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The 5 Lies Of Guest Posting Requests

Posted by on May 23, 2012

I allow almost no guest posts on this site. In the 4 1/2 years I’ve had this blog, and almost 1,300 posts (I’ll pass that moment next week probably), I’ve had 14 guest posts on this site. Some of the people who’ve written guest posts I’ve asked to write them, and I love that they did and appreciate those folks. The rest asked me, and here’s where I’ve had some kind of issue for the most part.

Why you ask? Well, let me name them and tell you something brief about them:

Diego Norte – actually wrote 2 guest posts, but never came back to respond to any of them and has never come back to the blog again. Heck, he never even left a comment on any posts previously.

Barbara Whitlock – She wrote a post supporting Helium, whom I later trashed, after seeing one of my posts talking about some early problems I was having trying to figure them out. She never responded to any comments on the post and obviously had never read anything else.

Christian Arno – Another one and done who reached out to me to write a post on language translation services. I thought it was a cool topic so I went for it. It only got 2 comments but he never responded to either of them and I’ve never seen him again.

Tom Walker – wrote a post on a topic I knew something about and he also reached out to me. But he’d never commented on anything previously, never responded to any of the comments on his post, and never came back.

Wes Towers – Wes used to comment often, disappeared, then showed up one day asking if he could write a guest post, which I went for because he’d been a contributor. He wrote is his piece and, to his credit, at least responded to the comments on the post. But he’s never come back.

Murray Newlands – Murray had done an interview with me years earlier and even though I was reached asking to write a guest post for this blog, the person who wrote me had no idea who I was, nor had known that I’d even been on his blog. Still, I allowed the post to come through as a sense of obligation, even if I wasn’t so sure of the topic. Murray also responded to one of the comments, which I appreciate, but overall he’s never come to the blog before or since.

Do you see a pattern here? Sure, I understand that everyone has their own goals in mind, and for some those goals are to help spread the word about what they do, or try to drive traffic to their websites. I also understand how, in many cases, guest posts can help a website or blog to grow, as is the case with my finance blog. Still, even with my finance blog, I have as a criteria that people must respond to comments left on their post, otherwise I will remove all their links and contact information.

Why do I do that? Because often people write guest posts on a topic that I don’t know all that much about, and thus I can’t respond to the comments with any real knowledge. As we all know, the best way to grow a community with a blog, which helps to keep regular visitors, is to respond to them when they write a good comment. If guest posters don’t respond, they don’t deserve any boost their guest post was supposed to give them. And that’s why I almost never accept guest posts on this site unless I ask people to write one.

IMAG0364

Having said all of that, I still get a lot of requests to write guest posts on all of my blogs. And I’ve noticed there are 5 main lies that these requests have that immediately let me know that there’s a major problem with their request. Here they are:

1. They’re a long time reader of the blog. That’s a lie because they can never tell you anything about the blog. Often they’ll include a link to a blog post that’s a new link, and not have a comment on that particular post. It’s because they didn’t read it; they’re just trying to flatter me.

2. That they’ve read my guest posting policy. I know that’s a lie because at least half the requests I get don’t have my name on them; this is for my finance blog. That’s actually a qualification for me to even read the email, so if I don’t see my name on it I immediately delete it.

3. That they’ll “write” a quality guest post. Truth of the matter is that most of the people who contact me aren’t writing the articles at all. I know that because most of the people reaching out to me are actually advertising people trying to get their clients links on my blog. Come on, I’m not an idiot; if your email address or company name is different than the link you’re showing me that you’re going to link to, I know you’re not the one writing the post.

4. That it will be a quality post. If you saw some of the email I get, even when they put my name in the email, you’d shudder. The language is horrible, and I know these aren’t all foreign writers. If the email is written poorly then I’m not even going to bother looking at any kind of guest post.

5. That they love my writing style. Remember how I mentioned earlier that some of these people will put a link into the email from a post on the blog? Often it’s a link from a guest post, which obviously means I didn’t write it.

