Guest Posts? Forget It!

I didn’t realize how popular “guest post” marketing is until I created my own food and drink blog centered on my town, a blog called Eat Drink Boulder. Now I receive at least one “guest post” inquiry per week. I am sure many of you out there receive a lot more!

In theory, guest posts are great. I might ask another blogger, a chef, or a local sommelier to post on my blog. I get a quality post and the author gets some exposure.

In reality, this idea has been hijacked by marketers or, so as not to disparage marketers, what I would more likely term spammers. Here are some of the characteristics I have noticed:

  • The person asking presents himself or herself as acting on his own, always has a generic address such as one from gmail or yahoo, and never identifies him or herself with a company.
  • When I research the name of the person, I can never find any history, which makes me think many of the “people” are actually fake.
  • The topics suggested are usually related but ultimately not relevant to my blog. Here is a good example. This morning at 2:10 AM I received an email from “Alex Mathew” asking if he could guest blog on the Wine Tourism Conference website with “quality and unique posts on topics like “Wine”,”latest wine” and “upcoming wine news””. Wow – a post about wine!
  • Ultimately, of course, all these guest posters want a link back to their site, which is the entire purpose of the endeavor.

I doubt any of our WBC friends who sponsor the conference do this. My guess is these are guest post “mills” run by unsavory companies. But I don’t really know. What is your experience?

  • Mark Aselstine

    It’s an interesting topic because when it comes to SEO-Guest Posts certainly help-

    As a follow up, what type of approach would work for a family owned business, where I (the owner) would be writing? Just wondering if this is simply a non starter of sorts-

  • Cindy

    yes – the bad ones are easy to sniff out

  • Cindy

    Yep – Link Farms. That sums them up.

  • Cindy

    genuine guest blog posts are awesome – definitely!

  • Cindy

    All the requests that Allan is referring to above come just by email to info address we have listed on our sites. Their requests are very generic and non relevant.

  • WineWonkette

    They use our PR inquiry form on the website. We do solicit guest posts from our friends and people in the industry from time to time with great success. But we never accept unsolicited guest posts from people we don’t know. I’ve just stopped responding to the requests since we have our policy posted on the same page they’re using to reach us via form. If they can’t bother to read, I’m sure they aren’t qualified to write for us either.

  • WineMaps

    How do guest blogs go about reaching you? Via email or do you use somekind of service like

  • Witless Whiner

    Yes, I receive requests for guest blogs and I almost fell into the trap but asked my daughter about this. She told me to always check where the email address links to. All they want is a link to their website which has nothing to do with wine or even wine products.

  • Jamie

    I’m always hesitant about accepting guest posts from people I don’t know. You just don’t know what you’re going to get, but guest posts from confidents and people I’ve made connections with in the industry.. completely different way of approaching it.

  • Barrysentials Wine

    Yes. We get the vague requests from random people who clearly haven’t read our wine blog. I’ve responded to a few, but they didn’t respond back – a real conversation isn’t on their agenda.
    BUT — I will add that genuine guest blog posts from friends and colleagues that bloggers know and trust are fun, informative and can add to the quality of the blog. :-))

  • WineWonkette

    We get requests like that every day. I used to Google them and found they had lots of “guest posts” in a number or completely unrelated industries. We call them Link Farms. And we have gotten to the point where we don’t bother to respond to them. We posted our policy in guest posts and figure they can shop their BS elsewhere.