Okay, I've had enough. And I'm sure you have too. If you haven't been inundated with awkward emails from random people spammily asking to guest post on your blog, your time will come. But don't be fooled.
How can you tell the legitimate guest post requests from the spammy ones? And why are they asking to guest post anyway? Keep on reading, girlfriend.
Why Do They Want to Guest Post (& What Are the Risks to You)?
One powerful SEO tactic is link building. For example, if a big news organization interviews me and links to my blog, that's a backlink. Having backlinks from high quality websites helps my blog rank higher in search engines. However, getting backlinks from paid methods, like sponsored posts, don't help search engine ranking because links within paid posts and reviews should be nofollow links (meaning search engines don't factor them into a site's ranking). Guest post spammers simply want a dofollow link back to their website (or their client's website) to help increase their rankings.
A legitimate guest post blogger is also interested in relevant link building. However, the good guys are also looking to increase their credibility, gain new subscribers and other legit reasons. Plus, they'd want to be a guest blogger at websites relevant to their niche. For example, if I want to write a guest post for someone, then I'd reach out to blogs like Problogger, Blogging Basics 101 & other sites that tackle blogging and social media topics. Why would I ask to guest post at a site that ONLY writes about food or crafts?
In an article titled Is Guest Blogging Becoming Risky?, the author suggests the increase in guest blogging requests stems from the Google Penguin updates in 2012, which caused many sites to drop in their search engine rankings. The article states that accepting these spammy requests is risky:
Risks for accepting sites, one of the obvious ones, is being classified as guest post blog spam.
Accept too many low quality, too many that manipulate anchor text, too many that are none-too relevant, too many that have no external signals such as social media, then you are asking for your site to be classified as spammy.
In other words, don't do it.
What Guest Post Spam Looks Like
Of course, there are many legit guest post requests. Nevertheless, a great majority of the requests you'll get will be spammy. Here are a few clues that someone is trying to game the system with a guest post. The requester:
Asks for a link (but doesn't say the URL): Many spammers request to guest post and include a link back to their site… but conveniently leave out the actual name of the site. Hmmm, I wonder why? Maybe because it's for a site offering online degrees or making promises to repair credit scores. They hope you'll blindly accept the guest post, like this lady hoped:
I am a writer and i found your blog (https://blogclarity.com/) interesting and wondering if I can do a guest post? I wish to write Informative and unique article about 400 to 500 words something according to your blog niche. If this is something you could allow me to do, may I as well add a single link to our site?
Represents a blog or website completely unrelated to yours: Spammy guest bloggers may want to write a relevant article, but the link they want to include goes to something completely unrelated. This guest poster wanted to write a relevant article, but wanted to include a link to a site for buying concert and event tickets. Oy.
As an avid blogger, your blog MomComm has been a great resource for all blogging queries. I especially like your post, “Blog Page Critique: Farewell Stranger,” great suggestions for visual, navigation and content to keep in mind for my blog!
On behalf of my client NAME, I would like to send you a piece to read about, “How to take your blog promotion off-line” complete with tips on how to promote your blog through hosting themed parties and events. The content will be offered exclusively for the MomComm blog and will be crafted to harmonize with your voice and values.
Furthermore, it will be insightful and practical, NOT advertorial. If this is something you think you and your readers would be interested in I would be happy to send you the post to read in which you can determine whether or not it is a good fit for your audience.
Sends a totally generic guest post request: Seriously, why would a blogger even entertain an email like this?
My name's NAME; I enjoy writing about a variety of different topics, and am interested in guest posting my content online. I stumbled across momcomm.com and thought you and your readers would be interested in an article I've just completed.
Let me know if this interests you. I'll gladly compensate you for your time spent looking over and posting my article.
This person even suggested they'd pay me. I'm sure they wouldn't like if I responded telling them that's considered a sponsored post and the link would be nofollow.
Sends email from a Gmail or Yahoo address: While this by itself isn't a tell-tale sign of a guest post spammer, combined with another one of these characteristics, it just might be spam. Don't you find it strange that someone asking to guest post wouldn't have a company or blog email address or at the very least company/[email protected]? *Raises eyebrow*
Acts just plain crazy: I especially love this last guest post spam request. No introduction, no request, just an ASSumption I'd post his article:
Hi, Please find an article enclosed with the attached file, please let me know once the post is live.
Complete with a poorly written article attached to the email. Um, yeah, no.
What Should You Do When You a Get Spammy Guest Post Request?
Say one of these bad boys lands in your inbox. What do you do? You have a few choices:
Delete it: Yeah, that's why I usually do. Why waste my time responding to these creeps?
Respond: Usually, I only respond when the requester starts pestering me asking why I haven't responded yet. How exactly I respond depends on my mood. Sometimes, I semi-politely tell them I don't accept guest posts from people I don't know, then ask them to remove me from their list. If I'm fiesty, I tell them my blog isn't relevant to the site they want linked and the link would be nofollow anyway, then still ask them to remove me from their list.
Flag it as junk: You can just mark the email as junk or spam. In fact, I often just delete but this is probably the best option! At least there's one less person emailing you!
You could also try adding a guest post policy to your blog in order to reduce the number of request you get. However, I tried this and they don't read it. 🙂
While so many guest post requests are spam, don't let this post make you scared of legit guest posts! Some of my most popular posts have been guest posts!
Have you seen an uptick in spammy guest post requests? How do you handle them?
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Hey- I'm Melissa! I'm a mom, side hustler, online course instructor, and brand marketer. I run a 6-figure blog helping online biz owners find their a-ha moments with can-do tips, tutorials, and online courses. I also work at Burt's Bees as the assistant manager of Brand Engagement (yep, it's as cool as it sounds). Jump start your biz productivity with my free worksheet!