When I was a kid growing up, my mom used to make this horrible stuff called “Spam.” It came in a can, and raw, it was like eating ham mush. It wasn’t too bad, once it was fried and blackened, but today, when people hear the word, “spam,” it’s often about something far different.

No-spam

No-spam (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And spam comes in many guises.

What I’d like to tell you about spam is that it’s a very bad, nasty thing to do to people, and the sad part is that you may not even realize you’re doing it.

Here are some ways that you may be spamming, and it’s time to STOP!  Spamming in some instances can cost you thousands of dollars.

  • Email Spamming

Yes, we all know what spam is when it comes to email. It’s “Unsolicited Bulk Email or UBE.” That means you’re sending email to people who never agreed to receive it. They might be random people you have met over the years or they could be on a list you bought from someone else. But let me tell you, if you don’t have permission to mail the people on that list, and they want to contact the FTC about your messages, you could face a fine up to $11,000 per email.  Just don’t do it.

Make sure that the people that you email have opted into your list properly, through a form, and that you have the date, IP address, and time that they opted in, too. If you’re using an autoresponder service, like AWeber, iContact or MailChimp, the service takes care of all of that for you. You can be accused of spamming, but the proof that you’re not is right there. You’d be surprised at how many people sign up for a list and forget. In that case, it’s not you, but they who are at fault.

  • Blog comment spamming

Blog commenting is still an amazing way to get traffic, BUT… Unless you’re writing helpful or thoughtful comments, and not adding 10 links to a male performance enhancer site, it won’t help you at all. In fact, because of  people spamming blogs, it’s harder and harder to find a blog that will take your comments.

Instead of putting links in your comments, use anchor text as your username and apply the URL in the comment set-up portion. That is, once you can find a site that allows you to do that.

  • Social media spamming

If all you do on social media is post links to your own products or products you’re an affiliate for, people aren’t going to like it. You’re defeating the whole purpose of social media!

Instead, let your friends get to know, like, and trust you by participating in the discussions. They’ll want to know more about you naturally. But don’t try to sell. It’s annoying.

And while we’re on the topic DO NOT sign people up for groups without their permission. I not only cancel memberships to those groups, which are usually spammy in nature, but I unfriend the person that signed me up, as well.  I think it’s the height of rudeness to assume that someone wants to be in any group. That’s a personal decision.

  • Search engine spamming

This is one that concerns me the most. If you’re spamming search engines, you’re going down, brothers and sisters! Google is hot on your trail, so you better wise up and do it fast! No keyword stuffing. No over optimization with spammy plugins. No submitting your site over and over again. (Trust me. They’ll find you without submitting once.) And no schemes to get to the top of Google, like link wheels, blog networks or other things that Google hates. Oh, yeah, and no hidden text on your pages. Google really hates that!

There are lots of ways to be spamming, but these are the biggies, at least to me. If you’re doing any of them because you just don’t know any better, I understand. I was new once, and did some things I shouldn’t have, too. But now, you’ve been warned! If I catch any of you doing these things…

You’re in big trouble. 🙂

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