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Stupid Guest Post Authors Need Not Apply

by Steve Scott | Join Him On Facebook

It’s been awhile since I’ve had a good ole-fashioned rant.  Normally I live in a zen-like state where nothing gets to me.  This was harshly interrupted the other day by a dishonest, stupid person who asked to do a guest post for my site.  (I guess he didn’t read this guest posting guide.)

Guest Post Thursdays

According to a During the last month, I’ve been really happy to see an increase in the number of people wanting to do guest posts.  This shows that people deem my site good enough to give me free content.  In fact, the response has been so large that I’m now devoting every Thursday to a guest post.

(For more on this type of traffic generation, read up on this guest blogging book.)

Now when it comes to guest posting, I have a few simple rules:

1)      Provide a unique article that hasn’t been published elsewhere

2)      Check for spelling and grammar mistakes

3)      Give quality content that’s helpful to my audience

Doesn’t sound hard, right?  I’ve had over a dozen guest posters who understand these rules.  That is, until this knucklehead emailed me the other day…

Enter, “The Stupid Guest Author”

For the sake of simplicity, we’re going to shorten “The Stupid Guest Author” to TSGA.  At first, TSGA seemed like a decent fellow.  His emails were pleasant and polite.  His post topic seemed like something really beneficial to my audience.  So I looked forward to seeing what he had to say.  What I received was way different than what I expected.

To put it succinctly, the article was complete garbage.  There was a ton of spelling mistakes and the grammar was god-awful.  A five year-old would be ashamed to have written this post.

But stupid me decided to edit the article instead of emailing and telling TSGA to fix it.  In fact, I spent almost an hour on rewriting this piece and searching for a related image.

Once I was finished, I was still left with this weird hunch… not only was the original article hard to read, it looked like it when through one of those automated “article spinner” software programs.   So I did a Google search on the title…

…What I found really pissed me off.  Basically this jackass ripped off someone else’s article from EzineArticles.com.   And he didn’t bother to change the title or rewrite most of the content.  Honestly, I was speechless at the nerve and sheer stupidity of TSGA.

Enter, My Rant

\\Start Rant\\

I can’t begin to describe my angry at this point.  Here’s my exact response:

Dear Stupid Guest Post Author,

I’m sorry…I’m not going to publish this article.  It’s full of grammar and spelling mistakes.  Plus it’s oddly similar to an article that’s published under someone else’s name.  See for yourself:

(Link omitted)

No offense, but this really strikes me as complete plagiarism.  Please don’t waste my time with stuff like this.

Steve Scott

They say you never write anything in anger.  I disagree with this statement.  Once in awhile you encounter certain individuals that deserve the full wrath of your anger.  Actually I wish I waited an hour to respond… only because I would have crafted something a lot harsher.

Guest Posting is an Honor

I feel it’s an honor to guest post on another site.  In a way, a blog owner is saying that your content is good enough to be seen by their audience.  It’s not about backlinks or other SEO junk.  It’s about giving your absolute best to blow away the reader with awesome content.

I’m not going to mince words here.  If you don’t take the time to create something unique your online business will fail.  Idiots like TSGA won’t succeed because he takes shortcuts.  Instead of taking the time to build a legitimate business, he’s taking the hard work of others and calling it his own.

I’m Preaching to the Choir

I feel like I’m preaching to the choir here.  A lot of people reading this post have excellent blogs/sites full of useful content.  Some of you have even posted on this site.  So this rant is being thrown in the wrong direction.

I guess my overall point is to take time with your guest posts.  Sure it’s tempting to take a shortcut because it’s someone else’s site.  I urge you to think differently.  Consider guest posting to be the one chance to attract a different type of audience.

Guest posting is like a first impression…you have only one shot at it.  Take time to create an incredible piece of content that goes way beyond a typical post.  This kind of strategy will benefit you, the blog , and the reader.  It’s the best example of a win-win-win partnership.  What do you think?

//End Rant//

Finally, to learn more about guest posting and how it can grow your site, check out Gerald’s article about guest posting services.

Take Action. Get Results.



{ 55 comments }

Wayne Howard

I had a similar situation. I decided I was going to try to take a guest post on my site someone was interested. What he sent me was basically an advertisement for some financial company. He even had the link anchored in a keyword. I didn’t post the article and he began to constantly email me, sent me a message on twitter and even post on my blog about his article. What a doofus. I choose to just ignore as I couldn’t even muster up the strength to reply to him.

Steve Scott

People don’t often realize that when you are invited to guest post it is like being invited into someone house. It is their baby and in many cases a labor of love.

