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5 Problems With Guest Posting/Writing Requests

Posted by on Sep 14, 2012

Yeah, I’m revisiting this topic again. I’m doing it because I know that there’s a lot of us that accept guest posts somewhere (I don’t for this blog but do for my finance blog) that try to be accommodating to those who ask us if we’ll accept it. I know that it not only helps them but helps us because we don’t have to write everything for those particular blogs. In my case, those guest posts are helping me to earn money from that blog, so I’m not overly mad at the process.

Go ahead; make my day
Nora Arias Loftis via Compfight

But some of the writers themselves are getting on my nerves. I also have to add those people who ask me to write a post for them and include their links in the article now, which is something I do for a fee (you’d be surprised how many people are willing to pay me to to that… sort of). I will be including that in my little list of gripes that I’ve already titled above, and thus I’m not going to repeat it again… oh, who am I kidding, of course I’m going to repeat it again. Here’s 5 problems I’ve had with guest posting and writing requests.

1. I have this in my guest posting policy on my finance blog:

I do accept guest posts geared towards financial issues on this blog, and by having a guest posting policy, it means in your query you don’t have to ask me about it, you don’t have to have all that extraneous stuff about how it will help this blog work better or have better SEO; please, I get that and your letter looks canned, which it obviously is since most of the requests that come aren’t from writers but from people marketing for someone else. If you’re supposed to be some kind of writer then write something original; give it a shot, it won’t hurt.

You’d think people would get that message, but no. At least 70% of the requests I get are those canned letters; sigh…

2. I have this in my guest posting policy:

When you write me, give me an idea of what you’d like to write about so we can start from that point. I have to review the site being linked back to and then determine if it’s a site that should be paying for advertising or one that I allow a free link back to. If you’re actually reading this then please send the link to the site you want your article going to; I’m always having to tell people that I need to see their link first and that’s wasting a lot of my time.

Nope, people who aren’t reading the first part aren’t doing this either. This includes those people that I know have read the policy, and I’ve got it highlighted just like you see above. Now, how do I know the difference between people who are actually reading the policy?

3. I know because of this:

To request a guest posting opportunity, or to ask questions about advertising or anything else on Top Finance Blog, write to Mitch. If my name isn’t in the email, I’m not reading it and you won’t hear from me (unless you’re willing to pay for it); I don’t have the time.

This is true; 90% of the requests I get are to sir/madam, webmaster (really?) or just “Hi” or something like it and nothing else. And I don’t respond to any of them; I delete them immediately.

4. When I have to send people my advertising policy, they don’t get it.

I’m not going to post that here because either people ask me for it up front or I look at their site & determine it needs to be paid for and then they ask me about it. At that point I sent them a standard email with the policy already typed up. The policy specifically says two things. One, no blatant advertising for their company unless they want to pay me twice the rate it costs for me to write a post. Two, if I write a post, I’ll use your keywords unless their blatant advertising, in which case the twice as much as writing a regular post thing kicks in.

Someone asks me to write a post for them at the individual post rate. I do it, add their links, set it up to go live, and expect them to pay me when it goes live. No one sees the post before it goes live; sorry, but I was burned once and that’s never happening again. Anyway, they finally see the post, then they write me and ask if I’ll include the company name in the post. I refer them back to the policy and say that if I do that they have to pay double. Then they get upset; well, a couple of them do. And then they don’t pay and I dismiss them forever.

You’re probably asking why I don’t charge them something up front so I don’t get burned. I don’t do that because I write articles for the blog as well, and in a way they get credit for giving me a topic to write about, so I’ll take it, but I don’t like not getting paid my fee for writing it. Why? Because it’s in the policy!

5. People who don’t come back to address comments.

I wrote about this one on another post on guest posting. I’m not the only one that’s written on this subject, although right now I can’t remember where I read someone else talking about it. No matter; if you write a guest post you have to be willing to address comments or questions because the owner of the blog just might not be qualified to respond to everything. And even if that person is, you’re losing the chance to establish yourself in the eyes of others by doing a posting hit and run, so to speak.

Those are my main 5 issues at this moment. If I write this same post 2 weeks from now I might have different gripes, but you won’t see that one coming from me. All I’m looking for is a little bit of courtesy, a bit of professionalism. By the way, I also share this little funny video in my guest posting policy; for those of you who get requests, I’m betting you can identify with this:


 

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30 Comments »

Phil:

Hey Mitch:

I’d let you write a guest post on my blog anytime. Let me know!

