If you read a social media or blogging tip site, the suggestions for marketing your blog most likely includes sending pitches for guest posts to other blogs.

While you won’t get paid for doing it, the hope is that you would get some exposure and attention for your topic and a backlink to your blog or site is standard thank-you. That link is valuable in terms of search engine optimization and Internet rankings.

The problem is: commercial entities and ghost writers have abused the privilege. I get probably five to six pitches a week that all sound the same “content unique to your blog” … “free to you” … “all I am asking for is a link to my site” …

I got burned in fall 2009 by allowing a guest post from someone who likely was not who she claimed to be. Actually, a reader said the writer’s backstory sounded odd. I put the post on draft, demanded an answer, did not get one that was satisfactory, and the post was deleted. Needless to say, someone left a very unhappy comment on the blog before 24 hours was up.

I have run into multiple other situations where the actual identity of the writer(s) could not be confirmed.

As I developed a guest post policy to include safeguards against paid commercial backlinks, I also insisted anyone who is guest posting on this blog be from Michigan or Ohio. The stated reason was so that the content was relevant and of interest. It should go without saying that it is easier for me to verify who someone really is, should he or she from the two states where I have lived most of my life,

After yet further annoyances on this topic, I added this line to ferret out those who were not able to follow directions.:

Important point: If you send me an unsolicited guest post pitch, and have not explained how you are a local voice as explained in this policy, the answer will be an automatic “no.”

Since I have run into multiple occasions in which people argued back or got offended when I replied with a link and tell them to first read what is posted in my “about” section, this is now the new procedure:

Instead of having a clearly defined guest post policy along with the expectation people will follow directions before sending a pitch, there will be no more guest posts accepted for Monroe on a Budget with the exception of my adult daughter and a retired newspaper reporter who has successfully written for me in the past.

Bottom line: those who don’t bother to read the information that was easily found in my “about” section have ruined it for everyone else.

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