Anyone that’s blogged for more than 10 minutes has seen the flood of so-callled writers begging for the opportunity to create “content” for your blog. If, please, please, please, you would only be so grateful as to give them some valuable link juice. As you might guess, it’s a scam. There is never anything in the email that even suggests knowledge about the blogs being pitched.
I hate them. Greenfield hates them. Bennett hates them. Popehat hates them. They are hated by mommy bloggers, tech writers, and media folk. Even the British have a hard time keeping a stiff upper lip about this crap.
But then. I do read the pitches, or at least the first line or two to see if, just maybe, the writer didn’t send me spam but actually had some knowledge about my blog and had a point of view to share.
And so it was with Max Herman who guest blogged here yesterday. The request to write came out of the blue, but it actually dealt with a current case before our top court, about an issue that reflects upon personal injury law, was an issue that he was closely following, and he had notes on oral argument that had already taken place.
When Max contacted me, he already had a two page explanation of what he wanted to write, along with briefs of the case he wanted to write about.
Max didn’t want to write about any old thing, he wanted to write about this thing that he had been following and that he found interesting. Also, he could actually write in an engaging manner. And he never asked for a link. I had to ask him for his bio link when I published.
And so, while it’s tempting to my fellow bloggers to simply delete the emails when they come in, the truth is that there are people out there who actually have something to say and are looking for the right forum to say it. Writers gotta write, and once written, would like to publish.
On first blush it might seem that it is’t even worth it trying to separate the wheat from the chafe, but the chafe is so easy to see it makes it easier for the Max’s of the world/
But to the aspiring writer/pundit looking for a platform, please know this about contacting a blogger about a guest post: You had better have a good idea (and an outline) of what you want to say before you contact us. And that idea should be one that is about a very current issue. Be a Max. No one is interested in generic pablum.
You can pitch us, but you have to pitch us well. Even those sites that don’t accept guest blogs are unlikely to be upset if the pitch is genuine. But the alternative, if it isn’t genuine, can be ugly.