If you’re not a blogger then this post will be pretty meaningless to you – so feel free to skip it. But, if you’re a blogger then ‘Tom’ may seem quite familiar to you – and if you work in SEO, and ‘Tom’ sounds familiar then I hope you understand how I feel when I get emails from people like you.
Dear ‘Tom’ with your random gmail address,
Thanks so much for your email. It’s so nice of you to reach out, get in contact and offer me a guest post on my website, completely free of charge.
You’re a blogger or maybe a freelance writer and you want to expand your portfolio, get some experience writing articles and you won’t charge me for the amazing content you produce. It will be unique, well written and something I will be proud to have on my website.
You’ve even thought up some great titles for the posts that you apparently haven’t yet written – hacks to keep your fridge clean at all times, best washer dryer designs for a small laundry room or tips to organise your refrigerator like a professional. They are obviously so in keeping with the theme of my blog that they would fit seamlessly into my existing content. Wouldn’t they?
The thing is, Tom, I’ve already had emails from Dave, Jim and Simon today with the same emphasis as yours. Just like I have emails every single day from different, faceless people all with different email addresses, always gmail and always with the same message – free content just for me. I would be mad to decline wouldn’t I?
But, what you fail to mention is that each post you so generously give me, to fill a gap in my editorial calendar, will have a lovely link back to a brand website. Maybe even a couple of brands – in this case an appliance manufacturer. But that’s not a problem, I hear you say. Natural links are something Google likes and it’s nice to help direct a reader to other websites they may be interested in.
But, Tom, I have been blogging for a while now and I know that you have been paid by that brand to get links back to their website. I know you are not just a freelance writer looking to expand your portfolio. I know that you are actually just looking to link build and to get those links any way possible. Your emails are full of lies – from the fact you’re a blogger like me to the fact you love my website which I know you have barely looked at. Your name probably isn’t Tom and the gmail address was probably created just a few hours ago purely to contact people like me – with no comeback, a faceless persona of a character who doesn’t really exist.
So, Tom, thanks for your email. I appreciate you offering me content for free but, I know your game. I have seen it repeated so many times, every single day, and I’ll have to decline. I would rather create my own content – for free, build my own links and link to brands that I want to link to – rather than being conned by you.
Tom, you have made me so cautious. If anyone emails me asking to guest post I think they are like you. I mention commercial links right from the outset as I know, more often than not, those guest post requests will be from people like you. Most disappear, never to be heard from again or others offer me $10 to publish their guest post – they’re only a poor writer after all.
What I’m trying to say, Tom, is that I’m done. I have had enough of your proposals, your pitches and your lies. Bloggers like to collaborate, they like to work with people on creating content, sharing content and shouting about topics close to their heart – but they don’t like being lied to.
So, Tom, stop lying. Email me and ask me if you can submit an article for publication on my website. Tell me who it will be advertising, be clear about who you are working for and, accept that your article will be disclosed as the collaborative guest post that it is. But, also, expect to pay myself and other bloggers to host your content. Expect to pay for those links – just like you have been paid by the brand – and expect to pay to market that brand to the audience bloggers have grown over time.
Until then, Tom, expect to be ignored, to have your endless gmail emails deleted, to have them sent to spam – a place they deserve to be. I don’t have the time or inclination for these games – I’m sorry it has to end like this but one of us has to change, and I think that one is me. I cannot reply politely any more, I can’t keep having the same conversations day in and day out.
Good luck Tom, I wish you every success but I can’t even humour you any more.
An exasperated blogger with not enough hours in the day.