John Andrews is a Competitive Webmaster and Search Engine Optimization Consultant in Seattle, Washington. This is John Andrews blog on issues of interest to the SEO community and competitive webmasters. Want to know more?

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Once a scammer, always a scammer?

On the web you get to pick your audience. If you are brick & mortar, and you move online, your audience is defined for you. But Internet pure-plays like, oh, say a blogger self-help site, get to pick their audience. Look at the blogger community as a pie, and grab a slice.

So do you want to go after the nicey-nicey bloggers? The newbies? The upper-crusty bloggers? Or maybe the nasty, cult-like ones. Your choice. Pick your poison. And if you have a personality that matches your selected audience, you should do well in serving them.

One caveat that comes to mind today though, is that it is pretty damn hard to hide your true self when you blog. The more you hide it, the less credible you are for your audience. Nobody likes a poser. They’ll rat you out eventually.

What if you don’t hide it, but try and keep it under wraps? Like, pretend you hate bloggers, but want to monetize an audience of bloggers? Pretend you built out a web site to cater to bloggers, and you try and keep your true dislike for them under wraps. I say that will never work.

Every time you slip and reveal a wee bit of that negativity, someone in your audience will identify with that and give you some positive feedback..some positive reinforcement for it. “Dude, you are right about that”. Since most everyone else in the community let that little error of negativity slip (while noting it for the record for later re-evaluation of their trust in you, by the way), the only feedback you got was a reinforcement for the negativity. That stuff starts to work on you. We all need reinforcement.

Over time I guarantee your audience will devolve into an audience of like-minded people. The positive ones will move on, because they pick up on the bad vibe and prefer not to experience it. The others, the ones like you, will come back for more of themselves. More external validation. And there you have it. You reap what you sow.

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