Recently I got a message from someone wanting to guest post here. That’s not unusual, I get lots of those requests.
While I write the majority of posts myself, I do think that adding another voice to this writing world can be helpful. (Like I always say, there are lots of ways to make up a writing career.)
Spotting a Rewriter
She pitched me the article idea, and I liked it. Although, it sounded familiar to me. When I got her article, it sounded even more familiar. I’d read it somewhere before, I thought.
I did a quick search and lo’ and behold, she had rewritten it from another very popular article on the web. It was obvious. The wording wasn’t exact but it was very close, including the colloquialisms that were included in the original article.
What’s more, she sent me a weird note about “just use this as my bio at the end.”
Just use this… what kind of language is that? Normally you’d say, “My bio is…” or you’d just put the bio at the end of the article.
Confronting a Rewriter
I sent her a note back with the link to the original article, and accused her of just rewriting it. She didn’t even deny it. Instead she said, “Well I’ll just send you a different article then.”
Oh no you won’t. That doesn’t fly here.
I told her I wouldn’t accept any guest posts from her (ever) after this incident, and she just went on her merry way. Unfazed. It didn’t even bother her.
The New Way We’re Getting Spammed
I did a search after this for this person, and have found several of her rewritten articles on the web. She uses a fake picture in her bio and while she uses similar language in her bio (always says she’s from New Jersey) she changes the rest of it slightly from one article to the next. The scary thing is she’s been on at least one high-profile site with her fake info.
How Can We Protect Ourselves?
It’s hard to protect your site from folks like this, because you want to give everyone a chance. Especially a site like this, that welcomes experienced and newbie writers alike. But if you get a wonky request like this that just doesn’t seem right, do some research. If you feel that the guest post is wrong for your site, tell them no.
This is just a new way of spamming sites, but it’s a nasty one. Let’s be diligent in confronting people like this, because they are turning guest posting, which is usually a very positive thing, into a negative experience for both the site owner and the readers.