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July 20, 2016

How Not to Write a Guest Post

Last month, I received an inquiry from a woman who claimed to have read my guidelines for guest posting. She proposed five possible topics she could write about for the blog. I thought any one of them would be fine, so I told her to go ahead. A couple of weeks later, I got an article from her. Not only was it a terrible article, it wasn't on any of the topics that had been mentioned. I rejected it.

This morning, I got another email from the same person. This time, instead of sending her query to the blog, she sent it directly to my email address (the one I'd used to correspond with her). So it might seem that she knew who I was. But I have a feeling she didn't remember me.

The subject line of the email was exactly the same as before: "quick question?", and the email itself was obviously a template, since it was identical to the first one, except that the five topics were different. Here's the template:

Hey there,

I've read your guidelines and would love to submit a guest post on the following topic:

HEADLINE

[the next section was a list of five topics]

Does this sound like it would be a good fit for

All the Best,

Her signature was slightly different, this time with a link to the website where she promotes home gym equipment.

Although she claimed to have read my guidelines, it's hard to take that claim seriously, considering the topics she proposed. And considering that I rejected her previous submission, it's interesting that she approached me again with exactly the same template and no acknowledgement that we'd ever corresponded before.

Are there now guest-post-bots that randomly submit proposals to various blogs, hoping someone will bite? And if there are, couldn't whoever designed them come up with a better first impression than "Hey there" as a greeting?



UPDATE: Two days later, she sent me a follow-up, addressing me by name, asking whether I'd received the email, and asking what I think. So she may be a real person. A little searching revealed a few blog articles under her byline.
 

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