An Open Letter to “Guest Post” Inquiries

When we founded EarToTheGround Music, we always dreamed of having a platform to publish writing about music. We wanted to (and continue to) feature emerging artists in primarily the folk and indie rock genres. However, we are not now nor have we ever been open to spammy articles selling garbage unrelated to our editorial focus.

Let me be clear; if you are an aspiring writer and want to see your writing featured on our website, feel free to email us with your article (or even just a pitch) and we will consider it for the site. However, if you are working for a media company, a press company, a “viral marketing firm,” or any other type of organization intended to subvert the editorial process and embed links on our site, then our “guest post” avenue is not for you. If you are selling something, please tag your emails “sponsored post inquiry” and be prepared to negotiate an appropriate market rate to compensate us for our time and digital property.

This happens literally every day in our email account. Maybe you’re not familiar with how this works, but a website like ours with decent metrics on specific keywords (like “folk music blog” for example) will get inquiries from companies looking to embed links on our site. That’s fine. It’s part of the “world wide web” to link sites. We often link to our Amazon affiliate products, other websites that we like, and even back to musicians’ web pages. This is perfectly fine. However, when it is a commercial transaction it has to be handled as such.

But these pitches often come across as folksy and fun. “Oh hey there friendly webmaster I’m just a guy out here writing about music because I love it…” and that’s very disengenuous. You’re not just that. You’re working for someone. You’re selling something. Be up front, please. Once engaged in negotiations, don’t act like your company doesn’t have money to purchase the post. Imagine being a company that negotiates for any other resource by severely undercutting. What if we told our web host provider “we only have $5 per month in the budget?” They would say, “well then good luck” because the service price is much higher. The same goes for sponsored content rates. Please honor industry standards.

So if you are an aspiring writer who wants to feature your work on our website, please do contact us with a sincere pitch. However, if you are representing an artist, a label, a brand, a marketing firm, a PR firm, or some other corporate venture attempting to manufacture virality, please present your pitch to us with a price for sponsored content.

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