Dear Spammers

After yet another dodgy, unsolicited business proposal, I write an open letter to those whose business strategy entails criticising web design and SEO optimisation, hoping I'm dumb enough to part with my money.

| Journal | 3 min read

Dear Spammers,

I'm writing this letter with sincere affection and appreciation. As my web traffic increases, you have done your very best to make me feel welcome and loved with your unsolicited emails and business offers. I acknowledge your opinion of my lack of design and SEO skills. I understand that you can better optimise my site with your expensive plugins. I even appreciate that my readers will benefit greatly from me publishing links to your articles/products/services.

Since time is important — mine and yours — I provide below my response to your list of suggestions, in the hope we can reach a proper understanding.

Tl:Dr Bugger off!

Linking to your content...

While you may believe your article, product or service is best for my audience, I disagree. Even the most cursory glance of the links you provide for consideration demonstrate this is not so. When I link to an article, I typically do so to reference something I've read, or support an argument I've made. Yes, sometimes I might even link to a friend's blog post, or occasionally a product or service for which I actually get a commission.

I am somewhat bemused the links you provide have little in the way of relevance to what I've written. I find this somewhat problematic and potentially damaging to my brand. My readers, I hope, particularly those who enjoy my product reviews, trust my opinions, and I'm not prepared to violate that trust.

I should note with the most robust possible language... I will not promote articles containing links to dubious software downloads or other potentially nefarious material.

Alas, I'm not in the business of providing you with free advertising or traffic.

Search engine optimisation...

While I understand your obsession with SEO, I care little about it. Sure, I add relevant keywords and an accurate description of my site's content to the metadata. I am not particularly interested in keyword stuffing or other sleazy practices designed to trick Google * et al*.

For the most part, my approach of writing the articles I fancy and being honest about what they are seems to be working. While my success as a blogger is modest, I'm happy with what I've achieved... after all, you wouldn't have found me in the first place if my site was invisible.

Mobile optimisation...

Your repeated insistence that my site is not optimised for the mobile experience is duly noted. I bow to your wisdom and technical skill. Although you have not been gracious enough to include links to your portfolio of work or testimonials in your unsolicited proposal...

For years I've used the Bootstrap framework as the basis for my site's layout and design. You may have heard of it. They claim to be the most popular CSS and JavaScript framework in the world. Their stated mission is to help developers:

Build responsive, mobile-first projects on the web with the world’s most popular front-end component library.

Clearly I, and much of the world is mistaken in our choice.

Nevertheless, I will be sure to pass your complaints to the project. In the spirit of open-source, perhaps you too can submit your bug reports to the appropriate venue. Indeed, you can even contribute code, that would be far more useful to society than bothering me. The latter is most appropriate, given that your technical skills generally outweigh your command of the English language.

Wordpress optimisation...

Your offer to optimise my broken Wordpress installation is genuinely astounding. You seem to have discovered something about my toolchain that was a complete mystery to me. I'm truly shocked. I honestly believed I was using a static-site generator and hosting on serverless architecture with my content stored in a private GitHub repository.

Clearly, this was a mistake, and you know better...I am at a loss to explain this. I can only speculate that Pelican is secretly using Wordpress to build my site. If so, this is a considerable technical achievement given Pelican is written in Python and Wordpress in PHP.

Or perhaps you should actually look at the sites you are spamming before sending out your generic emails...just a thought.

Concluding thoughts

In summary, I appreciate your offer, but quite frankly your business proposal, technical acumen and marketing strategy is bollocks. In the interest of saving us both time, kindly direct your correspondence in writing to my business manager at the following address:

Dev Null
Leaf Mealone & assoc.
1 Nonsense Place
Foobar 7151

Yours sincerely,

Chris Rosser

Cover photo by Pau Casals on Unsplash

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