Link schemes are bad.

Spam marketing emails are bad, too.

So when I get emails from people who want to write a “guest post” on my website because they want to get a backlink, I’m automatically suspicious. I don’t mind linking to something valuable, but I’m not dragging my site into the mud to link to someone who clearly doesn’t know what they’re doing.

Spam Marketing Emails: They Don’t Work. Really.

I get a lot — really, a lot — of crappy email proposals asking me if people can write here for a backlink to their own sites. The main problem isn’t always that they’re poorly written (although many are); it’s that they’re not even bothering to target the right people with their mass marketing efforts. (Okay, it also pisses me off that they send marketing junk to my work email.)

Today, though… this one! Something in it struck me as a bit similar to military stolen valor but in the writing world. (Shameless plug for my favorite stolen valor website of all time: Military Phonies. These guys do excellent work busting out people who have no guts but want the glory, which is a pretty shady thing to do.)

Back to the marketing email, though:

Spam Email Marketing I Received - Angie Johnston

I’m not going to pick this one apart. I am, however, going to share my response:

Another Spam Marketing Email I Received - Angie Johnston

You can imagine my surprise that I haven’t gotten a response. Home Depot, GM, and Ford–an impressive portfolio. I wouldn’t think that, with those credentials, you’d need to establish yourself as the go-to writer for Tampa.

If I get a response, which will probably be, “Yes, check out my work on,” or “Did you not read The Avengers comic books?” then I’ll update this post.

But I’m not holding my breath.

And seriously? Dude, I’m a writer.


The Text of the Spam Marketing Email

Hi Angie,

This is [name redacted].

I am working to get myself established as the “go-to” writer for the Tampa Bay Florida area, and in order to help make that happen, I want to offer to write an article for your site at NO COST to you. All I would ask is for a very brief “About the Author” section at the end of the article that has a single link in it to my website at [website redacted].

If you check my website you will see that I am very focused on high-quality content on any number of different subjects: [website redacted]

I have developed content and written for many major companies like RE/MAX, Alcoa Aluminum, Home Depot, GM, Ford, Marvel Comics; just to name a very few of the companies for whom I regularly provide high-quality content. I have a very broad base of experience and can write on virtually any subject. Also, I can provide the article to your website in either English or Spanish based on your preference.

If you would be interested in working with me on this, please reply and let me know. If not, thank you for taking the time to read this email all the same. I appreciate it.

Thanks again Angie.

[Name and physical address redacted]
[Website redacted]