Guest Posts: Please Stop the Madness
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How many requests do I receive for folks who wish to add their content to THE Canadian Personal Finance Site? This week over 10, and most weeks at least 5 of them, and 99.9% of all of them are from folks who I do not read, nor do I know of them. If I ran a corner store, and someone who I did not know walked in and said, “I’d like to run your store today, can I?“, I would give the same answer I give most Guest Post requests, NO!
I realize that most of the How to Create Hype About Your Site newsletters say this is one of the best ways to get traffic to your site (I hope you didn’t pay money to get that advice), help your page ranking and solve world hunger, however, speaking as the person at the other end of the TSUNAMI of e-mails on this topic, please cease and desist the Cold Call e-mails.
The one guest post request I have agreed to over the past year, was actually a referral from another blogger who I know and trust, who asked me as a favour to help out a new set of bloggers. The Post about the Side Effects of Credit Card Balance Build Up, fit with my point of view and did not heinously inundate the reader with links to sites and weird graphics with hidden crap in them. Yes, I am fully cognisant of the dirty tricks a lot of these alleged “guest writers” pull if you let their content onto your site, and that is the other reason I don’t usually allow guest posts.
I have discussed this with other bloggers (and believe me, I am not in the minority on my opinions of the Guest Post game), and some of them now will simply reply to all Guest Post requests with a form e-mail saying that they charge for guest posts, and they still reserve the right to refuse any content that they feel is inappropriate to their site (the charges range from $20 to over $100). I like this idea, but I am always afraid that someone might take me up on the offer too.
Advice on Guest Posts
Let me give some free advice on how to get your guest post accepted by a site (no this does not mean you should use these on me and no I am not guaranteeing these will work, after all this is free advice):
- Do not send e-mails to bloggers you do not know, most will simply send you to the SPAM box and ignore you. You need to have some kind of relationship with the blogger before you approach them about a guest post.
- Do not send content as part of your initial contact. I have people sending me crap as part of their pleading e-mail asking if they can guest post. I delete those even quicker, until I say I want to see what you can write, don’t send anything.
- Get to know the blogger, it is Networking that works the best. If I know of you, or know someone who will vouch for you, I am much more inclined to think about your guest post offer. How to get to know someone? Include a link to their content in your blog, and leave comments (that are not simply, “Hi I really like your content”, I delete those comments quickly too) on their site. Ask them questions in the comments, show you are reading their site and are interested in what they write. Once you can fake genuine interest, you are more likely to get a favorable response.
- Write good content for a while, you might just get noticed that way.
- Maybe enter a contest about writing on some of the sites like Blogengage or something like that. On Blogengage you can show what you can do, and maybe win some money?
- Figure out what the site you want to Guest Post thinks. As an example sending me an offer of writing a post about how great Pay Day Loan places are is really not going to fly (and you will get a rude response from me).
- Think of Guest Posts like a Job Hunt, cold calling does not work at all (or incredibly rarely), you need to build up your network of contacts so people know of you, and will think of you in a good light (not with a “who the heck is this” point of view).
If I have sent you a rude “get lost” e-mail when you have sent me a guest post request, I apologize, for a while I really got miffed at this whole thing. If I have not replied to you, take the hint, you need to build up some credibility with me before I will answer you.
It has taken me 6 years to build up the meager readership, I don’t need a weird guest post to alienate the few readers I have, thus I shy away from them.