I want to write a short post and get some feedback from my readers to see if I’m just on another planet or if Tumblr is completely missing the point.
As part of this year’s 30 Day Challenge, we watched a video on how to sign up for and use Tumblr to help drive traffic to our new niche sites. The video was very careful to tell us to pay attention to the Terms of Service and to abide by them. We were reminded that it would all be for nothing if we tried to set up a crappy site with no value and affiliate links because this is something Tumblr expressly prohibits.
I had never used Tumblr before but because I have a great deal of trust in and respect for Ed Dale and his associates I thought I’d give it a try. Here is my story.
I went to their site and supplied the info they needed. I decided I would test it by setting up a .tumblr domain using the relevant keywords for this blog to see how quickly it would send traffic to my site. I did the initial account creation steps and was thrust immediately into the content creation module. I received no email that an account had been set up or any details about it. I thought this was odd right off the bat.
I created a short blog post that I felt would be relevant to anybody who would be interested in my blog using the site’s keywords. I posted a link to my blog and not a sales page. No spam or trash links. I finished the post up and submitted it. I figured I’d give it a couple of days before I checked stats and updated the content.
To my dismay, two days later I was met with a useless message when I tried to log in that mumbled on about Firefox not being able to complete the page load. Only looking in the URL bar was I able to see the /suspended at the end of the Tumblr domain. My head scratching started at this point. I couldn’t think of anthing I could possibly have done to warrant suspension. Again, I had received not even a system-generated email telling me what had transpired.
I checked the 30 Day Challenge forums and noticed that many people had this happen to them. Apparently, a huge percentage of people from the 30DC who had set up legitimate accounts to help link together their web assets were suspended as well.
I finally sat down this morning and found a way to contact them (which is very difficult because Tumblr blocks access to even their site until you delete their cookie) and found out that the link to my blog was seen as an affiliate link and my account would remain suspended. No email when this happened either. When I asked for clarification I was only asked “Can you see how having a Tumblr domain with ‘starting an online business’ in it with a link to a blog about ‘starting an online business’ would be seen as affiliate marketing?”
Maybe you need to read that last sentence again…
That’s right-my account was suspended because it was set up using keywords relevant to my readers and had a single link leading back to my blog. Not a sales page or directory or viagra site or adsense but my blog. The Terms of Service may have mentioned something about links in posts but who would ever suspect using legitimate links to a real resource would or should be seen as a policy violation? To top it off, I have been reading in the 30 Day Challenge forums where it has been suggested by more than one person that Tumblr knew about the 30DC recommendation and received such a flood of traffic and sign-ups that they just started block suspending accounts that appeared to be associated with it. Apparently, they did the same thing with last year’s 30DC.
I asked them one last time how that could possibly be seen as affiliate marketing and received no clarification. I then wrote them back and told them to delete my account and a few choice words about them totally not understanding web 2.0. No cussing or insults were used. Again, I received no response.
A Better Alternative
Even though it’s not a blogging platform, here is the link to a review of a hot tool to help you gain backlinks to your site legitimately by blog commenting. The tool is called Fast Blog Finder an you can find the full review on the ScriptCritics site here.
OK, now it’s your turn.
Please add your comments below and tell me if you’ve had a similar experience with Tumblr or if you have found a way to make good use of it.
For my money, I’ll be avoiding it like the plague and recommending others do the same.
Editor’s Note: Thankfully, Ed and his associates have posted a link to a web 2.0 resource to help people find an alternative to Tumblr. I should also mention that Ed personally apologized for recommending Tumblr in light of what happened.
The resource is GO2Web20.net
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[tags]social media,affiliate links,tumblr suspension,go2web20.net[/tags]