Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wannabe "guest bloggers" - where are they coming from?

I mentioned last week that I'd been approached by the same wannabe guest blogger who'd approached Breda and Christina. Now Linoge reports an approach from a different wannabe, about a different subject. (I note that the lady [?] who approached Linoge describes herself as "a content creator for a number of sites". What does that mean? Does she run around the blogs begging for an invitation to write an article for them? Does she write for a living? She isn't specific.)

I've heard of a number of similar approaches that have not been publicized. Where are these people coming from? Why are they asking to write guest articles on other people's blogs? It costs nothing to start your own blog, and if you do a good job and write interesting things, people will read your work - so why not create your own niche in the blogosphere, rather than seek to piggyback on others' success? Seems a bit underhanded to me.

I've no idea why approaching other, established bloggers for "guest writer" privileges seems to have become popular, but I'm profoundly suspicious of those who do so. I'd love to know what's behind it. Any ideas, readers?



tpmoney said...

Most likely answer is spammers / scammers looking for two things: valid email addresses, and people dumb enough to give account information out.

Conspiracy answer is people looking to discredit the 2nd amendment movement. The narrative of gun owners as "poor desperate people clinging to their guns" requires the assumption that pro 2nd amendment people are just barely literate and would fall for a trick like this.

Meta-Conspiracy answer is people looking to sow the seeds of distrust in the 2nd amendment community by making people think of the answer above, and make us all look like paranoid loonies.

Occam's Razor says scammers though.

Michael Mayfield said...

If you read up on how to promote your blog, one of the suggestions you'll see a lot is to guest post on other blogs. The thought is that you will reach a different audience that may check out your blog and become regular readers.

Those same articles point out that inquiring about a guest post is like applying for a job, you'll need references and a link to your blog so your writing can be evaluated to see if you can deliver content that fits the blog you are wanting to guest post on.

If they don't provide writing samples, they either don't know what there doing or, like tpmoney says, it's a scam.

Anonymous said...

Beware of the Trojan Horse.

This hollow fabric either must inclose,
Within its blind recess, our secret foes;
Or 't is an engine rais'd above the town,
T' o'erlook the walls, and then to batter down.
Somewhat is sure design' d, by fraud or force:
Trust not their presents, nor admit the horse.’

Erik said...

To me it looks like they want a bigger audience right away and dont want to go through the work of starting a blog and working at it to build a readership. They think they have something important to say and think they deserve a big audience from their first post.

I also wouldn't be surprised if they ask for reimbursement after they get posted.

I think it sounds like a telemarketer claiming "It will be totally free for you, I'll do all the work and you'll save lots of money". And then once they got a contract they hit you with raised fees.

Anonymous said...

I'd like to offer the charitable take. Perhaps at least some of these people are like me: I have some interesting and cogent things to say on a couple topics, but I have neither the time nor the discipline to put together a consistently interesting blog.
I usually wait until there's a discussion or post to which I feel I can contribute something, then do so. Others may be in more of a hurry.
Just another possibility...

ZerCool said...

Someone had a post up yesterday about this, which I am now unable to find. Short form: by providing some a guest account, you're giving them the keys to the castle - maybe the service gate around the side, but still a way in. An amazing number of Bad Things can be hidden in HTML/Java while appearing as plain text.

If you choose to take a guest entry, have it emailed to you (you DO have HTML turned OFF in your email reader, right?) and copy/paste it through notepad before putting it up - yourself. Link as appropriate.

Personally, any guest writing on my blog would be By Invitation Only.

Anonymous said...

You know, Peter, I have some rather interesting ideas about all this, which I'll be happy to go into in detail on your blog. Does Thursday work for you? You could take the day off...


JWR/Ft Worth, Texas said...

If you will remember, recently the DOD let a contract for a firm to create 13 million(?) virtual personalities.

Perhaps, Brother Peter, you are being used as a training aid.


Auntie J said...

I'd be happy to let someone guestblog, but I really think it would be hard for my five-year-old's wacky letters to translate to the virtual screen. Especially since she's not allowed to touch the laptop.

My four-year-old twins only scribble, so they're pretty much out.

Outside of that, well, no. I kind of have a theme going.