Being an Accessible Blogger Has a Pitfall
I ran across a recent article arguing that every blogger should make some simple changes to become an accessible blogger.
Are you an accessible blogger?
If you are, you make it easy for people to contact you other than leaving a comment. (Some bloggers these days don’t even allow comments!)
Over at BloggingTips.com, writer Ryan Biddulph offered four ways to make sure you can be reached by your audience. Of course, part of the problem Biddulph addresses is from business bloggers who may have a monetary incentive to make sure their readers (“customers”) can reach them.
But even if you’re a blogger that doesn’t technically sell a “product” (in which case your personality and your blog is actually your product), it’s a good idea to give people a way to reach you if they wish to.
One of Biddulph’s suggestions is to use a contact form.
In my case, I use a contact form on its own contact page, which can easily be found in the blog menu.
So, aside from being able to leave a comment, my readers can reach me fairly easily.
There’s just one drawback.
As soon as you make it easier for people to reach you, some people you don’t wish to reach out will do so.
The people I’m speaking about it those who are soliciting guest posts and sponsored content to run on my blog.
I’ve written before about what seems to be a growing wave of solicitations for such content and I believe there are now services that offer their customers databases of potential blogs they can write for. Unfortunately, it appears said services don’t seem to do a very good job of doing their homework to make sure the blogs they suggest are actually willing to accept such solicitations.
I tried to ward off such a potential problem by making it clear on my contact page that I don’t wish to receive such solicitations. Maybe people didn’t want to take the time to read a bunch of text. But I even addressed that:
I made the pertinent text this big.
You must scroll past that large type to get to the contact form.
And yet I still receive solicitations, and many even mention that they sent me this request through my site’s contact form, which, oddly enough, can only be reached through that same contact page.
So it tells me that I’m either being contacted by bots who don’t know that there are directions to follow or by actual people who don’t seem interested in following them, which could be viewed as a sign of blatant disrespect for the site owner.
Still, I agree with the general premise that it’s important for a blogger to be accessible by his or her audience. As for people who’ll ignore your contact page’s info to reach out about things you clearly state you aren’t willing to negotiate, there’s always a simple but straight-to-the-point response that points out that what’s non-negotiable is, in fact, non-negotiable.