Trying to abuse it by being overly promotional is like crapping on their floor. It is rude and should not be tolerated.

Thanks for a great comment Wayne

Evelyn

Hey Wayne,
Thanks for sharing this! I’m sitting on a guest post right now, because I think it is an ad type of post. You helped me clear that up.

lawmacs

I do understand how you feel Steve why would someone wants to do that i do guest post for other blogs like famousbloggers and i think i make more effort then because as you mentioned it should be an honour to write for other blogs and get accepted. This is a lesson served for other guset posters.

Steve Scott

Yeah guest posting should be where you try to do your best work IMO. You are not only writing for the other person and wanting to honor their faith and trust, but it is your BEST CHANCE to show all the people that THEY have what you are capable of.

The thought of posting someones outright plagiarism on my site makes me shudder. I could deal with correcting a few errors here and there to make someone look a little better but outright stealing really bugs me.

Karen

Hi Scott,

Nothing wrong with a good rant every once in a while. I can relate to this, too. Good thing you listened to your intuition and did your due diligence to check out if the article was original or not.

My pet peeve is with guest authors who you have never heard of before sending you the complete post and asking when you are going to post it. No visit to my site, no comment, no interaction whatsoever. I’m not that hard up that I have to post a complete unknown’s article on my site. That’s why you develop relationships or at least follow the person before asking to post. Pretty presumptuous.

You absolutely did the right thing.

Steve Scott

The sad thing is I would normally trust people. Most of the people who have posted on my site I have a relationship with so I would have no need to check on them. I guess I thought the same with newer people. To a point, shame on me.

In the long run I am glad he had turned over such a poor post. If it had been a nice, clean (but plagiarized) post I may never have noticed until (if) someone contacted me. That would REALLY have been an embarrassment to me.

lesley

I have a lot of articles in ezinearticles.com under quite a few names, and it really bugs me to see the number of times they turn up in different guises, usually spun to the point of nonsense, but on one occasion with my name still attached (though the link had gone)

I don’t hate many things, but I really hate that!

I think your rant was justified. Did you get a reply?

I just got up the courage to submit my first guest post ever, and I spent longer checking it than I did writing it!

Steve Scott

Yeah I have about 600+ articles on ezinerticles alone under a few different pen names for my various businesses over the past 4 years or so. I am sure I have been plagiarized myself quite a few times.

I generally do not search to see if my stuff has been copied, I am almost scared to see the lengths it probably has been.

Linking with name still attached but no links is pretty damn bold. Really Ezineartilces has a format people can use to republish your stuff (links attached) if someone wants to do that…it is awesome..like free publicity for you, ezine and they can get a post out of it for themselves. Everyone wins. Why someone would feel the need to copy and not at least leave links is beyond me.

No reply yet. I somehow doubt I will actually get one.

Congratulations on your first guest post!! I am sure it will be great, you do really high quality writing!

Sean Mathena

Steve,

I completely agree. I haven’t done much guest posting (to my detriment) but the guest posts I have done I have made some of my best work. As a result, I have gotten more traffic from my guest posts than from any other strategy. I would love the opportunity to write a post over here and I promise it will be my work. 🙂

Sean

Steve Scott

Guest posting is powerful. I am working hard to try to do more myself, I am working on two more guest posts for other sites right now. It really is an honor and in my opinion one of the best ways to drive new people to your site.

That is of course part of the reason why someone doing such a particularly bad job of it was shocking to me. It is not always easy to pick out your own ‘best” work. Some of the stuff I think is my best falls flat. But it should at least be interesting, original and a solid “attempt” at quality work.

Thanks for the comment Sean!

Aaron

Good rant Steve… I am sick of spammy garbage, and have even made a method for flagging and automatically detecting copied/spun/pasted articles and posts over at blogReaction.

The sad thing is that these goons will never give up, and it seems like they will do almost anything to get a link inserted anywhere. We just have to be smart, do the best we can, and filter everything like you are doing.

Love the blog.. Been subscribed for a while.. keep up the good work Steve.

Steve Scott

Spam actually doesn’t bother me. I am usually impressed and wonder what they do to get through Askimet, when I have real comments that end up in peoples spam folders when I have not commented for a bit.

I have even played with spinning articles (my own articles) a little bit and posting on low quality article sites. Honestly I find the amount of effort to spin and “fix” an article is greater than just writing a new one. But I would have no issues finding a spun article on a some article spam site.

Things like that are opportunities for people that want to post crap just for backlinks. personally I have experimented enough that I do not think it is worth it, but to each his own.

