Guest Posts – the what, why and when

October 22, 2020
Lap Top, Sunglasses, Desk

Fellow bloggers will most likely very much relate to this post.  Non-bloggers will find out a little more about the life of a blogger!

THE WHAT

My inbox at Write of the Middle is being swamped by requests to:

  1. Guest Post on the blog (but not the kind I want)
  2. Share an infographic on the blog, often with a request to add it to a specific post of mine that is already published and probably has been for quite some time.
  3. Have a link to one of their posts inserted into an existing published post of mine
  4. … and many more interesting scenarios!

and to be honest, I’m so over it.  For quite a while I courteously responded to each and every email.  Nowadays, I delete and do not reply.  

It reached a point where I created a specific page – GUEST POSTS – with information on conditions upon which I will accept a guest post here on the blog.  To be honest though, I doubt they see this page because I don’t think the vast majority of these people even read my blog, though they usually state that they ‘love the blog’ or ‘have been a long time fan’.  My belief is that most likely a Google search brings up a post I’ve written on a topic of interest to them for reasons of opportunity.  All they want is a link on my page as free advertising and to help boost their business (sales/services) and/or increase their Domain Authority ranking on their website.

So now, even though I doubt these people read my blog at all and it’s highly unlikely they’ll read this post, I’m writing an actual blog post to take it one step further to let them know that I will not be replying to their emails, and why.  By ‘these people’ I mean emails from people who are unknown to me.  Their emails are often written in very poor English (obviously not their first language), do not provide any social media links or links to samples of their work, and it’s evident that they do not know me, my blog, my demographic, or my readers at all.  They usually say they are professional freelance writers, sometimes offering up blog topic ideas – quite often very far removed from what I blog about here.

THE WHY

The amount of time that was spent replying to all these emails and the drain on my energy became far too much.  My time and energy is valuable.  Investment of my time is better spent in more productive and nourishing ways for me.  Even though I don’t respond to these emails, they keep persisting, emailing me over and over again sometimes up to six times before they might finally give up.  To be honest, that alone is annoying because it is still a drain on my time and energy to work my way through the copious amounts of these emails, scanning through them to determine what can be deleted and which ones are more valid and worth my while to respond to. 

Love yourself enough to set boundaries. Your time and energy are precious. You get to choose how you use it. You teach people how to treat you by deciding what you will and won’t accept ~ Anna Taylor 

In the past I have actually relented and accepted some guest posts from these people and to be honest it never felt good. I’ve never been happy with these posts as they are just a means for planting links and not at all a piece written from the heart. which is what I want all posts here at Write of the Middle to be. Those moments that I relented and accepted these posts has probably lead to me being so inundated with further requests (as they see I accepted some previously).  You live and learn!  I will not accept guest posts from these kind of people ever again. 

THE WHEN

I love having guest posts on the blog – BUT – only the kind that I feel good about and where it adds value to my blog for myself and those who read it.  If you have a look through all my Zen Tip Tuesday Guest Posts you will easily be able to pick the couple of ‘these people’ kind of posts where I relented. The rest of the guest posts are fabulous pieces written from the heart by wonderful people.

Here’s a cut and paste from my ‘Guest Posts’ page that outlines WHEN I might accept a guest post:

Please note that the ONLY guest posts I will consider are:

(1) Those that are genuinely familiar with my blog, me, my readers and our demographic. Those that are genuine writers, who can write in good english, and who write their own words genuinely from the heart from true life experience, and who can provide me with links to their social media and samples of their work … and then if all looks good ONLY as part of my Zen Tip Tuesday series.  Please refer to these pages for more information:

About ZTT
https://writeofthemiddle.com/zen-tip-tuesday/about-ztt/

How to submit a featured guest post
https://writeofthemiddle.com/zen-tip-tuesday/how-to-submit-a-ztt-featured-guest-post/

Gems of Zen (ZTT posts published so far)
https://writeofthemiddle.com/category/zen-tip-tuesday/zen-tip-tuesday-posts/

 
(2) A charity that fits with me, my blog, my readers, and that I would like to support.
(3) A guest post by a person known to me on a mutually agreed topic.
(4) A guest/collaborative post where I work with a legitimate business with regards to a service or product that resonates with me and that I think fits with the blog and would interest my readers. 
 
I’m afraid that any requests that don’t fit with the above four criteria will be deleted and not responded to as I simply do not have the time.

*Thank you for your understanding!


So, to wrap up and add a positive slant to this post, what I’m lovin’ about life right now is that this is my blog, my own little space on the internet, and I have a right to decide what is published here, and how I spend my time and energy with regards to it. Hooray for that!

You can be a good person with a kind heart and still say no.

If you’re a blogger, are you getting flooded with these emails too?  

Ciao for now,

* Please note that these conditions do not include any sponsored work (or product reviews). That’s an entirely different subject.  All requests for sponsored posts (for payment) will be considered based on topic/service/product and whether they fit with what this blog is about and who reads this blog.  The same for product reviews.  They will still need to be requested from reliable & valid sources and feel right before I’d consider accepting them.  Posts for payment, guest posts, product reviews etc. are all secondary to maintaining the standards & vibe I wish to have here on my blog.

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16 Comments

  • Reply Lydia C. Lee October 22, 2020 at 7:22 am

    Yes, it’s a lesson you learn very quickly not to waste time on….Mind you, a big OS newspaper published some of my photos (6 if I recall) and had the promised credit hidden (you had to hover over the photo to find it. That was it for me. I realised I should have charged or said no. Stuck with that ever since.

