When I get asked questions like this, I can’t help but wonder if people get wine blogs…

I got a call this morning. A wine club is having a sale, and wanted to know if I’d blog about it.

He Googled “Wine Blog” and said mine was the first one that came up.

I’m a marketer and am always thinking, “How do I get visibility for a client?” In this case, it was for myself. So far, I’ve been able to make things work for others, and now for me, it would seem.

Let’s see, if I’m going to have a wine blog, what would I call it?

How’s this? “Wine Blog.” Seems so elemental, doesn’t it?

So, the blessing and the curse… Being listed first…

Why would I, who am passionate about journaling my wine publicist adventure, want to tell my readers about some wine club having a sale? And, this isn’t the first time I’ve had this question.

Isn’t that called an advertisement in most circles?

Would you, my readers, want to see a blog posting from me (or anyone else, for that matter) that’s a wine club sale?

I’d actually really like to know.

Am I missing something here, or should I be letting you know when someone’s got a discount on wine going?

I’m thinking, “No,” but you can tell me if I’m wrong…. please and thanks.

21 Responses to “When I get asked questions like this, I can’t help but wonder if people get wine blogs…”

  1. Paul says:

    You’re completely correct, nobody wants to read that old rubbish.

    I’d been getting a steady trickle of emails like that but then I wrote in the “About” section of my blog that I wouldn’t be posting people’s announcements anymore unless they were offering a prize in a competition or something for the readers. They’ve slowed down now!

    Just shows they’re not willing to put their money where their mouth is. Or, to put it another way, they were looking for something for nothing!

  2. Jo Diaz says:

    Thanks, Paul. I thought so, but you never know… after so many queries like this. I was beginning to doubt my gut reaction.

    Great story by you today on toasting the Chilean miners with Chilean wines. Very inspiring in this time of tenseness for them. The world with experience a huge sigh of relief when this saga ends for them.

  3. A wine club sale? Wow! I want to know all about it! Not really… But hey, Jo, you can’t blame them for trying. Maybe some blogger, someplace, will actually put it up.

  4. 1WineDude says:

    Those people need to buy an ad!!! 🙂

  5. 1WineDude says:

    Forgot to mention my personal fave: “Let’s exchange links!” when the person requesting the exchange is a business.

    That’s also called advertising! 🙂

  6. Jon Bjork says:

    If I see an amazing sale on a Lodi wine (my only focus) that I happen to think is of exemplary quality, then I’ll write about it. But the sale really needs to be somewhere near 40% off or better. That doesn’t happen very often.

  7. Jo Diaz says:

    Boy, I can see this one really hit a chord.

    Steve, you’re always amusing.

    1WineDude… Advertising… exactly.

    Jon Bjork, I can see your point, because you’re so focused and specialized. Maybe the other half of that (my wine blog that’s all over the place) would seem to accept anything?

    Anything but a wine club sale, that’s for sure…

  8. Jo Diaz says:

    1WineDude… Let’s exchange links and it’s a business… Another great rag of mine, too. Especially when it’s for something not even wine related. Sure, wine blog and peanut butter exchanging links…

    Who’s working in their marketing departments? Someone in India?

  9. Mark says:

    What can I say, some of my competitors are kind of morons when it comes to the internet?

    Realistically, just a sale, really? To me, as both someone in the business as well as an avid wine consumer, that isn’t interesting (it wasn’t my business partner, was it?) Now, if they’re offering a Napa Cult Cab with a 10 year waiting list to their membership, that might make for a better story, or even (self promotion coming, please turn away) if they took part in a charity event last week and gave away a percentage of sales to help a private school.

    I will also add, that as soon as we started showing up on the 1st page of Google we started receiving the same type of link requests from other business as well as a steady stream of bloggers asking for free wine in exchange for a review.

    It’s an interesting process from both sides, although I’m 100% convinced you get the worst of the exchange….thanks for the reminder about wine club owners/proprietors/marketers behaving badly!


  10. Jo Diaz says:

    No, Mark… not your partner. (Funny)

    You’ve cited cases where a real story’s involved, and where one of us might consider it newsworthy. Thanks. Never having that query, I hadn’t thought of the possibility.

    And, yes, it’s interesting to be sitting in the middle of the fence. You get to see it all.

  11. Mark says:

    Jo-Glad the humor came through, sometimes it’s hard on a blog or message board. Certainly not trying to push a story about my club on anyone, just thought they might be better examples than a generic “sale”. Plus, hopefully it shows at least some of us do understand where you’re coming from!

    We get a good laugh at some of our competitors and some of what we see them doing, from the wine they’re shipping (hello private labels!) to some of their internet marketing “Experts” that are constantly being hired to improve SEO, affiliate sales etc. We aren’t experts by any stretch, but figure that spending time learning about the industry online is a good place to start.

