I recently got a question from a fellow blogger, Mae Amor, about how to decipher between what emails are legit and which ones are a scam. It seems like once you become a blogger you get added to this crazy blogging email list that EVERY company has access to. It’s safe to say, we see some crazy emails on the regular.
When I first started blogging, I got excited about any emails I would get. I thought it meant I was “making it” but boy was I wrong. And thankfully I turned down many of these offers as they were scams or just plain useless.
Here are a few of my inbox tips to managing inquiries and helping to decipher between what’s legit and what’s pure bull shit.
Blogging Inbox Tips – How To Know When An Email Isn’t Legit
They don’t specifically list a company. If you’re trying to pitch something to me, don’t you think you’d include your company? Your url? Something? Delete.
Anything SEO related. I’ve noticed EVERY email I’ve received that pertains to increasing my SEO has been a scam. No company listed, no name, no phone number, no URL, nothing. Delete.
Exchanging links. I’m just not a fan of these. Only put links on your blog that you truly go to. It will show your credibility to your readers as well.
Guest post requests from people you’ve never heard of. Don’t let some stranger write on your blog and put random links in it. Only allow guest posts from bloggers you want to work with or people you admire. Credibility, people!
Now, the question is, how do you respond to these emails. Easy, you just delete them. I really don’t know why you’d waste your time responding to these. I suppose you could be really nice and spend 30 seconds saying, thank you for your interest but I am not looking for a partnership like this at the moment. But I say, delete. Save yourself the time. No ones feelings will be hurt, trust me.
When To Respond To Quality Emails
Brands that you know or that at least look like something that you’d shop at. It’s important to make sure you stay on brand with your blog when working with brands. You may have never heard of a small online boutique that reaches out to you, but if the shop has cute stuff that you would like to wear yourself, email them back and get more info.
Companies or agencies that work with brands. A few favorites are Collectively, FOHR and Ahalogy. These are all legit companies that want to work with you. I’ve worked with all of these and they’re all reputable and easy to work with.
Other bloggers who want to work with you. I’m a big fan of working with other bloggers as I did on this collaboration here and here. It’s a great way to boost traffic, reach a new audience and gain new followers. Plus it’s fun. Power in numbers also means you have more negotiation power when working with brands.
Public Relation companies that represent brands you may like. Many brands outsource their PR efforts so you may get emails from their reps rather than the brand themselves. These people are legit, just make sure to check out their site first and make sure the brands they work with are on brand with your blog.
The next step after receiving an awesome and legitimate email is how to work with that brand or blogger. I would say 75% of the time, the emails usually have some sort of proposal in it. Whether it’s them wanting to send you an item to wear on the blog, or working on a giveaway etc.
For me, responding to these emails has evolved over time. I now have a set of rules for clothing being gifted and giveaways. It’s up to you to start figuring out how you want to work with brands and what rules and guidelines you want to set for yourself. I’m very specific about what gets gifted to me.
I don’t want brands sending me items that aren’t my style because then it’s not fair to them since I likely won’t wear it on the blog. It’s also really important to me as a blogger to promote items I truly wear or use. So it’s important to communicate these things to brands to make sure they understand. More info on how to work with brands in another Blogger Q&A, stay tuned!