Those of you who follow my Facebook updates may have seen me post something pithy last weekend.
“Um, Dayton? Wanna be a little more specific there, bro?”
Sure. Here’s what I’m talking about, posted this past Saturday:
Dear Unsolicited Wannabe Guest Blog Provider of Crap Having Nothing At All To Do With My Site,
I’ve spent a number of years cultivating a readership whose support and loyalty far surpasses its size. I’m rather protective of them. Kindly fuck off and get your own.
“Wow, Dayton,” I can hear some of you saying. “That’s pretty damned harsh.”
Yeah, I guess it is, but here’s the thing: Sure, the message is rather blunt, but the sentiment behind it is genuine, particularly when we’re talking about the sort of e-mail I get on this topic. For example:
I was conducting content research on [something not at all to do with anything I post about here] and I chanced upon your site daytonward.wordpress.com. I must appreciate that the content of your website is par excellence and exceptionally useful.
I am [redacted], an avid blogger for XX years, with special interests in [again, nothing at all to do with anything you’ll generally read about here]. Today I am a self-taught expert in the subject and over the years, have consistently contributed articles and blogs to top [topic specific] sites. My efforts have been well recognized and accepted in the [again, nothing to do with me] industry.
At this juncture, I am looking forward to attaching myself as a guest blogger to your site by contributing an article in your blogs/site. Rest assured that, this article will be highly informative and educative. While I am not looking at any monetary benefits, instead we could consider the possibility mentioning my site/resource once within the article.
Do let me know if this sounds good and works for you – I can provide you some of my previous work samples or I can initiate writing an article for daytonward.wordpress.com right away.
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Sounds pretty cool, right?
Now, I have no reason to doubt this person is in fact all they say they are. That’s not really the issue. For me, it’s the rather bold assertion that my audience is somehow for sale to anyone I invite aboard to hock their wares.
I don’t know how other bloggers feel, but that sort of thing actually kinda sorta pisses me off.
This isn’t the first time I’ve received this sort of mailing, and while I did not respond to this latest solicitation in similar fashion, it still irked me. The simple fact is that people like this aren’t making these requests out of the goodness of their hearts. Of course not.
They’re hoping to promote some product or service, and they want to latch on to the readers of other sites and blogs to do it. They’re aiming to literally take over someone else’s platform to drive web traffic for their own gain, which I consider to be something of a dick move. And even though it wouldn’t have made a difference in these cases, they wanted to do it for free.
Well, fuck that.
I meant what I said up there. Some of you have been following my antics for years…in some cases the better part of two decades. You’ve been here as my so-called writing career has grown. You’ve bought my books, or read them via your library or because you received them as gifts. You’ve taken the time to tell me what you did and didn’t like about them, and you’ve told other people to give them a try.
All of that means a lot to me; more than I can say. The very idea of squandering any of that goodwill, even long enough to let some stranger try to throw you a sales pitch, doesn’t sit very well with me.
Now, that’s not to say I’m opposed to the idea of guest posting altogether. If a friend or professional colleague approached me about hosting a guest blog for them, I’d at least consider it. In those cases, it’s a safe bet that the other person and I have shared interests, or write similar types of stories, or whatever. It could even be another writer with whom I’m not acquainted but who’s trying to conduct a “blog tour” while promoting a book I think you might like. In these scenarios, I’d expect the other person do actually do their homework before approaching me, and be relatively confident that their proposed guest post would actually be of interest to you. Given those considerations, I’d at least entertain the idea and see where it goes. If that’s you, then drop me a line, and let’s talk.
But random people selling random stuff? No way.
Now, quit reading this and go buy all my stuff, all right? 😉