Blogging and Writing

The Weird World of the Blog Contact Form

The weird world of the blog contact form: The strange messages I get via my blog's contact form

A couple of fellow bloggers have gotten in touch with me recently wanting my take on some odd messages they got via their blog contact form.  I get strange contact form messages on a regular basis, but it’s not something that seems to gets talked about much in the blogosphere, so I thought I’d share a few highlights (or lowlights).

The vague messages

I received one message that said, in its entirety, “Hi I’m interested in blogging what would be my next step?”  Um, can you narrow that down a bit?

The “link to me baby” messages

I get quite a few messages from businesses wanting me to include a link to their site somewhere on my blog.  There’s been only a single time I agreed to this, and it was because it was a high-quality site that I already linked to in multiple places on my site.  They wanted a link to a certain relevant article on one of my pages, and in return, they’d mention my page on their social media.  I thought that was quite reasonable.

Then occasionally there’s the really sleazy message like this one asking me to mislead my readers about a link:

“I work with clients in the timeshare and anti-snoring industry who are looking to purchase text-based link advertising on your website’s homepage. Each ad would be about 30 words of text with two dofollow links pointing to my client’s website. The ad can not be labeled “advertisement” or “sponsored” to avoid penalties.”

The “I can’t even come up with a decent lie” messages

On a related note, there are the people who are asking you to link to something of theirs, but they pretend they’ve been inspired by one of your posts.  If they include a link to one of your posts in their message but make no mention of its content, that seems to be a good indicator that what they’re talking about has nothing to do with your post.

For example, take this message – apparently, I write about working remotely.  Good to know!

“I stumbled upon your work and was very impressed with the quality of your content. Great job!  I actually gained a lot of insights from it that inspired the work I’ve done with my team recently. It’s an infographic titled “52 Remote Working Statistics.””

The “I want to publish on your site” messages

I get a ton of these.  Just recently I decided to explicitly state on my contact page that I don’t accept guest posts other than for specific series, and I’m curious how much of an effect that will have on the frequency of this kind of message.

Some of these messages are really vague, and I’m not quite sure the point of sending them. Is anyone really going to be tempted to respond to this?:

“I am Silvia, I recently came across your site and found it very interesting.
I want to publish my unique and informative Health/ Lifestyle Niche article on your site.  The article is related to your website and will be appreciated by your readers.  Please let me know if it sounds good to you so that I can send the article for review.”

The “put on your Nancy Drew hat” messages

Sometimes there are messages that leave me wanting to know more, so I put on my detective hat and do some searching.

The message below came from someone who claimed to be a psychiatrist, and the name they based was an actual psychiatrist.  However, it made no sense for an actual psychiatrist to be sending this message, and I eventually concluded it was a rather odd duck who had briefly interacted with my blog around that time.

“I’m a psychiatrist. I always listen to my patients. But what to do when they say they need a medication, say Thorazine, but I think they should try a different medication. Then anxiety and hyperactivity pose another problem. Med seeking or therapeutic need for an amphetamine or benzo?”

Recently I mentioned the “registered nurse” who wasn’t actually registered as a nurse in the state where she lived.  Below was the message that set off my spidey-senses, as it seemed quite odd to not mention the name of the book.

“I came across your site when I was looking at mental health resources. I really like it and looking forward to reading your blog. I wrote a mental health book based on my experience with patients. I would love your input.”

The “things that make you hmmm” messages

Then there are the blog contact form messages where there’s nothing to investigate; they’re just weird.

The message below I received after mentioning in a post about my grandma giving me some money.

“Hi Ashley; I just spent a bunch of time (at work, LOL) reading all of your blogs and many of your posts. So many of your comments are spot on and I enjoyed hearing them from an intelligent mind. I have major depression and although I have made progress learning how to deal with it, there are many times also that I do poorly. Only a few people know I have it, which may or may not be all the best for me.  Sadly, I want to caution you about your grandmother’s early gift you wrote about. This world is filled with many who have wrong intentions, and no need for you to give them a reason to target you. This is my private email address and I would enjoy chatting with you if you ever need someone to speak with. I wish you all of the best!!”

Then there’s this one.  I have no idea what’s going on here.

“Greetings from UC Davis! I have been admiring your writing and style for years and I was wondering if you would you be kind enough to share with me your favorite lead, either by you or some other great writer, for an assignment in my Thursday night journalism class with veteran journalist Steve Magagnini?”

Have you gotten any wild and weird blog contact form messages?

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52 thoughts on “The Weird World of the Blog Contact Form”

  1. Wow! For real? 😀

    Whenever I get messages, they usually come through my author page and are from people who’ve started book advertizing businesses. Like, “Can I promote your book?” I did get that one really nice message from someone who appreciated the advice I gave her from Yahoo answers! That was great! Made me so happy!!

    But no, I’ve never gotten anything like what you have! HA HA HA HA! I wonder what the secret is to attracting hilarious messages from the blog contact form!!

