Some people who do not have any other way to make a living, create websites with attractive names, example Architecture blog, Fashion blog, Health blog, etc, hoping that third-party businesses will write on their website an article with links promoting that business. This is called guest post / sponsored post / advertorial, and cost usually $10 to $100+ depending by popularity of each blog.
But NOT ME. My name is Teoalida and www.teoalida.com is my PERSONAL website dedicated exclusively to articles and projects made by me, by the way I make a living from sales of my projects, few thousands $ per month, consequently ads are NOT required to cover server costs, I am NOT looking for third-party writers. I do NOT want to turn my PERSONAL website into a cheap advertising place for other people.
Legitimate SEO companies use human power to find blogs on their niche that accept guest posts, but there are also spammers who use automatic software to send mass emails to any email address found on internet regardless of website niche, regardless if they accept or not accept guest posts (example below), hoping that someone will reply with a price, and sell to other spammers a “database of websites accepting paid links”, who would eventually pay for posting irrelevant articles.
DO NOT ever reply to such spammers, not even a “NO”, unless you have nothing else to do with your life and want to get more SPAM emails.
I started website in 2009 on teoalida.webs.com with intention to publish on internet (only) projects made by me personally. I moved to teoalida.com domain in 2012. I had an email written in HTML code with white text to not be seen by humans but only by bots, purposely to catch SPAM, while Contact page showed a different email address in image format to prevent bots from reading it and receive only emails sent by human visitors, and reply them. In 2019 I activated Cloudflare which seems that encrypt every piece of text containing @ to prevent SPAM, while allowing human visitors to copy-paste email address.
Since 2012 I made a Traffic Stats page, showing how many people visit my website and prices for links and banner ads. That times my income was low and any extra $ was welcome, despite of this, just 1-2 people each year contacted me for advertising purpose, usually agents posting a banner with their name, email, phone number, but NO link.
Inside my articles there are many external links, especially in Housing around the World section, nobody paid me for these links, I added them because is a good practice to indicate sources of my research (mostly news websites) but is possible that these links made me a target for those begging for links. At bottom of page there is a text “Do you have useful information that worth adding? Leave a comment!” and few people did this. HDB Floor Plans page contains ~90 most popular floor plans from Singapore and several people emailed me their own floor plan “to contribute”, but only 10% of what people sent me I considered enough popular to worth posting.
Several people asked me to write about certain products/services, for example in Chatting with website visitors containing my story how my sales grew after discovering Zendesk Chat, some people commented asking me to write about other chat software. I replied that I only write about services I personally used. They did mentioned anything about $.
Choosing a good web hosting service article gained attention for hosting companies to beg links from me (even this article I wrote as educational + tell my personal experience, NOT to promote specific companies on payment basis), one of them offered me FREE hosting if I write an article about them, another one paid me for a link and advised me to add NOFOLLOW tag for all links that are not paid and let only his link DOFOLLOW, but Google Webmaster Guidelines say that paid links should add rel=”nofollow” or rel=”sponsored” to paid links instead. I am confused what is best thing to do?
But the below spammers had NOTHING related with the above invitations to people to contribute.
How I started being spammed and why I stopped accepting guest posts
In May 2018 I got an email requesting links to ArchDaily.com, despite that I already had a link to their website placed from personal interest. I was confused especially because in 5th email he offered $65/link to post 3 more links. I though that is a JOKE, I wanted to ask friends for an opinion before replying him, my friends didn’t replied so I forgot to reply him until 2 weeks later when he didn’t replied anymore. Lost a great offer!
(a year later I realized that he didn’t wanted to pay me to add links to ArchDaily, he may have used Ahrefs.com to find websites linking ArchDaily and pay them to add links to OTHER 3 websites that are his SEO clients).
