Being a blogger is sacred. Perhaps it’s not sacred in a religious manner, but it is something precious and special that should be treated with respect and dignity. Yet, some people don’t take into consideration how hard you have to work in order to get to where you want to be as a blogger. There’s a lot of blood (figuratively), sweat and tears (literally) that goes into building your reputation. It’s still completely amazing how some people could expect you to throw all that down the drain for a few hundred dollars.
“Your Reputation Is All You’ve Got”
Carol Tice, author of the blog Make a Living Writing, talks about this subject in the blog post “Why I Turned Down This Lucrative Writing Gig – And You Should, Too.” In it she talks about how someone asked her to use her position and connection as a popular blogger to casually promote their business through guests posts. Carol’s answer was simple. She would not destroy her hard earned reputation for a few hundred dollars.
She goes on to talk about how she worked hard to build her relationship with many popular blogs, and the owners of those blogs respect and trust her. She was not going to throw it away for any amount of money. “Your reputation is all you’ve got,” she says. “It’s everything in the world of online business.”
I know you’re nodding your head in agreement. I was when I read it.
You can destroy your online reputation by doing something as sneaky and underhanded as promoting a service you’ve never even heard of through a guest post. You’re not only risking your reputation when you do this, you’re risking the reputation of the owner of the blog you’re guest posting on.
Yet there are people who make their living this way. They approach popular blogs asking if they can guest post, send them a practically useless post stuffed with links to their own products. This is how they get people to buy their products.
How can you avoid being a victim on either side of this situation?
Protecting Yourself and Your Blog
Rule #1: If it looks like spam and sounds like spam, it probably is.
Rule #2: Go with your gut.
Rule #3: Investigate.
It’s really just common sense. If you’re in the business of freelance writing, like Carol is, then you’re probably going to get emails from people who want to hire you. Read the email carefully. If you’ve got a feeling it’s spam, listen to that voice in your head and discard it.
If you’re not sure, email them back asking for more detail. It usually only takes one more email to determine if an offer is legitimate or not. All you have to do is ask the right questions.
The same rules apply if you accept guest posts on your blog. You don’t want to promote products on your blog that, as the owner, you’re not sure about yourself. Your audience trusts you to lead them in the right direction. You should never, ever betray them.