The Unrelenting Tide of Bad Guest Post Request Emails

Richard Parris

“Hello Dear, I browse internet and came across your blog and i must say i love your awesome content!! I wish to contribute guest post, tell me your cheap price?”

Every day in the Tech.co contact inbox, some variant of the above mangled nonsense appears. And that's despite our contact page clearly stating – multiple times – that Tech.co does not accept and will not respond to unsolicited guest post requests.

Google even cautions that the benefits of such guest posting could be slim-to-none (more on that, later), and there are potential penalties for sites conducting such link schemes.

But, just try telling that to the various “SEO agencies” deluging inboxes with emails that are in turn lazy, hilarious, poorly worded, utterly baffling – or all of these at once. Emails just like…

The laziest template possible

Look, none of these unsolicited guest post requests are welcome. But at least some of the ones below make a vague effort. Every day, however, we receive at least a couple of guest post requests, copied and pasted from an extraordinarily lazy template, that are barely more than 10 words long.

“What is the sponsor post price? Waiting for your reply”

Keep waiting, buddy.

minimalist guest post

(Click to expand)

“Hello Vegas”

There's a lot going wrong here. There must be, as this is the only email in the entire pantheon of poor guest post requests we've received that somehow managed to trigger our Gmail spam filter. Where to begin?

“I was wondering if you'd be interested in posting more pets related articles?” – truly, Janet, I'm not sure Tech.co could post any more of those if we tried.

“Pros and cons of using muzzles for your cat” – I'm half considering commissioning Janet on this one, just to see if the subsequent article can somehow get beyond two subheads.

But the absolute gem of this email remains the intro, with Janet inexplicably hollering “Hello Vegas,” as if she's Celine Dion beginning a 12-month residency at the MGM Grand.

Hello Vegas Janet Guest post

(Click to expand)

“Do you casino accepted?”

I don't know where we're getting this casino reputation from – is it Janet? It's Janet, isn't it…

Guest post requests with linkbacks to casino sites are all too common, however. Unsurprisingly, there's a whole slew of legal and advertizing compliance measures that must be met if you want to run a gambling site. The rewards are great (if you're the house), so to keep ahead of the competition, all sorts of sketchy linkbuilding from higher domain sites is attempted. As a publisher, if you're caught making these kinds of links by Google, the penalties are potentially devastating.

So, I'll state this once and for the record – we do not “casino accepted”.

casino accepted guest post

(Click to expand)

Any type of title?

Can this blogger somehow live up to their lofty claim of being able to “write articles on any type of title”? I'm tempted to challenge them.

Which 500 word commission to test them with first, though… peace in the Middle East? The perfect jambalaya recipe? Pros and cons of muzzling your cat?

If they really are talented enough to manage all of the above, it makes it all the crueler they've been saddled with the email address “Tw*t***@gmail.com”

any title guest post

(Click to expand)

“We were quoted $200”

You were what? By who?

Glances around the Tech.co team suspiciously…

$200 guest post

(Click to expand)

“Heard you allow Free Guest Posting?”

Wait that's even worse! At least with the last one, somebody made $200.

Who's saying this stuff? Team meeting, now

(Click to expand)

“Do not add disclosures/sponsored tag”

Oh, ok then, Ralston. I mean, sure, we can publish your paid guest post on our site with a do-follow link to whatever trashy domain you're representing, and while we're at it, trick our readers into believing it's genuine Tech.co content.

Yes, this may incur the not inconsiderable wrath of the FTC, and potentially risk a manual Google penalty for our site. But it'll all be worth it when your reimbursement for all this brand risk comes through PayPal, a whole “4+ business days after posting” – basically, the kind of payment offer that would get you kicked off eBay.

disclosures guest post

(Click to expand)

Hang on, flowers?

I get it, Naman, you're an “avid reader” of our blog (side note- can you stop calling our website a blog, please?) but throughout your “regular basis” reading of our little site, when exactly did you reach the conclusion that what we needed most was a post titled, “Present your affection to your loved ones with beautiful flowers“?

Wouldn't risk it if I were you, Naman. Didn't you know, the Interflora website got its ass handed to it by Google back in 2013 with a manual penalty, precisely for this kind of feckless linkbuilding?

flowers guest post

(Click to expand)

“Are you ready to cooperate??? I'm ready!”

Take it down a notch, Danny.

We've barely met, and you're already talking about your writing, my writing, future orders, and if I have any other websites.

I'm registering your energy Danny, but you're coming across as a too-keen first date who's already planning the wedding, while I'm frantically texting a friend to phone me with a fake emergency so I can get the hell out of this restaurant.

ready to cooperate guest post email

(Click to expand)

All guest post requests and no play make Jack a dull boy

I need to post on your site how much will you charge
I need to post on your site how much will you charge
I need to post on your site how much will you charge

This approach does not end with a successful guest post on Tech.co, though it may end with an underpaid SEO agency worker chasing his wife and child through a snowy hedge maze while wielding an axe.

dull boy guest post

(Click to expand)

Hello dear

Confession – I've received tons of guest post request emails that begin with the two words, ‘Hello Dear,” and it took me a truly embarrassing length of time to realize that the sender had simply neglected to write a name or job title after the templated intro.