Trying to get that crap onto people’s blogs though is where the line is drawn. Same thing with quality article sites, they have editors to keep the crap and spam out. You are right though, it will likely just continue as more and more people try these spammy methods.

Thanks for the nice comments Aaron 🙂

Marthe

I definitely agree, some people are just waisting their time waisting other people’s time (if that makes sense).

I hope this proves to TSGA that there are no shortcuts or easy ways that can replace hard work and determination.

Steve Scott

Unfortunately I think that people who want a shortcut in life and think the world owes them a favor are often immune to logic. Honestly the guy likely learned nothing, but it was cathartic for me to”get it off of my chest”.

Robert

Hi Steve,

With regard to guest posting, it appears that many of us have gone through similar circumstances. Just last week I received what I thought was a pretty good article from a guest and I was just about to publish it. Something told me to search for this particular article and sure enough, there is was, word for word. The only original thing was the title.

This “TSGA” 😉 was nearly perfect with the spelling and grammar. No wonder why… someone else wrote it. Needless to say, I was a liitle PO’d but it taught me a good lesson.

Since this is my first comment here, I did my best to check the spelling and punctuation. 🙂

Steve Scott

I am actually quite happy that my TGSA at least did such a horrible job, otherwise I may never have caught it before post, and it would have been one hell of an embarrassment if I found out AFTER.

Good thing that you had the sense to check a little first!

Thanks for a great comment, Robert and hope to see you again. 🙂

Neil

Hey Steve,

The more I hear stories like these, the more confident I am that I will succeed in this business.
That’s of course if the TGSA’s, and all the other stupid people, don’t mess it up for me before I have a chance to get there.

I love rant’s 🙂

Neil

Steve Scott

I hadn’t thought of that, but that really is a sliver lining. The amount of “fail” that these guys put out really does make room from the rest of us to succeed that much easier.

Robin

Well said. that is very true Steve. I am becoming the fan of your blog now. 🙂

This is my first time visit and really enjoying the articles written here, which are simply practical rather news updates and freebies.

Murlu

It’s a shame that it had to come to this Steve but it’s equally great to hear that you held fast to your morals in terms of guest posting.

You really did two things with this post:

1. Direct people in your idea of an ideal guest post
2. Deterred potentially off-setting your readers

When you publish a guest post that is “so-so” just for the sake of content it can come back to bite you in the rear. Not only are you going to alienate your audience in terms of content but you’re going to be called into question because the mentality is “why did they let this crap get on here?”.

So yeah, I applaud you in staying steadfast on guest posting.

I hope this can show others the behind-the-scenes we bloggers have to deal with when we have guest post proposals that are simply lack-luster. We’re not here to hurt each others feelings but c’mon, people have to put in the effort.

Steve Scott

I do believe that most most people who guest post really do try to put out quality stuff. The majority of the people, “get it”. It is just that shady minority that is out there to try and run a game on every little thing rather than accomplishing something decent with a little bit of work.

Matthew Needham

Hey Steve,

Hope you’ve calmed down a bit now. It’s really annoying that you didn’t have time to think of a whole harsher response. I sent a letter to my bank the other day and I’m particularly proud of the phrase ‘you seem to solely exist to take the “service” out of customer’. Which still makes me smile now.

Talking of guest posts – I’ve been meaning to ask you for awhile. Would you like to GP on the BRT? I’d love you to share your insights on entrepreneurship or quitting the rat race….?

Happy to oblige in any way in return…. 🙂

Steve Scott

Yeah, ranting is very cathartic for “getting it off your chest”

Taking the “service” out of customer service is an awesome line!! Very clever!

I would surely love to do a GP for you. Let me think on it a little and I will get back to you! I have been wanting to do a lot more guest posting myself, sometimes it is just shoehorning in the time. I will get back at you in a bit…

Matthew Needham

fantastic, can’t wait!

Steve Scott

I’m definitely going to do one…I have two I’m writing now for another site, but I’ll give you a buzz by the end of the week with a few ideas. (Or if you prefer, just give me a topic and I’ll let er rip!)

Julius

You do have to be careful with guest posts. If there is someone trying to guest post on your blog that you know then this won’t be an issue. But especially with people who don’t necessarily have a blog you need to be careful.
It’s strange that some people even get away with simply copying an article and posting it elsewhere.

Steve Scott

Yeah, it is certainly a good cautionary tale and lesson to check on those you do not have a relationship with. It is easy to be a little bit naive and trusting. Sometimes that has the potential to come and bite you in the ass.

