SEO guest post inquiries: the best and the worst

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By: upyernozCC BY 2.0

Every morning I wake up to several “can I write a guest post for your site?” emails from writers working for SEO companies. See, there’s this whole weird corner of SEO that’s all about barfing out (usually questionable) guest post content for blogs, in exchange for links in the body of the post. It’s not something I ever EVER do (you want links from the Empire, you buy advertising, the end), but the inquiries just keep coming… sometimes as many as 5 or 6 overnight. (It’s always overnight, because the writers are usually non-US based.)

This morning I had two SEO guest post inquiries, and they illustrate the best and the worst I’ve seen in a long time. FIRST! The best:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: [email protected]
Name: Emily Georgie


Just a quicky. Your blog excites me! it’s a great looking and well kept blog. Unusual these days!

Anyway, I’m part of a team of rockstar bloggers and I blog for lots of brands. We are always on the lookout for good site placements for those blogs and yours fits the bill!

If you are looking for awesome content to excite your readers then we can certainly provide that. We can also offer a small fee per post to cover your time and help your with the cost of running the site.

What do you think? We’d love to write regularly.


Aww, Emily! You manage to seem like a real person! You seem like you might be interesting, and just have an unfortunate job! (I get it: I spent my 20s as a copywriter cranking out copy about things like urine testing kits. Believe me, I really REALLY get it.) Your email address doesn’t include a random string of numbers, which many SEO guest post spammer email addresses do ([email protected], etc). You might even be a decent writer — your English is certainly solid, unlike most SEO guest post inquiries.

I’m still not going to accept your offer of brand content in exchange for unpaid links, but your email is solid. Best of luck to you, Emily.

Then there’s this:

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: [email protected]
Name: Dedicated Webmaster

Hi there,

We require guest post in your site. Please let me know the process of guest post in your site.

Waiting for soonest response

And… scene.

Comments on SEO guest post inquiries: the best and the worst

  1. Oh man, e-mails like that second one are such a pain. I work for a news site (like, proper news, we write our own articles and everything 😉 ) and we regularly get e-mails from companies asking how they can put their “news” on our site and I’m like – that’s not how it works, dude.

    • Yeah, I’m similar perturbed by publicists who email me looking for placement for their clients. They don’t want advertising… they just want us to write about them for free or maybe in exchange for a sample. That’s not how hosting bills or contract editors get paid, friends…

      • We run a politics & culture newsy thingy too… We are in the throes of people wanting to pay us in exposure we don’t really need. For example, come do a video essay on our art gallery opening and we’ll stick your name at the bottom of the brochure! If your art gallery is awesome and we want to write about it, then we’ll do it because its part of the mission. If you want us to produce something for you and stick it on the site, that’s called advertising and it costs money.

  2. My favorite are the ones that send me requests referencing the name I gave my blog 6 years ago when it was just a sub-folder on another site. Now, it has its own domain and nothing on there or the old site references the previous name.

    I am sure things are cached out there or something, but it’d be nice if they took the time to hit the current site for 10 seconds to make sure the name is valid.

    On the other hand, maybe I shouldn’t complain since it makes them really obvious 🙂

  3. I don’t get those very often, but the first one, I was so befuddled as to what on earth they thought would a) be worth their time to put on my tiny little not-a-blog site and b) would theoretically actually fit in with my content — this is my wedding album business site, though I’ve gotten inquiries for my art blog, too — that when they responded to my befuddlement by offering a custom sample to look over, I said yes.

    Oh. My. God.

    It was really awful. On top of the very awkwardly name-dropped suggestion+link to buy your engagement ring at their London shop, they wrote this whole post about **how to go to a stationary shop to put together a cheap DIY wedding album**

    I mean, wut?

  4. “You might even be a native English speaker”

    Wow, first time I’ve ever felt offended by the Empire.

    • I don’t think Ariel was trying to be offensive. I read it more as a comment on the often-international nature of professional spammers. Like she said, it’s an overseas business. I do comment moderation for my office’s websites (and we have a lot of them); 99% of the spam comments that roll in are mangled English (and Louis Vuitton knockoff advertising). The fact that Emily has the skills and proficiency in written English to present herself professionally even while she’s stuck doing a crappy job is what’s going to make a website owner like Ariel notice her pitch and possibly hire her.

    • Oh yeah, I’m sorry: I can see how what I said was unclear and could be hurtful.

      I’ve got nothing but love for the Offbeat Empire’s ESL community members (and we’ve featured dozens of ESL reader submissions over the years). When it comes to professional spammers and SEO scammers, it’s just a simple truth that the vast majority is produced internationally, by people who do not speak English as a first language.

      Sorry for being unclear. The issue is not that I don’t like ESL folks… the issue is that I don’t like spammers/scammers. I’ll clarify the post.

  5. Sigh… I am not sure if this exactly qualifies, but I had to send out requests for restaurants to be reviewed to various newspapers and media outlets, and I just felt like I was spamming my name EVERYWHERE with begging requests for people to mention the restaurant in their magazine. I did get a lot of “You want a review, it has to be a free meal” which I couldn’t do because I was just the email-er, not actually part of the restaurant decision-making staff. :/

    But I sure had way more smoothness than The Dedicated Webmaster, even if I didn’t have such a swag title.

  6. Thank you for writing a post on this! I get emails like this too and I could never figure out if they were real or not. But what doesn’t make sense to me, is I always reply to them and say send me the article/infographic and if I like it, I’ll use. No one ever gets back to me. Are they looking for me to say something else?

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