Frequently Asked Questions

I've heard I need to blog, but I don't really understand why. Can you tell me?
Two reasons: The world and Google.

First, the world.

More and more every day, people are learning about the world through the internet, even for small, local or niche businesses. Blogging is one way of just letting people know not only what you do, but how you fit into the communities in which you operate. Think of a really good salesperson that you know -- the great ones will tell you that they don't make the sale by talking about the product. Often they are just good at making small talk and chatting in a way that makes the buyer feel comfortable. Blogging is like that: small talk that's generally related to your business.

Now, if you are in a fashion shoe business and you write a bunch of posts about space exploration or organic gardening, well, customers will look at you askance. But if you write about socks, pants, hats, handbags and general fashion trends, the customers will enjoy it for the small talk that it is.

Now, for the Google reason:

Remember that old Gary Larson cartoon about what we say and what dogs hear?
Far Side Cartoon About What Dogs Hear
Google is a little like that dog. It only hears your keywords. The rest of the words don't matter all that much, as long as your keywords are in the text of the blogs in just the right amounts.

Now, a bunch of slimeballs tried to create robots that would talk to the dogs, and just say the dog names over and over, but Google is a smart puppy, and has figured out the difference between robots talking and people talking. Google still doesn't enjoy a well-crafted turn of phrase and Google doesn't giggle at a deft witticism. But like a good dog, Google knows the voice of a real person, and can hear all the keywords that get spoken.

Part of what Google tracks is not just what you say once, but what you say over time. You could put up a site that's perfectly optimized for your keywords, and you still won't do as well as a similar company with a junky page, but a blog that gets new content regularly.
Will the blog posts be written just for me?
Yes. The writers will know about and study your site, and they will have a specific set of keywords that they will be working from when they write a post for you to look at.
How do I know that the blog posts you send me are not copied from somewhere?
Because we use some pretty sophisticated software (we think it might have lasers or something) that check. Also, the pack of writers constantly check each other and make sure that only original stuff gets rewarded.
My blog is really a reflection of me. How can someone else write that?
It may be that BlogMutt is not for you. If your blog really is a reflection of you, and your business is based to some degree on your personality, then you should write your own blogs. For instance, actors, investors, and politicians should write their own blogs because their business is an extension of who they are. Also BlogMutt is not designed for blogs where the blog is the business. If you are trying to build an audience based on your reporting and your writing, well, it should be your writing.

But if you have a regular business selling a service or a product, and just use your blog for awareness in the same way that you might buy some keyword or local newsletter advertising, then it's important to blog all the time. If writing for you is a breeze and you have enough time to write blog posts every week, that's great. If not, there's BlogMutt.
When I was setting up my blog I read that it's a violation to use the blog for advertising or SEO. If I use BlogMutt, will I be breaking the rules?
No. They are talking about two things that are banned, and to people unfamiliar with this universe those two might seem like what a blog is doing.

The two things are paid links, and spam blogs.

First, paid links: Regular links are a natural part of the connective tissue of the internet. What search engines -- and now the US federal government -- don't like are links that appear to be something helpful, but secretly are part of a paid transaction. You can have paid links, you just need to identify them as paid links. That's what Google does, and why that company has more money than Fort Knox and all the Swiss Banks combined. Every time you see a link at the top with the word "ads" you are looking at a paid link. It's the identification of those paid links as paid links that makes it OK. (With BlogMutt, we'll make sure that the posts we write for you follow all Google's rules and the Federal Trade Commission rules, primarily by not including any ads at all.)

The second thing banned is spam blogs. These are blogs set up for no other reason than to send lots of links to other sites. We will also make sure your blog posts do not fall into this category.
I'm spending (insert number here) on Google AdWords right now so I'm on the first page of search results. Why should I try to get in the regular/organic search results?
What the Google people will tell you is that it all helps. If you are high in the regular (organic) search results it will help the performance of your ad on the paid advertising side of the search result page. If you have a good ad, people are more likely to click your regular link. You've probably heard the old bromide that people need to hear a name five times before they really remember it. If you can be on the search engine results page twice, you are two-fifths of the way there!

Also, the numbers vary widely, but in general about 90 percent of the clicks on a search engine results page are on the organic side. It's fine to be on the advertising side, but if you actually do want people to click on your site you are better off on the organic, non-ad side of the results page.