It's too late for me, now. I can only read them in the voice of a genial old aunt seeing me for the first time in years.

hello dear guest post

(Click to expand)

Hi sir

Ah, the ‘Hi sir,” with the tacit assumption that surely it's going to be a man receiving this email.

If formality is your thing, I'd recommend swapping it for a gender-neutral, “To whom it may concern.” But, when the rest of your email is this pitifully lazy, no one of any gender would be concerned in the least to get back to you.

hi sir guest post

(Click to expand)

The ransom letter

“Send details. As soon as possible.”

This is the kind of note you'd expect to be made of individual letters cut from People magazine, with a severed toe thrown in to show they really mean business.

Sending you our thoughts, Taylor, but we don't negotiate. This next lot do, though…

Hostage Situation Guest Post

(Click to expand)

The Negotiation Experts

I tread carefully with this one, knowing from their email signature that I'm being toyed with by “The Negotiation Experts.” Quite a claim, given there's been one failed email already, but this ominously titled “Final email” is their psychological coup-de-grace.

“I'll assume you're not interested in our crafting some unique quality content for tech.co.”

Christ, it's actually working… wait, come back!

Negotiation experts guest post

(Click to expand)

“Let me know your cheap price”

Speaking of negotiations, does this line ever work? I just keep seeing it over and over in these guest post requests.

Have I been missing out all this time? Is it some sort of hidden cheat code for buying things? I look forward to trying it the next time I jump into a cab. Though, I see it going about as well as this email did.

Cheap price guest post

(Click to expand)

Help please

I had to check that wasn't Taylor again, with the kidnappers doubling down on their demands.

Nope, just a minimum effort, cry for help, two-word email from Babar. Mighty tempting to give him a two-word response…

help please guest post

(Click to expand)

Are those song lyrics?

You see how lazy these templated emails get. But now and then, someone pulls out all the stops and writes you an actual song:

My article is ready
If you have more sites send me all sites
With post price
I am waiting cheap post price

Unpixellated, I can assure you the sender looks handsome enough to be in a boy band, too.

lyrics guest post

(Click to expand)

Is that a haiku?

Cancel that, the song isn't the most effort someone's made for me – I've the simple zen pleasures of a haiku here:

What is your guest post price?
Let me know so
I can send you article

I am transported to a land of cherry blossom.

haiku guest post

(Click to expand)

He's even wearing a white hat

Black hat SEO? Not this cowboy, who's making such efforts to prove his trustworthiness that he's wearing an actual white stetson in his profile pic. Well played, Ronald – I hope you enjoy your deserved SEO career success and/or a restrained weekend break at Westworld.

True, the language is still dire, but I choose to keep him in character. Reading, “I was stumbled upon your site today” in a deep John Wayne drawl helps so, so much.

white hat guest post

(Click to expand)

It may be on essay writing…

Areesha, you tease. Will your guest post be on essay writing, or won't it? Perhaps I'll try my luck with you and see what comes back.

Yes, essay writing services, another sketchy area of the web that gets propped up by the back-alley guest post economy.

Students, if you're listening, don't pay someone else to supply an essay for you. Particularly someone whose flair for English extends to sentences like, “What is it's the price?

And, speaking of students…

essay writing guest post

(Click to expand)

The fake graduate student

Who wouldn't be sympathetic to “a fresh graduate looking to break into freelance publishing”? It seems mean to just hit delete.

Until, that is, they go on to say, “If you allow link insertion from the existing articles of yours to highly relevant articles of my business partners (infographics) – I would like to know your fees.”

On behalf of genuine graduate students the world over, go to hell, Lally.

graduate guest post

(Click to expand)

Insurance?

“I came across your site this evening while searching for blogs related to insurance.

“And, I must admit – it's great”

Sally, we're happy that you're happy. But it is going to blow your mind when you discover a website that actually covers insurance.

insurance guest post

(Click to expand)

And we'll never know what the Topic was

“I came through your website tech.co this morning while researching for a Topic”

Was it insurance again?

Ah yes, forgetting to delete part of the email template. Speaking of which…

Topic guest post

(Click to expand)

When you don't delete the brackets

Look, there is every chance this person really is a massive fan of [https://tech.co/], ok?

Sure, it's a little formal that they refer to us by our full url then tuck it away safely between two big, reassuring square brackets like a couple of trusty bodyguards. But that just shows the deep love and respect they have for [https://tech.co/].

Thanks [Abby], it's fans like you who make it all worthwhile.

brackets guest post

(Click to expand)

Abby's suddenly not looking so bad

Brackets or no brackets, at least Abby got our name right.

