Saturday, August 31, 2013

Grammarly Blog Offer

  UPDATE 9/28/2014
First, confession: I've procrastinated updating this post for months, and I feel really bad about that. 
Second: I got another email from Nikolas Baron that said this:
I just wanted to let you know that I'm very sorry for creeping you out and clearly failing to do Grammarly's Blogger Partnership Program justice in my email. I will say that your comment about getting more subscribers took me by surprise. As a growing Inc 500 company, we attract about 30 million page views per year. Emailing individual bloggers in an attempt to get them to sign up, only to then give them a gift card wouldn't make a whole lot of sense. As I mentioned in my first email to you, we offer sponsored bloggers a free, premium account of Grammarly so they don't have to go through the hassle of signing up with a credit card. Looking back, I do understand your skepticism. If multiple people write about something online, there's usually some truth to it. In this case, however, the handful of blog posts decrying our campaign as "spam" was a result of misunderstandings with a tiny fraction of the total number of bloggers we contacted. Most of these misunderstandings have been resolved. The hundreds of participating bloggers we've been fortunate enough to sponsor include Jose VilsonCraig HartKatherine Hansen, and Dr. Leroy Huizenga.
 I think I overreacted  when I originally wrote this post, and for that I apologize. It seems this may not be a scam after all.
 
ORIGINAL POST: 
Writing related scam alert! I received this email recently, and after doing a Google search, I found a couple blog posts about others getting the exact same email and finding it fraudulent. Thought I'd warn you all too.

 
Hi Lily,

You know better than most that putting your writing "out there" takes a tremendous amount of courage; readers will find and comment on even the simplest mistakes. At Grammarly we know the feeling - and we've made it our mission to improve writers' confidence. Putting our money where our mouth is, we'd be honored to sponsor your next blog post with a $20 Amazon gift card.

In case you haven’t heard of us, Grammarly is an automated online proofreader that finds and explains those pesky grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes that are bound to find their way into your first draft. Think of us as a second pair of digital eyes that can spare you the cost of hiring a proofreader. If you'd like to join our 3 million users and try the premium version of our proofreader for free, let me know and I'll make it happen!

Please send me the expected publishing date and topic of your next appropriate blog post (ideally something about writing) so I can give you all the details you need in time.

Cheers,
Nick

P.S. Let me know if you ever find yourself in foggy San Francisco; I’d love to grab some coffee. 


And may I just say that that last line totally creeps me out. I'm only seventeen! And if this person has actually been here, then he's seen that old picture of me over there on my side bar, but it's two years old so I look only FIFTEEN. Completely inappropriate. And.... well, the wording is just weird. All of it. Thank heaven for Google and those others that posted about this scam.

 Here's one of the blog posts I read: http://inkyblots.com/grammarly-blog-sponsorship-or-not/ Also, if you follow the link they give to the Blasphemous Homemaker blog it's got some inappropriate content. Just to warn ya.
 Edited to add: According to one source, to claim the gift card you have to sign up for a 7 day trial of Grammarly with your credit card.  It may be that Grammarly is just trying to get more subscribers, but still. There are better ways. 
 And a scam-free night/day/mid-afternoon/whatever to you. 

4 comments:

  1. Yes, thank goodness for Google..and for you posting about this. I had just received an email from them and wanted to check things out myself.

    Again, thank you for writing about this on your blog. The post-script of the email was definitely on the creepy side.

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  2. I told them that I would only participate if I followed FTC guidelines. I wrote that it was a sponsored post, even signed up for a free trial (and cancelled before my CC was charged).

    Now, after putting them as no-follow links, which is what you MUST do when you are compensated, Nick @ Grammarly is refusing to compensate me. He did NOT ever specify in any previous email that the link must be do-follow or I would not have agreed.

    Do NOT participate! Grammarly will not compensate you if you post ethically!!!! They are looking for bloggers who are willing to bend the rules. Don't stoop to that level, be ethical.

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    Replies
    1. Follow-up: After sending multiple emails to both Nick and others at the company, I was finally compensated. I highly advise that you make sure you 100% know what you are getting into with Grammarly. Make your expectations well known BEFORE agreeing to the post.

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  3. Yes, I've received this email several times. Today, the perceptive Nick emailed me: 'I just stumbled across your review of “Chances” (which is fantastic, by the way) and thought to myself, “What a perfect fit!”' The only problem is, I published no such review.

    It's sad that Grammarly, which is a perfectly reputable program, has chosen to destroy itself in this puerile way. BTW: if you input this term into Google, you'll get back around 6000 citations: "Let me know if you ever find yourself in foggy San Francisco".

    ReplyDelete