By Tom Collins
We got a doozy of a guest post pitch recently! I’m not going to identify who sent it, but I thought we could make a game out of finding the mistakes. Spelling, grammar, social, strategic — how many mistakes can we find?
But before we dive in, I don’t want to give the impression that I’m against guest posting. Despite some danger signals from Google (via Matt Cutts) and over-stated assertions that guest posting is dead, it can be a good way to get your feet wet in blogging, form new relationships, grow your audience, and generally market yourself. As Cutts himself put it in an addendum to his January 20 post:
“There are still many good reasons to do some guest blogging (exposure, branding, increased reach, community, etc.). Those reasons existed way before Google and they’ll continue into the future. And there are absolutely some fantastic, high-quality guest bloggers out there. I changed the title of this post to make it more clear that I’m talking about guest blogging for search engine optimization (SEO) purposes.
I’m also not talking about multi-author blogs. High-quality multi-author blogs like Boing Boing have been around since the beginning of the web, and they can be compelling, wonderful, and useful.
I just want to highlight that a bunch of low-quality or spam sites have latched on to “guest blogging” as their link-building strategy, and we see a lot more spammy attempts to do guest blogging. Because of that, I’d recommend skepticism (or at least caution) when someone reaches out and offers you a guest blog article.”
That last paragraph should be a hint to one big mistake this aspiring guest poster made: approaching us without having any prior relationship, or at least getting a warm introduction from someone we do know. So here’s the email we received:
Subject line: Guest post contribution for “Pets”
I was going through the some of the sites and I came towards your site “http://blogpaws.com/”. I really liked the way you have presented the sites and the articles which are posted on the sites are really awesome, informative and beneficial too.
So, I wander I must also write something for your site and I assure that the articles which I will be providing you will be of high-quality and 100% unique.
Please let me know if you are interested. I’ll draft an article for overview.
Waiting for your quick and positive response.
Thanks and Regards,
Writer and Blogger.
Oh, and beneath the person’s signature and some links to social networking site profiles, came the following disclaimer:
Disclaimer: Please don’t take this email as SPAM. It has been send by a real human being. We do not encourage and participate in any kind of spamming. We are sending this mail with a sole intention of contributing a guest post for your blog. If you are not interested then just simply reply “No”, and we will not contact you again.
Okay, have at it! Leave a comment with any and all errors you find in this pitch — the “disclaimer” is fair game, too. What can we learn about how to do this right?