Guide Your Guest Bloggers

If you want guest bloggers guide them to you. Create a page with directions for guest bloggers. Tell them what you expect, what you want from them and what you will give them in return for the posts you review and accept. My best suggestion is to write out a list of ideas and standards for each of the three points. Then take a look at other sites that accept a lot of guest blog posts, see what they have written for guest bloggers. Use these ideas, adapt them to your own niche and your feelings about content.

Start with what they will get from you. Will you give them an author box which lets them write up a short bio and type in links for their own sites (how many links?). How many links can be included in the post itself. If you are looking for a long post you might give them more links, less links for a short post.

Then tell them what you expect from a guest post. How many words, what sort of content you want for your blog and your readers. Go into detail, give them a good idea of what you want so they can send you a post likely to be accepted by you. Also, when someone asks why their post was not accepted this is going to be your guide to how their content didn’t meet your needs. Add a list of post ideas. These could be things you would write yourself if you had time for the research or more expertise in the niche.

Last of all, the standards you have for the construction of a post. This is basically where you feel a real post with good content begins and a sploggy/ spam or paid content type of post ends. You have to draw your own lines on this. What works for you? What do you feel comfortable posting? How long should the post be? How focused on your niche of blog topic should it be?

The idea for this post came from reading 7 Tips to Attract Guest Bloggers to Your Site at The Blog Herald. I haven’t written my page for guest bloggers yet. Partially because I still don’t want to attract many of them. I still want to be the one who writes my own content here. But, the odd guest post adds flavour. So, I will write a guide soon. It is an easier way to refer prospective guest bloggers to your ‘rules’ versus typing them over and over again in individual emails when someone asks about writing a guest post for you.

No Reply At All

One more small thing that annoys me… people who put out an email asking me a question (like why I’m not using their network/ service) and then use a noreply@whatever.com as an email address.

Do you see the problem with this? Have you experienced this yourself? Doesn’t this feel like an irritating sales call you’d be happy to hang up on?

Please, if you are asking someone to give you a response, let them give you a response. Or, just don’t ask in the first place!

Today I had a reminder email from an online service which offers to store your computer files on the web (basically). I had to register on the site in order to find out more about it. (I would have rejected it right there but it was a link a friend had sent me). I could not see any real use for the service, plus they wanted me to download software in order to use the service. I didn’t want to download anything. I don’t know what it is they are having me download or understand the need for a download to use an online service. That was a week ago.

Today the reminder email came. They told me what they can do for me and gave me another link to the download for their software. I began to send a reply email, telling them I don’t have a need for their service, then I noticed the address my reply would be sent to: no-reply@xxxx.com. So my time sending them an email would be wasted. They don’t want to hear anything from me, just get me to download their stuff.

Would you trust them at this point? Pretty one way relationship they are setting up, I give and they take. Would you trust your files to a company that works this way? I’d explain to them why I have set their email address into my spam file, but… why bother?

Considering and Writing

It’s not easy to delete a spam comment when you actually like it, when they say something nice about you.

Finally a smart blogger…I adore how you’re considering and writing!

What you have to remember at these times is the commenter does not know you, has not actually read your blog or any of your posts. So, as much as you wish this was a sincere comment, it is not. So delete it from the land, post haste. Just give yourself a tiny pat on the back for attracting comment spammers with more intelligence than the average comment spammer.

Ending Anonymous Comment Spam

At one point, not so long ago, I had comments turned off on this blog. Friends asked me to turn them on. Here we are, a few years later, and I’m thinking to turn them off again. Or, just shut down all the Anonymous comments at least. However, if I take off Anonymous then people who don’t have a blog at Google/ Blogger have to make an account in order to comment with their website being listed with their name. Unless Google/ Blogger has changed that since I last looked.

Anyway, I am tired of the time wasted on moderating comments versus any real people who leave a note. They have bots to spam my comments, I just have myself to moderate all the craptastic mess. So I am going for the middle road and just shutting off the Anonymous comments. If you don’t like it, thank the comment spammers.

Comment Spam is Not Worth Building

This is what I wrote to Hubpages after deleting comment spam from one of their topic writers.

Please let your topic writers know comment spam reflects on Hubpages as a network. Not just individual topic writers. If they can take the time to comment they could take the time to leave a real comment versus something generic they cut and paste for every blog/ site they choose to dump on.

Why don’t they take the time to leave a real comment? How long does it take to come up with something that shows they actually read your post enough to know what you were writing about? A minute, maybe two? Seems to me that a minute or two is worthwhile. Rather than having their comments deleted and never posted they would get better results (have more comments posted) if they made sincere, relevant comments.

Maybe it’s the way of things these days. Put in less time doing worthless stuff and hope to get a few results for your lack of trouble. I think they miss (or just don’t care) about the long term results. Hubpages is slipping into the sort of site you expect to find garbage in and garbage from. Not the sort of site you go to when you want quality. So, this person from Hubpages may get the odd comment posted from a new blogger but they trash Hubpages, their work there and themselves. Wouldn’t it be better to put your time and energy into building something stronger, with real quality. Something worth building.

