When my blog sites started getting a bit of traffic, namely Doubtful News, I received email requests for “guest posts”. People wanted to volunteer content for the site even my sites that seem to have nothing to do with their speciality (if they gave that information at all). They often just commented that they like the site. Guest posts make no sense for that site. I view all unsolicited offers with great suspicion, as you can imagine. I deleted all of them. I assumed they were scams.
Today, I received a followup email from two that I had deleted – from J. Davies and E. Shumann. They seemed persistent. A third came from M. Jensen as an inquiry on my very low traffic monster site for kids that I did as a project for an education class. She asked if it was the right email and included a subject line about an ocean graphic which had nothing to do with that site. Hmm. Red flags.
I went back and looked at the emails they had previously received. One was specific about what she wanted to do – promote a website through a piece she thought would be a good add to my site. I completely disagreed.
Upon googling their names, I could see they sometimes succeed at landing guest post spots. Some environmental sites did take M. Jensen up on her offer. Her posts consist of general information you can gain from Wikipedia on a semi-on-topic subject for that site. The posts didn’t strike me as compelling and they very clearly read like stories concocted just for her ad link – a site where you can obtain your Master’s Degree online. My obvious conclusion is that she is compensated to write these posts in order to get that link on as many sites as possible. It’s a business.
This is a recent post on this topic that describes why this is a thing: Guest Blog Post Requests – The New Link Exchange
Link exchange is going away as Google has cracked down on this method of increasing your search engine results. Guest posting request are on the rise as a way to build traffic to a site. I bet they are great for those link farm sites that rely on high ranking search results for clicks and ad revenue.
This piece tells you how to distinguish between good and bad requests. I recognized the hallmarks here in the requests I got as well.
The number one obvious rule is: Never accept content from someone you don’t know. I suppose it does not hurt those websites to have such guest posts containing ad links on there but it cheapens the quality of the content, for sure.
The best advice is not even to respond to the emails and don’t even label them as spam. They are generated so there is no sense in confirming that you are an interested set of eyeballs. Delete them.
I used to do guest posts but only for people I knew, whose sites I liked, and where I could get some unique exposure. It has some very good uses. But none of my sites will have “guest posters”. If you wish to write for Doubtful News, there is a template, I edit based on my established rules (that I give you beforehand) and I expect you will stick around and contribute on a regular basis. I don’t accept guest posts on this or my other site mentioned above.
And, by the way, the links above were my own choosing. No compensation involved. I was grateful for their information, no strings attached.