    Blogs like yours and other influential examples are great places to start and see what people are really interested in talking about and learning about outside of the overly wine geeky conversations which can dominate the industry.

  12. Jo Diaz says:


    Love the overly geeky stuff… When I first came into the industry, I knew NADA… When I wrote my first story, I couldn’t compete with the latest discussions on trichloroanisole or Andre Tchelistsheff in the same breath. It forced me into writing what was comfortable. My first printed story was in *The Wine News magazine* in 1995, and it was called Cat O’Wine Tales, headed toward a winery cat book (never did it, and the dogs came up many years later). My story was a huge hit and inspired more than a few people. Now everyone’s off the beaten path and I’m off ragging about all the off the wall things others want me to support.

    What goes around, comes around.

    And, yes, I loved your humor.

  13. El Jefe says:

    Well, first off YOU had the foresight to scoop up a killer URL (bravo!), though now you are paying a price. Try to continue to relish your coup nonetheless 😉

    That said… for Pete’s sake it’s a CLUB sale? if it’s a CLUB sale, doesn’t he already have the connection to his wine CLUB? Why on earth does he need you to promote to his wine CLUB?

    I just don’t get it.

  14. Jo Diaz says:

    El Jefe, You’re so right on the killer URL. It was in the early years of wine blogs, and I couldn’t even begin that it still existed – with everything thing else out there – but it did, and it became mine. (So cool.)

    Thanks for point int out CLUB… Market to your list was the missing advice that I should have given to him, to see what would be the next response.

  15. Tim Kilroy says:

    I am a reader of a bunch of wine blogs, and I like yours very well. I am one of those “experts” that people hire to help with SEO, and yeah, we do suggest the blogger outreach plan to lots of folks. But honestly, it works only as well as the reciprocity of it. If they were to offer your readers a special discount would it be reasonable? What of they gave you a bottle to review in exchange for mentioning where you got it from?

    Does that kind of stuff make a difference?

    Reciprocal linking isn’t a high-quality SEO tactic any more…but engaging with bloggers who have a unique audience and unique approach seems to be a reasonable tactic that spans the divide between SEO, social media and PR.

    The wine club isn’t my client, but what would have enticed you to talk about the sale? (And by the way, you are right to dismiss them…it was an entirely 1 sided offer…you didn’t get anything out of it…)

  16. Jo Diaz says:


    What would have engaged me? It’s not happened yet with a wine club. Even if they gave my readers a huge discount, because I’m not here to help a wine club sell wine or my readers buy wine… Even if any of my clients’ wines were included, it’s not my glass of wine (cup of tea).

    What would have engaged me to talk about a wine club, though, would have been someone sending an Email like I got this past week, where the author first started to have a discussion about my blog. I’ve actually pre-written a wine blog story to run while I’m out of town next week. It’s called, “Buying wines with one’s eyes, and Monvera Glass Décor.” How James Jordan hooked me was that he commented on deep aspects of a blog posting. He took the time to look at a video I had put together (which took about five hours to produce, formatting images, layout, etc.), and then asked me to consider his company. Not only did I write a blog about his company, but I also wrote a story (for the next day) about what makes him such an exceptional PR person. This is how he made it through the filter. Get tips/insight for anyone awake on his/her feet.

    SEO… My husband’s a Webmaster. We’ve watched it be born, mature, and just be matter of fact, as you know. We are so into the Electronics revolution…

  17. Peter Minde says:

    Blogging about a sale? Come on.

    @ 1WindeDude: you should be thankful they at least offered to exchange links. Once, a store manager wrote to me, “Why don’t you link to our web site?” No exchange was intended.

    Keep it up, nice blog.

  18. Jose says:

    Thanks, Peter.

  19. Tim Kilroy says:

    Thanks for the insight on what would have engaged you to drop a link. There are a billion bad players in the SEO business. We try to do things the right way, by creating a relationship with a blogger…and by, you know, actually reading the blog…

    I guess what we are trying to do is more PR than SEO. The link is a long-lasting gift to the destination, but the froth and joy come from the exposure to a new audience…hopefully both for the blogger and the SEO client.

    I really appreciate your insight…and, as an aside, I am a big fan of your blog. You sit in an amazing position in the industry and I love hearing about the wine…and the wine business.


  20. bunt marker says:

    I think adding a dating service for serial-divorcee winemakers would be more fun than just advertising wine club sales. But maybe I’m not the most objective judge. Coincidentally, now that AIDS has shut down the porn industry, however briefly, there will be hundreds of divorced winemakers crying for release. With virtual sex off the table, there might be renewed interest in doing it with actual people. This is an idea whose time has come! After the World Series, of course. Bunt

  21. Jo Diaz says:

    Bunt Marker,

    What an imagination. If you don’t make it in the wine business, I think you have a future in online marketing. Funny…

    [I’m beginning to think that the people who read this blog have my warped sense of humor.]

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