image of a letter box

As an indie author you have to make yourself wear a lot of different hats. Your writer’s hat is different to your marketing hat. It’s the marketing hat that can sometimes be the most time consuming. If you’re not careful, you will find it takes up more time than the actual writing of your books.

One aspect of marketing is content marketing. That’s where a writer uses his/her writing skills on a blog in order to gain an audience. No mean feat in itself. But then you have to be aware that your blog will not only attract an audience of readers who want to read your work, it will also attract a lot of spam if it’s a blog with a a lot of traffic.

My blog is attracting on average 300+ readers a day. I’ve even hit over a thousand a couple of times. But I get a lot of spam from that as well. I use a WordPress site that is attached to my main website which enables me greater control of the blog. But that means I have a constant battle trying to get rid of spam. Today it was 17 comments that, as I become more knowledgeable on how spammers spam, I can recognise comments as spam more easily. Each comment has to be from somewhere and they leave a tell-tale that you can see at once if it’s spam. Apparently I have a lot of readers in a tiny pacific island called Niue. How do I know? Anyone commenting from Niue will leave an address which is showing they come from Niue because the end of the address ends in .nu which is the country code top-level domain representing Niue, a tiny island nation located around 2,400 kilometres northeast of New Zealand. Of course, I don’t have a big following in Niue, these comments are all spam. How can I be sure, because the comments are so obviously generated by a bot to make them look as close to being real as a bot can, which when you read enough spam comments you realise they follow a pattern.

Spam is the bane of anyone’s life and I get it in spades, through my blog and through emails and I’m spending more and more time sifting through the rubbish. So why don’t I download a plugin that does the task for me, at least on my blog. Believe me, I’ve tried and I have yet to find one that works well enough to give it free rein on my blog. So I’m afraid it’s going to have to be something more drastic and I’ll simply have to remove the ability to comment on my blog.

So, in my career as a writer I have gone from writing to spam spotter. It’s not something I enjoy, it’s more like an endurance race and I’ll not be beaten by an app that can’t write in English… I can muck my own sentences up thank you very much.

But I have learned something useful from this experience, in that Niue looks such a fabulous place I’m going to place a trip to Niue on my bucket list of twenty places to visit before I drop dead. You learn something Niue every day.

image of the sea around Niue

Image from theculturetrip.com

Tom Kane © 2018

As a English expat author living in Cyprus, you may think my life revolves around cocktails by the pool. You would be wrong. In ten years on the island I’ve had my fair share of adventures and interesting experiences.

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Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

 

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Living in Cyprus: 2015 here

Hitler’s Secret Atomic Bomb here

An Indie Author Quick Guide to Blogging here

 

 

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