To not miss a great offer like above case, I started replying every email who pretended that want to contribute to my website with paid links / content. The way I replied changed over time, in 2019 it was “Why do you choose my PERSONAL website to post your stuff? I don’t need third-party content but if you really want to post an article on my website, I can post in www.teoalida.com/guest/ section and will cost you $50, if is too expensive please find other websites to post your stuff“. Most replied that is too expensive, some people said that cannot pay at all and just want to contribute to my website by sending free articles, some people asked discount promising me 4-6 articles/month (probably automated reply), I said $40 but they still have not given me any article to post. One person sent me over 10 emails over a month “I can pay you $10”, “any update?”, “plz tell me last price”, “I pay you $15 please reply” even if I replied only his 1st email, and 3 months later started emailing me again. Surprisingly nobody care about how much traffic I have, nobody provided a clear explanation why my personal website was chosen to post his articles, these guys must be really desperate for getting links from anywhere, purely for SEO purposes!
I made a mistake to reply them, most of them turned to be automated SPAM / mass emails, senders never visited my website to know what it is about, they used automated software to find websites with many external links or purchased a list of emails. They were hoping that someone reply with a price, and sell to other spammers a “database of websites accepting paid links”, who would eventually send manual emails / Skype offering me $ to post irrelevant links/articles, usually casino / drugs.
During 2019 I replied ~20 such emails, 5 of them gave me links/articles and paid, in first half of 2020 I replied over 100 emails and only 3 paid half of the price I was asking, and the links/articles they gave me were completely random and not relevant to my website. Consequently, since mid-2020 I no longer accept / entertain requests of sponsored posts or paid link insertions in existing posts and near end of year I deleted all posts and links that were not belonging to me.
Checking Clicky I could see that their IP landed in a random page of my website, next seconds clicked Contact page and emailed me without browsing website any further, to realize that this is personal website.
In 2019 one link builder accidentally forwarded me entire communication with customer (about 15 emails), a music artist who wrote an article to be posted on a music site, but don’t know how after ~10 emails the music website URL been replaced by my website URL and the artist paid me for posting his music article on my real estate website (I posted it into /weird-stuff section because it didn’t fit in any other section of my website). Given by high number of people interested in posting articles, I created a section www.teoalida.com/guest/ hidden from main website reserved for my own content.
In February 2021 one link builder contacted me via Skype asking me price to post links on my website, I replied that I don’t accept links to irrelevant websites without giving any price, and after 2 months he messaged me again insisting to pay me $25 to add links to a dog food shop in Australia, when I asked in which page to add links and why was my website chosen for such irrelevant links, the insisted that “his client choose my website” which is obviously a LIE (my website have nothing about pets, nothing about food, and gets only 1% traffic from Australia, so his client wasn’t benefited too).
In 2020 I posted on a Facebook group dedicated to SEO, asking advices what to do regarding shitload of emails promising me sponsored posts but not giving me anything to post, I talked with SEO experts and I came across people who run blogs for such purpose (unlike my website selling projects made by me, they do not sell any product or service, they only sell advertising space = allow you to send them articles with links promoting your product or service), also having contracts with major news websites to give them sponsored posts, by this way I understood how legitimate guest posting is done and I wrote this article to warn others to not fall in the trap of spam guest posting.
Spammers are mostly from India and Pakistan, building a database of websites that allow paid posts and present them to their clients, this does NOT guarantee that someone will pay for posts, instead I risk getting more similar emails and I waste time replying spammers instead of replying actual customers who want to buy my products! Clients choose websites to post on, and naming my website according my real name is NOT attractive, an architect seeing a list of websites where he can post, is more likely to choose Architecture-Blog.xyz rather than on Teoalida.com.
Even if they choose to post on my website, posting articles linking third-party businesses DOES NOT help me at all, turn my website away from its intended scope (to show off projects made by me), all this for one-time payment (post price), which is insignificant compared with money I earn from selling my own projects. Some spammers unable to afford post price, offered to promote me in exchange. I hoped to earn more $ from sales on long-term than one-time payment, but they promoted me in a terrible way, for example someone pinned on Pinterest one of my architectural projects with title “web development”.
Due to above bad experiences I decided to NOT accept guest posts anymore. SEO companies are advised to find other websites to post such articles with links promoting a company / product / service. I may still accept paid links in existing posts ONLY FROM people saying for example “I am the owner of http://www.example.com, can I have a banner ad on https://www.teoalida.com?” if they are relevant.
