Are you being inundated with email requests from personal bloggers or businesses emailing you asking if they can contribute a post to your blog? Do their offerings suggest they even know what your blog is about or are they looking for a place to info dump and sell their products?
I get several of these types of emails weekly from people I don’t know or have never visited or commented on my posts. Most of those emails I now just delete. Today I’m going to share with you what you should be looking out for when vetting these requests because that’s what we must do carefully before getting all excited about the prospect that somebody came to us and offered their ‘Free’ will to post on our blog. Below, I will share my list of things to look for in those emails to help you decide if you should allow or even bother responding to these requests.
- Let’s begin with salutation. If someone is requesting to write a post on your blog, the least they can do is visit your ‘About page’ and look for your name to properly address you. I would say that approximately 90% of the requests I receive begin with ‘Hey’. Newsflash – hay is for horses. My name isn’t hey!
- Don’t Small-Talk me. The most common introduction lines I receive in these requests begin with, “I really love your blog,” “I write like you,” “I want to write for your blog because we have so much in common.” After checking out many of these people, I’ve found that their articles have zero to do with anything I write about or stand for. If you really love my blog why haven’t I seen you visit it and hit ‘like’ or leave a comment? In fact, many of these offers to write are by writers for content mills trying to sell products.
- No mention of a website in their email. There’s a big flag! If someone wants to write for us, perhaps they should include some credentials or at the very least, a link where we can check out their writing.
- Know who you are pitching to. I have noticed that many pitches that are irrelevant to my blog come from some who must have randomly chosen me to pitch to through sniffing out SEO tags and/or keywords. I deducted this from a few requests I received who did happen to mention a post they ‘picked out’. I say picked out, not read because a few of those posts had nothing in common with the offered post they could write for me, but their offered topic was based on a tag on one of my posts instead of what the post was actually about. For example: One request email told me they write about same topics as mine and picked out a post of mine to compare their writing to. Well that particular post was written by my friend and author Tina Frisco, written about gratitude. In Tina’s bio she mentions that she is a retired registered nurse. The topic offered me to write about was selling medical supplies. You get my drift?
- Did the email author offer any links to view their past work? If somebody wants to write for our blogs they should be including links so we can view their past post examples.
What to Look for in Email Requests
- Were you addressed properly?
- Does the author link to their website or link to a site where their work is featured so we can view a sample of their writing?
- Do the author’s links to posts they include in their email demonstrate the subject matter they are selling to you?
- Is the subject matter the author is offering to write about similar to topics you write about?
- Does the author of the email state clearly what it is they are offering to write about for you?
- Are the samples of the author’s writing strictly for promoting products?
- Did the author of the email include a ‘business card’ in their signature?
The above bulleted vetting questions are the guidelines I use to help make my decision before I even consider replying to pestering emails. Depending on what’s missing and if anything in the body of the email captures my attention, I may investigate the author further. But make no mistake, if I’m addressed as ‘Hey’, and there is no business card (link to their website or business) in their signature or at least in the body of their email, I don’t waste any time searching who they are and just hit delete.
Don’t get carried away in the moment, thinking how honored you may feel because someone is writing you asking if they can post on your blog. It may seem flattering at first, but there is usually a motive behind these offers unless they are being honest about why they want to write for you and they include appropriate information regarding their credentials.
NEVER agree to let any stranger post a feature on your blog before you have thoroughly vetted the author. On the other hand, there are still some sincere inquiries asking to write for our blogs. And it’s always nice to feature a guest post on our blogs to give another writer some exposure and offer our readers the chance to learn about something new. But just remember, it’s your blog and you are responsible for what you allow to be posted on it. Your own following has come to expect a certain standard of post on your blog so remember to honor that before you consider allowing a stranger to post a sales pitch article on your blog.
Are any of you receiving numerous email requests to post on your blogs?