Sometimes it can take me a week to write an article; sometimes it can take even longer. I seem to struggle with finding the motivation to write when I am writing about something objective or informational, however there are days like today when I can crank out an article in less than an hour. I hate to admit it, but frustration and annoyance can get me smacking the keyboard faster than anything.
I had no intentions of writing for our blog today.
I started my day reading through emails, responding to urgent matters, checking analytics and proofing the scheduled drafts for the blog. Just before 9:00am, I receive this email from someone named “Donna” inquiring about guest posting for our blog.
At CopyPress, we are always thrilled to welcome new contributors to our blog – key word being “contributor”. However, when someone contacts us trying to swoon me with promises of amazing “guest post” content (which typically is irrelevant to CopyPress and all of our products) and then they discretely mention something like, “all we ask for is one teeny-tiny client link…” that’s a different story.
The reason for my ranting goes back to the difference between a contributor and a guest poster. It all comes down to who are they creating content for?
- Is this stranger creating free content for their client and they are just using our blog as a crappy deposit box?
- Are they creating awesome content just for the CopyPress audience or our company?
- Are live links and SEO the driving force and main motives?
- Is the article an ugly gift-wrapped disguise for a link?
To make this assessment and to determine this stranger’s motive, I look at 3 things.
1. The Subject Line
When I see “opportunity” in the subject line, I get hopeful. I like to be optimistic when it comes to guest authors – we love our amazing guest author contributors, and I can’t say enough great things about them.
However, when I see “opportunity” in the subject line and I am met with a terrible pitch from someone who has clearly never visited our blog once, it makes my blood boil.
I put a lot of time into everything that I do. I admit that I am a perfectionist. I have issues with organization to the point where I should probably join an anonymous group. When I send an email to internal staff, a client, a contractor, a guest author, anyone – I take the time to actually write out the email. I always proof it; even if it’s just a quick skim through it. So when I see an email that has clearly been copied and pasted who knows how many times, it makes me annoyed. If I am special enough for you to target and send me this wonderful opportunity, then why am I not special enough for you to take 2 minutes to write out a personalized email?!
Not once did this person even attempt to put our blog URL in her email – this email could have easily been sent to every blog owner in the US, and she wouldn’t have to edit anything.
By taking the quick/easy/scalable route, you are inadvertently saying that you don’t give a damn about me as an individual. Donna, this was what gave your motive away. It’s pretty clear that she is creating content solely for her company and her client and couldn’t care less about me, about CopyPress, or about our beloved readers.
Not only did she send a template email blast, but she is also attempting to educate people on Google’s love for “fresh unique content”. Oh the irony!
If she had read any of our blog articles, she would know how hard we work to create unique high quality content, and how closely we follow current events in our industry. Yet I’m more tempted to point out how the awful guest post content that she’s pitching is exactly what Google is targeting in Penguin 2.0. Donna – you’re doing it wrong!
3. The category of content being pitched
Oh Donna, this pains me; it makes me question your whole process and your company. I can admit that the content on our blog is not always 100% on topic of “content creation/life cycle”, but what on Earth gave you the idea that we would want to publish an article about “university industry, technology law”? Does CopyPress come off as a content company “with an interest in the it/ip law”? Anyone?
After the first sentence of your email I would have guessed that you had never visited our blog. After reading your content offering, I am absolutely sure you have never visited our site, nor do you have any idea what CopyPress is or does. If you don’t know anything about our company or our blog, why are you even contacting me?
Learn from her mistakes
Ultimately, a personalized email goes a long way. An email sent without any spelling or grammar errors goes a long way too.
If you are a contacting a ton of people to get content published, take the time to make a genuine effort. Get to know the blogger. Read the actual blog – and not just one article either. Learn their audience, learn their goals – give them a reason to want your content.
By taking the time to make a sincere connection with a blogger, you’ll build a real relationship. If you make that extra effort in your initial contact email, you’re showing the blogger that you’ll also put that extra effort into your content too. Don’t disappoint them!
Send an initial contact email to be proud of – and deliver awesome content to match.
Blogger outreach and connecting with publishers doesn’t have to be a challenging process. Don’t take short cuts and don’t take advantage of bloggers; they will notice, and they will call you out.