By the way, let me quickly thank those people whom I’ve asked to guest post here; and yes, they’re getting their names bolded:

Sire

John Dilbeck

Connie Baum

Carolee Sperry

Scott Thomas

Rachel Lavern

Mitchell Allen

I’m certainly not trashing the concept of guest posts. I just want to see more honesty, better writing, and of course responding to comments. For this blog, if you’re going to ask me if you can write a guest post you’d better have a history of some kind with either the blog or with me. That’s how I roll; how do many of the rest of you see guest posts on your site?
 

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38 Comments »

This happened to me with the one and only guest post I allowed.

It came through written pretty well, I thought, but they never came back to respond to any of the comments. Luckily it was about super-heroes, so I had no problem jumping in and responding myself, but still it was pretty annoying.

They just did a hit and run to get the link, obviously.

I was used…USED!!!

Now I pretty much ignore guest-posting emails. If the person seems genuine then I’ll at least respond, but most of them are cookie-cutter requests that don’t know anything specific about my site anyway so I don’t feel bad about it.
John Garrett recently posted…Do You Follow Celebrities on Twitter?My Profile

May 23rd, 2012 | 12:49 PM

I remember that post John, and I thought it would have been cool to see what his response would have been. I hope you removed his link; I might have also removed his name since you ended up handling all the comments for it.

Some people think we should be responsible for their guest posts just because it’s on our blogs. I’ve said that I don’t always know enough about their topic to be able to respond with much knowledge about it. Still, it’s the dishonesty; got 2 of those requests today, and I knew they’d never been to the blog.

May 23rd, 2012 | 4:42 PM

I know that Brian has ran into the same issues over at Hot Blog Tips.

While I understand that someone may not want to write a guest post to many times for 1 particular blog…you would think that the 1 or 2 post they do write…they would try to leave a great impression by answering the comments.

Sometimes the questions and opinions in the comments are where it gets interesting.
Sheryl Loch recently posted…How To G+ Hangouts On Air (HOA)My Profile

May 23rd, 2012 | 4:30 PM

You’re absolutely right Sheryl, and it’s a shame that these people don’t seem to understand how their own reputation can be enhanced by responding to comments. It’s certainly what gives one encouragement to allow another guest post from the same person.

May 23rd, 2012 | 4:45 PM

When guest posting became popular? After Google hit all article directories, this is exactly what happened. The truth is that guest posts on a blog can bring as much traffic as article directory up to 3-4 extra visits per month. It depends on the purpose of blog. With hand on my heart I can say that articles that I write usually get about 300-500 overnight after published. Guest posts that I accept don’t get more than 50 visits. Do I write better content, well I doubt, I am not native, but usually I put a bit extra promotion on social networks and guest writers does not.
Carl recently posted…The Different Types of Web Hosting ServicesMy Profile

May 24th, 2012 | 12:26 AM

Carl, I never got any real bounce from guest posts on this blog, but my finance blog works well because every article is on a financial topic. I’ve also gotten very little bounce from guest posts, as you remember my writing about it in the past. Still, I can understand how it could happen, and you’re right, without promotion of at least some kind from the writer it will probably fail.

May 24th, 2012 | 2:04 AM

I am perfectly fine with bounce rate on those articles, however the number of visits is much lower. For sure niche blogs are much easier to open for guest posts. Right now I am making an experiment with 12 niche blogs and guest posting, I will conduct this experiment for a month driving those blogs only on guest posts and let’s see what will happen. Actually I just get into relation with article writer that promise 20 articles a month for one particular blog and already published the first 4 this week.
Carl recently posted…The Different Types of Web Hosting ServicesMy Profile

May 24th, 2012 | 4:07 AM

Carl, having lots of articles can work in one’s favor, as it does with my finance blog, but only if those people also help out in responding to comments, especially if it’s on topics you’re unsure of. Now, if you’re doing what some of the clients you represent do, that being to have all these posts without allowing comments, well, at least you don’t have to worry about not knowing the topic, but it just feels sneaky and suspect, which is why, I must admit, I don’t go to any of the sites you like to except Webmaister.

