Over in the forum several of us were talking about the recent barrage of offers of guest posts and advertising. The main complaints were these:
The email writer claims to love the blog or website, which becomes obviously untrue as they reveal their offer – a guest post or article they are sure will delight us. Some of the more clever ones will actually list two or three suggested titles.
The problem is the titles are so generic they could apply to almost any blog in the world. A newer version of this same pitch is the offer is to pay the site owner to put up a post. They don’t want to buy advertising because the post is an attempt to look like the links are organic rather than paid for.
In no case to they tell you who they want to link to, nor does the putative author offer a link to their own professional site.
I’m like many blog owners that recognize there’s an implicit approval that’s communicated to readers with links in posts. If the blog or site owner is so bold to query exactly what they will be linking to, they generally come back, at least in my case, to a ‘service’ that offers to write papers for college students.
Now I’m constitutionally opposed to such offers. It’s my, admittedly old fashioned. notion that students ought to do their own work, or at least attempt it.
Yes, I realize that students in the US who are non-native English speakers and writers have a difficult time grasping some of the intricacies of our language. I’m not opposed to working with someone and editing their work, provided (yes, I’ll shout it: PROVIDED) they do the bulk of the work including all the research and write a complete rough draft themselves. Then hiring an editor to help them get it into the right idiom only makes sense. But not the actual paying for the creation of the paper.
Besides, as I understand it part of the game is to fool Google into thinking they have substantial links back to their site. Google frowns on this sort of attempt to rig the game and so do I.
Many of us now just delete the email. Unfortunately some of the bolder ones will email again asking why they haven’t gotten a response!
But it feels so impolite!
Someone said they hate not responding because it makes them feel impolite. Like many of us, they grew up with the idea that it’s rude not to reply to a letter and this feeling carries over to email.
Pardon me while I channel Emily Post’s ghost
Maybe it’s the season, but I feel like I’m channeling Emily Post when I say there is absolutely no need to respond at all to this type of solicitation. It’s rude of those who send out such emails to do so. It’s even ruder when they don’t spell out exactly what they want – a link back to something.
This is the equivalent of the junk mail that still comes to our door almost daily. Just as you don’t feel required to respond, unless it’s to call their 800 number and ask them to stop sending you stuff, or unless it’s by throwing it immediately in a recycling bin. There’s no need, and really no expectation that you treat spam-my emailers with anything but disdain – with the delete key.
Yes, I suspect at least some of the folks sending the email are real would be writers who have gotten snookered into some promise of payment or other reward if they’re successful at placing links. If I’m right, the quickest way to assure they will leave that industry ASAP is not to respond.
If you happen to be someone who innocently has gotten involved, stop it. Right now! And if you want to write an expose I’ll consider publishing it. No pay, but probably some glory and links back to your professional site.
Write well and often.
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