Beware of Fake Boudoir Websites That Give Bad Advice

Beware of Fake Boudoir Websites That Give Bad Advice

This article is going to be a bit of a rant. 

It’s a topic I’ve been meaning to write about for a while but needed more time and experience with my own boudoir blog to give me a better perspective from which to write from.

When I first started posting articles on LoungeBoudoir.com in 2019, I would periodically check how each one was doing as far as its Google ranking was concerned.

In doing so, I noticed a couple of big websites would always have articles that would not only out rank me, but be ranked number one. At the time I didn’t think much of it figuring they just had more “authority” and readers than me.

After a while though, I started taking a closer look at these articles and the websites they were associated with and discovered something that any boudoir photographer out there (especially beginners) should be aware of… and stay clear of.

Now, they’re not doing anything illegal, but it does border on being unethical… or at the very least slimy in my opinion. It’s a seedy way to operate and I want as many boudoir photographers out there to know about it.

In a nutshell, these articles and the websites associated with them don’t have your best interests at heart. 

They’re really not interested in helping you. 

It’s a bait and switch.

They only want you to click on their affiliate links so they can earn a commission, or have you buy one of their photography courses, and their poorly written articles are the bait.

Plus, the people writing these articles are not only not boudoir photographers… they’re not even photographers.

Imagine, you’re just learning about boudoir and you go and type your query into Google and a list of articles pops up.

Odds are you’re going to click on the first one, or maybe even the second one and up pops an article on boudoir photography that was not written by a boudoir photographer or even someone who shoots another genre of photography.

How accurate do you think that information is going to be? 

Well, I can tell ya’… not very because I’ve read ‘em.

What Is A Content Mill?

Content mills are companies that provide website owners content by hiring writers to write articles for them.

Websites owners either don’t know anything about the subject their website is about (yes, more common than you think), or they don’t have the time or aptitude to write the number of articles it takes to rank quickly on Google.

You see, these websites operate on volume. The more topics they can write about, the more Google searches they can capture who will click on one of their articles and thus, on one of their links.

How These Articles Are Really Written

The authors of these articles are just people getting paid to write.

They’re paid either per word or per article and they write on whatever subject they’re assigned to write about or can sometimes choose from a list of topics.

So, how does someone who’s not a boudoir photographer or even a photographer write about boudoir?

They go online, type whatever topic it is they have to write about into Google, read other people’s articles on the subject, and then, when they have the bare minimum to write their own article do they start regurgitating other people’s content in their own words.

Now, this isn’t illegal (unless they’re blatantly plagiarizing) but it can lead to inaccurate, wrong, and non-sensical information, of which I have plenty of examples I’ll share with you now.

Examples of Inaccurate and Bad Information

All the examples below came from one article. I didn’t even pull every piece of bad or inaccurate information, but trust me, there were more.

“Boudoir photography often has a playful, provocative look, with nudity that is implied rather than shown. Glamour photography tends to be more explicit.” 

(This person clearly doesn’t know the difference between glamour and boudoir or even nude photography.)

“A collapsible background is a good way to start if you don’t have a plain white wall to shoot against. Lastolite produces a range of collapsible backgrounds that can be folded up and stored away discreetly.”

(These collapsible Lastolite backgrounds are 10’x 6’ at the most. So unless you’re only shooting close-ups or medium close-ups these backgrounds are not going to be sufficient.)

“Given that your client will be posing in their underwear…”

(Not once have I heard another boudoir photographer refer to their client’s wardrobe as underwear. That’s a word that is just not used. It’s usually always referred to as lingerie… even if it’s not.)

“Discuss their ideas for the shoot and create a shot list so they have a sense of what the boudoir photo shoot will be like. It’s important for you to add in your own ideas too.”

(Yeah, I think it’s important to add just a few of your own ideas too. That might make the shoot go a little smoother.)

“All boudoir photography poses should have angles to create conflict and leading lines.”

