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7 Tips on How to Sleuth out #Email Solicitor Requests

7 Tips on How to Sleuth out Email Solicitor Requests


Keep calm email


I’ve noticed in these past 6 months as I began my author guest post series and after being invited to other writer’s blogs to guest appear that my website had garnered a lot more attention. This has been great, but like everything else in this world of technology, when more people become aware of our blogs, we also tend to attract more attention from spammers and/or people requesting to be on our blogs.


In the past few months I’ve been receiving at least 5 emails a week from people I’ve never heard of, but claim, ‘they love my website” and would love an opportunity to guest appear on my blog. This may seem flattering at first, but you have to search for the intent in these offers.


First, I’d like to state that the authors and books I promote on my blog are of my choosing. I like to help promote friends and authors, especially, to give back to the many who support me. These interviews take up a good chunk of time to prepare questions for and put the draft together, so I don’t advertise on my blog to contact me for interviews. However, several people I have no affiliation with persist to offer me a chance to have them over to my blog.


So today I want to share what you should be looking out for if you are also receiving such offers. For some of you, you may find these offers lucrative, but still, there are things you should check out before considering.


What to Look Out For

  • Salutation – Did they use your name or greet you with “Hello siteowner” or something similar?

  • Did they leave their name and website address so you can look at their work?

  • Have they ever visited or commented on your blogs?

  • Does what they write about have anything to do with what your blog represents?

  • Do they keep sending you emails to convince you why you should be having them on your blog?

  • Are they professional in their email to you or sounding aggressive?

  • Here’s a big flag:  Do they ask you to add a permanent link to their website on your page?


These are key things to check out when you are approached to consider email offers to host someone you aren’t familiar with. You may find it flattering that someone is reading your work and approaching you, but you have to feel out what it is they’re after.


Personally, if those requesting a spot on my blog don’t address me by name, I will suspect their email is a generic send-out. If they don’t even leave a website to check out their work, don’t waste your time searching or replying.


Many of the emails I receive are from people who do content writing for companies and the website they leave is the product’s website containing a post they’ve curated for that company. Since I’m also considering doing some content writing for extra income, after taking a course late last year, I can spot these offers easily.


Most often, these emails inform me that they write about similar things as I do, and when I go over to a link they’ve left me to check, I find the topic has nothing to do with what I write about. Some of these people are mainly looking for a place to post about a product they’re likely to make an affiliated commission on. I have nothing against them for trying, but my blog isn’t a place where I promote random products or people unless I have used that product or know the person asking for a plug.


There are plenty of avenues to find appropriate places to offer content writing for without having to bother authors to promote their products. Some of these people are professional, but not many. So when these pitches are telling me how they’d ‘be a great fit for my blog and they aren’t, I do email them back and tell them why they are not. Some people persist and then I don’t bother replying again; some are so unprofessional I don’t bother replying at all.


If you’re someone who appreciates these offers and may find them to be beneficial to your blog, by all means try them out. But do keep in mind the important tips I’ve talked about to help you determine the offers that are legitimate and the ones that will be beneficial to your blogs.

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D.G. Kaye is a nonfiction/memoir writer, who writes from her own life experiences and self-medicates with a daily dose of humor.


  • Sue Vincent

    I get a lot of them too…and checking whether their website has anything about ‘affiliate links’ in the small print at the bottom is a good idea too as many of these people are plausible. I was very nearly caught once.

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for adding that Sue. No doubt you would get tons of them. We just have to be diligent for genuine requests with good intentions and those looking to plaster themselves and their products on our pages. 🙂 <3

  • roughwighting

    Excellent insight and advice, Debby. I am extremely wary of those kinds of solicitations, so ignore all of them, since I’m so skeptical. I also find that some people ‘like’ one of my posts and write a generic comment, then ask me to come over to their site. Huh? It seems obvious they have not actually read my post, and I’m wary of going onto their site – what will happen? (See, I’m a scaredy cat). If the comment was more enlightening and was relevant to what I’d just written about, then I would hop on over. I find the same thing happens with new Twitter follows. I jump over to follow the new person, but it’s some kind of marketing/sales site. No thanks.