Your man Jael here not only left a placeholder for our name in the subject line as “XXX” (also proving Gmail's spam filter may need some tweaking), but he then pleads to know how he can best get in touch with the “tech.io” team.

I can't speak for tech.io – though, some extremely recent Googling has taught me there actually is one (I feel like Milhouse learning there's another Milhouse in Shelbyville). And what do you know, they don't have a contact page for poor Jael.

io guest post

(Click to expand)

The John Advert?

A jolt of electricity runs through me as I see that the man himself, John Advert, has got in touch!

While we don't welcome guest posts, when the John Advert gets in touch saying he's “looking forward to write” 500 words, what can you say?

Weird that he uses a different surname on his email profile. But that's John Advert for you.

john advert guest post

(Click to expand)

A much needed pick-me-up

Look, sifting through this many terrible guest post requests can get an editor down. Not even the occasional message from the John Advert can cure the ennui.

But then an email like this comes along and makes the whole struggle seem worthwhile. It's pretty common for templated guest post requests to kick off with a copy-and-pasted puff piece about how much they love and respect your site. But Tarun, here, wants us to truly feel the love:

“I was on the hunt for wonderful websites, and I came across your website which looked fabulous to me. I was amazed to look at the efforts and time you had given to make the website look wonderful. When I swiped and scrolled the pages I found that the titles of the blogs are quite attractive and the blogs are well formatted and informational.”

Oh Tarun, you noticed – thank you! Bad news, we aren't going to let you prepare content accordingly, but your wonderful email is going to be printed and stuck on the Tech.co fridge to get us through even the darkest days.

pick me up guest post

(Click to expand)

Too awesome?

“I loved the content on your site, each of the writeups is too awesome.”

Can you be too awesome, Cecilia? Is that even a good thing?

I get it, Cecilia, you're blowing smoke up our collective asses. But raise your game – we get emails like Tarun's, don't you know (glances wistfully at the Tech.co fridge…)

too awesome guest post

(Click to expand)

Follow Up!

Are you following up? Or is that an order? Am I being ordered to follow up?

I like to think they also email their colleagues this way.

follow up guest post

(Click to expand)

“Are you there?”

Just occasionally, this is what happens when we don't follow up. You've got to hand it to Edward when it comes to persistence – I'm counting no less than 13 emails from him, checking in to see if there's been any progress on his speculative guest post request. These include single-line gems such as:

“Is there any update?”
“??”
“Is there any update for me?”
“???”
“Are you there?”

I don't even know, at this point, Edward, how to answer that last one. My eyes are so utterly glazed over witnessing this unending stream of low rent rubbish finding its way into our inbox.

And before anyone starts feeling sorry for Edward, with his never-give-up attitude and increasingly worn-down question mark key, can I remind you – he initiated this 13-strong one-way email thread using contact details on a page that specifically states Tech.co does not accept unsolicited guest post requests and will not respond to such messages.

are you there guest post

(Click to expand)

Everything OK?

Oh Ashley, bless you for asking. You see what I put up with here?

Thanks for checking in, Ashley, it really does mean a lot. Hard luck about your earlier email on contributing a guest post though, which shall remain ignored.

everything ok guest post

(Click to expand)

Are Guest Posts Still Worth It?

Clearly, I”m not responding to these kind of emails. But, is anyone? There must be enough bites of the sub-$200 bait to make it worth someone's time to copy and paste an email template, after all.

Is this kind of link-building activity even worth doing at all from an SEO perspective? Google is increasingly warning sites not to bother with guest posting for links, with John Mueller stating that the search giant devalues the practice. Sites that have built up their rankings with a history of paid backlinks could be sitting on a ticking timebomb, if further penalties or devaluation of the practice are applied in future. And, sites that have happily hosted such sponsored posts may not be spared, either.

But, the guest post economy continues undeterred, with SEO agencies – often outsourced on the cheap via virtual assistants overseas – still being paid by clients to place posts and backlinks on higher domain authority sites.

The wider SEO community nevertheless feels there's a future in the right sort of guest posting. And full disclosure – some of Tech.co's own authors have contributed non-sponsored articles to other quality websites, too, where there's topical relevancy to the various tech categories we cover.

There is, however, a sliding quality scale of guest post tactics. And sitting right at the bottom are the lowest common denominator paid posts linking to irrelevant domains, gambling sites and essay-writing services. Behind these, there's a background hum of atrociously worded emails still searching for new opportunities.

Did you find this article helpful? Click on one of the following buttons
We're so happy you liked! Get more delivered to your inbox just like it.

We're sorry this article didn't help you today – we welcome feedback, so if there's any way you feel we could improve our content, please email us at contact@tech.co

Richard Parris is the Managing Editor of Tech.co. He has over a decade's experience writing about tech, covering everything from the latest product reviews to online privacy and security. Before joining Tech.co, Richard previously worked as the editor of the UK's largest technology magazine and its associated website.

Explore More See all news
close We've tested and rated Wix as the best website builder you can choose – try it yourself for free Try Wix