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.
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: