The Dark Side of Guest Posts

by Meryl K Evans | Category: Blogging, Meryl's Notes Blog 6 comments

I don’t update my blog as often as I’d like. So I happily accept guest posts when people offer, right? Eh.

georgian door The Dark Side of Guest Posts

Photo from user gwozdek

Almost daily, I receive an email asking if someone can write a guest post for this here blog. 95 percent of the time, I don’t bother responding to these messages just like they don’t bother reading the blog before emailing me.

Signs of an iffy guest post request email

  1. Knows nothing about my blog other than the name “” or “meryl’s notes blog.” One tries to fake it by saying, “I’ve been reading your blog and just love it.” A closer look at the email proved otherwise. Buttering up can have the opposite effect unless you’re genuine.
  2. Mentions their keyword-oriented URL. Obviously, they’re trying to rack up links to improve search engine results. When I check out their websites, I discover a template-oriented site overflowing with keywords and no uniqueness. They also rarely show anyone behind the site. A guest post from these sites reflects poorly on mine.
  3. Writes a generic email message.
  4. Offers no article suggestions or a spammy one.
  5. Fails to know what topic to cover. All you need to do is read the blog and website. Besides, why contact me without knowing this for your sake? You want to choose blogs that fit the audience you want. For example, if your website sells widgets, contact blogs that talk about widgets instead of blogs that talk about thingamajigs.
  6. Asks for a topic.
  7. Lists links to previous articles. All are spammy, keywordy sites. The article are also generic.

Yes, I’ve made the mistake of publishing a couple of these. I’m sorry for doing that to you. I’ve learned my lesson and have tightened the guest posting guidelines.

Once, a guest published a very similar post the SAME day I published the guest post. I’m still in shock that I found out about it. How? A Twitter tweet! What are the chances of my catching a tweet on the day of the post? This situation further turned me off to guest posts and added another requirement to the guidelines.

A guest post should be no different from entering a person’s home as a guest. Treat it with respect and leave the place better than when you entered it. Oh, it doesn’t mean you should clean it up. A simple sharing of a laugh will do it.

Not all guest posts stink. I’ve had some amazing guest postings here. Most were from folks I knew long before they wrote their guest posts. People like them are always welcome to “Be our guest.” You are, too.

What do you think of guest posts?

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  • Posted by Lori on March 8th, 2011, 7:05 AM

    Meryl, I did the same thing. I published a guest post from someone, thinking full well she had good intentions. Never saw her before, never heard from her again. I should have known when I saw the post, which seemed a little off topic. She tried to stay within my parameters, but it’s tough to talk about writing when you’re trying to sell something else. :)

  • Posted by Emily Suess on March 8th, 2011, 8:39 AM

    I like to have guest posts from time to time on my blog. I’m lucky, however, that my blog lends itself to a wide variety of topics and that I haven’t been inundated with spam guest post requests.

    As far as writing guest posts on other sites? It’s something I should do more often. Thanks for the reminder. ;)

  • Posted by Meryl K Evans on March 9th, 2011, 9:56 AM

    Lori, exactly. They’re signing up to do guest posts to get traffic and sales. We all know this. But thinking about it too much can affect the post itself.

    Emily, I love doing guest posts… if I ever find the time! It’s a nice way to thank the blogger for all the great content.

  • Posted by George Angus on March 9th, 2011, 4:23 PM


    Yuppers, guest posts are a double edged sword. Invariably, comments drop like a rock with a guest post. With that said, I’ve managed to establish a couple of good relationships with some of my guest posters. I guess I need to watch for guest posers. :-)


  • Posted by Meryl on March 10th, 2011, 5:38 PM

    George, I remember your mentioning that. “Guest posers” is right!

  • Posted by Guest Post Guidelines on April 5th, 2011, 5:07 PM

    [...] guest posts, it helps to have guidelines before you start reviewing requests. Too many folks have abused guest posting privileges. Besides that, guidelines help you ensure your blog retains its quality, integrity and relevancy [...]

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