2018 ArchDaily email
Subject: Request for collaboration on Teoalida
Wed, Apr 18, 2018 at 8:48 AM
I recently came across your website and noticed you have previously linked to archdaily.com and I was wondering if you could add one more link to this article for a reasonable fee?
This is the article I am talking about: https://www.teoalida.com/design/housing/
I can pay straight away via paypal if you can send me an invoice.
My marketing budget is not big at all, but hopefully we can agree on an amount of money that makes it worthwhile for you to take a few minutes to add one more link to the article.
Have a great day and let me know if you have questions.
Thu, Apr 19, 2018 at 2:15 PM
Found your email in SPAM folder
How do you know that I previously linked to archdaily? The link is STILL on website, in this paragraph:
I found that the lack of customers in 2008-2011 was unclear introduction of website. I got comments like “Thank, great collection of plans” or questions like “Do you also design houses?” and “Wow these houses are designed by you?“. Conclusion: people confused my PERSONAL website with the numerous architecture websites who just collect photos and house plans found on internet and do not offer services, example ArchDaily.
So you are going to PAY me to keep this link? Just say your budget.
Do you want to add link somewhere with a special paragraph for advertising?
I usually charge $20 per month for banner ads (400×200 pixels) and I have few advertisers in real estate. If you want a link and not banner, maybe half price is OK.
Fri, Apr 20, 2018 at 9:56 AM
Good day! It’s great to hear back from you.
We’re not affiliated with https://www.teoalida.com/ in any way.
Would it be possible to add links to any of your existing posts on your site permanently? I am willing to pay for a small fee for the link inclusion.
Let me know if possible. Looking forward in collaborating with you.
Fri, Apr 20, 2018 at 6:08 PM
Why did you said “We’re not affiliated with https://www.teoalida.com/ in any way.” it’s obvious that you are not affiliated with me. May I ask you if you are from ArchDaily or what is your relation with them?
The link is added on my website since 6 years ago. How do you benefit from this link, just SEO? since you aren’t a company providing services. Do you want to pay one-time or per month?
Mon, Apr 23, 2018 at 11:59 AM
Good day, it’s great to hear back from you.
We’re not affiliated with http://www.ArchDaily .com/ in any way rather.
I was thinking if we could place my links to your existing articles for a one time fee of $65 per link. I have at least 3 links in here.
Let me know. Looking forward in collaborating with you.
Sat, May 5, 2018 at 9:47 PM
Sorry for not replying at your last email but I am a bit confused about this…
You have 3 links from my website or WANT me to post 3 links? If you can suggest where in articles, on what pages do you want me to post the links, what anchor text or maybe few rows of text with link somewhere inside, let me know! or you let me to choose where to place links?
Tue, May 29, 2018 at 5:50 AM
Still waiting for some reply…. if you really want something with links. I find your emails a bit dubious. Why someone would pay a huge sum of $65 per link?
Example of link begging on incorrect websites
Some spammers have a specific website they want to have links to, they use a bot to find websites with matching keywords, find email addresses and send them emails offering us content (including few follow-up emails, also automated). Only after someone reply, a person visit website and noticing page title Housing in South Korea, he realized that his link about Internet speed in South Korea does not fit. We both wasted time!
I was browsing the web and came across this page https://www.teoalida.com/world/southkorea/ where I noticed that you mentioned a Wikipedia page as a linked reference.
Getting the internet speed you’re expecting and paying for is important so I thought that you might be interested in our newest article about internet speed test sites, linked here: https://www.internetadvisor.com/internet-speed-test-sites
We’ve tested a number of them and put together a really detailed write-up. I’m sure your readers would appreciate the extra information.
I also have a small budget for paying admin fees, if this also helps sweeten the deal a little for you.
Looking forward to hearing back from you on this,
Hello again there!
Did you get a chance to read my email from a few days back?
I can always send the original email across again if it was lost in cyberspace somewhere, as sometimes happens!
Thanks in advance for your reply,
I saw now your 28 april email WENT TO SPAM FOLDER.
And what do you want me now? to copy-paste your article on my website?
No, not copy our article, but include a link to it within your article. Perhaps on the anchor text of: ” fastest internet speed ” in the 4th text body?
