One of the most freeing things I’ve done recently is deciding that I don’t have to try to be Neil Patel any longer because overall, Google’s never going to see me as an authority. I might get in the lucky post here and there but all those posts over 2,000 words aren’t getting it done.
With that said, this is probably going to be the shortest post I’ve written in a long while, and it’s on a touchy subject for me; guest posting requests. If you want a little background on this topic and my reticence check out 5 Lies Of Guest Posting Requests before you go any further.
I’m writing this one in a different tone than most of the posts I’ve written on this subject. I’m doing that because someone I know said that sometimes my titles come across as me being mean to people because they’re messing up in my eyes.
I’d have to agree that’s possible, but it’s rarely my intention to be mean on purpose, especially since I normally speak in generalities… even when I’m talking about people lying! lol However, in general I’m usually the nice guy in the room, so I’m going to try to be nice… but no promises!
Guest posting requests… well… sorry but I have to say that a lot of people are failing in this area. That’s why I’m being proactive and as nice as I can be indicating what people should be doing to potentially increase their guest posting opportunities overall (except on this blog; you’ll know why if you read this post) and not irritate the people they’re writing to.
1. Visit the blog in question
Most of the guest posting requests make it too easy to know that people didn’t even visit my blogs. I have a lot of people who want to write about things that those particular blogs don’t even cover; that’s a pretty big “tell” (poker term) and most of the time you might not even get a response. Some of my other points are going to pony off this one.
2. Look for the blog owner’s name
There isn’t a single blogger in the world whose name is “Admin”; trust me on this one. That’s not even the worst letters I receive. The ones I get often begin with “Hi there” or something similar, then go into the narrative. Marketing 101; always send email to a “person”, with the best way being to use their name.
3. Look for a guest posting/advertising policy
Not all blogs will have something like this but some blogs do. I have an advertising policy on my finance blog because it’s one of only 2 blogs I have where I’ll accept sponsored posts (I need to put a policy on my other blog, though no one has yet to ask me about it yet). It will answer a lot of questions up front and keep you from once again looking like you’ve never even visited the blog.
4. Look to see if there are any guest posts on the blog
Even if there’s no guest posting policy, it can’t take that long to check out the blog to see if there are any recent guest posts, which is a good indication as to whether those blogs accept them or not. Of course, it’s possible that some of them are like this blog, where the last guest post I had, a post on positivity by my friend Kelvin Ringold, was in April 2016, and I didn’t indicate it was a guest post in the title. The last actual guest post I had here was in 2012; this is the one that lets people know I don’t accept guest posts as a general thing, and this one was allowed because the guy had interviewed me on his blog a couple of years earlier. 🙂
5. Leave a “real” comment on a previous blog post
Almost all the email requests I get (which are pretty much form letters) will add a link to an article on the blog saying how much they enjoyed it… without saying why they enjoyed it… which they can’t do because they obviously never visited the blog (okay, that’s not nice but it’s true). The biggest problem with this is that it shows the blog owner that the person asking to guest post could care less about their blog, which means they’re trying to get something for nothing.
No one wants to feel they’re being taken advantaged of, or lied to by someone trying to flatter them with an empty compliment. I recently got a guest posting request where the guy said he’d left a comment on a particular post but didn’t; he couldn’t have thought I wouldn’t go looking for it could he (I’m trying not to use the “L” word again)?
Leaving a comment on a post or two shows the blog owner that you’ve actually visited the blog previously and really understand the types of articles the owner might be open to accepting… if they accept guest or sponsored posts (which I don’t here; I hope no one seriously asks to do either on this blog because of this article…).
6. Have links to articles you’ve previously written; don’t send files…
Less than half the requests I receive sends links to article that I could check out… if I was going to accept guest posts (actually, on my finance blog I did until December 2013). I know that’s because many of the people sending the letters aren’t writing the articles (which is one reason I stopped accepting guest posts and switched to sponsored only) so they’re not even going to try to validate the quality of something they didn’t write and possibly didn’t even read.
Some of the requests attached a file to their email that they wanted me to open, or a link to a Google Doc; nope, ain’t no way I’d do it, and I hope no one else who accepts guest posts do until they get to know the requester. See, there’s these things called viruses that can get onto your computer by clicking on dodgy things in email and I like my computer way too much to even take the smallest chance that could be happening to me (check out this article on ransomware; this is a real thing…).
7. If the blog owner has a written policy for you to view and you actually check it out, don’t try to change their conditions
There are a few people who ask to sponsor a post rather than a guest post. Often I’ll just send those folks the advertising policy, which has specific rules. Invariably, every single person except one has asked me to change one thing or another, even though the policy adds “this is non-negotiable” to a few of the items in there. If you never get another response from the person you initially wrote to, this is probably why…
I think that’s enough… I get the feeling I wasn’t as nice as I set out to be and the article was definitely longer than I planned for it to be. lol Well, I tried! I hope I got my point across the helped some of you who are drinking the guest posting kool-aid and about to embark on this as a crusade to greater prosperity and publicity. In the meantime, since I don’t think I was as nice as I set out to be, I think it’s okay for me to share this video I did a few years about griping about people who don’t request to do a guest post properly; enjoy your day! 😉