Marketing,Social media,Wine,Wine Blogger,Wine Business

My Number One Criticism of Wine Bloggers ~ Beware, This Involves Another Clown

Okay, so I’m on your site. I want to say something to you, and I don’t want it to be in your comments section. How the heck do I – or anyone else for that matter – reach you?

Telling me who you are is Number Two, but very closely on the heels of Number One. It could be Number 1, subtitled “a.”

If I were to refer to you as a hobbyist, it’s quite possible that you’d want to rip my hair out. But honestly, in my humble opinion, to not say who you are and how you can be reached is not going to get you into the professional circles any time soon.

(Can you tell I’ve become frustrated with this issue?)

Perhaps that’s not your intent. However, if you’re a wine blogger, getting samples is pretty nice, isn’t it? Why make a winery jump through hoops? I’m betting that some of them just pass on you, like I did with someone yesterday.

The most ridiculous error I saw that made me leave that site (yesterday) was from a guy who also fancies himself as a marketer and an educator. Okay, I want to hire you, Mr. Marketer. You must be “All That.” How do I reach you? There  was absolutely no clue how to do that on that site.

Marketer… indeed.

I think these things may contribute to the statement that Gary Vee recently made about the fact that he thinks that most people who consider themselves social media people are falling short of the mark.

In a recent interview, between Josh Zelman and Gary Vee, entitled, Gary Vaynerchuk: “99.5 Percent Of Social Media Experts Are Clowns” (TCTV)

I’d honestly rather be writing about wine. That said, I’ve got to vent this, because I’ve been thinking this since… oh, the first Wine Bloggers Conference I attended in Santa Rosa, California, three – or was it four – summers ago, and it was brought up.

Bloggers… and I don’t care what industry you may be writing about… advice from a seasoned professional:  if you want to be taken seriously, outside of your circle of family and friends, you must disclose who you are and how we can contact you, because we can advance your creds. To leave out that information is serving no one, and that includes you.

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16 Responses to “My Number One Criticism of Wine Bloggers ~ Beware, This Involves Another Clown”

  1. Rusty Eddy says:

    Well said! To me, it’s simply a matter of professionalism. If bloggers want to be taken seriously and build their own credibility, they can’t be hiding from contact. In the old days, it would be like leaving my phone number off of a press release.

  2. Clive says:

    Certainly hard to argue with your points but this is the most frenetic writing I’ve encountered since Joyce’s Ulysses. (I hope my contact made it in via your comment filters.)

  3. Thanks for the post! I’m relatively new to blogging been so focused on content, I hadn’t thought about this much. I added a “Contact Me” page today!

  4. Mike says:

    We agree with the need for professional standards and transparency at oddballgrape.com. We are a home winemaker/journalist couple – journalist as in Medill School of Journalism – who write about and try to educate in our own limited capacity.
    We’ll do trade tastings but never receive samples from anyone. We buy all our stuff and we don’t write about stuff we don’t like. You visit our site and you’ll find out everything about us and can contact us beyond the comment page.
    Thanks for speaking your mind and insisting that we do our jobs better – even if it is a hobby/passion/maybe a payiong gig someday…

  5. Jo Diaz says:

    Rusty, amen!

  6. Jo Diaz says:

    Clive, how perceptive of you.

  7. Jo Diaz says:


    You’re welcome. I just had someone today who is a journalist, and I wanted to send her an Email. I went to her site, and no Email address…

    I don’t get it. Maybe it’s because I’m a marketer, and understand the mechanisms for success… It’s called branding; something so simple is now so complex. It’s makes me frenetic… LOL

  8. Jo Diaz says:

    Martin, how excellent. I’m pleased that I could help you be better at your passion!

  9. OMG Jo, was that me?? I just returned to my blog and added my email address to the bio portion. If so, please consider it corrected.

    Many thanks for your great management of the first Oregon Pinot Gris Symposium. I seriously hope that this group with your guidance, gets started on an organization to promote this great white wine. I am forwarding my remarks to Don Neel today for inclusion in Practical Winery & Vineyard.

    Thanks again!

  10. Jo Diaz says:

    No, Eugenia, it wasn’t you. I was able to have your E-mail through Kimberly’s communications. That’s so funny, though.

    You’re very welcome for thanking me for the great management. It was a blast to do, and very rewarding to see everyone’s reactions and interactions.

    I got home to a computer that decided to fry itself, when I turned it on. Jose and I have been in a recovery mode, with not much going on as a result. I need to get back on track, so I can give Don Ryan’s comments. He’ll be right there, as soon as you deliver your info… Now, just to find that time with friends arriving from Maine. I’ll have to have Don give me a deadline ;^)

    It was so great meeting you, and I look forward to see you again next year, to see where all of this advances.

  11. Jo, thanks for the wake-up call. I immediately checked my blogs to make sure my email was findable w/o scrolling don to far and on my about page. On one blog it was only on my about page (at the end of the first paragraph); it’s now in the sidebar which is always there.

    When I started blogging in November 2007, it seemed most people hid their “real” identity. But after a year or so, I realized that didn’t serve my brand as a poet or as a writer. In fact, I was posting lots of my poetry, published and unpublished, online without my name on it!

    Some of my friends remain worried that my “real” name is “out there” and my husband sometimes expresses his concern about how much I reveal online.

    But the bottom line really is if we want to be taken seriously as content providers, as writers, then we must offer enough transparency online so that we are trusted.

    PS Good luck getting your computer fixed! How painful!

  12. Wine Harlots says:

    A lot of blogging is “hey, let’s put on some costumes and put a show on in the barn” and people aren’t always focused on the big picture.

    Here’s my shame — for me, my website has always looked like ass. I don’t code, and I barely get my content written. And as the unofficial “wine queen of Twitter” I don’t have a link on my website to my social media accounts. Clearly amateur hour at Wine Harlots World Headquarters!

  13. In addition to the necessity of an About / Contact page with either a usable email address or a form that delivers to an email address, a blogger receiving samples or using affiliate links needs to have an FTC Compliance statement:


  14. Jo Diaz says:

    Gwendolyn, My computer is back out 95 percent now. Thanks. The Internet is our professional resume… at least that’s how I see it. It can be scary, like like walking off the path, Little Red Riding Hood. But… we must carry on. Good to know that you’ve updated yourself 🙂

  15. Jo Diaz says:

    Wine Harlots,

    Behind every good woman there’s a man… at least in my world that exists. With Jose being a webmaster and a marketer, he’s so helpful.

    Let’s talk on the phone. Jose can give you some tips. And, by-the-way, I’ve never seen your site as looking like ass. You’re so funny!

    Check out contact info.

  16. Jo Diaz says:

    I’ve got a disclosure tab, Lisa.

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