Why I Never Reply to Guest Blogging Requests

Evil Guest BloggerWe do our best to discourage people from asking us if they can write guest articles for our blogs. Once in a while someone still insists on sending us a completely useless email. Normally we just discard the email and move on. After all, everyone and their brother who blogs about Internet marketing has shared at least one dumb guest blogging email. Why bother sharing another?

Because so many of you continue to ignore the pattern of failure and reach out to complete and total strangers who have no interest in you and what you want to say on their Websites. You have no idea about how to acquire links so you do this instead. I’ll share some link acquisition advice with you below but first read the email. See if it’s similar to what you send out.


I am really satisfied with your blog content, your posts are really good and you are keeping it well. I would like to publish my post on your blog (as guest post) with my website link. Mostly I create about educational and student related subjects. Please let me know if you are recognizing guest posts and I’m ready to discuss my content, I guarantee it with unique and quality content. ?

Looking forward to get your reply.

Thank You,?

Dennis, we don’t accept guest blog post requests — especially not from people who “create about educational and student related subjects” because we don’t have any blogs that fall into that category.

If you need a link from someone for your Website, create something interesting for that person. Don’t ask them to link to it, but feel free to ask people to look at what you wrote.

It’s easy enough to do that if you share links to your content on social media.

Oh…you want the link because it will help with your SEO, don’t you? Not a problem. When you want keyword-rich links that help with your SEO, put the keywords into the titles of your articles and write about whatever topics those keywords represent. Make sure you create very good, interesting content.

After all, “Build it and they will come” does work — but only for people who build something worth coming to.

Do this for 1-2 years and you’ll get plenty of links.

Oh…you don’t want to wait 1-2 years for all those keyword-rich links? Not a problem. When you want a LOT of keyword-rich links within a very short time despite the fact that no one has ever heard of you, just do something totally insanely crazy and unexpected so that people’s jaws will hit the floor.

How do you do something totally insanely crazy and unexpected? Well, you have to spend a little more time thinking about how to be crazy and insane and a LOT LESS time sending out emails to strangers asking them if you can write guest articles for their Websites.

It’s the lack of imagination behind your marketing that turns me off. You’re just spinning your wheels, doing all the dumb stuff you see on marketing blogs. Oh, they’re POPULAR marketing blogs? So they MUST be right with their advice?

You know, Rand Fishkin never asked if he could write a guest article for SEO Theory or Reflective Dynamics. Neither did Danny Sullivan, Bill Slawski, Adam Audette, or any of those popular SEO bloggers whose advice you may follow. If they get by without asking strangers for guest post links and yet they’re still popular and successful, maybe the secret to be learned from those sites IS NOT TO ASK STRANGERS TO PUBLISH YOUR GUEST POSTS.

It’s a crazy idea, isn’t it? Just ignore all the crap advice about outreach to strangers that you see on the most popular SEO Websites and instead do what THEY actually do — which is create content people like. It doesn’t have to be GOOD content — just POPULAR content. That way you can hand out crap advice (my apologies to anyone on the list who doesn’t hand out crap advice) and other people will link to your site.

I really can’t help people who send out emails to strangers for a living. They are obviously not trying to learn they are trying to do. But as Yoda said, “There is no TRY. There is only DO.” And as Michael says, “There is no LEARN when all you do is DO.”

At some point your failures to get guest posting links (that won’t get you penalized) should start to tell you something about just how badly you are marketing your sites. It doesn’t matter if everyone in the SEO industry is defending guest posting as a way of life right now (yes, this is March 2014). What matters is that most people in the SEO industry tell you to do dumb stuff that leads to penalties.

I’m just saying that instead of being a hamster in a wheel you should try being creative for a change — and I don’t mean “create about educational and student subjects”.

If someone I know sends me an email and says, “Michael, I would like to write a guest post for SEO Theory. Here is what I have in mind. [Outline of article idea] Would you be willing to publish that?”

Oddly enough, I have almost always said “yes”. Imagine that.

Get to know me first. Earn my trust, my respect, and my openness to your ideas. You’ll find it’s much easier to write for one of my blogs than all the SEO bloggery in the world would lead you to believe.

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About the Author

Michael Martinez

Michael MartinezMichael Martinez is co-Founder, President, and Chief Technical Officer of Reflective Dynamics. Michael has managed Websites and SEO campaigns for himself and for successful businesses since 1996. As principal author of the SEO Theory blog Michael has published ground-breaking theoretical ideas in search engine optimization and Web marketing. Before migrating to Internet marketing Michael worked as a computer programmer and systems analyst. He earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Kennesaw State University.


  1. Michael–Thank you for this post! I’m amazed at how many requests we get that are totally irrelevant. While I’d love to be nice about handling them, it’s a time issue, especially when they don’t even take the time to look at my site, read my content or get my name right. Happy marketing, Heidi Cohen

  2. I am so sick and tired of these emails. But I sometimes respond to the emails to ask about the name of the Clients, so I know what I’m up against :)
    “Dear Sir or Madam,Dear Sir or Madam,
    I am emailing you regarding the purchasing of a link.
    My client is keen to gauge your interest in formulating a stronger relationship.
    I am working on a project to increase the worldwide SEO visibility, capability and online presence for my client in England.
    I would like to place an article on your website containing a link straight to the client’s desired URL, from a keyword of their choice that would be on topic. It would be a small text link contained within the article.
    For your part in this arrangement, I would look to pay you for this benefit that you would be extending to the client. Therefore, I would ask you if you would be able to consider pricing options you feel appropriate for hosting a pre-written article, or a link in an already established peace of content in the architecture of your domain.
    Obviously I am keen to agree a partnership as soon as possible for this project, so I look forward to hearing from you shortly.
    So in summing up : We will pay YOU to host a link in an article on your site for our Client.”

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