    • dgkaye

      Hi Pam. Yes, there are many scammers out there, for sure. I get many of those commenters you mentioned too. When I get a new reader who comments, I’ll hover over their gravatar first and see what comes up first. It is helpful is when reading comments in dashboard that you can hover over the email under the name and their website will display and you have the option to click on to view. I think ‘spam’ detects many from those with no websites, as well as in error, some honest bloggers.
      With Twitter, I have a thing. I never just follow back anyone. Each morning I check my new followers on Twitter. I click on their name (unless I know them), read a few of their tweets, to make sure no funky tweets, and most of all, if they are using an ‘egg’ as a gravatar, that’s an automatic not follow for me. 🙂 Anyone serious enough to use social media as a means to connect and want to draw others to their work should have a website, bio and gravatar. Period. 🙂

    • paulandruss

      Great comment. I was going to mention exactly the same thing about generically phrased compliments about your work which in reality are simply adverts! It’s nice to know other are getting the same annoyance.

  • marianbeaman

    Thanks for the 7 tips, very useful. Sometimes “writers” who purportedly follow my blog have no traceable content, not even a gravatar filled out with website info. Going no where. What the . . . ?

    • dgkaye

      Glad you were doing your homework to try and learn where these people come from. With that serious lack of information, I just delete if they’re emailing me.

  • Hugh's Views and News

    Well, my dear Debby, this post could not have come at a better time for me. I’ve been hounded by someone for the last few months almost begging me to let him write a guest post for my blog. Not only has he never commented on or liked any of my posts, his post (which I finally got around to reading yesterday) had links embedded which led to sales sites that had nothing to do with what he had claimed to written. In fact, I don’t think he even wrote the post itself because it read very much like a sales pitched post I’ve seen often in the world of blogging. I’ve just emailed him and said sorry, but I do not allow any sales links in guest posts unless they are to an author’s own works.

    Thank you, my life-saver. ❤️❤️

    • dgkaye

      Good work Sherlock! That’s the trail, checking the websites and looking at what they’re talking about. Most often, I find what you have. And I don’t like to be rude so I reply that their work isn’t a fit with mine. It’s when they persist to send email that I stop replying. It happens so much to me, I thought it was time to spread the word!!!! <3 <3

      • Hugh's Views and News

        I’d buy you a cocktail if I were there with you, because you saved me. I just hope he now leaves me alone. Here’s a virtual cocktail to be going on with. ? I know it’s only 10ish in the morning in your part of the world but, hey, you’re on holiday. ?

        • dgkaye

          Lolllllll Hugh. Thanks for the offer. I’m a cheap drunk, two drinks and I’m down for the count, lol. So this morning I’ll stick with coffee, but will think of you at dinner time when I have my ‘one’. 🙂 Good approximation on the time zone here, 930am. I got up at 7 to spend a few hours working before I spend the day doing not much, lol. 🙂 xoxo Pics will follow this weekend when I get more active. <3 xo

  • Jessica Norrie

    Ha ha my blog isn’t popular enough yet for me to have had this problem, but you’ve made a useful checklist and I’ll keep it in case I ever get into those dizzy realms!

    • dgkaye

      Lol Jessica, it won’t be long now. You’ll have your turn. 🙂 But at least you have a heads up now! If in doubt, give me a shout, I’ll help you FBI the situation lol. 🙂

  • robbiesinspiration

    Thank you, Debby, for this very sound and useful advice. I have only been blogging for a short while but have also had approaches from strangers asking me to post about them on my blog. Luckily, I was to busy with MTW to even consider additional requests but I will certainly keep your comments in mind going forward.

    • dgkaye

      You’re most welcome Robbie. It seems to be a new movement of advertising this past year, since I’ve heard so many blogging friends are getting these requests. There may be a diamond, occasionally in the haystack, but most oft, there’s nothing in it for us. Always take the necessary steps to check out who they are and what they’re selling. And if there’s no website left to check, just delete. 🙂

  • paulandruss

    Great Post Debby and great comments from every one too. as Newbie I have had some of these that you and others have mentioned here but I guess there is obviously a lot more to come!

