Remember PayPerPost and Paid Posting Tools? The bad idea that refuses to die? Yet another idiot (this time it’s twenty-year-old entrepreneur Jon Waraas) has come up with a scheme to make a stable business out of peddling blog comment spam to advertisers. He’s calling it Buy Blog Comments. To quote Josh Catone:
Buy Blog Comments charges $.20 per comment for what they say are “quality blog comments.” To write truly quality blog comments that won’t be flagged by site owners as spam like the site promises one would have to find related blog posts, read them, and compose thoughtful, on-topic replies that subtly weave in a marketing message with a link that is worthwhile to readers. If we can assume that takes at least 10 minutes per comment, then this site is paying its writers probably less than a $1/hour. That makes me skeptical that the site could deliver on its promise of comments that don’t look like spam. But I’ll let the site speak for itself and you can judge the “quality.”He then quotes a representative sample of Jon Waraas’s own prose:
We dont use people who cant even speak english. It is important to have well written blog comments so that they wont get deleted by the blogger. All of our trained staff are currently from the USA and Canada and speak english very well.Right.
I expect Waraas will run into the same problem encountered by all the other badguy-wannabe comment spam marketers: the excessively high per-comment cost of hiring writers who can turn out believable comment spam. Writers are cheap, but advertisers are cheaper. I don’t look for stealth comment spam to be a real problem until there’s a large pool of people in underdeveloped countries who can write undetectable standard English, but not get a better-paying job doing something else.
What I find funny about the comment-spam marketing business is that it would work much better as a “make money fast” scam. Check out my previous post about commercial comment spam to see a long but incomplete list of startups that’ve had the exact same bad idea as Mr. Waraas.
Obviously, the way to make money is not to run a business that commissions writers to hack out stealthy comment spam on behalf of clients’ marketing needs; it’s to sell the idea of starting up such a business, and let your hapless customers find out the hard way that hand-tailored comments of passable quality cost too much to be attractive to advertisers.
Come to think of it, the same is true of display sites (see also): they’re a bad idea that’s forever being reinvented and touted as the Next Big Thing, and they’re always miserable failures. The trick is not to run one; it’s to advertise that, for the low, low price of (mumblehundred) dollars, you’ll let your customers in on the secrets of running a display site. Given how often this unworkable idea gets reinvented, there’ve got to be suckers out there who’ll think it’s plausible.