Saavy direct sellers, take heed... that "honor" you were just selected for might not be legit.
Beware of any website, Top 100 list, or challenge group that sends you a "badge" to display on your blog. Some of them are legit and fun, a community you're proud to be a part of, but others are just looking for a way to get free clicks to their site. That's not an "honor" I'm excited to be "presented with."
You should curate any links you post AWAY from your blog very, very carefully.
Like it or not, we are all competing for views and followers, and some sites, lists, and groups have discovered an easy way to boost their own stats in the guise of honoring fellow crafters. What seems flattering and helpful might actually be a Trojan horse.
Display-only badges might prompt someone to go look up the site, but linked badges will take them straight to another site and hand them over. Check out which kind of blog widget the site, list or group is offering you, and make an informed decision about how to handle these.
Here's a few questions you can ask before you add the badge or widget to your sidebar:
- Are you a regular, active participant in this community or site, or did they approach you pretty quickly?
- Is the community or site, as a whole, supposedly about ALL demonstrators, but in reality just one demo or blog?
- Is the community or site, as a whole, something I agree with and am proud to be a member of?
- Have you ever heard of the group or list before? Did it just appear from nowhere? (this is a biggie; they spring up overnight)
- Is it a paid group (such as Stamping Top 100 or Scrapbooking Top 100) where you're only ranked if you subscribe, refer, or send enough traffic?
- Does the badge include a link away from your blog or is it truly JUST a badge?
There's nothing wrong with displaying as many badges and honors as you like. Just go into it with your eyes wide open, and ask a few questions before you let someone you don't even know use you for traffic.