Leisa LaDell

I always find a good rant refreshing. Thanks – I feel refreshed and informed. Seriously – some people need to get an actual life. Sorry that happened, but thanks for making it useful by sharing the lesson.
Leisa

Steve Scott

Thanks Leisa, The funny thing is a generally don’t mind spammers, it is easy enough to delete there attempts, and no reason to get riled up about it. But this kinda struck me as personal.

Thanks for stopping by and for the comment. 🙂

Lynnivere

Steve Scott is brave. I don’t think I would allow a Guest Post(er) unless I had met them, knew their kids, cats, spent weekends at their place & had them over for Festival weekends. *laughs* I guess I’m just old fashioned like that.

The fact that you not only allow Guest Posting but encourage it just proves why it’s so easy to come back to your site. Content’s fresh & with all the different perspectives.. enlightening.

Steve Scott

LOL, That is some pretty thorough checking for your guest posters. I guess I should have been more discerning in the beginning. But I do remember being brand new and wanting to “spread the word” myself.

MOST of the people who I have had in to do guest posts I have developed some relationship with first. At least some mutual commenting, and I have NEVER had any of those people disappoint.

Lovin4Nuttin

there are all kinds of people in this world my friend and even the people online can be very deceiving. I wrote a guest post once and it was real and not a copy. I have never copied anything other than promoting others and their sites with their permission. I am sorry you went through that frustration, I hope it does not shy you away from other guest post…luv. C

Steve Scott

I still have faith in the majority of guest posters doing their best to give high quality work. It really does work in their favor too after all. I am sure that no one that I know would ever “burn” me. I will just have to take the lesson for what it is worth and be a little careful with anyone I do not know well.

Noel

Wow, I’m actually a bit amazed at this, especially since Steve had a very good impression of the guy at first.

I agree that guest posting is an honor and should be taken very seriously, by both the author and the publisher. I’m very new to blogging so this sort of thing is very important to me if I want to grow my blog.

Oh, and I’m all for rants on blogs as well, as long as they make sense and are still well-written (like this one).

Steve Scott

Yeah that was the weird part, the guy was lucid in his messages, he sounded smart and eager, I am sure he COULD have done a decent job for a guest post if he tried.

Glad you liked the rant Noel, I may have to rant again sometimes, as this one seems to be one of my more popular posts. I am almost eagerly awaiting someone pissing me off now so that I can write about it. 🙂

Bishwajeet

I havn’t done any guest post till date in my entire blogging career as due to time constraint in college ,but do think that guest blogger should add value rather than just putting some crapping content on our site.

Steve Scott

For sure, a guest post should be relevant to the site and contain quality information and be well written. That is the bloggers side of things. The host should help promote that post and hopefully get some people to go to the guest posters site. It can really be a win win situation.

You should try to get a good guest post together sometime Bishwajeet. It IS a pretty good method of getting people from other sites to come by and stop for a visit at you site. Certainly worth the time and effort to put together a good post for them!

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a great comment, I appreciate you input.

Bishwajeet

Thanks for suggesting for guest posting will surely do it some time ,hopefully sometimes in next few months or so

Jennifer Barry

I had a similar thing happen when my blog was new. I had someone write a nice comment and then ask for a guest post. It was only later that I realized she wrote the same exact comment on a lot of blogs! We agreed on a topic, but what she sent me was short, nonsensical and full of promotional links. I couldn’t understand it much less edit it. When I told her it wouldn’t work for my site, she kept sending me new versions of it and asking me to post it. After about 5 refusals she finally went away. My guess was she was paid by the guest post and English wasn’t her first language.

Steve Scott

Very likely true. A real bait and switch technique. I guess it was really more common than I might have thought. I can almost go and thank the guy now, my rant about the actions has turned into one of my most popular posts, at least comment wise, so it is true that every action can have a silver lining! 🙂

Thanks for dropping by Jennifer!

Evelyn

Hi Steve,
That is messed up! You did the right thing and have every right to rant about it.

A guest blogger’s post should add value to your content. I think of it as the guest picking up where I left off.

I’m sitting on a guest post right now, because it doesn’t add value to my site, plus the links are to a business and not a blog. It is merely for advertising purposes. All I can do is shake my head. I’m not posting that!

Evelyn

Sorry,
I’m the one who responded to Wayne’s comment. oops! My email address is incorrect.

Steve Scott

Had to rescue the misaddressed one from my spam folder. I am pretty religious about checking spam folder a few times a day, so might have caught it..but you never know.