–Phil

September 14th, 2012 | 4:06 PM

Phil, all it takes is an email request and I’m there! πŸ˜‰

September 14th, 2012 | 11:06 PM

Long time no speak Mitch, though I follow your posts via email – most nights about this time actually πŸ™‚ The guest post thing doesn’t really apply to me or my blog being a personal one but I do follow back with all my commenters and come back to those I leave on other blogs; it’s just good manners. As are the policies you have about guest blog requests.

P.S. Thanks so much for letting commenters have the ability to edit their comments after leaving them!!
Roz Bennetts recently posted…My Ice-Breaker Speech Video at Toastmasters Stanmore/HarrowMy Profile

September 14th, 2012 | 7:09 PM

Hi Roz; hope all is well. And you’re absolutely right, requirements for guest posting are really just good blogging principles for one’s own blog. However, I’ve realized that the majority of people asking to write guest posts aren’t doing it to link back to a blog, thus they don’t know the community “rules”, if you will.

And I’m glad you like that plugin option; saves a lot of people from mistakes. lol

September 14th, 2012 | 11:08 PM

Thanks Mitch, I’m good thank you.

What goes around comes around applies here, manners and politeness go a long way and they really shouldn’t need spelling out as much as they do, so sod ’em if the penny doesn’t drop. πŸ˜‰
Roz Bennetts recently posted…My 60 Second InterviewMy Profile

September 16th, 2012 | 6:02 PM

I’ve been having guest posts over the past summer and they’ve been working very well for me. Of course, I have a very different blog from yours. I typically ask for guest posts and my guests are usually writers who are promoting their blogs and/or books so there’s not all that of hard core linkage.

I get those canned commercial requests sometimes, but I just politely decline those unless they do fit a specific need for me and so far only one has and that request was not all that canned and very interesting.

I love having guests on my blogs. Sometimes it works and sometimes not so well, but there have been many pleasant surprises resulting from those posts.

Lee
Arlee Bird recently posted…Hijacked By a Pickleope? Who Would Have Ever Thunk?My Profile

September 14th, 2012 | 7:20 PM

Hey Lee, this one didn’t go to the spam filter! lol

I’m not against guest posts on the blog, but I’ll often ask certain people to write one instead of accepting one from just anyone. The idea is to help out people who participate in some fashion on the blog as well as offer a different perspective or an educational opportunity on something that I wouldn’t be the best choice to write on. You know that loyalty thing with me. πŸ™‚

September 14th, 2012 | 11:11 PM

It is a bother when you specify and spell out everything and yet people do exactly what they are not supposed to. Also, I dislike canned letters or what I call junk mail. If you mean to ask me something, address me by name. Don’t send me a letter that you have already send to a dozen other people. If only people would take out the time to go through the comment and post policy, we would all save so much time.

September 14th, 2012 | 11:09 PM

Thanks for your comment Domenic, and I can tell that you feel my pain. It’s just amazing, and part of me wonders how these people are finding my email address in the first place since, as far as I know, the only place it’s saved is on the guest posting page. I’ll have to examine that one further.

September 14th, 2012 | 11:13 PM

I am owner of 32 blogs and one websites that is based user generated content. I accept guest posts at all blog, some are even 100% guest post blogs related to travel and hospitality. For those blogs my guest post policies are pretty much loose and allow a lot of leverage depending on the topic and how the article is written. I am a bit more strict for my big project, but even having terms of service, guest content policies and guidelines, I meet some basic problems and I don’t understand why most authors doesn’t respond to comments and even do not retweet their posts. Well, not all of them, there are some great members and even I reject an article, they come back and ask how to improve the content and may I give a suggestion for a topic that probably will be more interesting.

September 15th, 2012 | 1:31 AM

I don’t get it either Carl except to realize that those people aren’t really bloggers and thus don’t really feel the need for community. And that’s too bad because they’re obviously missing great networking opportunities.

September 15th, 2012 | 7:38 PM

I guess you are right, many of them are article writers or SEO practitioners that are searching for links from quality websites.

September 16th, 2012 | 7:28 AM
firdosh joy:

Hello Mitch , you really highlighted the common problem with we suffer with guest posting writing. Thanks for this article and understanding the problem.

