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Help others help you

I do a bit of guest blogging, and I believe it is a mutually rewarding experience if done well. I certainly don’t think the host blogger is doing it all for the sake of guest bloggers as they also benefit from the arrangement.

Maybe the host blogger likes updating the blog without writing much themselves, maybe they like the traffic guest bloggers can bring or maybe they are basing their blog on a team effort to give a broader picture. Whatever the motivation, the host blogger benefits.

Accept posts graciously

Email arriving from a laptopI think it is plain good manners and a strategic decision to be nice to people who offer posts upon request.

Recently, I saw a blog request blog posts through BloggerLinkUp. I looked at the site and the topics covered, decided it was a good fit for me and emailed the blog with a post idea.

The response received left a sour taste in my mouth and I didn’t bother writing a blog post for him. The issues with the email:

  1. he didn’t bother using my name or a greeting of any description
  2. he told me to read his ‘write for us’ page to see the requirements – he didn’t link to it or tell me how to find that page. At a quick look in his site menu and footer, I can’t see any related links so I left the site. It would had been easy to give me a link. It would have been easier to include such a link and requirement in the original request for blog posts
  3. he didn’t use his name to finish the email – it made it all very impersonal and showed no attempt on his part to build a relationship. I no longer felt comfortable with him or his site, and certainly didn’t feel it was somewhere I wanted to regularly contribute posts to
  4. this one is perhaps more personal, but I didn’t like his comment “I would publish your post if it meets the standard of this blog”. I felt he assumed I wasn’t up to the standard rather than assuming I am (sort of ‘capable until proven incapable’ is my usual approach). He didn’t acknowledge the topic I had suggested – who knows if that even met his unstated standards?

So if you want people to provide guest posts for your blog, or articles for your website or newsletter, try to build a relationship with those who offer you their writing – or at least send them a nice email response.

What sort of responses have you received from sending out or offering to write guest blog posts?

6 Responses to Help others help you

  • FamilyTreeClimber says:

    You make some valid points about email communication. Many people don’t treat email as a business communication. They take it more casually and they lose their professionalism. I, also, don’t think they realize how they appear to the person who receives their email. As in your case, simple items come off as being dismissive. While email is not as formal as a typed business letter, there are still some common courtesies that should be considered. It’s far too easy to come off with a more harsh tone that you meant to have when composing emails.

    • tashword says:

      Absolutely right, FamilyTreeClimber – we’ve probably all come across the wrong way in an email (especially one we’ve written quickly). We need to remember that unlike in face to face conversation, the other person can’t hear the tone of voice or see our body language so can miss the intent of what is actually said.

      There are few people I will email without adding a greeting – and I know everyone one of them personally (i.e. in person) – it just seems to rude or disrespectful otherwise.

  • khan says:

    well, i do second this thought as when we provide our services to anyone they must atleast acknowledge, human emotions must be nurtured. you might have had a bad experience but probably all host aren’t same i suppose 🙂

    • tashword says:

      Thanks for your comment Khan. I agree that acknowledging otters’ feelings and being respectful are important in building relationships (personal or business).

      And I certainly don’t think all host blogs treat gust bloggers like that. I heard from a lovely one yesterday with a short but simple “Hi Tash, I’m looking forward to getting and reading your post. Cheers H”

  • UmiNoor says:

    It seems to me that the email the website owner sent you might just be one that he puts in his auto responder and therefore it’s not personal at all. He probably receives a lot of responses to his request for a guest blog so he just simply sends out a form reply which I think is a little rude considering he’s the one requesting for guest blogs. I think it could have been done with more finesse on his part. He should at least use your name in his email.

    • tashword says:

      I don’t think it was a form response but you’re right, UmiNoor – a form response is a little off-putting when people are responding to his request in the first place.

      And even a form response can have a name added…

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