Recently, I got more guest post pitches in one week than I have in five years of blogging.
Even though I only post weekly, I’ll admit that when I’m traveling during the summer or when I’m deep into a web design project, it can be super hard to stick to my posting schedule. If someone comes along and says, “I’ll write a post for you,” it can be damned tempting to say yes.
Until you realize they are a guest post spammer.
These guest post spammers are usually working for someone to plant backlinks from your site to theirs. On the surface, that’s not a problem if the target site is legitimate and relevant to your blog’s focus. But if it’s not, then you could find yourself passing link juice to a junky spammy site that doesn’t deserve your favor.
Be my guest poster
Here’s the first one I received:
Comments: Dear Reader, After reviewing your site and its content, I wanted to contribute as a guest author at your website. My name is Lucy and I work with XXXXXX. as Sr. WordPress Developer. Writing creative and technical tutorials is my hobby and I am looking for websites to publish my articles. Since I have been working with WordPress / PHP / HTML/CSS, I can contribute on web development related topics only. If you accept guest blogs, please let me know so that I can share some topics, I have with me to send you. Looking forward to hear from you. In the meantime please feel free to get back to me if you have any questions for me. You can check out my previous work. Regards Lucy Barret Sr. WP Developer XXXXXXXX Ltd.
Ignoring the fact that she addressed me as “Reader” and didn’t mention my blog, I bit and asked for a few topics and she responded with:
Thanks for your reply. Currently I am working on these following topics:
=> How-To-guide for Stopping Comment Spam in WordPress
=> Common Mistakes that Most Developers Make with WordPress
=> Top 10 Plugins for Backup of WordPress Website
=> 7 Best Plugins to Help in email Marketing Campaign
Feel free to pick any one topic and do let me know your feedback.
Before I had a chance to respond she followed up the very next day with:
Kindly share your feedback. If you are not happy with my currently topics then I can suggest a few more.
Hmmm, “currently topics”? And she calls herself a writer.
I did a quick search of Lucy Barret and saw a number of handles on social media associating her with the company she mentioned. Strangely though, her Twitter handle is different from her name.
I emailed her and asked for a phone number I could call (to affirm her identity), to which she responded:
Sorry, I can’t give you my mobile number. You can tell me your requirements here.
After that I replied, “Sorry Lucy, your emails give me serious doubts about your identity. I’m going to pass…”
Lucy never responded. Hmmmm.
Another woman named Isa requested a guest post. She seemed to have a lot of legitimate posts on several sites but strangely, none of her bios were connected to a single social media account.
In fact, none of the guest posters on those sites included social media. That is very weird. And without a last name, it’s impossible to Google her.
We’ll see how she responds to my reply, asking for more info.
But then, in quick succession, I got the very same pitch from a Mustaasam Saleem at Cloudways. I was interested, but skeptical about these guys so I emailed my former contact at Cloudways. I got a reply from his replacement who informed me that both individuals do indeed work for Cloudways.
So, I used a post by Saud, renamed, How to Set Up WooCommerce and Start Selling the Hell out of Stuff, and it worked out well.
Not all guest posters are spammers.
Tips for avoiding guest post scammers
- Read their posts to see if they know how to write.
- Beware of bad English and generalized salutations.
- Ask questions only humans can answer.
- Google them to find their social media accounts.
- Test their post on Copyscape.com or Plagium.com to be sure it’s unique.
- Edit their contribution for hard self-promotion.
- Make sure their backlinks are clean,
If you go there
The upside to using guest bloggers is that you don’t have to write everything yourself. And since it’s your blog and you can do what you want with it. Trust but verify. Accept but edit. Those should be your mantras. You have the control, so use it.