Why did you choose my real estate website to post a link to internet services? Even if that keyword match
I don’t think that should entertain link begging… unless you PAY me or offer a link in exchange.
Thank you for the clarification. I also agree after a second look that it isn’t a good fit.
Sorry for the inconvenience,
One of the MANY guest post spammers
Subject: Post Blog Post Proposal
Date 2020-10-01 19:42
My name is Jane and I am a representative of the Authority Builders Outreach Team.
I’m sure you get a ton of spammy submissions so I’ll get straight to the point – our clients would love to submit a post for publishing with a permanent do-follow link through the article on teoalida.com/.
Your site would be added to our platform for more than 25,000 clients and open for choosing in our inventory at any time.
Please let me know your thoughts and fees – I’d be happy to move forward with this collaboration!
All the best,
Date 2020-10-02 11:55
No thanks, I don’t want 25,000 clients to SPAM my email begging for posts.
Some poor people make blogs purposely to get third-party people writing articles on them, charge $10/post and hope to get 1 per day to make $300/month. But NOT ME. If my website will be listed on your platform, what would mean “Teoalida” for your clients? How do they know what articles can post here? Probably it have no meaning, so I would not get any submissions. Let me answer you: Teoalida is MY NAME and teoalida.com is my PERSONAL website dedicated exclusively to projects made by me and makes $5000+/month from projects and property sales thus advertising is NOT necessary to cover server costs.
How did you got my URL / my email address? If you reached me by buying a “list of websites that accept guest posts” from another spammer, tell him to remove me from list because teoalida.com is personal website and DOES NOT ALLOW GUEST POSTS.
Date 2020-10-02 19:12
I acknowledge your concerns you have, but none of our clients would contact you directly you would be only in contact with our marketing team that take care of orders, secondly we take guidelines that you give us and our professional team of writers always writes the content strictly by the guidelines you gave us and also on our platform sites are categorized by the sites niche.
Hopefully i have made the things more clear, we respect your decision but if you ever decide to change your mind, please contact us we would love to work together.
Date 2020-10-03 08:26
This started in 2018 when I got an email asking for a link to ArchDaily.com, I replied that I already have a link to them, he replied offering me $65/link to add 3 more links. I though that is a JOKE, I tried to consult with friends and when I replied him after 10 days it was too late, no more replies from him. (after a year I re-read emails, he mentioned that is not related with ArchDaily and probably he wanted to pay for links to other 3 sites he own)
Since 2019 I received few similar emails, this time I replied all asking for $50 to post links, and now I realized that I made a huge mistake, some idiot probably shared my email address to many guest post providers and since beginning of 2020 I received (and replied) over 100 emails like yours, many mentioning adult / casino which I DON’T want to have links to, and only 3 actually gave me an article to post, articles outside topic of my website, and paid me only half of the price I was asking.
I posted this https://www.facebook.com/groups/990388724322456/permalink/3736241949737106/ hoping to get an expert answer, but nobody replied. Due to above BAD experiences I decided to NOT accept guest posts anymore.
Since you DID NOT mentioned a specific website you want link to) you are probably a SEO company building a database of websites that allow paid posts and share it with others, this does not guarantee that I will get paid posts, instead I risk getting more emails like yours and I waste time replying spammers instead of replying actual customers who want to buy my products!
Date 2020-10-11 21:00
I just wanted to follow up and check if you got my previous email?
Please let me know your thoughts!
Looking forward to hearing from you.
Date Fri 21:00
I was wondering if you had the time to review my email?
Our company – Authority Builders is working with our clients that are interested in placing
relevant non-promotional content with do-follow links on teoalida.com/.
Looking forward to hearing back from you.
Date Sat 15:03
I know that 25,000 clients won’t contact me directly, they will contact you and indicate which websites they want to post, unlikely to choose to post on mine, and you will give me articles, but I just DON’T want articles written by other people on my PERSONAL website. Read more www.facebook.com/groups/990388724322456/permalink/3736241949737106/
Second, we accept rules that you offer us and our experienced team of writers always creates the material exactly according to the parameters you gave us and also on our platform sites are grouped by topic.