Content Marketing

Several times a week, I receive email from various content writers, content managers, and content marketers asking to provide content for this blog. I receive so many that I have developed a form reply that goes out as soon as these come in. My form reply reads:

Dear {Content Marketer},

Thank you for your interest in writing for my blog. While I appreciate your interest, I don’t accept unsolicited guest posts at this time. Best of luck with your article elsewhere.


Etc., etc.

I have had, since 2012, a written guest post policy for the blog, but I suspect most content marketers don’t take the time to read the policies for the blogs they query.

Recently, I have noticed that content marketers are getting more creative with their queries. It used to be a simple message asking to write content for the blog. Today, they will often refer to a specific post I’ve written, and say something like, “I have written an article that fits your audience and correlates to your post {insert link here}.” It’s nice to know that these content marketers know my audience so well.

Some of the queries emphasize these writers abilities to write about anything I would want them to write about. I find this difficult to believe. Anyone can write about anything, but I suspect few people can write well on any subject at random. I write about a great deal of subjects here, but I don’t always find it easy to do so, and I’m not always sure that I do it well. Maybe I’m just not as good a writer as the content marketers.

Many content marketers are willing to provide content for nothing in return. They are not, so far as I can tell, looking to be paid. Call me old-fashioned, but as a professional writer, I expect to be paid for the writing that I do. How is it that a content writer makes his or her money? I suspect that they have sponsors and are paid when their content is published somewhere, and that content promotes whatever their sponsor is selling. I could be wrong about this.

I’m not fond of the term “content” to refer to the writing that one publishes. I have no problem calling what I write articles, essays, columns, posts. But to call it “content” abstracts it into meaninglessness. Who wants to read content? I give me an interesting article, a humorous blog post, a well-reasoned essay. But content? One is not writing an essay, one is not creating art, one is not telling a story, one is creating content as if it is nothing more than lorem ipsem placeholder text.

Perhaps it is simple semantics, potato, potahto, tomato, tomahto. If there are any content marketers reading this post, please take heed: I produce all my own “content.” I’ve been doing it for more than ten years, and 6,100 posts. I enjoy doing it, and I am not looking to farm out the work.

I doubt this post will prevent future inquiries. Indeed, as I was writing this post, I received a follow-up to an earlier query to produce not just content, but high-quality content for my blog. Maybe I just don’t have what it takes to convince content marketers that I don’t need them. I wonder if I could enlist a content marketer to produce content arguing against content marketing? I could feature it right here on the blog!