May 25th, 2012 | 10:13 AM

I think you are right, more content, even not up to standard helps to get more traffic. Actually I allow comments on all my blogs, but I don’t think that I have ever comment on your blog with link in comment pointing to my blogs, excepts WebmaisterPro. I think because many, that’s why I don’t have a lot of comments, generally on every good comment I get about 100 spam comments.

May 25th, 2012 | 11:40 PM

Not in the comments Carl, but as a natural part of what you do, kind of like what you’ve done with this comments of yours. When you first started commenting on the blog I didn’t know why you were doing it and thus deleted a bunch of them. Now I know your strategy, and over time many of those sites have gone defunct which means they ended up having to be deleted anyway. Still, it points out that many sites you share don’t accept comments, so they never have to worry about people wanting to guest post on them anyway.

May 26th, 2012 | 12:28 PM

There were two hack waves in the last month, actually sites are alive during recovering process, but the way to extend this a little bit, there is another wave currently and many spammers are trying to register with fake accounts, so it is a good idea to have secured registration form on WordPress.

A part of domain names are for sale, one of the reasons why comments are not accepted as we are not sure and it is very possible that new domain owner will delete the comments.
Carl recently posted…Guest Author created new blog entry Web Design & SEO Add-ons for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google Chrome in OtherMy Profile

May 28th, 2012 | 8:12 AM
peter davies:

If the blog is niched and the article is of the best quality with no factual or grammar errors I’m normally quite happy to accept guest posts as it means less work/content creation for me with the limited time I have.

I have found though that Ive had to correct grammar etc to bring posts up to scratch which you could argue that its not a total ‘guest post’

I notice pro blogger have built a huge subscriber base on this concept (just checked, looks like you now have to pay to be in that community) so the concept should work if done within the boundaries of a niche.

The problem with this blog from a guest posting perspective is perhaps that due to its personal nature you cant really bracket it into a specific niche.

May 24th, 2012 | 4:32 AM

True Peter, but it doesn’t stop all the requests from coming in, that’s for sure. I sometimes have to correct grammar on my other blog, but if it’s more than 3 things I have to fix I send the article back. Still, I don’t want to have to respond to all the comments, especially on stuff I’m not quite expert on, if you will.

May 25th, 2012 | 10:15 AM

Guest posting is a trend nowadays. It probably been helpful at times especially a blogger has minimal errors on grammar and write with sense of humor. Then, it will probably been a good sign of guest post opportunity.
Chris Barker recently posted…Stream your files to your mobileMy Profile

May 26th, 2012 | 10:33 AM

Mitch,

I do accept guest posts on my “boomer blogs” and am not concerned over whether the guest comes back and comments on the comments received. I normally jump in and engage in the dialogue because, after all, it’s still MY blog.
Beverly Mahone recently posted…AARP and Baby Boomer Men are on FireMy Profile

May 26th, 2012 | 12:44 PM

Bev, I could probably comment on all the topics you have on your blog, being a baby boomer and working almost exclusively with women for 18 years. But on the finance blog, there’s no way I could possibly know all that stuff, so I need the writers to come back and respond to those topics. That and it shouldn’t be me, especially since, for the most part, I didn’t request the guest post to begin with. It’s the honorable thing to do.

May 26th, 2012 | 9:27 PM
reeha smith:

Hi Mitch,
I was looking for to ask you about a guest post from my content writer however thanks you told me that you are not allowing guest bloggers to your post. I think its guest blogger duty to respond to commentators and come back to your blog again and I agree with you that they act very wrong with you. anyhow thanks .

