Roy Tang

Programmer, engineer, scientist, critic, gamer, dreamer, and kid-at-heart.

Blog Notes Photos Links Archives About Now

Weird Blog Spam


I am generally receptive to receiving emails from strangers, so I don’t mind having a contact email publicly accessible on this site. But I don’t know if it’s a consequence of having a reasonably active blog or what, but in the past few years, I’ve sometimes gotten what I like to call “weird blog spam.”

Typically it starts out with an introductory email that often includes a compliment about a specific article on your blog, accompanied by an offer to increase your blog’s visibility if you would just link to one of their articles:

Introductory email

(This particular subject line pattern of “Love your <content/article/post>! (and a proposal)” is specifically something I’ve seen multiple times. And since I never respond, all of them always send two follow-up emails, each spaced roughly days after the previous email. Usually there’s some wording like “Just checking if you saw the last email” etc.

So, it’s obviously some script that someone is training SEO people to use? Or is it some kind of automated process? With the goal of getting more organic links to their content to boost search engine placement. Most likely a search was done for blog posts about a specific topic then they just email blast the authors and hope for the best.

Since I don’t really write on this blog to build an audience or to earn money, I am generally uninterested in such offers. (And actually, these are the sort of deceptive marketing practices I consider a bit scummy.) I was however curious about this script they were all following so recently I tried to get into a conversation with one of them:

I am not interested in your offer. However, I am curious. Are you a bot, or a human following a script?

They never replied to this email, but then, IDK if it was a coincidence or what, but I got another thread for them a couple of weeks later, as if they forgot they already sent me the script!

I responded to you on Dec 15th in the last scripted email you sent me Mason!

I never did get a response to this one either!

Then last week I got a new email where the author seemed tired of these sort of scripts, it read:

Hi there,

I am not going to lie and say I looked at your website or I love your latest blog post.

We are a global marketplace that helps publishers like you sell and manage guest posts and sponsored content.

Does this sound like something you’re interested in?

Thanks,

That made me LOL before I sent out my curt reply: “No.”

As of now, my curiosity about this sort of scheme has expired and I’m hoping to avoid them in the future. I’ve removed the contact email that I show on every page of this site and replaced it with a Contact Information page that includes an FAQ entry that specifically says I’m not interested in such offers. I’ve only gotten a couple of dozen such email threads like this, starting around 2015 (coincidentally when I started to resume blogging regularly?). It’s still mildly annoying though, so I’m hoping this change to the contact information reduces that volume greatly or maybe even completely. (Either that, or now I’m going to receive offers to link to content about SEO, guest posts, sponsored content, and so on!) We’ll see!

Posted by under post at / Tags: #tech life / Syndicated: twitter / 0 / 527 words

See Also