I’m getting an increased number of blog-related emails, and while some of them are really great, there are also many that are extremely annoying. So here are the lists of the kinds of emails I like getting and the ones I detest.
– The most annoying type of email is the one that says something like the following: “I have done extensive research on a topic (an extremely stupid topic is provided). I’m willing to allow you to publish this post on your blog FREE of charge. In return, I ask that you place the following links on your blog.”
I understand that this is nothing but a clumsy way to place advertisement but it’s annoying nonetheless. One could at least glance at the blog whose author one is pestering with such condescending emails. That would allow one to observe that I hardly struggle to come up with posts and will not really fall over with joy that somebody is offering me a post for free. I guess the suggestion here is that I normally pay people to write my posts. Seriously, the gall is daunting.
– The second most annoying type of email is where people I never even corresponded with before offer me completely unsolicited advice on how I could improve my blog and “attract more allies”, whatever that means. Unsurprisingly, these folks have no blogs of their own, so their advice is not informed by any actual experience on creating great blogs. (I would gladly listen to advice from popular bloggers but, for some reason, they are not writing in.) 🙂
– Another annoying type of email invariably starts with, “Hey Clarissa, what you should do. . .” I always stop writing immediately after that and put the author of such emails on a Spam list. No mentally stable person would start their first communication with a complete stranger by telling them what they should do. And I don’t want to waste my time on weird people.
– And I also hate emails that tell me I’m too aggressive and that supposedly scares readers away. For some reason, people who say that keep coming to the blog like they are glued to it. I guess my aggressiveness does not scare them all that much.
– I especially appreciate emails where people send me links to stories they’d like me to comment on. This is extremely helpful, so thank you, folks!
– I also appreciate emails where people ask me for advice. I have had an opportunity to connect with a variety of young people in several countries who are curious about how the American or Canadian system of higher ed works, who are trying to figure out whether they should go to grad school and how to go about applying, who are conflicted about their choice of a career path, who want to know if certain things they’ve heard about the education system in North America are true. Some people write in a moment of sadness or loneliness and just need for somebody to reach out to them in that difficult moment. I feel like I really can help people here, and it makes me feel good to be able to do that.
– Of course, I also love emails where people tell me nice things about the blog and why it matters to them that I keep writing.
– And it’s great to get emails that ask me for interviews because that makes me feel important. I’ve already been interviewed about the blog in writing, by Skype, and by phone. I have also been asked to appear on a radio show but I had to refuse because that was not a good moment for me.
– Another pleasing type of emails is where people want to use my blog for their academic research. I’ve learned about some truly fascinating research in that way.
I have to say that the number of good, kind, positive emails outweighs the annoying ones by far.
Thank you for writing!