One last thing: Nothing against Google, but you have to pay every time someone clicks on your ad. You don't have to pay anything when someone clicks on a non-ad link result on a search engine results page. With all the money you save, you can finally take that vacation to see the biggest paperclip collection in the world.
I've got some key words that I want to do well on, will you focus on those?
Yes. That's a part of the service. The thing is, you can focus too much on your keywords, and it starts to look to Google like you are a spam blog. If they decide that, you get penalized by Google and you don't show up anywhere in any search results. We'll make sure you get the Goldilocks amount of keywords: not too many and not too few, but just right.
I don't have a blog right now, should I start one on my site, or should I just start one on blogger.com, wordpress.com or one of the others?
Believe it or not there are experts who will come to fisticuffs discussing this issue. The reality for most small or medium-sized businesses is that it just doesn't matter too much.
  • If you can build your own blog on your own site, that's great, but you will need to work a bit harder to make sure Google finds your site in the first place.
  • If you build a blog on a blogging site, you will just need to do a very good job of ensuring that you link to your site from that blog. If you decide to hire BlogMutt (woof woof!!) we will make sure that every blog post has at least two and sometimes three links to your site, typically one to the home page, one to another page, and one to your contact page.
So, the most important thing is to blog... exactly where doesn't matter as much.
How will I let the writers know what kinds of blogs I like to see?
The writers can see several things, including your blog and your site, so they'll learn a lot from that. Together you and we here at BlogMutt will come up with a list of key words to work on, so they'll have that. If you have a list of your favorite sites on your site, we can use that to get inspiration from, too. In short, we'll have a number of tools in the toolbox to help the writers come up with posts that are interesting, relevant, and helpful.
How do we know the writers are not a competitor of mine?
One of the great parts about putting the BlogMutt to work for you is that we work to make sure every blog post is doing everything you need it to do, and not doing what it shouldn't do. We'll be checking to make sure that the links go to your page, or to other interesting sites. They won't go to the sites that you tell us to avoid.

The reality for you in your small or medium-sized businesses is that while competition can be a threat, the biggest threat comes from a public that just doesn't know that you exist, and can't find you on the internet. That's what BlogMutt can help you fix.
What about Facebook and all the rest? People tell me I need to do that, too.
It's true, the whole social media layer is now absolutely a part of the connective tissue of the internet. The problem is that you need to have something to say when you go on to one of those social networks. In addition to whatever you want to post on Facebook, you can choose to have your blog posts also update on your Facebook and Twitter accounts. You can choose if you want to do that or not, but it makes sense for you to do it because it will be new stuff to fill up those pipes.
Our blog right now is written by staff, and has a bunch of product stuff on it. Wouldn't it be weird to just start mixing in a bunch of posts with other news in it?
It might be, it's hard to say for sure. Most blogs have a mix of all kinds of stuff so most readers probably won't notice. If you are really concerned about it, just set up a new blog, either on your site or on wordpress.com or something. Link to it from somewhere on your site, maybe your existing blog. Lots of companies have more than one blog. If you think it's some sort of violation of Google's rules, well, you've clearly never seen this page with all of the dozens of official google blogs.
So, will these blog posts really belong to me?
Yes. They'll be written by us, but our writer agreements make it very clear that every post that gets published belongs 100 percent to you. It can never be used again and no claim can ever be made on the content in the future. It's all yours.
Shouldn't I really be writing all my own blog posts?
Yes, you should. You should also get 60 minutes of exercise every day, and you should give at least 10 percent of your money to help the children. Or 20. Yes. 20. Think of the children, won't you? Oh, and you should eat more bran.

