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Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Why I'll Never Be an Unscrupulous Promoter

Greetings, dear readers!

Today is Day 3 of the 21 day blogging challenge. I must say, I'm starting to like this little pursuit.

As my blogging venture expands, I may have to occasionally promote products from time to time for marketing purposes. I used to think this was crass, but I've come to accept ads, product promotions and affiliate links as just another cost of doing business. After all, blogging can be a rather lucrative business. These kinds of promotion tactics are fine and dandy, except that alot of the time, the products being promoted are either impractical for my sort of low-income lifestyle, or too expensive for the tight, shoestring budget I keep.

Coconut oil, not just for hippies. Pic found here
Take for example, coconut oil. During my online adventures, I will occasionally come across a granola/yuppie blog promoting coconut oil and its various uses. Yes, it is a highly useful cosmetic agent and of significant culinary use, but am I going to take the trouble to promote an ORGANIC, NON-GMO, SUPER REFINED AND SERVED IN A BIODEGRADABLE JAR brand of coconut oil? Absolutely not. While it's nice that the coconut oil might have those things, it would also be quite pricey. Even if your local grocery store stocked such a brand, EBT/food stamp restrictions might not make it worth buying. Online retailers don't even accept food stamps, so that option is clean off the table too.

TL;DR: if I wouldn't buy or use such a product, I wouldn't push it on you.

Prior to resuming my blogging activities, I worked in a call center selling cable tv/internet/phone packages to customers of Verizon Communications. I hated the call center I worked in for various reasons, but I hated selling even more because being a good salesperson requires knowing how to lie to people. By nature, I am a terrible liar. It also didn't help that Verizon's services were centered in the northeastern part of the US and the East Coast, as well as parts of Texas, Florida, and California. Living in Arizona, we had no means of knowing what quality of service Verizon provided for the prices it was listing. I also famously avoid TV and phone service like the plague, relying solely on the internet for my means of entertainment and communication. As such, my sales weren't especially great and I was eventually moved to a different project, but the dark lessons I learned about the nature of sales stuck with me and I vowed to do a more honest job if I ever had to sell stuff again.

My policy of promotions also extends to services. As it stands right now, I have no subscriptions to any sort of streaming entertainment services like Netflix or Hulu, no extended product warranties, nothing like that. I do, however, make use of whatever free services I can find like Hangouts for VoIP and the various platforms offered by Google for use in communication and entertainment. Basically, if I can find a free alternative to a paid service, I will take that route. It's not a matter of being a cheapass, I legitimately can't afford anything else!

If I am going to promote anything, I will promote the things or services which I feel would legitimately improve your life. As much abuse as it has taken in the millenia since it was first formulated, I try and make it a point to hold to the Golden Rule when it comes to sales because nobody likes being lied to and nobody likes being pushed to buy something they can't afford or use.

What's something you vow never to do? Please share in the comments below.

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