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I just spent some time on my lunch break wearing my Sphinn Moderator cap. Going through the recent submissions was like a "How Not to Succeed on Sphinn" experience. So here’s a list of what I found, shared in the hopes that it helps you make Sphinn more enjoyable for everyone.

1.) Submitting a sales pitch disguised as an article. Your offer to reward people who refer-a-friend for your SEO services is spam. So is your list of cool domains that has gray text at the bottom saying, "These domains are for sale."

2.) Submitting your blog (as a whole) or your web site (as a whole). Sphinn isn’t a directory. It’s a news site. Submit articles, blog posts, etc. -- but not your blog’s home page.

3.) Awful headline titles. Edit out the name of your blog, the category the post is in, and all the other crap that your blog platform adds. Make your headline readable and interesting.

4.) Uninteresting descriptions of your post. A good description is often what makes me decide to read your article or not. Saying "Interesting article!" doesn’t make me want to read it.

5.) Not creating a unique/noticeable avatar. Spammers use the default green wheel. Why are you still using it?

6.) Poor choice of a user name. If your plan is to submit articles that promote your product, you may want to avoid using your product’s name as your member name. Just a thought.

7.) Off-topic. Just because I have to use my eyes to write or read doesn’t mean a post about the importance of eye protection to your blogging career is on-topic. (I can take my laptop into the bathroom and do online marketing in there, but you don’t think posts about toilet paper are apppropriate, do you?)


Bonus mistake, more from general observation than from lunchtime modding: Not taking part in the community. If you want to get noticed and have people read/vote up/comment on your stories, start by reading/voting up/commenting on their stories.
Comments23 Comments  

Comments

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from seofactor 2577 Days ago #
Votes: 2

RE: "(I can take my laptop into the bathroom and do online marketing in there, but you don’t think posts about toilet paper are apppropriate, do you?) " God, tell me he doesn’t have a webcam.

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from SlightlyShadySEO 2577 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Heh I agree with pretty much all those points(although I’ve been guilty of not editing my blog name out before). I’m a picky sphinner, and I don’t think I’ve ever sphunn a plain green icon.With how competitive it’s getting here, it’s kind of important to do everything you can. Even some articles that gain a lot of momentum really quickly(and are high quality) end up getting bumped due to sheer volume of submissions during peak times.Play smart kids!

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from g1smd 2577 Days ago #
Votes: 3

Can I add, "submitting 3 stories in a row"  to that list? Several people seem to do that regularly. Some do 4 at times too.  In general, none of those stories were that worthy of a vote or comment.

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from SlightlyShadySEO 2577 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Yeah. I agree with g1smd. If I have a few articles I want to submit at once, I just stagger the timings. It’s REALLY not that hard. Also, it actually helps you in the long run, in case your first article gets buried by a hot submission time, the second still has a chance.

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from AndyBeard 2577 Days ago #
Votes: 4

Submitting 3 4 or even 5 posts in succession, sometimes all from the same domain just drives me crazy, especially if someone never takes part in discussions.People only submitting or voting on their own contentSeeing the first 6 votes on a story within 2 minutes from a green avatar account that was just created rings all kinds of alarm bells

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from SlightlyShadySEO 2577 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Yeah. Maybe it would be good to connect story submission ability to contribution? So people have to be at least a little active. Although, realistically, people would probably just sphinn random articles until they could post :-(

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from floppy 2577 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Great Tips, I totally agree.  I like to sphinn my own stuff sometimes, but it hardly is my focus on the site.  Also, I like to help those I see really taking interest in the community and participating with others.

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from shelleyk 2577 Days ago #
Votes: 1

I am new so thank you for sharing the advice!Shelley

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from MattMcGee 2577 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Glad it helped, shelleyk. :) Thanks for the good comments, gang -- agreed on the machine gun submissions. I didn’t see any of those at lunch, thankfully.

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from rotatedspectrum 2577 Days ago #
Votes: 0

wait...I thought we weren’t supposed to submit our own blog...? ;)

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from SlightlyShadySEO 2577 Days ago #
Votes: 0

No, I believe it actually says you ARE supposed to. Better than getting crappy titles and descriptions.It’s just nice to pump someone else’s article too from time to time(w/o overdoing it)

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from scorpio70 2577 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Oops. I think I’ve made 4 or 5 of these mistakes. And I’ve only been using Sphinn for - what? A week? Ack! (sorry) But wait - that has to be some kind of record! Finally - My moment of internet fame!! I’m like the Star Wars Kid of Sphinn!!! Err, um, wait a minute...

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from ckata 2577 Days ago #
Votes: 0

LOL - this is one funny but true post!

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from JMorris 2576 Days ago #
Votes: -1

"2.) Submitting your blog (as a whole) or your web site (as a whole). Sphinn isn’t a directory. It’s a news site. Submit articles, blog posts, etc. -- but not your blog’s home page."Come on now. There’s nothing wrong with a little self-promotion, provided that:1. What you’re submitting is actually worthwhile to someone other than yourself2. You do it in moderation, i.e.: once in a while, not once a day.3. You invest far more time Sphinning and commenting other peoples articles that are note-worthyAfter all, it’s pretty rare that a break finds you. You have to go out and make your own breaks. ;-)Other than that, I agree with everything else. BTW... I do agree with that last part about not submitting your blog’s homepage. Posts, yes. Homepage, no. :-)

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from Wiep 2576 Days ago #
Votes: 0

JMorris, that one’s about "Submitting your blog (as a whole)". Like you already stated, "Posts, yes. Homepage, no." ;)

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from g1smd 2576 Days ago #
Votes: 0

That was the whole point.   It was about not submitting the root URL of a site.Of course you can submit stuff from your own site. That was never in question.

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from crimsongirl 2576 Days ago #
Votes: 1

Good post, but I wonder about:<font size="2">"Not taking part in the community. If you want to get noticed and have people read/vote up/comment on your stories, start by reading/voting up/commenting on their stories."It seems to me that there is too much clique-formation.  How else to explain why some unremarkable (if not downright bad) posts make it to hot topics?  I think some people Sphinn a submission just because they like or want to impress the original submitter.</font>

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from JMorris 2576 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@Wiep,Thanks for clarifying. I realized what you meant after submitting my comment. Sorry for the confusion. I chose to leave the comment because there seems to be an attitude from some that people submitting stories from their own site is a bad thing as a whole.

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from SlightlyShadySEO 2576 Days ago #
Votes: 1

@crimsongirl: for some stuff, it’s absolutely unavoidable. Certain people just have name recognition that’s going to give them a boost. Like if Aaron Wall decides to come in and drop a link, it’s going to get sphunn. Name recognition is a part of marketing, and one we have to accept. Or better yet, go out an make a name for ourselves :-)

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from steaprok 2576 Days ago #
Votes: 0

@mattmcgee - thanks for the thoughtful post providing us a glimpse into the mind of a Sphinn mod =)  I found it very useful!

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from aimClear 2576 Days ago #
Votes: 2

Never submit when you’re naked. It turns people off. :)

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from SpostareDuro 2575 Days ago #
Votes: 0

aim: LOL

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from floppy 2570 Days ago #
Votes: 0

Machine Gun Submissions, catchy.

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