This post is going to be controversial, so hold on to your hat. One Facebook ad that keeps popping up in my feed is by Boost Blog Traffic, which is run by Jon Morrow. Now, I love just about everything about Jon and I am a big fan, but this ad was a stinker.
I mean skunk quality stink.
In the ad, Jon is promoting a guide on how to write for Huffington Post. The ad is clearly targeted towards writers and not marketing professionals. As a professional writer, the ad rubbed me the wrong way.
No Pay, No Way
Let's get one thing straight: Huffington Post does not pay writers.
Promoting a site that doesn't pay writers is wrong. If he were simply targeting marketers that wanted nothing but free publicity it would be okay, but he wasn't. He was targeting writers, people who pay their rent and buy groceries by writing. Spending writing for "exposure" leaves you homeless and hungry.
Huffington Post has made a killing off of free content and it's places like this that ruins it for writers. People expect us to write for free for "exposure." Do people who post there get exposure? Sure. Robbing a bank can get me exposure, too, but it's not the kind I want.
Iffy Reputation, Too
On top of the no pay, it is well known that Huffington Post is losing its credibility. One look at some of the latest posts will tell you how far it has fallen. It already has a pretty crappy reputation in many circles. A prime example? Well, just take a look at all of the people who dislike Huffington Post in the comments of any Huffington Post article. Or in the comments of this ad.
Writers made their feeling heard in the ad comments. There were dozens and dozens of writers expressing their displeasure with the ad. Now, at this point, Boost Blog Traffic could have tapped some good customer service techniques. That wasn't the route they took. This was the reply:
A lot of freelancers make good money writing for them. The idea is to write a post and then link to your own website at the end so people can find you. Works well for promoting any type of service. Or even products.
Okay, like I said, writing for exposure is NOT a good way for WRITERS to make money. It's a marketer's tactic, but I digress. The reason why this was such a horrible response is because whoever posted it (since the Facebook user photo is of Jon, we'll say it's him, but it is more than likely someone running their ads department), copy and pasted this answer over and over again to reply to other's concerns. #FAIL
Peter also makes a great point:
If there are so many writers making great money from this tactic, give us some examples.
John makes another great point:
What You Can Learn From This Facebook Ad
The moral of this tragic story?
If you are going to create a lead magnet, make sure it doesn't offend the group of people you're targeting.
If the target group complains, don't reply with the same canned answer over and over.
Be sure to back up your claims with proof.
Make sure that your tips can actually be incorporated by your target audience.