Another day, another pitch. Or, in my case, a dozen pitches, sixteen press releases, two shady offers for text link ads, and one faux publisher. Just another Tuesday as a blogger!
So Julia of Support For Special Needs forwarded this one to me. It’s a common pitch, asking for a link in an older post. This is actually a fairly common SEO (search engine optimization) practice, and it skitters on the line between white hat and black hat SEO (white hat good, black hat bad, obviously, even though I look way cuter in a black hat).
If you’re wondering if accepting this sort of link is okay, here’s a basic rule of thumb. If the link FITS THE CONTENT of the old blog post – for example, you wrote a post about blue widgets and how much you love them and the link is from a blue widget manufacturer – go for it. If it does NOT fit your content – say you wrote a post about blue widgets and the link is about online degrees – then it’s black hat and Google is likely to penalize everyone.
Now, on to the pitch!
My name is Jane from [redacted]. We have a client who would like to pay you for the opportunity to sponsor a blog post that you have recently written. We know that blogs can be expensive to run and our client would like to opportunity to support you in that endeavor. In return our client is asking for one link that they specify placed into the body of the blog post (no porn or gambling). Feel free to contact me with any concerns or clarifications you may have. If you would have any questions or would like to start the process, please email me at erin@[redacted].org so we can begin.
Sincerely, Jane [redacted]
Here’s the thing; this pitch isn’t really that bad. It’s got a call to action early in the pitch, it’s short and sweet, and it’s very direct and to the point. The problem is that it just reeks of being shady. Part of the shadiness is just in the generic pitch itself, part of it is that charming “no porn or gambling” line, and part of it is just the general tone. I’d delete this post right away, just because it makes me feel like I’d need a shower if I let them buy a link on my blog.
So, what say you? How would you fix this post? Can it be fixed?