For the past four years or so I have been receiving increasingly frequent requests for either guest posts, or links to external sites (or sometimes both). The requests have increased in number ever since I started posting about my use of OpenVPN. Many of these requests want me to point to their commercial VPN site. The requests all look something like this:
My name is Foo. I represent Bar. I found your blog on google and read your article on “X”. I think your readers will like our discussion about “X” on our site. Would you be willing to host a guest post by us, or one of our affiliates, promoting the use of “Y”? It would also be really good if you could link to our site from your article.
We are really flexible, so we could totally negotiate about special deals.
Now, the least irritating of these requests tend to come to the correct email address (which shows they have read the “about” page) rather than “firstname.lastname@example.org” or some other speculative email address, and they are also directly relevant to the article in question (which shows they have actually read that too). But unfortunately, a depressingly large number of requests point to article “X” which has nothing whatsoever to do with their site (which may be a commercial site of tangential, at best, relevance to anything I write about). The worst type of request merely asks for me to point to some external resource from some random post on trivia.
I very, very, very rarely respond to any such requests. And I never, ever respond to persistent, repeated requests from the same source.
One particularly laughable request came in about three years ago. It asked me to point to an on-line password generator/checker (not a smart thing to do). I tried it with an XKCD style password like “soldieravailablecrossmagnet” and got the stupid response:
It would take a computer about 507 quintillion years to crack your
Weak password eh?
It should be obvious, but in case it isn’t I’ll spell it out here (and in an addition to my “about” page).
This is a personal blog. It is avowedly and intentionally non-commercial in nature. I pay for this blog from my own resources simply because I want to. I do not seek, nor will I accept, any sponsored content or linkages of any kind. Any external resources I point to are there simply because I have personally found those resources interesting or useful. So please do not ask me to point to your site. Please do not ask me for sponsored content. Please do not ask me for guest posts. If you do, it simply proves that you have not done your research properly – so you will be ignored.