May 26th, 2012 | 4:34 PM

No problem Reeha, and I obviously agree with your opinion on guest posters.

May 26th, 2012 | 9:28 PM

We’ve batted around guest posting before; I agreed with your comments then and I agree with your observations here as well. Yes, I know: you’re overjoyed at this revelation. πŸ˜‰ I have always been pretty skeptical of people wanting to do guest posts on my blogs. As you point out, too many times they are promotional people who are offering posts written by someone else (I’ve actually been hired to write such posts for those promotional people to use on other blogs). I also insist that a guest poster respond to the comments: it’s (supposed to be) their material, they know it better than I. Usually. There seems to be a growing push by these promotional people, SEO experts, etc to use guest posts for back-linking. This makes it even more necessary for us to be wary of posts from people we don’t know. Great advice as always.
Allan Douglas recently posted…Honored by the One Lovely Blog AwardMy Profile

May 26th, 2012 | 4:57 PM

Thanks Allan. I don’t want to beat up on people who do guest posting because I really do understand their motivations, but as with almost everything else they need to see the responsibility that goes with it in most cases. I just don’t want to feel used for allowing a guest post on most of my blogs, and if they’ve shown no presence here, then why would I reward it? And it doesn’t have to be every post, but every once in awhile isn’t so bad.

May 26th, 2012 | 9:30 PM

Guest posting is a bad thing as you never know who seats behind the computer and writes the post. You cannot refer to a guest as you don’t know who it is. Another thing is that why whould you let guest posting bearing in mind that it may be a spam or an inadequate/abusive post.

Many thanks for this fresh article!
Martin recently posted…HomeMy Profile

May 27th, 2012 | 12:10 PM

Thanks Martin, but I’m not going to say it’s a bad thing. If you have the control over what goes on your blog, it’s not bad at all. If you allow someone to just post whatever they want to and you didn’t get to approve it first, then it can be a bad thing.

May 27th, 2012 | 10:50 PM

Thanks Mitch, I am sure your are more experienced than me in this subject, therefore I must agree that you need to review every post before it goes live. Regards.

May 28th, 2012 | 11:10 AM
Amanda:

I agree with the way you think. I guess that if the person is going to try guest posting, then he/she should be responsible for it, and should definitely follow all the discussions after the article and react somehow on comments

May 30th, 2012 | 9:40 AM

Guest blogging is definitely beneficial but not so much if the authors cannot take the time and be courteous enough to respond to comments and even the blog owner! It’s a sticky situation but if you land the right authors, it’s a wonderful strategy.

June 1st, 2012 | 4:24 PM

That’s true Alethia; it can be a fine balance sometimes.

June 2nd, 2012 | 1:18 AM

Wow Mitch, these people didn’t even have the common courtesy to respond to the comments! Dang!

I just started accepting guest posts over at my place but it’s by invitation only right now. I get a LOT of people emailing me asking to write for my blog but they’ve never once visited or commented so I let them know that unless they’re a regular visitor, they’ll never write for my blog.

I totally understand where you’re coming from and I know the main reason people write guest posts is to get more exposure. I would have just thought that it would have a looked a lot better if they at least responded to the comments. That’s not very good exposure if you ask me.
Adrienne recently posted…How To Blacklist Spammers And Intruders From Invading Your BlogMy Profile

June 3rd, 2012 | 1:02 PM

I’m with you Adrienne, because if you the writer doesn’t respond to comments, then that doesn’t really tell us that you the writer knows what you’re talking about. I’ve guest posted a few times, always asked, and I’ve responded to all the comments… well, almost all of them. There’s one I wrote over a year ago for Ileane that every once in awhile now still gets a one line comment, and those I’m ignoring.

June 3rd, 2012 | 7:32 PM

I’ve also decided to not accept guest posts Mitch for much the same reasons you’ve outlined here. These guys are supposed to be intelligent people so it makes you wonder why they don’t adhere to the rules.

