This post is somewhat off-topic, in that it’s not about biking, but about blogging. From time to time, I get emails from people who offer to contribute a guest post. Here are my thoughts on the matter.
Over the years Bike Noob has been running, I’ve even accepted some of these offers. Sometimes, the resulting post has been all right. It deals with biking in a manner that I hadn’t yet addressed here, and the link wasn’t obnoxious. A few times, the post has be excellent. Much of the time though, the writer is not a cyclist and contributes something on the level of an eHow post — so simplistic as to be potentially insulting to Bike Noob readers.
I wouldn’t even mention this, except that over the last three days, I’ve gotten three such offers. Here’s the problem: the wording of the offers is so similar, I wonder if they’re coming from the same place, just under different names. The pitch goes something like, “I am looking for blog sites to post guest articles. The article will be 100 percent Copyscape protected (a plagiarism checker), and will run about 500 words. The article will be published only on your site, and informative to your readers.” The pitch also requests a link back to the writer’s own blog, or business, or some gizmo they’re associated with.
If it’s about cycling, I’ll carefully consider the request. I’ll vet the writer, either by visiting his or her blog and evaluating the quality of the writing, or I’ll ask a few questions about their cycling experience. For the overt link hunters, I’ll send a polite “thanks, but no thanks” reply.
I blog because I like to write about my experiences, and I hope that my experiences might ring a bell with my readers. The feedback I get indicates that this is so. I do accept guest posts, and if you’ve read this blog for a bit, you’re already familiar with Don Blount and Jeff Hemmel, two cyclists who have contributed their own guest posts for about three years. But the stuff Don and Jeff write about is in the same vein as I write about, and it’s for the interest and entertainment of our readers — not an attempt to market one’s own (perhaps non-bike related) business.
So guest post trollers, be gone! If guest posts appear here, it will be because they have something to contribute that will interest my readers (I hope). In fact, you’ll be seeing at least one guest post in the next couple of weeks from someone we haven’t heard from before. Stay tuned.