(Create conflict? And by the way, leading lines usually lead up to the subject as opposed to the subject creating the lines themselves with their own body.)

“Full unabridged nudity starts to become glamour photography instead.”

(No, it becomes nude photography.)

And my favorite…

“Hopefully, all these tips and ideas have you fully prepared to embark on your journey as a boudoir photographer. If you are still a little nervous about working face-to-face with a boudoir model then why not do some selfies instead?”

(I’ll just let that one marinate in its own absurdity.)

Now, as I mentioned before, that was all from one article that was ranked number one on Google for “boudoir posing”.

This irks me to no end that such bad information is rewarded with such a high ranking.

How Do Bad Articles Get Ranked So High?

These articles get high rankings from Google because the parent website they’re linked to has a lot of “authority” in its main genre, which in this case is Photography. Authority is nothing more than a lot of readers/subscribers which builds up a site’s clout and reputation within the eyes (or rather algorithms) of Google.

Website owners use this tactic, paying writers to write articles they’ve only just researched an hour or so before writing them, hundreds of times over for a vast variety of topics, which are all interlinked, increasing their SEO (search engine optimization) even more.

They’ll have articles on boudoir, landscape, family, newborn, maternity, and on and on, and have hundreds and hundreds of articles that contain generally elementary (and often inaccurate) information. 

They’re not really trying to help you with your photography because if they were they would hire real photographers who are operating in those genres to do the writing… but that’s too expensive and time consuming

Remember, their goal isn’t to really help you. It’s to create hundreds upon hundreds of barely passable articles as fast as they can that lure you to their main site where they can sell you their course, click on one of their affiliate links, or subject you to an onslaught of advertising from third parties that hits you in the face like a fire hose.

And, like I said before, this is not illegal but it is a waste of your time and could lead you down the wrong path where you buy a piece of gear they’re pushing (through a link) that you don’t really need because the people writing these articles don’t really know what they’re talking about.

These articles are bogus, in my opinion, and nothing more than cheap bait to lure unsuspecting beginners into clicking on their affiliate links or buying their photography course.

How Much Do These Sites Make?

Since I myself operate in the online world of marketing and writing articles and selling my own information products, I have it on good authority from someone who knows the owner of one of these sites that he generates well over a million dollars a year. 

Hey, good for him. I don’t have anything against people making money, but I do have a problem with how they go about doing it, especially when they’re disseminating inaccurate and poor advise on a massive scale to an unsuspecting audience.

In my opinion these websites are preying upon the naïveté of people looking for real answers, but instead, get fed a stale meal of poor information written by someone who’s done a modicum of research that’s getting paid per so many words per article… and doesn’t really give a sh!t… oh, and by the way, buy my photography course. 

Why Google Is Really On Your Side

Believe it or not, Google is really looking out for your best interests when it comes to providing you with good information.

That’s their business model, in fact, to provide you with the most accurate and helpful information they can based on your search query.

If they didn’t do that their business would fail. 

That’s what their algorithm is designed to do and with each new update, it gets better and better at doing that.

I know because I’ve seen this in action.

There was a time when these huge multi-serpent-headed websites that use content mills were ranking high in the search results… back when I first started publishing my own articles.

Then Google had a massive update and slowly but surely I stopped seeing articles from these websites getting ranked, or their rankings were lowered significantly.

This is because Google rewards specificity and expertise. I know because they’ve said so as written in their algorithm updates.

Remember, they want to provide you, the user, with the best and most accurate information they can so you’ll keep coming back and using Google.

Websites That Google Rewards With High Rankings

In short, Google has caught on to this tactic of websites who use content mills to generate all their (poorly written) articles, but it’s a bit of a cat and mouse game. 

The reason I’m writing this article now is that Google recently had a big update and I’m seeing these articles ranking high again. 

A lot of websites and articles can get shuffled around during an algorithm update and it can take several months before all the digital dust settles. 