If I recall correctly the last one didn’t reply to any of the comments and so I went and deleted all his links, as you would. πŸ˜‰
Sire recently posted…Blogging Green To Save The EnvironmentMy Profile

June 6th, 2012 | 1:38 AM

Good move Sire. Course, you’re one of those folks who I asked to write a guest post here, so you should be flattered. πŸ˜‰

June 6th, 2012 | 9:53 PM

I’m always flattered when I get a mention Mitch.
Sire recently posted…Review Of Easy Video PressMy Profile

June 7th, 2012 | 4:43 AM
John Dilbeck:

Good morning, Mitch.

i just now saw this post in my RSS feed (I’m late!) and wanted to thank you for mentioning me. I appreciate it.

I don’t accept guest posts on my blogs as a rule, but if someone I know and respect offered to write one, I would consider it. If we have no previous history, it’s dead on arrival.

I feel much the same as you. If someone were to write an article, I would expect them to come back and respond to any comments and participate in the resulting discussion.

If I were to post a guest article and they did not respond, I would not delete the links, however. I’d delete the entire article.

It’s interesting that I saw this just now. Not 15 minutes ago, I sent you a message inviting you to write an article for one of my websites. When I thought of leadership, You were in the top 5 people I thought of. I was reading an article on leadership written by John C. Maxwell in today’s Jim Rohn newsletter. I think that puts you in pretty good company.

Act on your dream!

JD

June 18th, 2012 | 11:07 AM

John, the reason I won’t go back and delete a post is because if there are already comments, I don’t want those people to have wasted their time totally by acting like the post never existed. Overall, I think there have to be standards, which is why I make people write me with my name in the initial contact email because I feel if they can’t follow that one simple rule then they probably won’t follow any of the other rules.

June 19th, 2012 | 10:30 AM
John Dilbeck:

Mitch, that makes sense about not deleting a post that already has comments. You get a lot more comments on your blog posts than I do, so I was assuming no comments.

I agree on having standards and I think your name in the initial contact is a good baseline.

In general, if I were to accept a guest post, it would have to come from someone whose name I recognize immediately; someone with whom I have some history and know about their level of responsibility.

Still, I really don’t want guest posts on my blogs, so that’s kind of a non-issue.

All the best,

JD
John Dilbeck recently posted…Live Q&A on E-Goods on SiteSell’s Facebook Page – June 18, 2012My Profile

June 22nd, 2012 | 1:13 AM

I’m sorry Mitch. It certainly wasn’t my intention to mislead or trick you into allowing me to guest post. Just got snowed under and really needed to stop commenting on posts. Best of luck for the future.
Wes Towers recently posted…When to Launch Your Entrepreneurial VentureMy Profile

June 29th, 2012 | 1:29 AM

Glad to see you again Wes. Sorry for calling you out like that but you have to admit it did look, well, sneaky in its own way. To me, even if you stopped commenting on posts across the board, you still needed to address your own post in some fashion. Guest posting should always be a two-way street. No problems though; I hope business is well.

June 29th, 2012 | 11:31 AM

I have only had a couple guest posts on Marcie Writes and they never responded to the comments. However, I will submit a guest post in a minute, but I will respond to comments. I love interacting with other people and I can’t say that they have driven traffic back to my site; they have gotten me in front of more people.
Marcie recently posted…Pre-Launch Special Extended: Buy the Book & Get Workbook FreeMy Profile

August 29th, 2012 | 4:53 PM

Hey, I’ve responded to any comments that my guest post on your site generated. And of course let me take another moment to highlight, for everyone else, the post I did on your blog, http://www.marciewrites.com/5-steps-towards-blogging-integrity/. πŸ™‚ I like interacting with people also, and can’t understand why people don’t take more advantage of that opportunity. Course, I have another post on the subject coming out in another week and a half; stay tuned.

August 29th, 2012 | 9:27 PM