Beware of guest bloggers

Posted on December 8, 2011


spam and guest bloggersHaving a guest blogger for your blog can be a wonderful thing. You get new ideas, new perspective and even a new audience. However, there is a scam going on in the blogospshere that you should know about. These supposed guest bloggers are nothing more than scam artists who want to use your blog to link back to their website. They also want to use your content on their blogs.

Here’s my experience with one such guest blogging offer.

1. I was excited to get the following email:

Name: Margot M
Email: [email redacted]
Comment: Hi,

I just read your latest post on “A failure to communicate and how to fix it”. I think it is a great piece for your viewers!

In short, my job is to help brands educate and connect with new audiences. With your permission, we would like to highlight your most recent post on our blog as well as provide additional content for your readership.

I have done some previous writing on major blogs and if you are up for it, I’d like to write a guest column for your readership. Perhaps something on managing cash flow?

Let me know your thoughts!

Margot, Senior Op Ed Columnist

Blog Content Guild
1015 Bee Caves Woods Dr, Suite 102
Austin, TX 78746

Wow, I thought, someone really likes my blog.

2. Upon further reflection, several red flags were raised.

**Why is Margot suggesting a guest post about cash flow? If she had read even one post on my blog, she could clearly see that I write about technology, marketing and life. There is nothing about financial stuff, especially cash flow.

**Margot listed no last name. Wouldn’t someone who is an active blogger want their name known?

**Why is the street address listed? It seems to me that the url of the blog content website is more important than a street address.

3. I checked out the Blog Content Guild website.

There isn’t much there! I would think if they are all about content, there should be lots of content on their website. There isn’t even anything about their bloggers. This is making me even more suspicious.

4. I googled Blog Content Guild and the mysterious Margot and found lots of interesting stuff.

There were at least two pages of search results showing this Margot having written the exact same thing to many, many blogs. This exact same wording was used by other supposed Blog Content Guild bloggers, offering to write guest posts on a wide variety of subjects.

I also found several other bloggers warning people about the Blog Content Guild. Here are just a few of the bloggers who have posted warnings about this scam:

— Maria Langer, author of An Eclectic Mind. Her blog post: Spam from a Wannabe Guest Blogger.

— Veronika, author of Eat the Roses. Her blog post: Beware Writers Offering Free Content.

So the lessons learned from all of this are:

1. If it doesn’t feel right, trust your gut!

2. Before you do anything, do a google search.

3. Check out the website and dig deep. Anyone can put up a few pages and call it a website.

Have you had any encounters with spammers such as Blog Content Guild?

P.S. I normally wouldn’t call out an organization by name, but in this case I wanted to warn people.

Photo is courtesy of Arnold Inuyaki’s Flickr Photostream under Creative Commons Licensing.