Submissions we don’t ever accept

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Why we don't accept infographics (and other kinds of guestpost submissions)
Why we don’t accept infographics (and other kinds of guestpost submissions) [Original image source, remixed by Creative Commons license.]

It’s unofficial “let’s talk about submissions!” week here on the Offbeat Empire!

While I generally prefer to focus on the positive (e.g. here are the kind of submissions we love!), I thought it might be useful to share a few kinds of submissions that we never ever accept… and a few of the reasons why.

This is becoming extra pertinent because it’s wedding season and we’re getting a LOT of inquiries from business websites about commercial guestposts.

So while we LOVE getting guestpost submissions, here are a few of the guestposts that always get declined…

Link-filled posts submitted by marketing writers representing commercial websites

I wish I had a shorter name for this kind of thing. It’s basically a form of SEO through guestposting. There’s a developing corner of the SEO industry that’s all about marketers submitting guestposts that contain links to their commercial websites. I get several emails a week from people representing sites like, say, a Home Security Systems website, offering to write “helpful” free guests posts for us — “All I ask is a link to in return!” This kind of link-filled guestpost is a whole big corner of SEO marketing, right now.

These posts are super easy to turn down because they’re always very general and clearly written by someone who’s never read our sites and isn’t targeting to our readership AT ALL. They’re always super vague, about mainstream topics, and written in a bland voice.

If you’re a member of the Offbeat Empire community (e.g. someone who reads the blogs and has participated in comments), it’s totally no problem for us to link to your website. If you’re an SEO professional offering to write guestposts to hundreds of blogs in exchange for links to business websites, then no. We do not want your guestpost.

Advice posts by business owners

Especially with wedding planning season in high gear, we get an increasing number of wedding vendors who want to write guestposts for us. These are different from the SEO submissions because they’re usually submitted by people who are familiar with the Offbeat Empire websites, and aren’t just carpet-bombing for links.

We LOVE hearing from business owners… in fact, it’s our business. See, Offbeat Bride’s revenue model is based on charging wedding businesses to gain visibility to our readership… which means we can’t accept guestposts from vendors unless it’s in the context of a sponsored post. Every once and a while we’ll invite one of our longtime sponsors to write a guestpost (like Kelli from Shindig Event‘s Cake & Punch post yesterday, and Jessie Blum‘s AWESOME Wedding Ceremony 101), but it’s a rare occurrence and by invitation only.

BTW: If you’re interested in becoming a sponsor and establishing yourself as an authority, get in touch!


Infographics are another SEO strategy, which is part of why we don’t feature them. The other part is that we like to run original content that hasn’t been featured on other sites. Infographics are typically produced by marketing/SEOfirms looking to spread them as widely as possible (to get as many links as possible)… which means it’s not a fit for us.

Poetry & Fiction

Both these types of writing are lovely. Neither of them are a fit for the Offbeat Empire. It’s just not our jam.

…Again, I tend to focus more on the positive when it comes to guestposts submissions, because I don’t want to discourage our community members from submitting. This post is a bummer! Generally, if you’re a regular reader of the Offbeat Empire sites, you know what kinds of stuff we feature (and you know we want to feature your ideas!). If you have any questions, post ’em in the comments!

Ready to get submitting?
Offbeat Bride:
Offbeat Home & Life:
Offbeat Families:

Comments on Submissions we don’t ever accept

  1. The only exception to the Fiction thing is the fanfic about our new and awesome banner characters. The staff (and I think I speak for all of us) happily request more fanfic about those awesome characters. 🙂

  2. Phew! I saw this article in my email and worried my post ideas might count, but that was silly of me.

    Btw, I have a post in draft form that’s almost ready to go, and I’m pretty pumped. It’s my first ever, and hopefully first of several for Offbeat Home/Life!

  3. Question: if I submit a guest post and you decide to run it, do you let the submitter see the edited version before it’s posted? Also, can we submit our own image to go along with the post? I too have a guest post in the works…woot!

    • Hey, that’s two questions! 🙂
      1. Nope, we don’t do a revision review cycle with submissions. That said, if we edit in a way that an author’s unhappy with (pretty rare), we’re happy to tweak the post (or take it down completely — which has never happened).
      2. Yep, if you’ve got images, we’ll almost always use ’em. Just stick ’em on a photosharing site like Flickr where we can access them.

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