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Leah Chamberlin, I’ll give you $100 if you are a real person

If you’re hiring a company to write blog posts for you and have them published as guest posts on blogs, you’re probably getting ripped off. (There are legit content marketing services out there, but many are scams.)

Check out the email below. It’s the standard formula that the fake-blog-post industry uses. Fake name, no company, and no blog or LinkedIn page — which is always a credibility-buster for a supposedly professional blogger. A 702 area code from scam-filled Las Vegas is another clue. Bloggers like me get emails like this almost every day.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Company hires a service to get them attention and traffic from blogs.
  2. The agency promises the client that they have deep connections in the blog world that will rapidly elevate the brand’s social media presence.
  3. Agency spams hundreds of bloggers. Sometimes they offer to pay the bloggers.
  4. A few low-quality bloggers might accept a guest post — but never any blog you’d want to advertise on. (What kind of blog is so desperate for content that they sell posts? A blog that no one is reading.)
  5. Company gets no results (except for losing their money).

The pitch:

From: Leah Chamberlin <[generic Gmail address]>
To: Andy Sernovitz

Hey there,

I recently came across INSERT BLOG NAME and I think it’s pretty awesome! I would love to contribute to your blog and was wondering if you accepted guest posts?  However, before starting I would like to discuss some topics with you that you may be interested in having me cover. What are your thoughts?

Looking forward to hearing back from you.

Thanks for your time and consideration!

Leah Chamberlin
Personal site coming soon!

Email to a friend:

Privacy: We won't save or reuse these emails.


  1. Ed Brill June 12, 2013 at 11:25 am #

    Especially authentic when they say “Dear Ed Brill Blog:”

  2. TT and V June 12, 2013 at 4:58 pm #

    We love the “seo experts” who all send the exact same email, promising to make us much more visible in Google.

    The problem we have is, we can’t find THEM in google….

    On the other hand, nothing beats writing and sharing and helping people share GREAT CONTENT that they love.

    TT and V

  3. Susan June 20, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    The one we received just said “Hey there,” They did not even use the name of our blog:-)

  4. Kim June 20, 2013 at 8:18 pm #

    I just received that email today.

    Starting with “Hey there”…so professional.

    And the signature block was special, too:

    Leah Chamberlin
    Personal site coming soon!

    In the Spam folder for you, Ms. Chamberlin (and don’t most people with that last name spell it Chamberlain?).

  5. bakingismyzen June 22, 2013 at 12:10 pm #

    I received this email today, 6/22/13 at 8:18am. I replied back saying I would consider it after the summer. When I went online to check out the validity of this person, I came across your site. WOW!

    I wrote back to this “Leah” chick with these words: Go away!!! You are a disgrace!!!

    Thanks for the heads up. I knew immediately something was not right.


  6. Sarah | The Cyclist's Wife June 27, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    Ha! I got it too. I sent a detailed list of questions and got a generic answer back. When “she” responds I’m sending her this link!

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