Question from the email box:
Hello, I read your article on WordPress and thought maybe you can help. My WordPress Blog was removed by WordPress. The blog was for writing about my business opportunity. When I questioned them, they just said I violated their terms. Do you have any idea why they might have done this? My URL was [removed] and it’s still visible in the Google cache. Thank you.
It looks like your WordPress blog was being used to promote your Network Marketing opportunity. I see a lot of links in each of the posts to that opportunity and this might have been a red flag to their editors. WordPress maintains a list of types of blogs they allow and don’t allow. You can find that list here. One of the things they specifically mention in “not allowed” is using your blog to promote a Multi-level Marketing (aka Network Marketing) site:
Affiliate marketing blogs: Blogs with the primary purpose of driving traffic to affiliate programs and get-rich-quick schemes (”Make six figures from home!!”, “20 easy steps to top profits!!”, etc). This includes multi-level marketing (MLM) blogs and pyramid schemes. To be clear, people writing their own original book, movie or game reviews and linking them to Amazon, or people linking to their own products on Etsy do NOT fall into this category.It’s unfortunate that WordPress includes Network Marketing under Affiliate marketing since it’s entirely a different type of business. It’s further unfortunate that WordPress implies that Network Marketing sites are “get-rich-quick schemes”. If you had posts that sounded too heavy on the promotion, this might have got your blog removed.
For others that have a WordPress blog that promotes a Network Marketing company and have not yet had their blog removed, here are some things you can do.
Focus on Content, not Promotion – Their Terms of Service specifically uses the term “Blogs with the primary purpose of driving traffic to…” If your primary purpose is promotion, this could be a problem. Focus on providing good content and go light on the promotion. That includes flashy banners. So make content your primary purpose.
Use the WordPress Export Feature – Use the WordPress export feature to back up your WordPress blog on a regular basis. This backs up your blog content to your computer in an XML file that can be used later to restore your blog. If your blog is removed, see my next point.
Consider Getting your own Webpage – The above information applies to free blogs at WordPress.com. The other way to use a WordPress blog is to get your own site and set up the WordPress software there. Their Terms of Service for the free blog sites do not apply to this scenario. You can use your export XML file to bring in your content from your free site. Getting your own site is actually a better long term business strategy.
This is an example of how terms of service can come back to haunt you if you’re not careful. If you don’t read the entire Terms of Service (and I’ll admit I seldom read the entire document) at least be familiar with what’s in there and what can get you in trouble.