3 Diamonds and a Dog #13

Nov 28, 2012 by


In each post of the Money Counselor “Diamonds & Dogs” series, I pick three items—an article, a website, a video, an image—that in my humble opinion would be especially valuable—the Diamonds—in helping Money Counselor readers make better money choices. And to balance the three Diamonds, I pick just one lame item—the Dog.

money idea gems3 Diamonds

  •  I don’t want to say that so-called debt consolidation is always a bad financial strategy, but if you assume that it is, you’ll be wrong so rarely it won’t cost you anything. Sort of like taking a perennial bet against the Cubs winning the World Series. I’m always gratified to read articles I wish I’d written myself if only I weren’t so lazy, and that was my reaction to “Five Reasons Debt Consolidation Doesn’t Work” at the blog Personal Dividends. Kevin hits the nail squarely on the head.
  • One of the challenging aspects of being a personal finance blogger is being humbled nearly every day by reminders of one’s ignorance. However, if I get much humbler, I may have to quit this gig and go back to catching stray canines. Anywho, humbled is how I felt when I read The Frugal Path’s “The Saver’s Tax Credit 2012″ because I previously knew nothing about this awesome tax-saver. Be sure to learn whether you qualify, and take advantage if you do!
  • One of the Great Debates in the personal finance world that never gets resolved is whether it’s better to devote extra cash to additional mortgage payments or to [fill in the blank]. My strong prejudice is to pay down the mortgage, but I appreciate and enjoy reading alternative views. The blog Five Cent Nickel recently published an especially useful discussion of the topic: “Paying Off Your Mortgage Early: Some Things to Consider.” I contributed my comment, as did others more learned than me, making for an unusually good discussion, I thought.

 lame money adviceA Dog

This edition’s Dog—of which I’ll give just one example, below—are all those badly written, embarrassingly disingenuous, thoroughly uncreative sales pitches feebly positioned as an opportunity for the target (me, in this case) that we bloggers get literally every day. I’ve copied and pasted below a complete email I recently received through the Money Counselor Contact page, and for fun I’ve added my sarcastic comments in italics. I’ve removed some of the particulars from the email so I don’t get sued for too much.

I’m thinking of publishing weekly the best—by which I mean worst—one of these.

Hi

I am Tracy M***r and one of the owner [sic] of http://***lifeinsurance***.com.

We came across your blog [while trolling for suckers] and read about “Sandy Tax Deduction?” and was [sic] really impressed [aww, shucks] and we wanted to get involved. [Gee, I’m so flattered I’m ready to do something stupid.]  We are  interested in guest posting http://mymoneycounselor.com/.

Here’s what we want to propose:  We can give you links on all these three sites, which will help boost your site up the Google results. [Yes, let’s conspire to undermine PageRank–Google always rewards sites that endeavor to do that!]

http://bbr****.com/

http://gelecek*****.com/

http://eg**********.org/

In exchange for the three links, We will write a high quality [as exemplified by the quality of this email?] article to be published in your site with a link back to our site.

Here’s an example of a quality article that we write- http://****lifeinsurance*****.com/types-of-life-insurance/10-year-term-life-insurance-quotes-and-explanation/

We can also write various finance and insurance topics that suits your readers. [Assuming what suits my readers is poorly written ad copy.]

Three links in exchange of one, win-win situation for all of us. [The numerical logic is inescapable, one must admit.]

If by any chance you are not interested in ranking in Google, then can we offer to paypal you $10 [No way! Ten bucks! golly…] to allow us to post an article to your site with a link?

Thank you for your time in reading this and if it is not too much to ask, would you mind letting us know if you are interested or not? [You may consider this post my answer.] Will [sic] surely appreciate it.

Kind Regards,

Tracy M***r

****lifeinsurance*****.com

Have You Heard From Tracy M***r Too?

If you’re a blogger, does this look familiar?

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  • John S @ Frugal Rules

    Love the email! I’ve not heard from Tracy, but I’ve received my fair share of similar emails. All wanting me to hawk some sort of junk on my site or promising to bring in ba-gillions of links to “outsmart” Google. I actually received a pound of coffee from some complete stranger in the mail because he found my site and asked that I “consider” him on my site. Being as my wife loves coffee and making it free is even better in her mind, I go to be the guinea pig to see if it was laced. Thankfully, I am still alive and kicking. :)

    • Jon

      Would be an interesting marketing strategy – poisoning bloggers that you want to link back to your site.

      It’s crazy enough that it might just work….

  • Jason @ WorkSaveLive

    LOL. The sad part is some bloggers actually fall for these tricks or else these people would stop trying.

  • Andy Hough

    I haven’t heard from Tracy but I have had plenty of similar emails. When I first started blogging I actually fell for this trick. It has been a long time since I’ve accepted one of those posts now though.

  • FrugalPortland

    ten dollars! usually I get the ones that are at “no cost to you!” — wow thanks…

    • http://mymoneycounselor.com/ Kurt Fischer

      Frugal P, I get plenty of those too…

  • http://twitter.com/Thefrugalpath The Frugal Path

    Thanks for mentioning my post.
    I’ve had this happen recently with a different person. The sample that they gave me was an obvious ad for Zyngia (I think that’s how it’s spelled). I’m not sure that my reputation would be worth the $10 I would make if it meant losing face.

  • AverageJoe

    Ha! I received one today where my name and website had clearly been inserted in a different font than the original message. Dear AVERAGEJOE, I really enjoy your site THEFREEFINANCIALADVISOR….hilarity ensued….

  • http://twitter.com/Eyesonthedollar Kim

    I’m with Kathleen. Mine are all free to you. $10 would be an improvement!

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