Something’s bothering me, Steve.
It’s about your article.
Remember the article that you submitted? You sent it to me. Then, after you didn’t hear back for a couple days, you sent me another note, marked “IMPORTANT.”
Steve, I know there comes a time in every writer’s life when they ask themselves, “am I good enough?” In fact, you might be asking yourself that very question right about now.
But, before I play the heavy and let you know what has been on my mind for the past 13 minutes since you sent that note marked “IMPORTANT,” I’d really like to talk about a few of the reasons why I don’t think your article is going to work for our site.
Maybe this will resonate with you, Steve; or, maybe you and your bloggy friends will continue to reach out to similar sites and hope upon hope that you’ll get the coveted “Article in Exchange for Link” that everyone wants.
Anyway, Steve, here’s why I’m saying no:
1. You Sent Me An Article With No Prior Relationship
This is probably the biggest mistake you made: you told me how great my site was (that’s a given; not that my site is great, but that you’d tell me that it’s great). Then you attached the article and that was that. I can use it if I want, or not.
But I don’t know you.
I’m not going to steal your article, Steve – but I could. And there’s nothing in it for you. And you have devalued your own content by sending it to me and just asking me to use it for nothing.
Build rapport, please. Then ask me if I’d like an article.
2. You Haven’t Sent Me Any Information About You
Steve, Steve, Steve.
If you’ve learned anything it’s that people can find out information about other people online. They use something called “Google.” And, if you don’t give them something to look at when you send them the first ever email…well, then they’ll either find out whatever they can about you using this Google site, or they’ll give up.
Table Stakes, Steve. Give me a link to published work that you’ve already done elsewhere. Or show me your LinkedIn profile. OR…
3. You Didn’t Create An Awesome First Impression
Even an okay first impression would have done okay here.
But the article you sent me had a title that didn’t make any sense at all.
It’s all in the setup – I’d love to have you guest blog on one of my sites, Steve, but now you had me wondering whether you’ve got the chops…and I was wondering this after the very first sentence you wrote.
4. And, About The Article Itself…
Steve, this is where I need to let you know something that maybe you haven’t heard before.
There’s a certain style for web writing: different from writing for a book, different from magazine journalism or for writing for a technical journal.
I, for one, prefer to read things that aren’t written with a heavy focus on words that will get the writing noticed by search engines. Sure, you have to put in some keywords – something you did – but I want to read “engaging copy.” Not copy where every other word looks like something someone would type into the Google search bar.
So, Steve, I’ve Got to Say No.
The door isn’t closed entirely. Maybe if you work on a couple of these things we can talk about your stuff getting on the site.
P.S. This sort of thing DID happen. Just a bit ago. There was an article submitted for the New Frugality site. A site which you should totally check out.
*Steve is not his real name.