    • dgkaye

      Hi Paul, thanks for dropping by. If you are getting them now, be prepared for plenty more to come. I hope I have been helpful by stating the things to look out for before accepting these ‘spectacular’ offers, lol. 🙂

  • D. Wallace Peach

    Thanks for the great advice. It’s good to know what’s going on. I’ve started getting these too, Debby. One offered me a pretty good article, but when I clicked on their link, I didn’t like the product they were selling (doing homework for students for a fee), so I said no thanks. 🙂

    • dgkaye

      Most welcome Diana. I know I’m not the only one getting these requests. It’s good you were already checking things out. I really can’t believe the nerve some of these people have asking us to not just be promoted on our pages, but promoting products for other people. It seems there is no hiding anywhere, virtual world or real world. 🙂 We must always do our homework. I particularly love when they say their posts are similar to what I write about and they don’t even know what I blog about, lol. 🙂

  • balroop2013

    I am glad you have written a post on such pesters Debbie! You are so right we must be cautious about spammers and commercial oriented links. WordPress is quite helpful by pointing out that the email is from an unverified user and another red flag is improper gravatar, which should always be checked before falling into any such trap! I have a very bad habit of being choosy about responding and communicating but I feel it is essential for all the reasons you have mentioned.
    Thanks for the reminders. Hope you are enjoying your vacation! 🙂

    • dgkaye

      Thanks Balroop, for sharing your thoughts here. Yes, WP is pretty good at detecting spam, and of course, sending innocent bloggers to spam too by error. The particular pesters are through emails people get from our ‘contact me’ page through our blogs. Unfortunately, Gmail doesn’t know if the mail is important or not, so they filter in to our inbox. It’s up to us to do the investigating. We should all be doing these checks before taking people up on their offers.
      And thanks, I’m enjoying the warmth in sunny Arizona. 🙂 And still checking in here.

  • Ali Isaac

    I actually get these a lot, which is surprising, as in the grand scheme of things, my blog covers quite a small niche market. They often offer me something nice, like a beautiful infographic to use free of charge on my blog in return for a link to their site, often a product they are trying to promote. I took up the offer once, because it was lovely, and fit with my content, and their product was lovely too, something I thought some of my readers might like. But usually its crap, and if the email isnt addressed to me by name, and doesn’t show that they’ve read my blog, I just delete.

    • dgkaye

      Hi Ali. Good for you. You did the proper investigating. And yes, it is possible there are requests that may be worthwhile to us if their product syncs with what we’re about, and if we feel it will be beneficial to bring us something in return, whether a worthy read for our readers, and/or something of value for us.
      I have also had the very odd one appealing. In fact, I remember posting 2 blogs a year ago with the proper credentials. But many of these requests don’t offer anything in return even when they’re trying to sell you on saying it will benefit us. Most times they find us in searches and hope to have their links permanently added to our sidebars as recommendations. Heck, if I was going to do that I’d put up an ad where I’d at least get paid by click. 🙂 <3

  • adeleulnais

    Great advice, Debby. I have been receiving what I call void accounts on Facebook. The trick to recognising them is to scroll down their profile. Usually they have “Hi I’m new to all this.” or you will recognise something off about them. They are fake and I don’t know what they are up to but I’m not buying or letting them on my profile. So warnings there. xx

    • dgkaye

      HI Adele, thanks for sharing that about FB. I’ve heard so many friends say people are hacking their accounts and pretending to be them on FB too. These imposters seem to be popping up. When I get ‘new friend’ requests, I go to their profile and check them out, see who they are friends with, and if I don’t know them and they aren’t friends with any of my already friends, I just ignore. Thanks again for sharing your two cents on these matters. 🙂 xo

  • Sarah Brentyn

    My little Lemon Shark is much too small a fish for people to be bothered with, um, bothering me. But I’m sharing this. Great tips.

    On the flip side, I posted a bit ago about writers emailing bloggers and asking to do a guest post when they didn’t know the blogger well (or at all) and how I didn’t do that because it made me so uncomfortable. Hopefully, people who do approach bloggers will think on this tips from the other side. If that makes sense.

