The TSA agent repeated the same request in sing song fashion.
Kelli and I had no idea how to go about the process.
He continued singing the request from a condescending, impatient space.
In a pleasant but firm way I finally smiled and said: “Ya know, this is our first time doing this. We don’t do this every day like you.”
He dialed it down a notch.
I could see both sides of the situation.
I worked as a pier guard in a shipping terminal for 4 years. Sure I recall doing similar rote tasks hundreds of times daily. Sometimes newbie truckers felt lost. I had patience with these individuals. Sometimes experienced truckers felt lost in the process even though they had experience. You betcha I had patience with them.
I had to get clear with the TSA guy because even now, as a professional blogger far removed from my security guard days, I am able to do a full 180 from his impatient ‘tude when dealing with spammers.
The Airport Lesson
Guys, I know spammers annoy you sometimes. Desperate or seemingly clueless bloggers reaching out to you may drive you mad in moments.
You are human. You are entitled to blow off steam once in a while.
But remember the firm, polite and clear line I spoke to the impatient, rude TSA agent.
He may do this everyday but me and my wife were new to the process.
You may get the same lame pitches daily but these spammers are many times new to the process of building a blog. Some spammers are completely ignorant of successful blogging strategies, like the powerful advice offered by my friend Cori Ramos here.
Do your best to have compassion for these folks because they know not what they do.
No need to be the blogging version of the Dalai Lama. But you can nudge a spammer in the right direction with helpful links goading them to build blogging relationships properly.
If a stranger asks to guest post on Blogging From Paradise I thank them for reaching out to me and send this link:
Think education, not humiliation.
These folks have no idea that they are annoying you in most cases. The majority have no idea what the blogging world looks like through your set of glasses.
When I began blogging a decade ago I got pissed when established bloggers emailed me 1 or 2 word answers sometimes. Little did I know how connecting with hundreds of folks daily influences you to be short and clear versus the long-winded emails that failing blogger me sent during those lean days.
I gradually saw blogging from a pro blogger’s perspective as my presence expanded.
Now I respond in 1-3 sentences most of the time because anything more would be ineffiicent and ineffective.
- Take a deep breath when dealing with spammers; ground yourself in the process
- Understand that ignorance and downright green-ness often influences bloggers to spam
- Even though you deal with spammers regularly the spamming bloggers may be relatively new to the online world
- Send some spammers links for how to effectively network with and befriend successful bloggers
- Educate; don’t humiliate
Be patient guys.
The spammer you want to eviscerate may just become your most loyal reader when you educate them. Learning how to network effectively may goad them to comment genuinely on your blog, to buy your products, to endorse you or to hire you.
You never know how helping a struggling blogger may turn out over the long haul.
A friend of mine who sent out spammy messages almost a decade ago had no idea he was spamming. He was not up on blogging etiquette.
He turned things around and now has a wildly successful YouTube channel in addition to being featured on major media outlets.
Be compassionate. Your act of kindness can make a dramatic difference.
How do you handle spammers?
Do you try to be compassionate with these folks?
If you want to network effectively buy my eBook: