I’ve been getting a lot of spam recently from people wanting to write guest posts or have their site included in a future links post.
For guest posts the social convention for the planets which aggregate my blog seems to be that random guest posts are unacceptable. I could change my blog feed to have some posts excluded from the planet feeds but that’s too much effort – and I don’t want random guest posts anyway.
The only situations in which I will accept guest posts are when someone is writing what I might have written (IE they generally agree with me) or if they are a member of the free software community who doesn’t have their own blog but has something relevant to say. Any applicant for a guest post who runs a business that is useless and/or evil IMHO (EG anything related to the TSA) is going to get rejected firmly. Any applicant who tells me that they can “write on a wide variety of topics” probably isn’t capable of making me an offer that I would accept. Tell me that you can write about Linux programming or computer security and I’ll be interested, but you have to provide links to your previous work.
An application to write a guest post that starts with something like “I liked your recent post at the above URL but I think you missed some important points, as I have some experience in that field I think I could write a guest post that would help educate your readers” may be accepted. Probably the best thing to do however is to write comments on my blog, if you can write informative comments and offer to make a longer comment into a guest post then there’s a good chance that I’ll be interested.
Generally though I will only offer the opportunity to write a guest post to someone who writes something really informative in private email or on a closed mailing list. If you can solve a technical problem about Linux that has me stumped then I will almost certainly be willing to accept a guest post about it!
There are many sites which consist of nothing but links to other sites. In the 90’s such sites were really useful but since the rise of Google their value has declined dramatically. As an aside when I ran an Internet Cafe in the 90’s I had every web browser start with the main page of my “Hot Stuff” list, the purpose of this was to increase the hit rate of my Squid cache by having most of the customers visit the same sites. Even back then I probably wouldn’t have bothered if it wasn’t for Squid hits.
It must seem like an easy way to make money to create pages of links to articles with short summaries and then hope for advertising revenue, a domain sale, or the launch of some sort of profitable business once people start using the site. I wonder whether that ever works out for people. It doesn’t seem like a good business model, doing something that requires little skill, which can be done by almost anyone, and which is done by many people. Maybe there are sweat-shops dedicated to this.
Anyway my links posts are unlikely to ever link to any such links pages, I don’t think that the people who read my blog want double indirection. I won’t entirely rule out linking to a links page, but it would have to be of very high quality and related to something very technical about computers. Basically anyone who reads this should give up on the idea of submitting a links page to me, if it’s good enough to make me break my policy of not linking to such things then I’ll probably find it myself.
As a general rule if you want someone to publish your work then you need to look at what they are publishing and make sure that your work fits. With the recent requests for links and guest posts I’ve been getting I have to wonder whether the people making the requests have even read my blog. That method of operating is unlikely to give any success at a blog that has any reasonable number of readers.
I’ll probably link to this from my about page or something. It might discourage some of the spammers.