Over the last few weeks I’ve been getting what I might call letters of introduction from people who say they want to submit a guest post.
There’s a certain sameness to these pitches. They start saying they’ve looked over this blog, like it and would like to do a guest post for me.
They follow with at least half a dozen links to articles they say they’ve written.
The pitch has changed – they list a handful of possible titles, anyone of which might actually be a good fit for my blog – hint: it’s about freelance writing.
But they won’t tell you who they are going to link to unless I take time to respond and ask.
I understand linking – it builds credibility with Google and the other search engines. It turns out some companies are willing to pay writers to pitch article and link back to them. I hate it.
If I take time to ask almost invariably the link is to something I’d never link to normally. In some cases the link is to something I consider unethical. My blog, my choice.
I’ve gotten so I mostly don’t respond.
Then, some of them send a followup! How rude is that? And who has convinced them this is a good idea? There wouldn’t be so much of this happening if somewhere someone wasn’t making money and I doubt it’s the so-called professional writers who are making the most.
I’ve done some searches for things like make money with guest posts and not found a culprit. I have asked one of these people who in the world told them to ask for guest posts in this manner – if she lets me know, I’ll pass the word. But I wasn’t really polite in my return query.
Apparently I’m not alone – and I didn’t think I was. Cathy Miller has a clear policy on guest posts mostly reflecting my own feelings. I’ll get to the differences in a moment.
Why this approach fails
Although I suspect most of the readers of this blog understand, in case a few of you don’t, here’s why this approach doesn’t work with me, and, I’ll bet, many other bloggers:
- This approach fails with me because this is a blog about helping freelance writers make more money. I don’t give a rat’s behind where you’ve been published. I want a guest post that helps writers and if this is the very first time you’ve put fingers to the keyboard and it works so be it.
- OTOH I’ve you’ve won a Pulitzer Prize and your guest post doesn’t fit here I won’t publish it.
- The approach also fails because although they say they’ve read my blog and like it, there is no evidence of that in the letter – not even a hint.
It doesn’t work for me because the whole intro letter back and forth is a colossal waist of time for me. Lori Widmer makes it work for writing for trade magazines, but this blog is hardly a trade magazine. Why would I want to chase a bunch of links on some industrial product just to determine someone can write… particularly for a guest post. Don’t tell me, show me!
I try to treat writers who contact me with the up-most respect. Which is why I’ve sucked into several of these ‘pitches.’ It’s really a shame folks are now trashing the whole guest posting process with this scheme.
If you want to write a guest post for me start by reading my Guest Post page. Follow those directions. Now we have a chance of something that works for both of us.
Okay, off my soap box for now.
What’s been your experience with this type of ‘guest post spam’?
Image: Spam: ttps://www.flickr.com/photos/smemon/ Guestpost: https://www.flickr.com/photos/128817307@N02/