Friday, May 29, 2009
Secrets Behind The Blog
As someone very wisely told me, "You can't please everybody." I like to add that you could hand someone $100 and they might complain that you handed them a big bill and they would rather have five $20 bills.
Having my own blog, ThriftyMaven is a complete learning experience. When I first started the site I panicked because I had no users. I might get 20 viewers in a 24 hour period and most of that was spiders. I just wanted to give up. What in the heck was I doing anyway?
Then little by little more people began coming. By now you know that if If there are bright skies all around me I will focus on the dark cloud in the distance that might signify rain. I will focus on the cloud. Analyze the cloud. Think about the cloud and the significance of the cloud. Worse of all I will wonder what I could have done to cause the cloud to have appeared.
At first the people who signed up for my MavenMoments were probably doing it because you were able to secure an extra entry in a contest I was running. Oh those were the days when I was personally buying the things I gave away and paying for the shipping. I still kept saying, why in the HECK am I spending money on something I'm not earning money doing? Then there's the time spent factor where I worried about the time I spent making posts.
Today I received the following email. It wasn't just a hey unsubscribe me email it was a long detailed email:
Why don't you provide a link to unsubscribe?
Why do I have to click through to your website to read today's content? What's the
point of offering a newsletter if you don't provide content?
Your newsletter looks like spam. You need to polish it's appearance and provide an
unsubscribe link if you want more subscribers.
Now it starts out with a good suggestion. You don't want to be a subscriber you should be able to unsubscribe. Darryl told me there is a link right on ThriftyMaven that allows you to unsubscribe. So really she didn't have to write me to unsubscribe she could have gone to the site and done exactly that. I will suggest to Darryl to do just exactly that, make it easier to unsubscribe. Now I'm not being cavalier abut it. When someone unsubscribes I feel really bad. Almost a personal thing. Not quite like losing a friend kind of thing, but more of a "Wow what did I do wrong? What can I do to keep you?" kind of thing.
She is obviously upset about the MavenMoment format. To be honest I had signed up for other blogger's email as part of a contest and stayed on their mailing list. Generally they send me a brief summary of the deals and a link taking you to the rest of the article. It's an effective way for me to decide if I even want to visit their site. If I'm interested I can just click a link to that article. Essentially another way to drive traffic to your site, or not. So I'm not certain what kind of content she wants in my emails.
As far as spammy, some of these newsletters email me EVERYDAY. I don't have to open them if I don't want to. I do NOT email people EVERYDAY. If there is a really good deal and it's day specific then yes I will send out a MAVENMOMENT. Some weeks it might be one email and some it might be three emails. I also hate SPAM and I'm trying very hard to balance between the fact that some people have signed up for something and expect to get something. Some people will feel it's way too much and some will wonder why they don't get more.
I was feeling pretty down after her email. I wrote a nice email back asking her for advice and providing her with a free music download from Starbucks and iTunes. I wondered if she would write me back. Then I checked back about ten minutes later to see if she wrote back and I noticed that two more people signed up for alerts. Who knew? Guess you win some you lose some.
When Darryl helped me set up ThriftyMaven, he wisely made it necessary for me to accept comments before they are posted. Thank God! You would be surprised what people will say.
Earlier this year a woman posted a two paragraph post about how unhappy she was with blog contests. How she thought it was crazy to require people to post comments in order to win and on and on she went. Now first of all I was giving away a pair of head phones that were valued at $12. I wasn't giving away a car, a cruise, or $10,000 in cash. It seems odd to get so emotionally invested in a pair of headphones.
Second, some people don't like bog contests. I get that. I don't like brussel sprouts so I don't serve them, don't make them, don't buy them, and essentially AVOID them. It seems odd to me that someone who doesn't like blog contests, AVOID them. Even now that OLS has clearly LABELED Blog contests, people go on a tear about how they hate these kind so contests, wonder why they are posted, rather than spending their time avoiding them and entering the kind of contests they do like.
Third, as I said this person wasted two paragraphs worth of rage, accusations, and name calling, and could have just as easily written one sentence and been entered in the contest. Does that make sense?
This is certainly is not the worse thing anyone tried to post on my site. For example some MORON tried to post to the FREE KFC Grilled chicken. The person made this racist post basically talking about blacks and fried chicken and that's about all I can mention here. Is someone's life so devoid of activities that they have to come to a coupon site and make comments like that?
Another memorable post was by a guy who's email actually contains the "F" word. He then goes on to make not one but two posts filled with curse words and wanting to know why I posted something about Free ice cream. Gosh who doesn't like ice cream? You don't like ice cream? Fine, move on to another post. What's the point of all the cursing? This same gentleman (?) decided to reply to a post I made about who is providing free breast cancer screenings. He went off about gays, how gay my post was, how all gays should die with AIDs. What's the matter Mommy and Daddy want you to get a job and move out of their basement? What is up with this NUT? I actually went and googled his email and discovered that he is a Marketing Major. Maybe he needs to spend more time hitting the books and less time posting this trash on the internet.
I receive some unusual posts. For example I've had two posts about free cell phones for low income people. Every week I receive one or more people provide me their address, information about their personal circumstances, and asking ME to send them a cell phone. Gee if you read either post you will see that I clearly provide you with link to the company that provides this service. I've had one person complain to me asking me why she would only receive one free hour per month on the cell phone and then told me how quickly that could be used up. Well not to be mean but no one is giving me a free cell phone or any free minutes.
The latest weird potential post was from a woman who has PhD behind her name. She write to me as Dear Oprah. She goes on to say how she would appreciate having the opportunity to be a part of Oprah's show and share good things that can impact the quality of lives. She wants me to know that she is still going in a positive direction in spite what has happen in her life. By the way she loves Oprah's show and would like the opportunity to be a part of the show and meet her again since the 1970’s. She also provides me all kinds of contact information. What post did she try to comment on you might ask? The free chicken at KFC article.
So in all ThriftyMaven.com has been a real lesson in human behavior.