Reply back from Hubpages:

Thank you for bringing this to our attention. That user has been banned, and was most likely using an automated method of Comment spamming, which is why they can’t “take the time to leave a real comment.”

Their reply came within half an hour. I’m impressed with how much they are on top of things like this.

No More Newsletters, Please!

I’ve been trying to clean newsletters out of my email inbox. There are far more than I can ever even want to read. I don’t want to try reading any of them at this point. The sad thing is that a few of them I used to read all the time and would still enjoy if I didn’t feel so crowded any time I open my email. I’m glad I stuck with webmail rather than using the email address I have with my domains. At least on the web it is “on the web” and not taking over space on my computer.

I think anyone who suggests starting a newsletter as a good promotional idea is behind the times. Or just so new online that they don’t have a vastly cluttered email inbox, yet. I do get tempted to take a look at newsletters, even still. But, the fact is that there are so many voices in my email inbox now that I can’t hear any one of them. So they are all going to go, slowly and painfully. I don’t see any way to clean out the inbox other than the painful and slow way of going through them individually, unsubscribing and then deleting all the newsletters already sent and never read.

Now and then there are newsletters which will not let you unsubscribe or worse, newsletters which say you are now unsubscribed but they have not done anything or they have subscribed you to other lists/ newsletters which they send out. Spammers will be spammers. If this happens you just black list them using the garbage filter in your email service. Gmail has that set up well and it works! I know from using it quite a lot.

Anyway, when I finally get this mess cleaned up it will be nice to see my friends again. Some newsletters which I know are there I will find again, like connecting with a good friend you’ve been missing. Scribe and Quill is one I am looking forward to getting to know all over again. I am sure the clean up is going to take me a few weeks. There are newsletters which will revisit me like unwanted ghosts. Eventually, I will get all the junk out and my email inbox will be a nice place to visit once again.

Gmail Ninja – Tips for handing your Gmail inbox clutter, from Gmail.

Four Steps to Banish Email Clutter – Think Simple Now

Decade of the Internet Marketer?

Will this be the decade everyone became an Internet marketer? I get less calls from telemarketers than I get promotional spam from Internet marketers. Yet, it’s still the telemarketers who get the worst reputation.

When I read blogs about Internet or online marketing I can’t really take any of them seriously. If they really were smart marketers they would have stepped out of the blog world by now. For one thing, it’s flooded. There are far too many bloggers and few readers/ subscribers/ buyers. Now that so many people have a blog it’s getting to be a pretty crowded pond. The only way you can still be a big fish in this pond is to hop out and create a new pond.

The only blogs still interesting enough to notice are those who have real, original content. I don’t include any blog about Internet marketing or related topics in this list. If one does find a new thought it will soon be posted to death through blogs and social networking. Their pond is more like a goldfish bowl so stuffed with fish there are only a few drops of water left in the bowl.

What is the last blog you read and actually liked enough to go back and read again? In my case it was a blog about recycling furniture, clothes and etc. I found it when I was looking for ideas to use buttons. (It had two).

What is the point of this post? Not much really. It’s not going to change anything. Just made me laugh today when I heard someone cursing telemarketers, Avon sales people and all those others when in fact they themselves run a blog promoting themselves as an expert on Internet marketing and offering their services. Funny that the very people most likely to be reading that blog are people who already offer the same services themselves.

I don’t offer a great solution. Just seems to me that as flooded as things are online, it may be time for people to consider going back to door-to-door sales again, local and in person. A live person who lets you sample the wares actually rather than virtually. Someone who will deliver your order or let you pick it up cause, after all, they live just down the next block. Don’t you kind of miss human contact and the feeling of dealing with a local business, someone who really does care about the product they sell?

Do You Shut Down Comments on Old Posts?

Do you have your comment spam filter set to automatically delete any comments on older posts? While this will get rid of a lot of spam for you it also could delete some real comments.

We have posts in our archives which we leave for anyone to find, through searching or through links on other sites. So it is very possible real commenters will come to an old post and leave a real comment. If you delete comments on old posts you won’t ever find any real comments there.

Unless you choose to delete your archived posts rather than keep them, shouldn’t you let people comment? Why would you close off the old posts and yet leave them online to be found? So many people argue that a blog isn’t even a blog unless it has comments, that interaction. Yet, they seem to do various things to shut down comments. It’s backwards – like a blog archive. Funny how it is all relative if you think about it.

Trends in Comment Spam

If I published all my spam comments right now I’d probably be arrested for drug trafficking. Not so long ago all the spam comments were for casinos and poker sites. Before that they were adult site ads. Things have changed. I think those are the three main criminal activities covered now? Am I forgetting something? What could be around the next corner in comment spam?

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Of course, if you aren’t running a blog on WordPress you are missing out on most of the comment spam. My Blogger blog never got this amount of spam. Try your own take on the next thing in blog comment spam.