by strangers. Take them, maybe; but eat them? No. Once we know a person, we'll take and eat their pudding cup ~ and thank them for it too. After awhile, we'll share our own pudding cups with them or even buy their other pudding products. But first we have to know them. It's no different here on the Internet. Links are like pudding cups. But consider them gifts to your readers who like you already ~ and want your pudding cups. First you must be known.

You can introduce yourself with a pudding cup (a link), an email, a comment post etc. But just as with any real world introduction, audition, job interview, etc., this doesn't mean they will like you or be willing to share their own pudding cups.

If you'd like to give a link introduction, you should read Ethical Theories of Social Networking ~ which isn't about MySpace so much as it is about proper participation in the blogging community.

Revellian's tips for how to properly link (especially with regards to key words etc.) is another good primer for giving good pudding cup. He gives the basics of keyword linking, including the 'how to' and 'why' which provides the foundation for best practices which are appreciated by other bloggers. (Which is like sharing pudding cups with your real friends, not giving them away to buy a friendship.)

Should you, dear reader, already be aware of such things I ask you to read it anyway ~ for two reasons.

One, key word linking works for both parties (the poster has those words on his/her blog as well as offers such key word weight to the blog they are sending readers too).

And two, thinking in terms of key words helps you evaluate if your linking is honestly relative to your readers &/or mission.

Consider your link text. If you find those key words irrelevant to your readership (target market), then perhaps this is not the right post for you. You could be wasting your efforts and your pudding cups.

Give your readers the pudding cups they want.

And don't forget to read When Does a Social Network Become a "Publicity Network"? for a great reminder on what social networks are (and are not).

A social networking tool becomes a publicity tool when "I speak, you speak, I reply, you reply" becomes "I speak, you listen".

Are these new publicity networks (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) the new press release? Think about it for a second, a press release is sent out to x journalists, news providers, etc. These new publicity networks do the same thing except in a quicker, more efficient way. In fact, Marshall over at RWW says these publicity networks are paying his rent. Naturally I am not suggesting that everyone uses these networks in a publicity-oriented manner, but it seems many of the smart marketers are doing so. As long as the people attached to your account (personal or business) understand that's the use, then it's a perfect marketing opportunity. In fact, these publicity networks may just overtake RSS in the long-term. And if you are working with a social media consultant who isn't leveraging these new publicity networks where appropriate, you need to find a new consultant.
While Allen Stern seems to contradict himself a bit in this post, if you read careful (and tread even more carefully) you'll learn a thing or two. Especially when added to the thoughts above. That community exists for them, and it may seem natural to scream, "Come take my pudding cups!" ~ but as discussed, it isn't appropriate. Or effective.

Or everyone would give away free pudding cups with purchase.

Keep your audience, your target market, in mind. Your mission is not really to sell 10,000 copies, memberships etc; it is to serve 10,000 people. How can you reach them to do this is marketing.

Always keep the concerns and needs of your audience forefront in your mind and you'll make less of an ass of yourself. And save a few pudding cups for yourself.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

The Stripper's Sales Secret

From Flaunting your fertility makes for big tips. The showgirl's guide to maximizing income:
if you're a woman in any service-industry job looking to maximize your tips, Miller suggests scheduling more shifts for the phase right before ovulation: "It might help to know about this so that you can exploit these effects."
Fascinating.

Also makes me wonder why they did this study...

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