    • dgkaye

      OH ya Sarah, I’ve had quite a few of those too. In fact, I once did an author interview for one of them because of the subject matter and I felt guilty saying no. They followed me on my social sites, emailed me a million times once I accepted, giving me directions and such of what they wanted, barely showed up for comment replies, and completely disappeared from my radar within a week after the post. LESSON LEARNED. It is uncomfortable saying no, but we have to draw our lines. <3

  • Terri Webster Schrandt

    This is perfect timing, Debby, as I have received a couple of semi-legit emails asking to post their articles on my blog. Funny thing is, when I asked for a collaboration for me to do the same on their page, all I heard was crickets, nada…. I have a editorial/posting schedule. Done. Thanks for sharing your wisdom!

  • Tina Frisco

    Excellent post, Deb. I don’t recall ever receiving email solicitor requests. Is it because I don’t have a contact page on my website? How do people get your email address?

    • dgkaye

      Thanks T. Most likely it’s because you don’t have a contact page, as that’s where the requests come in from (sometimes from Twitter). Although it can be a pain, I strongly suggest you have one, because besides the soliciting, you never know when a genuinely good opportunity could be offered. 🙂 <3

  • Sherri Matthews

    Once again, you give us great advice Deb, thanks so much for this. I was getting a whole load of emails like this last summer, the occasional one now, but they have tapered off a bit now, probably due to not being so active blog wise for the time being, who knows. I did accept one, who had genuinely appearered to have read my blog and was the kind of post I would normally do and only linked to their website which was one I would have gone to naturally if I had found it on my own. But I heard from them recently asking me to remove the link to their site as Google had informed them it was they had broken some rule by doing that. So I did and now I just reply, politely, with a thanks, but no thanks email. I also got a lot of emails from companies wanting to update my blog, help with marketing and social media. Yeah, right! They never used my name, but the ones that got me were the ones who did and even used the name of my blog but had obviously never read it, visited it, liked it or commented on anything. The only thing they offer is that my post will be shared on their social media! So…thank you my friend for this…but now get back to your holiday, lol!!! 🙂 <3 xoxo

    • dgkaye

      Hi Sher, thanks for sharing your experience here. Good points you also mentioned: ‘Tons of emails offering to update and market your blog’, don’t even get me started on how many of those I get! But I’m glad to hear you were doing your homework checking out the offers. We have to be diligent because just like the link they emailed you about, if things aren’t kosher, it could get us in trouble. Prime example: When I first began blogging and reblogged an article on writing ALONG WITH THE IMAGE THEY USED, I wasn’t yet aware about copyright images and I got nailed from LLC for illegal use of a photo, which I only copied over from a reblog! Make sure when you reblog, you know the source of the photo used in the blog or don’t copy the image over in the reblog! 🙂 🙂 <3 xoxo Sunny hugs to you!

      • Sherri Matthews

        I bet you get tons of those emails Deb! Some of them aren’t even written properly, so I wonder where they are really coming from? Oh I think I remember you posting about that copyright issue with that post. That’s bad news, and another great point to remember, thanks again Deb! We surely do need to be extremely vigilant, and you help us with such informative post such as this! Aww…thank you my dear friend, I could really use some of those sunny hugs about now…and of course I’m hugging right back… 🙂 <3 xoxo

        • dgkaye

          Thanks Sherri. It has finally warmed up beautifully here, and photos and adventures will be posted later this week. 🙂 <3 Take all the hugs you want! xoxo <3

  • Annika Perry

    Debby, great advice and hints for us all…I’m overtly cautious perhaps but even get a lot of comments that seem to go to websites for advertising or just to non-existent places. Worrying and a good time to help us be careful in this new world.

    • dgkaye

      It seems from the feedback here alone, that many are getting some kind of requests frequently. We do have to be diligent and check out everything before accepting any of these requests. And that’s why it’s also a good antivirus is in place, in case you’re directed to a dangerous link, your antivirus will warn you by asking if you really want to go to that suspicious page. 🙂