  2. I shut down my blog comment page a while back after an unfortunate incident. I never got emails of the kind you shared when I had it open. OTOH, I “met” E. when she emailed me out of the blue through my blog contact page, so that was a good contact!

  3. Whoa, these are wild! The last one is especially funny/concerning/confusing – is he a college student trying to get you to help with his homework?! LOL

  4. I thankfully don’t get regular messages like this. I don’t use a contact form and my email which I have in my sidebar of my blog is the only thing I have displayed fir queries about my blog. I mention on my policy and disclaimer page how I don’t accept guest posts or do awards. But still, thankfully, I don’t get emails a lot, but people have ignored and tried. I ignore the emails as I have stated that I will do. But there has been a couple of people in the past not giving up on guest posting. I can’t remember the details to share. But I simply can’t remember because if I see one of these type of emails, I stop reading and bin it. 🙂

    1. Yes a few people are very persistent. I used to not display my email anywhere on my blog, as I preferred the barrier of people having to go through the contact form, but when I started my guest post series it made more sense to give the email address.

        1. I don’t know why these people don’t realize that they’re not helping their cause at all by being excessively persistent.

          1. Yes, it certainly doesn’t help their cause and they are only wasting their time on people like me who do nothing but ignore what they shouldn’t be contacting me about in the first place.

  5. Thorazine? I thought that stuff was banned. That drug would have raised all sorts of red flags with me, had someone in ‘the field of psychotherapy /medicine’ used it as an example. Wow.

  6. I think that WordPress attracts some of the more elaborately crazy people out there, since a a WordPress blog about mental health is quite a specific place to end up at. I imagine these people being delusional and just pretending to be what they view as a stereotype of a specific role. Of course, they could be scammers too, but I prefer the ‘delusional’ picture!

          1. Oh, cool! :). That’s my tactic, you see— assume that you won’t be allowed to do something, and you more likely will be. Assume that you are, and no, you’ll get firmly scolded and told off. A childhood legacy 😅.

          1. Yup, and while people have to enter an email address, it doesn’t have to be real. The anonymity leaves people free to be weird without any inhibitions. 😉

  7. İ don’t know if i should be hurt that I haven’t gotten a single message from my contact page! Lol. Actually come to think of it I don’t know if i have one anymore. My “professional” site does but it has so many spam filters on it, legitimate email probably can’t even get through lol

  8. I mainly use the android app on my phone, but yesterday I discovered the feedback button on the admin part of the website
    Had messages there I’d never seen some from 2012 when I started. I assumed the contact button would send these messages straight to my email.

  9. Oh, these are all really weird! I’ve never gotten emails like that, but most of the emails that I get via my contact form have still been quite surprising for me, in a very positive way. The vast majority of them has been from people who read my comments on a website that has to do with names, where I post my characterisations of them (like how I imagine a person with a specific name to be like, just for fun, even though I do believe in the influence of names on our personalities), and deeply related to them, as bearers of those names. Even though as I said I believe in that and have quite a complex theory on how names can influence us to an extend, that always really surprises me, and I find it very nice that they care enough to not just read the comment, but also go to my profile, then find my blog and my contact page.
    I’ve got one a bit irrelevant email though now as I think of it, from a woman who has some sort of a lifestyle business and asked me if I’d like to advertise essential oils on my blog, which, since my blog is only personal at least for now and for the foreseeable future so I don’t want to advertise anything unless perhaps if I’d truly madly liked it, was a no go for me, and I actually wondered what was her motive to ask me for that since I am not a beauty blogger nor even a lifestyle one. But nothing wilder than that has happened to me so far.

  10. What a great topic! I’ve received a number of these messages myself. There were 2 people who were legit, but I wasn’t interested.

  11. Uh, I don’t know! You just reminded me that when I got a new phone most recently, I never logged in on it to my blog contact address. So, uh, who knows? I should probably do that and apologize to anyone I’ve forgotten existed for over two months! Also, lol on the “timeshare and anti-snoring industry.” So, is there *also* a “timeshare for snorers” industry? What happens if I want to buy a timeshare, but my Partner and I are in an inter-snoring relationship? Are certain states more open to hosting those who *do* snore for timeshares than others? Where do I complain when a merchant has been discriminating against the snorers for timeshare purchasing?

    1. And I wonder which ends up being a bigger contributing factor to relationships ending, inter-snoring relationships or differences in timeshare-purchasing preferences?

  12. I’ve had a couple similar to you Ashley, mainly the ‘I love your blog and the way you write. It is insightful…… blah, blah, blah’ without actually mentioning any content so you know they haven’t read anything.
    Luckily it’s filtered out as spam.

  13. I’ve got someone asking me to link to their website. I said I would have a look and I did, somewhat the site doesn’t inspire me to write so. Now they are asking me again. But they didn’t offer anything at their part, so I just keep writing and using my own resources that do inspire me.
    It was a fun read about the weird messages you get!

    1. I get annoyed when sites don’t offer anything at all, because really it means they’re just trying to take advantage of people.

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