September 15th, 2012 | 3:32 AM

No problem firdosh; seems all of us deal with it in some fashion.

September 15th, 2012 | 7:44 PM

Hey Mitch I know letting someone write a guest post for you can be good as well as bad. I know that people do this to receive mutual benefit but there are writers who make this entire thing look like trash by doing silly things. I wonder at times how can someone be so silly, but i am reminded of the diversity we have. Needless to say there are good writers too who take everything in the right spirit and continue to be of help, but the bad part is you get to deal with all the kinds.
James recently posted…Shutters HingesMy Profile

September 15th, 2012 | 4:31 AM

That’s true James, but I deal with them by making them prove to me that they deserve to write a guest post for me. Some think I should be happy because it’s to the benefit of my finance blog but I don’t see it that way at all because they’re benefiting as well.

September 15th, 2012 | 7:39 PM
Diet:

Hi, Mitch. And what do you think about guess posting on my blog?

September 15th, 2012 | 4:52 AM

Send me an email, which you’ll find on my comment page, and we’ll talk.

September 15th, 2012 | 7:42 PM

I totally agree that guest blogging is a brilliant idea to generate more traffic onto your own blog. I think it is important that people come back to address any comments that people have wrote, otherwise this may drive people away, if they do not get any feedback.

September 18th, 2012 | 6:44 AM

Exactly Francisco, which is why those who allow guest posting need to have rules to guide those writers.

September 18th, 2012 | 1:07 PM

I never enabled guest blogging because it seems like more work then reward. Thanks for the write-up confirming it — I don’t think I will try this.
Jessica Johnson recently posted…How to Increase Your FICO Score 50 Points in 30 DaysMy Profile

September 21st, 2012 | 1:23 PM

No problem Jessica. Yeah, it can be irritating at times, but depending on your focus, it can also get you lots of content, but you have to be willing to edit.

September 21st, 2012 | 6:43 PM

Hiya Mitch. Mmmmmm SMH I don’t understand it at all my friend. People act like the pleasure is all yours to have their self promoted post on your site. It ain’t! I can appreciate the need to guest post as a traffic strategy but c’mon peopl, read the man’s policy why dontcha! Gripe away Mitch, hopefully it’ll help folks understand. Update us and enjoy your Friday!
Mys Palmer recently posted…The 3 things you should never blog withoutMy Profile

September 21st, 2012 | 6:16 PM

Thanks Mys. I actually had a guy say that to me in an email that I should be thankful people offer to guest post on my blog. That was after I rejected his post for bad writing and blatant advertising and told him if he wanted to keep the advertising links in the way he did it I was going to charge him $150; nope, he wasn’t a happy camper at all. lol

September 21st, 2012 | 6:47 PM
Atyq:

Hi,
You’ve no spoken for a long time ;).
I though I follow your posts via email – most nights about this time actually The guest post thing doesn’t really apply to me or my blog being a personal one but I do follow back with all my commenters and come back to those I leave on other blogs; it’s just good manners. As are the policies you have about guest blog requests.
Best regards, Atyq
Atyq recently posted…How multivariate testing increase the sales?My Profile

September 22nd, 2012 | 4:57 AM

Manners is the main consideration Atyq (how does one pronounce your name?) because if someone comes into your space and treats it right, at least give them something to drink. lol

September 22nd, 2012 | 2:06 PM
Lee:

Hi Mitch your point about replying to comments on guest posts. I agree this has to be important because surely if you don’t it is not only a negative on the site you guest posted but also to your name as well. So a really relevant point when your name is everything.

Great points thanks lee
Lee recently posted…Sweat Suits for Weight LossMy Profile

September 23rd, 2012 | 12:33 PM

Thanks for joining in Lee. Yup, many people are missing great opportunities and it’s a shame.

September 23rd, 2012 | 4:12 PM

It’s true that we get all kind of people, some are good but some are really annoying. I have few really bad experiences where ultimately i have to delete their submitted posts because they were just not reading the guidelines.
akhilendra recently posted…Skyrocket Your Affiliate Commissions with TrustJackerMy Profile

October 7th, 2012 | 2:09 PM

No one puts posts on the blog except me, so I don’t have that worry. Yeah, it takes a bit more time but the blog represents me so I’ll take that time.

October 7th, 2012 | 3:10 PM