  • shehannemoore

    Yay I got the like button to load finally! First time in weeks. I don’t get many blog requests cos not everyone wants to be chewed up by the dudes. They are good guard hamstahs that way. What I tend to get are book review requests from someone I have never heard of. Like that my name is always in a different typeface form the rest of the request. I bin those. But I did once get a request from someone saying I had been on their blog in 2013 and talking about this Stacy woman. Well I had been on a Stacy woman’s blog then. So I agreed, thinking this was her. I knew she had a new book coming out so I didn’t mind. But closer inspection, which I should have done at the time but was up to here and beyond, revealed this wasnot the woman I thought it was but some book promoter who I had paid for a book tour in 2013 and whose idea of a book tour consisted of sticking authors on her 15 year old daughter’s blog. SO here she was, having been paid by some other author to organize a tour, looking for a cadge really. The cheek of some people is ‘unbridled.’ SO well done you for pointing out to folks what to look out for

    • dgkaye

      Wow Shey! That was quite a story. Goes to show that there are so many avenues these funsters use to try and snare us into posting for them. Yes, that’s why I shared this post because so many aren’t aware of these scammy spammers looking for a place to float their names. Your comment demonstrates that we have to dig deep and check out where that one website leads to the next because all is not what it seems sometimes.
      And of course I had to chuckle at “I don’t get many blog requests cos not everyone wants to be chewed up by the dudes.” You’re hilarioussssssssss!!!!!! 🙂 🙂 xoxoxoxo

    • dgkaye

      Glad to help Vashti. We become so vulnerable to such requests when we put ourselves and work out publicly onto the world wide web, which naturally will attract attention, some more undesirable than we had in mind. Do your homework. 😉 <3

  • Madelyn Griffith-Haynie, MCC, SCAC

    Cheek indeed! Scammer/spammers are relentless. ONE more reason my heart-beat quickens and my stomach turns over whenever I think about publishing in book form.

    I don’t get many these email requests, – thank you Lord – since I write most of the content on my blog personally — except for TinkerToy, of course. 🙂 I have gotten a few from colleagues, a few left on one of the coaching request forms, and I’ve requested one or two – but, given the format that most of my ADD/EFD readers can navigate, it takes almost as long to get a prepared text or Word article from somebody else on the site as to write it from scratch myself, “backstage” on WordPress.

    Sorry to read that you – and so many others I follow – have to deal with this nonsense. HOW annoying.
    (Madelyn Griffith-Haynie – ADDandSoMuchMORE dot com)
    ADD Coach Training Field founder; ADD Coaching co-founder
    “It takes a village to educate a world!”

    • dgkaye

      Thanks for sharing Madelyn. I think once our names are out there in the land of social media and google, we are vulnerable to such requests from exposure, it’s part of putting ourselves ‘out there’. You don’t have to be an author to attract all kinds of requests, there is no hiding, so we have to indeed do our investigative homework. 🙂 xo

        • dgkaye

          True, but when you are trying to sell books, all the promotion we can get is helpful so it’s not always wise to just delete everything. Somewhere among the spam there is always a pearl. 🙂 <3

  • Janice Wald

    Hi Debby,
    1. I haven’t heard from you in a while, so I wanted to make sure you are okay. Look at all these comments. I guess you’re busy.
    2. I saw Marsha promoted your book Conflicted Hearts. That was nice. I tweeted your link.
    3. As far as this post goes, I get emails like the ones you describe with people asking to guest post all the time. Of course they want a link, some do follow.
    However, the way I see it is I don’t have to write that day but I still get to publish while someone else gets promotion/exposure. Even if they do benefit from a link from me, I get a usually decent post.

    • dgkaye

      Hi Janice. Thanks for sharing your perspective from email request. I agree, they can be beneficial, but many aren’t even relative to what some of us blog about, and many are requesting to put their link permanently on our site, and many don’t even leave any critical information to search out.
      I know I’ve been scarce. I guess you hadn’t seen my posts saying I’m on winter vacation, hence, I don’t have the time to read blogs 4 hours a night. I’m currently in Arizona till the end of March, so I do pass by some blogs at given times, as I have yours, but I’m not everywhere as I usually am, lol.
      Thank you for sharing Marsha’s wonderful post of my book. I’ll be by your blog soon. 🙂

  • Bun Karyudo

    That sounds like good advice. I get a certain amount of spam and occasionally emails telling me that my blog is a good match for something or other, but since I don’t know anything about that aspect of blogging and have little idea what they’re talking about, I always politely say no thank you. I’ve no idea if I’m handling things the right way or not, though. 😀

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