The Caregiver’s Voice regularly includes articles by guest authors. There is the occasional author that writes a great article but gives us a funny feeling and we search for the author online. If authors want to write original articles for The Caregiver’s Voice, they’ve likely been already published somewhere online, right? I was in for a surprise. What follows are highlights of what I found concluding with 5 TIPS for businesses, PR firms, and content providers.
1. A large home-improvement chain wants to promote the writings of “a store associate.”
My name is L. and I work with C.L., a store associate at [one of the two largest home improvement chains] in the Chicago suburbs. C. has been helping customers since 2000, and he also has a passion for writing. Recently, C. has been using his writing skills to publish articles that help consumers make informed decisions on a variety of topics. We came across The Caregiver’s Voice, and we thought an exclusive article from C. would be a unique contribution to your site.
L. included a paragraph describing the article C. would write–something we’d publish at TheCaregiversVoice.com. But she raised a red flag when she concluded with:
“Additionally, all guest posts by C. are eligible to be featured [my italics] on [company's] Twitter feed.
The alert alarms went off with:
Why no link to their Twitter feed and why the word “eligible?”
Why no links to other articles already written by C.L.
I had a little time and some curiosity, and searched online for the associate. I found him. C.L. does have an online presence connected with the Chicago office of this home improvement chain, but he’s also three different people. Why would L. need to promote content this way?
I stopped after looking at the three links below where C.L. appears. Since I’ve not conveyed his name or the chain’s identity in this blog, you’re welcome to copy and paste the links to your browser to satisfy your own curiosity.
WHO are you, C.L.
2. People with only one name.
With 7 billion people in the world, unless you’re Beyoncé or Madonna, we need to know who you are. We publish articles from around the world. Why then do some authors as well as PR, SEO, and Pay per click (PPC) company reps insist on corresponding with one name and limited if any identification? WHO are you?
3. People with no photo.
True, we exist increasingly in a virtual world with avatars to boot! However, TheCaregiversVoice.com deals with personal matters. We want to know who is offering knowledge, inspiration, and support. We like to post our authors’ photos by their 50-word bios. WHO are you?
4. Content with the company name repeated excessively
We at TheCaregiversVoice.com carefully edit our content and ensure it is of value to our readers. Yes, we deal with issues around dementia, but mentioning your company’s name repeatedly–a dozen times or more won’t build goodwill. Submit strong content and let our readers want to connect with you instead. All right already! We know WHO you are!
5. Content that has zero relevance to our readers
I ask you. Do you have any interest in au pair jobs or hire-a-nanny firms? I thought you’d say, “Not really.” We promise to continue to screen out articles that these firms claim “would be an interesting story for your readers to check out and discuss on your blog.” Yeah, right. If you’re caring for children with dementia! I hope not!
What’s sad is the following comment: Thanks for posting great content through your blog. Did they even visit our website?
Yes, it’s a virtual world out there, but The Caregiver’s Voice has survived online for 15 years by remaining refreshingly old-fashioned with real authors who write original information that informs, inspires, and/or brings JOY.
Businesses eager to gain an online presence by hiring others–often low-wage employees or questionable PR firms–are throwing away $1,000s if not $100,000s and doing more damage to their brand by not monitoring their social media outreach.
If you want me to take time to consider your article for publication, please provide your first and last name with verifiable contact information.
When you create valuable content, don’t destroy your brand with quick SEO attempts that weaken trust by repeating your company name a dozen times in your article.
If you submit an article on how to ward off scams, make sure you have transparency in your own identity.
Don’t hire someone to write an article then submit it without the actual author’s photo and a short bio. Lacking a photo, don’t offer to submit the same article under a different author’s name whose photo you have on hand.
Hire qualified people and pay them what they’re worth to promote your brand. Anything less encourages compromised integrity and lack of personal pride (hidden behind a free Gmail address).