Disguised as a blogging opportunity, BlogDash pitched me (and many other bloggers in their database) for the third time to "produce 1 unique post on what you like best and what will excite your readers."
The First Time
Back in October, I received my first pitch on BlogDash to write a blog post based on the 30 topics they provided. Just pick one topic, write about it (200-300 words), and receive $15. The pitch sounded not too bad, quick $15 for a short sponsored post. Here's the what the pitch was:
It doesn't sound bad, right? Well, it's not until you open their attachment that you find out the REAL requirement for the $15. Unfortunately, it appears the October's attachment is no longer available. Fortunately, my journalism professor taught me well, and I saved a copy. I'm not out to get anyone, thus I've hidden the actual mentions of participating webistes in this link buying opporunity. I'll be nice.
Well, I thought I will let them know that Google frowns upon link buying - so I replied to the opportunity to let them know they're engaging in link buying, and will hurt their "partners" more than benefit them. Here's how it went down:
And the reply was:
This is how I replied and was the last message, since I never heard back.
In my response, I included a link to a screenshot of Google's support page which highlighted the exact part that BlogDash's blogging opportunity violated.
To BlogDash's credit, they did not directly ask for a DoFollow link in this first opportunity. But I have a feeling a NoFollow anchor text link wouldn't sit well with their partners.
The Second Time
It appears they do this at least once a month, because I received second opportunity the following month in November. This included 60 opportunities, pretty much the same as the first one.
The Third Time
As I expected, I received another blogging opportunity from BlogDash and this one was very different from the first two.
It appears that the first two opportunities did not go as well as they would like, since the third opportunity had a few requirements you had to follow. Judge for yourself.
It's funny how the message says "low requirements just need your high quality writing style." Yet, the requirements are not that low. My guess is, the first two opportunities since they began doing it yielded not so favorable results and low quality links.
- The Blog site must have a page rank of 3 or better.
- Articles must follow the Topic and not be a product review.
- The blog site can't be a subdomain like .blogspot or .wordpress etc.
- Please don't mention blogdash in the article.
- Make sure that the anchor text works in with the natural text of the article.
- If you feel the need to put a reference to the article being a sponsored post please place it at the bottom of the article and make it less noticeable. Alternatively you can replace it with, "The information in this post was provided by blahblahblah.com".
At least they increased the price to $25, right?
The links in this latest round lead to some crappy, low quality SEO content pages.
Plus, BlogDash is walking a thin line with FTC regulations regarding disclosure of material connection between advertiser and endorser. The key is endorser. Link buying is not against FTC rules unless the link implies an endorsement by the blogger, and with anchor text links you're trying to stuff a keyword and not so much getting endorsement.
A Bit Misleading
It was disappointing to receive these "blogging opportunities" from BlogDash, since they claim to be "blogger outreach network" - not link buying network. Especially thinking that they can buy PR3+ DoFollow links and a blog post for $25. Spammy, low quality, black hat SEO I would not expect from BlogDash.
Nowhere does it say they will buy links, I guess that's part of their "Reap the incalculable PR and SEO benefits" promise as part of their Campaign Complete service.
Being a marketer, I might be biased. But from a good service, allowing businesses to connect with bloggers, link buying is not what I would expect.
On the other hand, if you need to buy DoFollow links BlogDash can help.