Monday, April 2, 2012

Scam, Spam or Service?

A short time ago I received an email from a young lady who described herself as a freelance writer, wondering if I accepted guest posts on my blog. I answered yes, and soon I was sent the following which I posted on Wednesday, December 7, 2011:

Guest Post: Dirty Bombs – Future Survival Test
http://selousscouts.blogspot.com/2011/12/guest-post-dirty-bombs-future-survival.html

The one stipulation was that I include a hyperlink to a "business" that she "Freelanced" for. I did not have a problem with that and included it.
Here is that letter, I have highlight portions for your specific attention, the reason for which will become clear further on:

Wednesday, December 7, 2011 9:07 AM

Hi there,
Hope keeping well. I'm just getting in touch to ask if you're open to reviewing content from freelance writers at Something Wicked Comes - if so, I'd love to put together a high-quality article written specifically for the site. I'm 29 and have been working as a professional writer and researcher for five years now, and in that time there isn't a lot I haven't already covered (there are a few samples below for you to check out).

Anything I send over would be written with the site's readership in mind - as long as you're happy with the resulting material, you'd be welcome to publish it as you see fit and the content will be owned by you entirely (in that I won't send it to anyone else, either before or after publication).

There is absolutely no charge for this and no strings attached; the only thing I would ask in return is that I'm able to include a link to a site within the article - nothing shady or unethical, just one of the professional businesses I freelance for.

Do let me know if you're interested, and if so I can get something written for you over the course of the next few days. Needless to say, the offer is open to any other sites you might own as well as selousscouts.blogspot.com. I appreciate that this kind of arrangement is not for everyone however, so if I don't hear from you, no offense taken and I won't trouble you again.

Very best,
Izzy Woods

 
Some varied examples for your delectation:
http://usdailyreview.com/should-inventors-and-innovators-be-compared
http://organichealthadviser.com/archives/superfoods-to-the-rescue
http://www.wiki-bee.com/intarticle.htm
http://www.capmac.org/?p=1724


Up until recently, that link was still active. Then I removed it.
Here is why:

Monday, February 13, 2012 9:13 PM

Howdy there,

I hope you had a great weekend. I'm just getting in touch to ask if you're in need of any freelance writing at Something Wicked Comes - if so, it'd be an honor to help out and I would love to get involved if you have any need for me.

I'm 29, newly located to London and have been working full-time as a professional writer and researcher for five years now; in that time there isn't a lot I haven't already covered (there are a few samples below for you to check out). Anything I send over would be written with the site's readership in mind - as long as you're happy with the resulting material, you'd be welcome to publish it as you see fit and the content will be owned by you entirely (in that I won't send it to anyone else, either before or after publication).

The good news is that I'd be able to offer my services at no charge; the only thing I would ask in return is that I'm able to include a link to a site within the article - nothing shady or unethical, just one of the professional businesses I freelance on behalf of. Otherwise I'd be happy to chat about alternative arrangements.
Do let me know if you're interested, and if so I can get something written for you over the course of the next few days. Needless to say, the offer is open to any other sites you might own as well as selousscouts.blogspot.com. I appreciate that this kind of offer is not for everyone however, so if I don't hear from you, no offense taken and I won't trouble you again.

Very best,
Imogen (Reed)

Some samples for your delectation:
http://www.blackpresence.co.uk/2012/01/remembering-a-legend-gil-scott-heron/
http://www.shaanhaider.com/2012/01/urine-controlled-video-games.html
http://britmovietours.com/movie-tv-news/doctor-who-%E2%80%93-where-are-the-lost-episodes/
http://www.cs36.com/the-four-horsemen-of-online-marketing-in-2012/


Seems to be a scripted email soliciting free advertising for clients by agreeing to provide a "generically" written article. What do I mean by generic? How much depth is there to the article? What new information presented, or was there any? Was it just "rehashed" from other sources?

My take is, that if you wish to advertise on someones blog, do it in an honest manner, not posing as someone you may not be.

Now, I had mostly forgot about this incident until I saw the following on someone else's blog:

(This is a guest post by a budding preparedness writer named Liz Becker.  Liz is an blogger, freelance writer and recent college graduate. She currently performs market research for an online marketing firm when she is not contributing her own thoughts and observations to the online community.  Like Liz, many preparedness folk have information to offer; therefore, we offer our readers the opportunity to submit an article for possible publication on our website.  Check out the toolbar item “Submit an Article” above for more details)

The 3 Absolute Essentials for your Bomb Shelter
http://www.doomandbloom.net/2012/03/the-3-absolute-essentials-for-your-bomb-shelter.html

Now, on the surface this is nothing to really be suspicious of, is it? Then upon reading the article, I found the hyperlinks to several businesses that were not paid advertisers on the blog.

So what is your take on this?
Is it:
Underhanded?
Unethical?
Dishonest?

Have you been approached in this manner?

Or am I being too thin skinned in this situation?

6 comments:

  1. It's shady as heck. Not sure what the exact aim would be.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Scout get a lot of similar request. I delete all of em! If they want a blog Start one!

    China
    III

    ReplyDelete
  3. What China said. I get a lot of those too. DELETE!

    ReplyDelete
  4. yes, it is
    underhanded
    unethical
    dishonest
    all of the above

    I believe your response was correct.

    Annie Mouse

    ReplyDelete
  5. I got one once for a person who also sold "portable bomb shelters". Portable bomb shelters? I didn't even try to wrap my brain around it I just hit delete.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Seems kind of hokey to me.

    ReplyDelete