#DearPR; why I don't run guest posts

>> Sunday, 18 November 2012

These are some lines that feature in 8 out of 10 emails I write to pr agencies who have approached me regarding promotional activity on The Potty Diaries:

'... I don't run guest posts on the blog as I write all the content myself.  However I have attached a copy of my rate card so you can take a look at the other promotional opportunities that are available.'

This is what I respond when asked if a 3rd party (agency or potential client) can put their content - with no input from me - on my blog.  Why?  Well, until today, other than the fact that I have plenty of my own ideas and don't need someone else to supply them for me thankyou very much, I didn't really know.  I did wonder if I was being over protective about the blog and perhaps a little bit bloody-minded, but whatever my subconscious reasoning, it just felt like the right answer to give.  Now, however, I think I've got to the bottom of my intransigence on this matter.

Mooching about the internet this evening I came across a guest post on a blog I read often enough to have it listed on my sidebar.  I love this blog; the writer is funny and engaging and perhaps because she is at a totally different life stage to me, I really enjoy reading her take on things.  This evening, when I clicked on the link to her latest post and saw it was a 3rd party piece for a company I have used myself in the past I was interested.

But it left me cold.  It took me a couple of minutes to work out why, before I realised that when reading a blog - unlike when I'm reading a magazine - I want to hear the point of view of the owner of the blog, not to read some anodyne piece that I would be more likely to find in an ed/advertorial in a glossy or a Sunday supplement.  I mean, if I want magazine-style writing, I can reach for a magazine, right? So it was helpful to have this realisation, and in the wake of it I'll now feel more self-assured when I continue to use the lines above in the future.  And at least now, I'll understand why I write them.

But that's just my point of view.  If you have a blog, and / or enjoy reading other people's, what is yours?


Expat mum 18 November 2012 at 18:42  

I don't do any kind of PR on my blog but I do have friends and acquaintances do guest posts from time to time. I usually introduce them, tell my readers why they're guest posting etc. and the post usually has to be something that I think my readers would be interested in.

London City (Mum) 18 November 2012 at 19:28  

Ditto. No guest posts. All rantings and ravings and opinionated pinings are my own.
If they REALLY want to know 'how much' to take over my personal air waves, well... what's that saying? "If you have to ask, you cannot afford it."


Potty Mummy 19 November 2012 at 10:00  

EPM, I think those kinds of guests posts are fine and enjoy reading them - it's just the pr-based ones that are a bit bland, which I'm not so sure about.

LCM, so true!

MCD, glad you agree.

Sparx 19 November 2012 at 11:42  

Hi Potty

There are guest posts and guest posts - a guest post from a real blogger with great writing and a fab point of view is one thing. A guest post from someone generating promotional content seems, to me too, to be another.

People like reading blogs because they're real. They are, at their best, real people writing about their real lives and saying something you either need, want or are amused to read.

In the end, even just writing about products for PR leached dry my own enjoyment of blogging - and by the time I woke up, I'd lost a lot of readers because they'd stopped enjoying as well.

I met, via some of the PR stuff, a lot of bloggers who started a blog because, and this is from their own words, they just wanted to get free stuff.

I do feel the entry of the PR people did some damage to the community - to the quality, enjoyment and feeling that we were all in it together, not in competition for the best PR gigs.

3rd party content can have a point - a charity message that needs to get across for example, everyone appreciates that. When it's just a blurb about a product or service however, we all know this is, at best promotion (and you are PERFECTLY right to ask for money, absolutely) and at worst, link farming.

You've hit the nail on the head here. I'm going to make some sort of effort to get back onto the blog and writing again and will be off the PR bandwagon completely.

Stick to it :)

nuttycow 19 November 2012 at 18:40  

Although I don't do guest posts/PR posts (as you can tell by my irregular posting!) I don't mind people who do AS LONG as it's clear that it's a sponsored post. I can't stand people who try and pass off PR fluff as their own.

Zuzanna Fyall 19 November 2012 at 19:26  

A very interesting read and I'm looking forward to future posts!


Iota 20 November 2012 at 09:35  

Expat Mum said.

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