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Friday, December 09, 2016

On Businesses Trying To Get Into The Blog Market

I get some strange requests. There are the freelance journalists who have come up with a novel way of making a living: they email you to offer a post on the topic of your choice, absolutely free - provided you let them slip in links to their sponsors. I delete those unanswered nowadays after putting something into my guidelines saying so. When I was answering I told them I don't advertise on this site, unless you count the promotion of great new books which I have read and loved. And occasionally I give a guest post to a probably self-published author who has taken the trouble to read my guidelines, without requiring a copy of the book, which I would then have to review, and what if I hated it? Besides, they're usually in the U.S. or Britain(mostly the U.S.) and postage costs are wicked! Everyone deserves a break. If the book sounds interesting I think perhaps it will interest my readers.

But I don't advertise accessories or furniture companies or any of the other stuff these journalists want to slip into my blog. This is a book (and sometimes movie) blog!

And there is another kind of inquirer who wants advertising. It's the kind who emails asking if you'll do a post on a theme that might interest their customers.  It might be on an appropriate theme, but in the end, it's about promoting their business. And I don't do that. Ever. See above about the links to advertising sites. I even had to start moderating comments when I was getting a lot of  spam comments that led back to advertising sites.

The last time I got an inquiry of the "would you post about this?" variety it was from an adventure travel company wanting a post about adventure. I said yes, but only as long as they understood I would not be linking to their web site or even mentioning their company. I suspect they didn't like that and I bet they never put in a link to my post on their web site. ;-)

This morning I got an inquiry from a business that hires out cars, wanting me to post about the vehicles of Harry Potter. I said no. I don't drive, so I have never fantasised about the flying Ford Anglia, and I don't promote businesses. I suppose I could have given them the same answer as I did the adventure travel company, but I just wasn't interested. And these people never follow my blog and rarely read the guidelines. If they do, they kind of hope I'll make an exception(and yes, I got that once or twice in an email too). This one could have worked out I like Harry Potter by the post on the side of the page, without ever reading the post itself, let alone any of the rest of the blog.

I suppose I'll have to rewrite my guidelines yet again, to make it clear what I do and don't post about, but it probably won't help. Sigh!

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