Posted by Mitch Mitchell 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.
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:
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?