We can't help you with those other things, but we can help you write your blog posts. Writing is hard, and it's not for everyone. You are good at what you do in your business, and you hire what you can. You hire an accountant to help you with taxes because that's not what you do. Same goes for blogging.
Can I give you a list of the sites that I for sure don't want any blog posts linking to?
Yes.
What happens if I like two articles written for me by the Blogmutt writers, but I only get one a week. Can I just pick two of them?
No problem! We have a "Post Now" button. You just click that and pay $15 for each additional post over the one that's included each week.
BlogMutt? Are you for real?
Yes. We are two guys who've worked together on two previous businesses, and now are working on this one from the home office in Boulder, Colo.
Our blog is written by our staff members, and their names are right in the posts. How should we attribute the posts written by the pack of BlogMutts?
It's up to you, of course. You could create a new entity with blog-posting privileges just called "staff." You could turn off the attribution. You can just post them under your own name, we won't mind. Whatever solution you pick won't make any difference, really, to your readers or to Google.
Who are these writers in the BlogMutt pack? Don't they get offended at being called dogs?
Look, we like dogs, especially mutts. Our writers are not prima dona show dogs who are all high maintenance and aren't especially good at doing anything. Our writers are a lovable mix of knowledge workers who just happen to be pretty good at writing and they like the flexibility of working in their own home on their own schedule. It's hard to find jobs as writers these days, so for some of our writers this is a way to get paid for doing something they enjoy.
I hear these stories about "flame wars" on the internet. What happens if I set up a blog and people get in fights over what we post?
One thing you can do is just turn comments off. That will end all possibility of some discussion taking off on your blog. If you want to allow comments, you might want to wait for at least a few months so you have a sense for how people might react to the blog posts. These will not be controversial posts, however, more just links to newsy stories, funny anecdotes or helpful tips.

After a while, you may find that you have some people who want to comment. You should let them! The internet is all about connections. That said, you will always have control on your blog over all the comments.
Why would a writer want to write posts just for my site?
Well, not to be too crass about it, but for money. Some people enjoy writing, and they are good at it, they just can't make much money writing. They can set up their own blog and write about whatever they want, but they probably won't make money on that. They can write for some place like Suite101, Associated Content, Examiner or others, and they might make a little money, but it's not all that reliable and it's a little mysterious how the system works so the writers never know for sure how much they get paid. With writers who are part of the BlogMutt pack, they know that if their post gets picked by you, the site owner, they will for sure get paid and they know exactly how much. So, their goals are aligned with yours: to write the best possible post that works best for you.
What if I'm not happy and want a refund?
You can get a refund. If you get no posts, you'll get a refund automatically. If you don't like the posts, you just have to ask for a refund and as long as you didn't publish the posts, we'll give you a refund. Our full refund policy is here.
Are graphics/photos/images included?
In general, no. The only way that we can provide great writing for this low price is if we ask the writers to do nothing other than write, because that's what they do well. Every so often the blog will be about an info-graphic or a video, and the post will include a link to that, but then it will be your job to put that into your blog on your site. We may, in the future, offer photos as an additional service, but for now we don't do that.
How long are the posts?
The posts are about 300-350 words. Sometimes a bit shorter or longer, but typically in that range. We may, in the future, offer longer posts for a higher price, but we don't do that yet.
Can I request edits in blogs before they’re posted?
Absolutely! You can request edits for any blog post that’s in your queue. You just check the check-box that says "editing requested" and then describe the changes you want made.
Will the blog posts be written just for me? Do I own them?
Yes. The blog posts are 100 percent yours; the writer has no ownership claim to them, and you can do with them whatever you want. You can edit them, put photos with them, put them in a newsletter, whatever you want.
What if I want more than one blog a week?
No problem! Many customers ask for more. Depending on the plan you're signed up for, extra blogs cost $19 each on the Micro Plan, $18 each on the Small Plan, $17 each on the Medium Plan, and $16 each on the Large Plan. Each of these is a discount from the normal price.
Where can I see example BlogMutt blogs?
We keep our clients confidential. This is something you'll appreciate when your mother compliments you on the great writing on your site! But you can see lots of examples of Blogmutt writing on our own blog, which you can get to by clicking the blog link above. Those posts are written by Blogmutt writers about us, but it's exactly the quality, the length and the general feel of the posts you'd get from us about you and your industry.
How does billing work?
You sign up with a credit card and pay for your first month. We'll then send you a note every Wednesday with the posts that have been written just for you. On Thursday, if you haven't taken it already, we'll automatically send you the top post in your queue by email. Then on the day of the month that you signed up, we'll bill your credit card again and send you a receipt. If the unthinkable happens and you want to leave BlogMutt and turn off the flow of posts, you can do that with two clicks.
Am I locked into a contract?
No. We’re just month-to-month with the billing. So if you want to try us for a month and see if it works for you, go for it! Almost all of our customers love us and stay forever, so that's why we encourage you to just try it.
I'm from an agency. Will this work for my clients?
Absolutely. We've got a whole FAQ just for agencies here. And you can also now manage multiple clients under one log-in.