One Thing You Should Never Do As A Podcaster (Or Blogger)

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I was asked to to be interviewed on an industry-specific Podcast this past week (name and url withheld). I did some basic research – I checked out who was linking to it, who else has appeared on the Podcast, how/if it ranks in Technorati, etc… My final decision was to take part even though there was no significant traffic or links. I liked the initiative and figured it would be another way to support a company that is trying to use social media to connect with their consumers. I even took part in a quick phone conversation to make sure that my content was relevant, and to discuss which issues/topics they wanted to cover.

Then, yesterday, I get an email that says:

"When we spoke earlier, I forget to mention that since we do not charge anything for the interview, we require an anchor link on your blog roll."


Two key points:

1. I don’t know many people who pay to be interviewed, and if they do, it’s not an interview… it’s advertising (and should be promoted as such).

2. Requiring to be placed on someone’s Blogroll is a ridiculous and silly request.

That one line in the email is a clear indication of everything that could go wrong with the Podcasting channel if we’re all not vigilant. Asking people to pay to be interviewed is wrong on many levels. Asking to be placed on someone’s Blogroll because you don’t charge for the interview is almost as ridiculous.

Combined everything sounds highly unethical.

If you’re considering to start a Blog or Podcast, keep in mind that people should never pay to be interviewed by you. It’s really quite the opposite, you should be honoured that anyone has agreed to take their time and effort to help you create content for your community (you owe them, they don’t owe you). And, if you would like to get on their Blogroll, you should not have to ask. They will naturally put you there if you create compelling content that is relevant to them (and their community). Telling someone that this is "required" demonstrates that you do not understand how these new channels really work.

My guess is that this specific Podcast didn’t even take the time to check out a previous Blog posting of mine titled, How To Get On Someone’s Blogroll.


  1. Run fast. A number of librarians (of which a few would be connected to you) have been spammed with “guest post requests” that also requested a link for some kind of monetization. The transparency wasn’t exactly there either as the owner of the site was not the same as the person making the request.
    In short, it all sounds really fishy to me.

  2. Good call, Mitch. I’m also seeing a huge rise in the “follow me!” Twitter follows in which some innocent-looking person claims to be trying to reach a number of followers. My guess is that blogrolls, URL links in Twitter, and the like are the next obvious target now that Google is coming down hard on spammy websites and linkbait.
    And I think you’re right: The pay-to-be-interviewed model smacks of the calls I used to get from so-called “radio programs” that turned out to be in-flight programming hosted by someone once famous. I think consumers are wise to such tactics.

  3. The Marketing Over Coffee Marketing Podcast would like to announce that we will accept absurd sums of money for no good reason as well. If you’d like to fling money down a hole, please consider our hole.

  4. When I said I wouldn’t charge you, I meant like.. “free as in beer” charge.
    Seriously. Aieeeee. That’s just nasty. I have a tongue-biting moment going on here and so tempted to out the person who offered to interview you, but I’m behaving.
    Canadian podcasters would know.

  5. Wow. Normally I’d use a lot of expletives saying they have not the slightest idea on how social media works… but this is just common sense!

  6. I feel honored if someone even chooses to follow me on twitter! Blogroll is double the honour at least. I would never dream of asking, much less “requiring” that someone put me there.
    I think you are right on – this company did not takt the time to understand the medium. It is simply trying to capitalize on what they perceive as a trend.
    Your story didn’t say but I hope you told them where they coulf stuff their interview?

  7. Unbelievable. Especially considering you probably would have worked in a link somehow into a blog post anyway. Definitely spammy.
    Thanks for the heads up, Mitch!

  8. Wow. A company with a struggling podcast and few followers loses an opportunity to put up an interview with one of the thought leaders in the marketing world because they’re greedy.
    Sounds like OLD marketing to me. That’s what happens when you try to shove an old way of thinking into a new set of tools.
    Their loss!

  9. That is brutal. Great content is an integral part of blogs and podcasts…to be given great content then ask for something above and beyond is both ignorant and greedy.

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