I know that link building is hard. That’s why I don’t do that sort of thing for a living. But if you’re going to do it, at least try to do it right. And by that, I mean: don’t spam people, and when trying to pitch bloggers in a personal manner, don’t try to automate “personal.”

Case in point: It’s great to actually check out someone’s blog, determine it’s a good fit for your client (or your own site), and let the blogger know you’ve done a little research by mentioning one of their posts that you found to be relevant to the site you want them to link to. Get this part wrong, and it’s obvious you’re just faking it – and that almost never goes well.

Here’s the bad link request that inspired this post. (And I’ll spare you the broken HTML that displayed in the body of the email when I received it.)


I saw that you have a list of links to other resources on your website, christinagleason.com/check-your-sources-false-information-online/, and I would like to provide you with another resource for your list. My website, 100bestdatingsites.org, contains valuable information for those contemplating entering the online dating world, such as articles, statistics, and advice on how to remain safe and minimize the risks associated with this type of viral communication.

If my site sounds like something your viewers would be interested in, please think about placing my link on your list of resources. In doing so, you will be providing them with unbiased and objective information, and you will also be aiding me in spreading awareness about my site.

If you have any questions about my request please don’t hesitate to contact me via email. 

Thanks and have a great day,

Joe Morris
Blogger | Owner
100 Best Dating Sites

So let’s review. The part that you didn’t see was the random broken head, style, and paragraph tags floating about. Seriously, people. If you’re going to go for the fancy email formatting, make sure it renders properly.

Next up: The sender tried to score points with me by linking to a specific post on my blog that he supposedly had read. Of course, if you check that page out, you’ll see that there is no list of links to other resources as Joe Morris seems to think there is. Unless he’s talking about my blogroll, which is probably what his automated software detected as a list of links to other resources before compiling this “personalized” message.

Also? What about my site screams “online dating safety tips?” I certainly didn’t write anything about online dating in my post about false information online. I’m pretty sure I’ve never written about online dating before – since I am, after all, a happily married woman – although I bet I’ll start ranking for it with this post.

Another fun fact: Joe Morris says I shouldn’t hestitate to contact him by email with any questions I may have, but the reply-to address on his message is donotreply@domainsbyproxy.com. Although, since his unsolicited link request was so helpful to me, I clicked the handy dandy “show details” link in Gmail to determine that his email address was joe.morris@100bestdatingsites.org – how else could I send him to my You Pitched Me page?

Bad requests make good blog fodder. They also help serve as a PSA for what NOT to do when pitching bloggers.

Don’t be that guy.

3 thoughts on “Bad Link Request That Tried to Fake the Personal Touch”
  1. Right on! I get emails like this all the time, too. I imagine you probably get all sorts of people offering you “free” content that just happens to be stuffed with all sorts of keywords, too. Annoying beyond belief …

  2. Well said. There is no substitute for truth when it comes to that kind of networking. I experience it much more with Twitter, but I do see what you mean.

  3. Thanks for this. Joe Morris just contacted me too. He was much slicker this time, but thanks to your post, I’ll ignore it. The good news is that I now know about you and will follow/bookmark. Thanks, Kate

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