    • Reply Min October 22, 2020 at 5:39 pm

      I’ve been blogging for 8 years but it’s only in recent times the volume of these kind of emails has been out of control to the point of overwhelming me, and they just don’t give up! That’s awful about your photo’s being published etc. There’s lots to learn in this online world that’s for sure!

  • Reply Natalie October 22, 2020 at 7:37 am

    Hi Min, Good for you to set boundaries and focus your time and energy on something you enjoy doing. Fortunate for me, I haven’t been flooded with the type of emails that you mentioned. Have a wonderful week! #lovin’lifelinky

    • Reply Min October 22, 2020 at 5:39 pm

      Thanks Natalie. You’re lucky you don’t get these emails. They’re driving me crazy. Literally hundreds and hundreds of them!

  • Reply Joanne Tracey October 22, 2020 at 9:23 am

    Yes, I get them too – more for the astro site than and anyways, but it’s flipping annoying. I delete and move on as invariably they have no idea what my blog is about. Time wasters indeed.

    • Reply Min October 22, 2020 at 5:41 pm

      Time wasters and annoying for sure. When I’d just get a dribble of them now and then it was no big deal, but I’m literally getting hundreds of them weekly now and many of them emailing over and over wanting a response. So many emails that valid ones could get lost amongst them. Ugggh – drives me nuts!

  • Reply Deborah Cook October 22, 2020 at 10:16 am

    I never respond unless they’ve used my first name or made some effort. I know it’s usually a mass-email so there’s a gap where your name should be and they randomly insert your blog name at some point. I just delete them.

    The hardest ones are those from people who’ve written books they want me to review. I don’t mind if I know the person or have a relationship with them but otherwise I just say no. (And I have something on my site saying I don’t take direct requests and that I only work with publishing houses.)

    • Reply Min October 22, 2020 at 5:44 pm

      I used to do the same but I’ve broadened what I won’t respond to now. I can pick which ones are not worth my time and which ones are valid much better now, and I literally am getting hundreds of these emails a week. It’s really become quite overwhelming. Makes me not want to check my emails at all and I’m worried valid emails will get lost along the way. Probably they have! I don’t get people emailing me wanting their books reviewed – thank goodness – I can’t take anymore! lol

  • Reply Leanne | www.crestingthehill.com.au October 22, 2020 at 4:50 pm

    Hi Min – I get quite a few of these too. I delete the spammy ones, have a standard reply for the “maybe” ones, and engage with a very small number who actually sound legitimate and a good fit with my blog. I have guest post series every now and then – but they are by invitation and I know all the people whose posts I share. I always love it when I collaborate on a paid post that benefits them and me – but those are fairly rare and I refuse to sell my blog’s soul for a partnership that isn’t a good fit. It takes 2 seconds to delete an email that I don’t want to deal with, and sometimes they give me a good laugh when they are so obviously not in line with my readers – keep deleting and keep laughing – at least it shows that your blog interests people xx

    • Reply Min October 22, 2020 at 5:47 pm

      Hi Leanne – I used to just get these kind of emails now and then and that was no big deal but I’m getting hundreds of these emails every week now. It’s driving me nuts. I’m much more ruthless with deleting because I have to be. It needs to be a pretty professional looking email with links to verify legitimacy before I’ll even consider a maybe email response. xo

  • Reply Christine October 23, 2020 at 9:18 am

    Luckily I don’t get these emails. Delete, delete, delete! I do get multiple spam followers on Instagram I’ve constantly deleting and many messages from men who love my smile, think I’m beautiful etc. Hahaha! I’m not sure who actually falls for those.

    • Reply Min October 26, 2020 at 11:01 am

      Hi Christine, I get those messages from men on Instagram too. Their insta accounts usually say they are military men. Not sure that would be truth! I block and delete and never engage. I’m sure some women are flattered enough to fall for it but not me! haha

  • Reply Denyse Whelan October 23, 2020 at 2:51 pm

    I stopped this ages ago. My blog was never about making any money so that was that. However, I deleted my email in the ‘about me’ page too. Simple action and oh so much better. I hope you might consider something like that too. Your life has more important things to do other than respond to those. Too much on your plate just replying. There is no actual reason for anyone to contact you because they could always make a blog comment. I also use a spam filter there too. The free one. Poor Min! Hope its improves. Denyse.

    • Reply Min October 26, 2020 at 11:04 am

      Hi Denyse! My blog isn’t about making money but I still like to contactable because I’ve had so many wonderful opportunities through my blog that I wouldn’t want to miss and I do love to help out some charities and businesses from time to time. I’ll just have to keep deleting the crappy stuff I guess! I really hope it decreases though as the volume of it is ridiculous right now. My blog has a spam filter too thank goodness – lots of stupid comments get caught that way. xo

  • Reply Leanne @ Deep Fried Fruit October 29, 2020 at 6:14 am

    I too get flooded with these. I ignore them because I feel they’re insincere. Sometimes I’ll reply when the sender comes back to me to follow up. But I always turn them down. Send me products to review and I may post about them (if I like them I definitely will) but don’t send me links and pictures and expect me to just support you. My blog is a source of my truth . I’d be lying if I started sharing the links and graphics of others with whom I don’t know nor necessarily agree with.

    • Reply Min October 29, 2020 at 2:14 pm

      They’re extremely insincere. Some of them pulled at my heart strings a bit in the past and I relented and ‘gave them an opportunity’ which in hindsight I know was a rookie mistake because I’m so flooded with these emails now, also the posts they provided left me cold. My blog is a reflection of me too, so I’ll be a lot more careful in future.

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