Six months ago I published this post and all of a sudden my blogging world changed. My traffic doubled, then tripled, then quadrupled, then increased to such a volume that I don’t even know the word for it. I received hundreds of e-mails from women sharing their story with me. My social media following all increased. I received an e-mail from a Pastor wanting permission to print it and use it during his marital counseling. I was featured on My Fox DC news. I was interviewed on two Podcasts. It was insanity but it was all amazing…until I became a target of GOMI.
I’d never heard of GOMI
I had no clue who they were or why I was suddenly getting traffic from this site called getoffmyinternets. Curiosity led me to go check them out (because naturally I like to know where my traffic is coming from) and I was equally horrified and depressed. It was essentially a forum topic dedicated to ripping apart my post, ridiculing me, and finding every which way imaginable to be viciously cruel and hurtful. I read it. Of course I did.
It’s like watching a train wreck, you know you shouldn’t look but you can’t help it. I went to a few blogging groups I’m in and asked about GOMI. Other bloggers had heard of them, been targeted, been hurt and we commiserated together. The most common advice I read was, “Just don’t read it.” and so I didn’t. At least, not anymore than I already had. Why should I? They just brought a lot of ugly stuff out and brought me down.
Then I started to notice a few things. I noticed a few things like:
Cached Blog Post Traffic
GOMI tells their users to search Google for a cached copy of the blog post so that they don’t contribute to my visitors / page views / sessions / etc in my blog traffic analytics. The thing is though…it doesn’t work like that. If the post is active it still appears in my analytics as traffic even if the user is viewing a cached web page. The users sees the old version, old design, old layout but the hit is still tracked in my traffic report. I know this because I see it. Today’s search queries show 178 visitors and the ones from last year are much, much higher. Go ahead, look at the cached post, it’s still recorded.
New Blogging Networks
A lot of the blogging networks that I’m now a member of I wouldn’t have been accepted to without the traffic linking in from GOMI. During December of last year, GOMI was my #5 top referrer bringing in nearly 8,300 hits. The networks didn’t care where my traffic was coming from as long as it was coming in and all of those links coming in to me boosted my page rank.
Since being accepted to Linqia and Clever Girls Collective I’ve worked on new blogging campaigns, earned a few hundred dollars, built new brand relationships, and boosted traffic (again). I’ve also been accepted into iSway (Massive Sway), One2One Network, Tomoson, etc…
Making New Friends
Yes, I received a lot (a lot) of hate mail after GOMI sunk its teeth into my post but I received a lot of kind e-mails as well. I received e-mails that started out with, “I first heard about you on GOMI…” which made me cringe but then proceeded to say, “…I understand where you’re coming from. I had a similar situation…” Naturally I responded and I’ve made new friends, gained new followers, and reached a new audience.
I heard that GOMI started out as a way of bringing attention to unethical blogging. It was intended to call out bloggers who stole content or photos, plagiarized posts, failed to provide proper disclosures, etc. It has turned in to this ugly thing that ridicules bloggers for thinking/feeling/believing/sharing anything that a GOMI user doesn’t like.
For the last couple of months they’ve targeted this post too. That one was written after I saw one too many meme’s and, as a lot of people know, I have a personal aversion to female body hair. It was intended to be a bit snarky, a bit ridiculous, and a bit “I find it really gross that you don’t shave and thus walk around all winter looking like Sasquatch under your pants.” I’ve been getting e-mails about how ridiculous I am and others about how people agree with me and they can’t stand when women “let themselves go” because they are now married. There’s no pleasing everyone.
The best thing anyone ever said to me about the whole situation is, “God will make sure that the people who need to see it will see it” and from the mountains of e-mails I’ve received a lot of people who needed to see it, saw it.
Someone else reminded me that, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” – Romans 8:28. God can use anything (and anyone) for good and through GOMI He brought a lot of great things to me and my blog. Initially I’ll admit that yes, I hated GOMI. I know it’s wrong to hate but it’s what I felt and I won’t deny it. What I’ve learned is that God has worked, and is working, through GOMI and has truly brought me (and other bloggers) great things.
It’s because of this new understanding that I can say this, “GOMI, I don’t like what you do but I know that God is working through you to bring benefit to those you try to tear down. I may not like you, but we’re cool.”
- Have you heard of GOMI? What do you think of them?