You should sit on it then, perhaps try to politely reject it. It is one thing to stretch the edges of what your sites is about, but if is doesn’t fit; it doesn’t fit. I think most people with their own blogs would/should understand that.

Those that wouldn’t may be just trying to take advantage anyhow.

Samuel

Several years ago i hired a programmer. My mistake was that i forgot my rules because he looked fine for the job. He had no expertise! he was just a good speaker!
Finally he resigned the job because he couldn’t with it.
The lesson learned was never bypass my rules.

Steve Scott

It certainly can be difficult to tell the difference between people who “talk the talk” and “walk the walk”. Most decisions we make are based on first impressions I think. If someone gives you a good one you may give them more rope. In your case it was likely enough rope that the guy really hung himself.

He probably thought he could ‘learn as he went’, but from what I know of programming it isn’t a field where even a smart and capable guy can do that.

El Edwards

Reading this and then the comments Steve, I have to agree with Neil. It’s a tough gig for you as the editor but from the other side of the coin, makes me feel fabulous because just think how sweet our words will sounds by comparison to all this dross. 😉

Good on you for follow your instincts and I look forward to the quality your choir offer on a Thursday.

Enjoy your day,
El

Steve Scott

Thanks El. I am glad that I was clear that most people who offer to guest post are very sincere and do quality stuff. That really lead to further annoyance for the one who “didn’t”

Tiffany @ No Ordinary Homestead

Wow…what a reject. He clearly thought you were a chump when in fact he’s the real idiot. But at least you trusted your instincts and weren’t persuaded to tell him like it is. I think that there are a lot of people out there who will just post anything on their blogs…and that’s definitely not the way to go. But they just don’t understand the whole principle of being a great blogger or perhaps don’t even know why they’re blogging in the first place — aside from a goal of getting rich quick.

I fear I may get an article like this soon from someone who asked if he could guest post on my blog. It will be the first time I even let someone guest post so this post has been a great learning experience for me too. You’ve always got to trust your gut!

Steve Scott

That guy was frustrating to say the least. Particularly since he did sound intelligent in his emails. I am sure he ‘Could’ have done a solid post. For the most part I have found people who guest posted on my site to have done wonderful jobs.

My personal take away for the future is simply to try to check harder to make sure there is no dup. material if I get guest posts from authors I do not have a “history” with.

Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach

Oh wow!! To quote Bugs Bunny, what a marroon!

I would think that sending a guest post like that not only shows one’s own (lack of) morals, it shows a complete disrespect for the blogger to whom you’re offering it. So glad you found it out before you put it on your site!!

And talk about a long-lasting backlash – that blogger could have really built up his network by treating you as you deserve and creating a wonderful impression. Instead, he just took a long walk off of a short pier.

Wow! Still amazed….

Fiona Bosticky

I did have a laugh when I read this. As more and more people flood in to the social-media-sphere and blogging, there seems to be some misconceptions about how to engage.

Traditionally the forms of promotion and advertising have been featured on a shout-box, which is one way communication. If these people just take a step back, they will see that social media is two-way, and more about giving than getting.

Sadly, there will always be those wanting shortcuts – “make $1,000s while you sleep by working only 3 hours a week” and copying and pasting others work to gain reputation, links or keywords. I’m sure it won’t be long before they realise the system will turn against them, as bloggers of the world unite, and tell it straight.

I don’t mind a blogger using an idea from another blog or location, as long as they reference the original (even add a link to the original), and then give their own opinion.

Great Rant Steve – and well said.

Patricia@lavenderuses

Hi Steve

Saw this post on Twitter so have read it and all the comments so figured I would say my 2 cents worth too.

I have just done my first guest post so this is from my point of view…..right??!! I was quite nervous submitting the article as the blog owner is a brilliant wordsmith imho and I hoped I would live up to expectations. Phew he was pleased and by the comments so are the visitors to his site many of whom are regulars on my site, so they have been introduced to someone whose blog they don’t usually visit.

On the other side of the coin, I had someone submit to me and I can’t publish as it not what my readers would expect. Few graphics with instructions, no intro and that’s all!!! Haven’t deleted it yet but definitely not going up on my site! So I reckon as it is your blog you can have who you want and what a cheek for that guy to treat you like that.

Patricia Perth Australia

Steve Youngs

I just hope that when I get my first unsolicited guest post submission that the excitement of it all doesn’t cloud my judgement and common sense, and I take a bit of time to check it out before I go anywhere near that publish button.

Adarsh@SalesMaximus

Saw your post on twitter. This happens a lot. It happened with my older blogs as well.

I just sent you a guest post after reading this article.

Thanks

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