Yesterday I received an e-mail from someone inquiring about advertising here on Half-Fast, more specifically they were looking for a little link love. I get these pretty frequently and I tend to be quite stingy with the permanent links unless there’s money on the table, but if you use the correct approach (read: effusive flattery) then it’s pretty easy to get a plug in the Weekend Splits, you know, when I’m actually posting them. Anyway, there was nothing particularly out of the ordinary about this e-mail, nothing malicious to speak of, but the recurrence of these types of e-mails has been increasing lately. This was just the unfortunate one that broke the camel’s back and now I’m going to take out my frustrations with all those solicitous e-mails on this one. Let’s dig in, shall we?
“Hi I’m Brenda [last name redacted] from [URL also redacted]. We offer one of the largest selections of flowers, hampers and wines and champagne gifts online, giving our customers useful tips and information to help them find the perfect flowers and gifts to send for any occasion. .”
At this point I’m thinking ‘why are you telling me this, why didn’t my spam filter catch this and why are there two periods at the end of that sentence?’
“I am looking for partners that compliment our site and half-fast.org seems a good fit.”
Really? Half-Fast seems like a good fit to you? Because runners are the largest purchasers of flowers? I’m pretty sure that the only thing my readers care of wine and hampers is that too much wine before a race hampers performance, so this seems like a strange request to me, but let’s see what you’ve got in mind.
“We can either:- 1) Exchange links with you”
Right, because I’d get tons of great traffic from a British Florist. (The URL ended in .co.uk)
“- OR - 2) Our team have been working hard creating content on our own site and we wondered if you would be interested in some free of charge content written just for half-fast.org.”
Not based on the way that sentence was written. Seriously, isn’t that the clunkiest sounding sentence you’ve read today? The next one is pretty good too. It’s even missing a word.
“Our editors cover a wide range of subjects and can quickly agree a subject with you and write specifically for you - you will have full editorial control and it definitely won’t be a sales pitch for us. All we would ask is that you allow us to include one simple text link back to [URL redacted] towards the end of the content which will hopefully be found by the search engines in the longer term - which is how we would benefit.”
You know how else you would benefit? Proofreading. Also, by sending this e-mail to blogs that cover flower related subjects. That’s two freebies off the top of my head.
“Please let me know your thoughts.”
You want my thoughts? First of all, that was the best sentence you’ve written thus far. Secondly, I’m thinking that I’d rather find an IRS audit notice and a jury duty summons in my mailbox than allow you or any of your team anywhere near my blog with a post of your own. Believe it or not I’m pretty particular about what gets written here, in fact, I’ve only ever allowed one other person to write posts at Half-Fast and she had to sleep with me before I gave her permission to post. (BTW, she is on the record as saying that it was over quickly and she barely felt a thing so it was not as steep a price as it sounds.) I’d offer the same type of arrangement, but I’m pretty sure the last one was an ‘exclusive rights’ kind of a thing.
As if all that isn’t enough I received the exact same e-mail from her about two minutes later, further proving her incompetence. Brenda, I’m going to pass on your kind offer, because if I wanted a shoddily-written, double-posted blog entry I’d just do it myself. I’m getting quite proficient at shoddy writing. And before anyone else points this out in the comments, I’m aware that I probably don’t always use correct grammar (or even know what the correct grammar is), but then, I’m not offering to write a blog post for you, am I? You can be sure that if I was offering my services as a writer I would take the time to make sure that everything was correct or
blackmail hire someone else to do it for me. That’s how I roll.