In the end, though, Google wants to reward those websites who have one (or a small group of consistent writers), whose websites specialize in a certain area because they know that’s where the best information comes from.

Individual experts with longevity, experience, and expertise on one topic.

That’s how websites like mine, Lounge Boudoir, build their own authority, but it takes a lot longer because there’s only one person doing all the writing… me

To date, I’ve written over 130 articles on boudoir but the big difference is that my articles and teachings are a reflection of what I’ve personally learned, discovered, and experienced over the years actually being a boudoir photographer. 

But here’s some inside info. Only about half of those articles even rank. The ones that don’t are topics people don’t search for because they’re just not popular enough or too obscure and fall outside the normal search queries of boudoir photographers.

A perfect example of this is my article “What is the “Fine Art” in Fine Art Photography?”.

Personally, one of my favorite articles but really, how many boudoir photographers are going to search for something like that? It’s on my website, though, where people can find it… and I’m okay with that. 

I like writing those articles because I’m genuinely trying to help other photographers and in a way, give back to all those photographers I learned from who shared their knowledge with me.

So, with regard to the race to the top of Google rankings between me and these hollow vapid mega sites…

I’m the tortoise, not the hare… but that’s okay, I’m patient. 

I’ll be the David to their Goliath.

How Those Big Websites Try To Fool Google

There are a number of ways those big websites try to fool Google because they’ve read those same updates as well.

One of those is to credit every article with the same author, regardless of who wrote it, and give the impression that one person is behind all the articles. The only problem with that is Google knows how many articles get posted and in what time frame. 

So, if you have 5 articles getting posted a day, Google will eventually figure out that your authorship claim is bogus and penalize you. 

But there’s also no getting around the fact that their lack of specificity, expertise, and inside know-how in their articles will eventually, over time, lower their rankings. And that, more than anything, will be the cause of their demise. 

How To Spot A Content-Milled Boudoir Article

There are many signs to spotting one of these “manufactured” content-milled articles.

— They’re poorly written with inaccurate, overly simplified, generic, and often wrong information. If you’ve been in the genre any length of time you’ll easily spot this but if you’re just starting out you have nothing to compare the information to so you’re susceptible

— The article links to a much larger website that covers just about every genre under the sun and it’s full of ads bombarding you relentlessly as you navigate around the site

— Their other articles in other genres are just as bad

— They’re constantly pushing their course or whatever other product they’re selling 

— The article has no credited writer

— The article’s author admits in their bio at the bottom they’re a hired writer never mentioning if they’re also a photographer with their own work and website

— The author isn’t someone you’ve ever heard of before, or has their own boudoir business with website, Instagram or Facebook page

— There’s no picture of the author or the one provided doesn’t show their face and looks and feels like a stock image

— They use stock images from a free stock image site that they construct articles around as opposed to using images that support what an article is about (I see this a lot, especially when it comes to articles on posing). (These are some of the most absurd and bizarre articles I’ve read and are good for a laugh.)

— The article is full of affiliate links and ads from third parties and seems to be the main reason why the article exists; we’re talking in the vicinity of 40 (yes, forty!) display ads within a single article, not to mention the video ad that’s playing in the sidebar 

Who Wants To Be A Human Piñata?

This type of content creation is nothing more than online pollution. 

If you’re new to the genre and don’t know any better, these impersonal websites fill your head with paltry mis-information that wastes your time and energy, operating under the guise that they’re helping you and teaching you something… but whose main goal, really, is to pull you into their vortex of advertising where you’re treated like a human piñata until you buy something. 

Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll get my information somewhere else, and so should you. 

Thanks for your time!

If you found this article helpful, please forward it to someone it may also benefit.

Charles Mitri

Founder / Lounge Boudoir

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Charles Mitri

Charles Mitri is an award-winning boudoir photographer and also founder and writer of LoungeBoudoir.com, an educational blog and resource website for boudoir photographers worldwide. He lives in Yorktown, Virginia.

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