We regularly get people writing to us at Wirefresh enthusiastically offering to write guest posts for us, which on the face of it sounds great – we could really use new writers.
The would-be writers are quick to tell us how much they love technology and how they just want to write about the latest and greatest innovations – perfect for Wirefresh!
Sadly, in every case thus far what they actually want to do is shove up a stream of uncritical ‘sponsored’ articles.
These are either liberally doused in self-serving affiliate links, or take the shape of wildly enthusiastic ‘reviews’ which are nothing more than thinly veiled exercises in product placement.
What’s in it for them?
Why would they do this you might ask? Well, it’s for the usual reasons: search engine placement, affiliate income, self promotion or – and we’ve become increasingly suspicious of this – they’re actually part of a PR campaign by big clients.
Given the growing influence of blog reviews on consumer’s buying habits, it makes sense for PR companies to try to use blogs to leverage favourable coverage, either by buying into link placement or offering ‘free’ reviews to smaller, but well read, blogs.
We get several emails a week from these supposedly mustard-keen authors, but unless were convinced that we’re actually going to get the kind of unbiased, honest, independent and critical reviews we write ourselves, the answer is always no.
And so far, not one of the ‘guest writers’ has managed to convince us, but you’ll certainly see no shortage of their work elsewhere on the web – so our advice is to always check the provenance of a reviewer before basing buying decisions on their words.