Alternatively, You Should Write This!
Or, You Should Share This!!!
How many of us receive emails with these excited subject lines, cluttering up our email boxes day after day? If you have a blog that is even mildly popular, especially with as select a community as we’re forming at Your Publishing Pros, you likely receive emails with these declarations in the subject line on a regular basis, as do I.
My sense is that the people writing them, and that is the only good thing about these emails, for the most part they are actually written by real people, have decided to use shock value to get our attention. There is a sense of urgency in the declarative sentence, Do This! The exclamation point adds to the urgency and more than one is surely a sign of major urgency. The hope is that the receiver opens the note and acts on it, because it’s so important.
I’m often baffled by these invitations. Why, I wonder, would I “Do This!” given I have no idea who the sender actually is?
Who opens these emails? Even when they are from a trusted source, someone I know, I hesitate to open them. Often, spammers send similar emails and attach malware to them. When I risk opening an email with a declarative subject line, the content of the email continues to offend by addressing me as, “Blog Owner” or “Web Master” or “……” no greeting whatsoever. Here’s a recent note, without revealing the writer, as this post is not designed to denigrate, merely to teach.
As an avid reader of <blog> I would love to read about New and Upcoming Entrepreneur Techniques and what it means for Business Owners, and I think your readers would as well.
Your content on <blog post URLs> is great, but I think you can tie it all together by blogging on New and Upcoming Entrepreneur Techniques and what it means for Business Owners.
I know you are probably busy and won’t blog on it, so I’m going to make you an offer you can’t refuse. How about I write it for you? Don’t worry, I’m a great blogger and have had my posts featured on ….
Let me know if you are interested. I already know your blogging style, plus I understand what your readers love as I am one.
Let’s dissect this note.
The writer says she is an avid reader of said blog. Yet, her greeting, Hello!, indicates she has no idea to whom she is writing. There is no salutation to indicate she looked closely at the blog, at the writers of the blog, or at the About page which would have introduced her to the owner of the blog. Not to mention, this blog is still live online, but no longer being supported, which the writer would know, if, indeed, she was an avid reader.
Did you catch the typo in the opening sentence? This kind of mistake indicates to me that the writer was going a bit too fast for her fingers. It happens often on my end. This is why I recommend reading over every email you write, to check for typos or any sense of misunderstanding.
In the same opening sentence this writer concludes, “…I think your readers would as well.” Really? You are such an expert you know what my readers would like? Even if that is so, this is your first reach-out to me. I might not like having you tell me what my readers would like. Rather than be so didactic, this writer might have said, “…I have found content around <whatever the topic is> valuable to readers of other blogs I write for, and I was wondering if you might consider this topic for your blog.”
The next paragraph shares permalinks to blog posts from the blog the writer would like to write for. That paragraph concludes with an offer, which isn’t bad, except for the overly familiar language. “How about I write it for you?” sounds as if we are old friends, from way back. Which we are not.
The next paragraph assumes a relationship that doesn’t exist. It’s too friendly (you talk this way to people you know well, not people you have just met), and makes another offer… to write the suggested content herself, for the blog in question. Additionally, the writer wants me to know she’s “a great blogger”… if she does say so herself! And she shares a few places (very long links) that she has contributed to.
I approve of the sharing, I do not approve of the way the content was shared. The writer, if she wishes me to treat her with respect and professional consideration, should have used bitly links. The long permalinks in the note, which I did not share here, distracted me from the essence of the note.
She closes the email with a statement that is so outrageous I broke out laughing, no, I howled! Yes, that’s how bad this was!
“I already know your blogging style, plus I understand what your readers love as I am one.”
What’s wrong with that? I have more than one writer on that blog. Whose ‘style’ exactly is she going to imitate? And, if she understands what my readers ‘love’… wouldn’t she be confused by the fact that the blog in question has not had new content in it for several months?
There you have it. A not so good pitch. I won’t call it a bad pitch, we’ll talk about bad pitches some other time, today was to show how a good pitch goes astray.
I did look at this writer’s content and it’s good. There is opportunity for us to possibly work together someday. I hesitate to reward a good pitch gone bad, but I’m a sucker for helping people succeed and this writer’s intentions were poorly constructed but well meaning.
If you receive a random email saying, “Do This!” my advice is, don’t do it. Delete it. You have better things to do with your time.