Snake oil offers on WordPress

Having been actively blogging on WordPress for ~2.5 years, I’ve gotten my share of commercial offers via comments on my blog post. Actually, snake oil salesmen also like to employ the twin strategies of ‘liking’ blog posts and ‘following’ blogs to get people’s attention… both of which I simply ignore.

As far as comments with advertisements go, they generally fall into three categories:

  1. The direct appeal: Some commercial comments are straightforward – they don’t bother relating to the blog posts that they’re posted on. Rather, they simply contain advertisements with email addresses and phone numbers for me to contact, should I be enticed by their generous offers.
  2. Content’less comments: Some advertisers will post comments on my blog posts that clearly lack any substance. This could be something like the word “cool” and nothing more. The intent with such comments is simply to draw my attention to their blogs and to potentially draw the attention of my readers, should I foolishly approve the comment.
  3. Hidden links in comments: Some advertisers will insert a link into their comments by linking a particular word in an otherwise reasonable comment. They might write something like, “This is really interesting; thank you!” In and of itself, such a comment seems fine, but the word “interesting” contains a link to a commercial website.

Of course, I don’t let any of these comments through. Many of them are caught by WordPress’s spam filter, and still others catch my own eye; but all of them get ‘blocked’ and ‘deleted’ tout de suite. (Incidentally, if you’d like to know how to block someone from commenting on your blog, check out this blogging tip of mine: ‘#10: Dealing with spam on WordPress’.)

The most memorable offers thus far

I think it would be fun to share the craziest offers that we’ve received on our blogs.

Some of the offers I’ve received have been banal, including sales of fashionable men’s clothes; yoga and meditation workshops; jewelry; art; video games and technological gadgets; etc.; etc.

However, other offers have left me chuckling at their absurdity – they’ve been off the wall! I was reminded of these recently, because I recently received a wave of ridiculous spam comments. These have included:

  • Illuminati membership;
  • Ukrainian brides (that was before the war);
  • Asian gurus who can cure all ailments;
  • Offers to invest in foreign business ventures;
  • Cream to grow back my hair (how do they know I’m bald?);
  • Offers of money to spread the Gospel of Jesus;
  • Pay to turn my blog into a ‘Money Maker’;
  • Cryptocurrency investment

How about you guys? What kinds of crazy spam have you received on WordPress?

70 thoughts on “Snake oil offers on WordPress”

  1. Nope – never had any of those! They sound rather entertaining!

    But I do get lots of spam (all automatically put in the spam folder) that contains just a link. Of course, only a fool would click on any of those. I screwed my settings down tight when I started my blog, as I spent my career in IT. My IT Security training was from the Royal Navy – the practicals were amazing.

      1. Actually, I was a Climate Scientist and then a Telecommunications Engineer working for the UK Meteorological Office โ€“ which was part of the Ministry of Defence. The RN was the service most interested in IT Security at the time (Gulf War 1). Guess the Army was too busy shooting things and the Air force had their heads in the clouds! ๐Ÿ™‚

        I left when they used the Comms system I had developed to help kill civilians in Baghdad. I had been very naive. I can understand a just war, but not bombing children.

  2. I’m not popular enough or have enough ‘popular/trending’ content enough to get that much in way of comments/emails/likes/follows OR maybe, I just have my ‘settings screwed down so tight’ from get go, to much effort for small liklihood of ‘gains’ – and yet – I know so many struggle with this, here – and I see, increasingly, for my clients that I build sites for using the platform/tools, how much they are hounded if I don’t put in enough fail safes, etc., for them, too –

    That said – this, for me, has always been my personal – write, connect with like minded souls and/or passionate souls on this topic or that, that we each learn/grow from each other, even if we don’t agree or know fully, ourselves, what each struggles with/has experienced, thus far – –

    And sometimes, I reach out to offer what I think I have available that might be of use/useful – I’m not doing that as much – I never understood, really, that if I do such things, most on receiving end, either expect totally free OR are expecting a hard sale they can shut me down over – alas, I’m a learning – –

    I’m down to my last ‘books to purchase/send’ to another, ‘to-do’ item – I JUST spoke on phone with, a couple days ago, the second to the last recipient of books on my list to purchase/gift to others, that was bought/purchased/delivered a couple of months ago –

    They said, “I appreciate it so much! I can’t believe you did this! They look brand new! how did you know??”

    Me? “Um, we discussed months ago – I sent offer, you finally responded, I put books/delivery address on my list and I started keeping an eye out for or budgeting to purchase/mail to you – glad you are enjoying after it took me some time, but I told you I would, so why are you surprised?”

    I don’t claim to understand all this – except – when I get likes/invites or comments for fashion, cyber currency, real estate mogul stuff, hot women, regaining my manly power/pride or brides from this country or the other (spam email, comments/invites on WP, etc.)??

    I just LAUGH MY ARSE OFF AND GET such a GREAT LAUGHING BOOST to my DAY & HEalth! Cuz – well – obviously, those folks don’t know me at all – and sigh – sad, for them, they picked the wrong place to expend their efforts – but really – to me???

    LOL! Now THAT/THIS is FUNNY!!! to me! ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€ ๐Ÿ˜€

  3. Hehe! Yes they are there and even if I block one, it shows up with a slightly different name/address. Seems they all really liked my 2021 Looking for Poetry post for NPM as that is the post they are all commenting on! So far most want me to do online gambling, followed by telling me that my sex life just needs their toy/pill/video. The latest spate is telling me that there is a problem viewing my content on Chrome and I need to let them help me switch to their platform (from China, Russia, and Iraq)… I just laugh and “permanently delete”!

  4. Very little spam gets through the filter to my blog–maybe I don’t have enough followers. I do check spam occasionally to look for real comments that WordPress likes to place there occasionally, but I don’t even register the contents of the actual spam. I just delete it. (K)

  5. These are wonderful tips, David. Helpful for protecting oneโ€™s sites from scammers. Iโ€™ve come across so many such comments too in my spambox. I just ignore โ€™em and empty my spambox straight away. Some of them have malicious intents. Thanks for bringing this to our attention. Amazing.

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