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Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Because It Amuses Me

There's no A Funny Thing Happened On the Way to the Game Store from Von this week; he's currently out of a job and finding gainful employment is more important than writing for my nerd blog.

Speaking of writing for my blog, last week I received quite the interesting email on the very topic of being a guest writer.  I responded, because it amused me so to do, and because I don't like leaving some of my better material unpublished I figure I ought to post it here where it can be admired.

Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2014 15:47:10 +0800
Subject: Guest Blogging Inquiry
From: Nicole Pretty

Hi Palette!

I wanted to take the opportunity and introduce myself! My name is Nicole and I work with, a high risk merchant processing provider. We're looking at the opportunity to write an article as a guest post on

Our company's co-founder "Blair Thomas" would be the one providing the article. He'9s a self-made entrepreneur, has blogged on hundreds of sites, has exhibited at various industry conferences in the US and he has 10+ years in the electronic payments industry managing several successful businesses, agent offices and registered ISO's.

The article we're thinking about writing would focus on the Firearms Industry and tailored to your site. However if you would like Blair to take a different approach, we're open to hearing any other related suggestions you know would better suit your site's audience.

As an additional benefit for publishing Blair's article, we will share the published article to our social media networks :) and also give you the opportunity to post a related article onto our blog as well.

I appreciate your time and consideration and look forward to hearing from you soon!

Best Regards,

Nicole Lopez
Blog Marketer

Now this is fairly obviously spam, and I wasn't sure if I'd get a response, so I kept mine terse so that I wouldn't waste any effort. (Also, I was a bit miffed I was referred to simply as "Palette" and not "Erin" or even "Ms. Palette".)  But still, I decided to take a chance. You don't ask, you don't get, am I right?

Date: Tue, 19 Aug 2014 22:12:07 -0400
Subject: Re: Guest Blogging Inquiry
From: Erin Palette 
To: Nicole Pretty 

How much?

-- Erin Palette

"Many people hear voices when no-one is there. Some of them are called mad and are shut up in rooms where they stare at the walls all day. Others are called writers and they do pretty much the same thing." -- Margaret Chittenden, writer

And then -- oh joy! Oh frabjous day! -- I actually received a response.

Date: Wed, 20 Aug 2014 14:04:54 +0800
Subject: Re: Guest Blogging Inquiry
From: Nicole Pretty To: Erin Palette

Hi Erin, 
Thank you for your prompt response.
I just want to clarify - Do you require payment for posting articles on your site as a guest blogger? 
We were thinking of mutually helping each other draw visitors to our sites. If you could allow to us post articles on your site that is relevant to your niche, we'll also promote your site on our social media accounts and if you are interested, we'll also let you post articles on our blogs. 
Let me know if this is something you'd be interested in. 
Thanks, Nicole

Well then! Now that I knew there was a human being behind this who actually had to read whatever I say, I decided to have some fun. I did some brief Googling of of this "Blair Thomas" -- does Nicole's use of quotation marks strike anyone as being suspicious -- and I determined that this bank does exist, and it services  "questionable" industries like adult entertainment, bad credit, credit repair, collection agencies, electronic cigarettes (why? I dunno)  and online firearm sales.

Because we all know that tons of gun dealers and FFLs read my site, right?

The other thing I determined is that "Blair Thomas" writes some of the most boring articles on the planet, typically about banking or finance or retirement. Just the kind of thing that would fit right in at Lurking Rhythmically, eh?

So here's what I wrote back, because fuck it.

Date: Fri, 22 Aug 2014 15:20:32 -0400
Subject: Re: Guest Blogging Inquiry
From: Erin Palette
To: Nicole Pretty

Dear Nicole,

>I just want to clarify - Do you require payment for >posting articles on your site as a guest blogger?

Yes, I do.
You see, your company's co-founder, "Blair Thomas", clearly didn't get where he was by doing things for free. He's a successful businessman, after all. And so I ask myself, "Why does this person want to write an article for my blog that has nothing to do with merchant banking?"

And then, as you so handily said,

>We were thinking of mutually helping each other draw >visitors to our sites.

That's called "advertising", Nicole. You are a business; I am a hobby blogger and a struggling writer. What you are attempting to do is buy advertising space on my blog without paying for it. While this makes perfect sense for someone like "Blair Thomas" to do -- after all, one
doesn't become rich and successful by paying for things when one can get them for free -- it also makes the same amount of sense for me to require payment for you to use my blog as an advertising venue. Come on, you certainly have the money for it; after all, I'm probably less expensive than some ad campaigns you've run.
>If you could allow to us post articles on your site
>that is relevant to your niche, we'll also promote your
>site on our social media accounts and if you are
>interested, we'll also let you post articles on our >blogs.
Ah, so now we're at articles, plural. Previously it was just one article, and now you want to do several. This only lends credence to my assertion that you want to use my blog for advertising.

>Let me know if this is something you'd be interested in.

Look, I'm a capitalist. I am all about the exchange of money for goods and services. If you good folks want to use my blog as an advertising platform -- and clearly you do, because we're having this conversation instead of you just deleting my email that asked "How much?" -- then I am fine with that.

Provided, of course, that you pay me.

Why should you pay me? Because clearly I have something that you want. If I give you that thing for free, then not only do you get what you want at my expense, but I've now told you that my work -- and believe me, I've worked hard over the past 7 years to make my blog worth noticing -- is essentially worthless, as it can be bought with vague promises of traffic being sent my way.

To quote the 13th Ferengi Rule of Acquisition: Anything worth doing is worth doing for money.

But perhaps I am being unfair. Perhaps "Blair Thomas" is a friendly sort of fellow who enjoys writing guest articles for the sheer joy of it. If that is the case, then I choose to exercise the "take a different approach" option you mentioned I had in your first email. Any of these topics will do:

- Blair's thoughts on Peter Capaldi as the 12th Doctor, and what that means for the series vis-a-vis its return to the "cranky old man" doctor of the 1960s versus the "pretty boy eye candy" of recent years.
- What he thinks about the upcoming 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons, and which edition is his favorite. (Note: Pathfinder is also an acceptable edition.)
- Which would win in a dogfight: a Viper Mk.VII from Battlestar Galactica, or an SA-23E Starfury from Babylon 5.
- Which My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic pony is the best pony, and why.

If "Blair Thomas" wishes to write an article on any of these subjects, he may do so for free. If he does not approve any of those topics, then it's going to cost you to advertise on my blog.

I have a Google pagerank of 4 out of 10 according to, and from my stats page you can see that I'm currently averaging about 7,650 unique visits per month.

Doing some quick and dirty math, that brings me to a figure of about $250 per blog post. If you'd like to buy a multi-post subscription we can certainly haggle some and probably get you a bulk discount.

Here are the rules:

- I'm not going to publish guest posts back-to-back. The most you'll get is once a month.
- No more than two links to whatever you're selling per post.
- I reserve the right to edit those posts for grammar and content.
- I reserve the right not to post the article if subject is not relevant or the writing is too poor to salvage.
- I reserve the right to decide when the guest post airs.

If these terms are acceptable to you, then we can do business. If not, we can haggle. But you're not getting free advertising from me.


-- Erin Palette

Oddly, I haven't received a response back.  Gosh, I wonder why?

Perhaps next time I should just include a link to this internet classic

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