Thursday, April 10, 2008

One Blogger's Response to Blog Generated Email

I have lately been preoccupied with stuff other than blogging and hadn't visited Food Blog S'cool in a while. I wanted to add another comment regarding Kitchen Wench's post entitled Answering questions from some New Bloggers On The Block, because I'd like to share. I was practically in hysterics over this matter before I came up with this solution. Ever since I put this system in place, I have become rather relaxed and zen about the whole responding to strangers thing. Please feel free to copy or borrow anything you want from this.

1) Get a new email address (I use gmail) especially dedicated to your blog and make this the one you use/publish on your blog - since this is an address that people you don't know will write to, it makes sense that it is separate to you regular email address.

2)Switch on the vacation responder for that email address and keep it switched on for ever.

3) For the vacation response Edit the subject and message.

This is what mine looks like, you may think I am crazy but it keeps me sane:

subject: Thank You for Contacting the 'Becks & Posh' Food Blog

Message: This is an automated message, please read carefully.

My blog, "Becks & Posh", is a labour of love, a non-commercial, non-money-making, non-advertising personal expression of what I chance to discover, love and am eager to share about food, wine, restuarants, recipes, and other (sometimes tenuously) food-related musings in the Bay Area and beyond.

I write my blog in my precious spare time. I have a taxing, full time job which keeps me away from home, my man, food, friends and, of course, my blog for up to 11 hours a day so the amount of time I have to spend writing posts and dealing with all the enquiries it attracts is extremely limited.

Since the popularity of my blog has grown and grown I am receiving more and more emails of enquiry and it is now getting to the stage where I am just unable to cope with responding to every one personally as I have diligently and politely tried to do in the past.

With all due apologies for having to take this step, but for the sake of my own sanity, from hereon in I am simply going to have to be unresponsive to some of the emails I receive, especially solicitations. I will attempt to explain the reasons for this in the following paragraphs. Please read on if you would like to understand why you might not actually hear back from me. This email address will only be checked only sparingly.

Reasons You Might Not Hear Back from me after sending me a mail on subjects which may include but are not limited to the following::

1) I do not advertise your product or anything else for free on my blog.

2) I do not advertise your product or anything else for money on my blog.

3) I do not currently actively promote events/other blogs/tv shows/websites/products/books/etc, etc on my blog. In other words I do not promote by request.

4) I do not swap reciprocal links with other blogs, websites or commercial concerns.

5) I am not interested in any money-making schemes - my blog is non-commercial. It is not currently my intention for my blog to make any money at all.

6) Thank you for your kind offer, but I am a rare food blogger in that I do not currently accept products for review. I am honoured that you should find my blog worthy of such consideration, but please excuse me for taking a pass. Some of the things you tempt me with sound so good, but I have to consider: 'would I spend my own money on that'.? If the answer is yes, then I will, and I'll probably end up buying and writing about your product anyway, as long as it lives up to its promise.

7) If you write to me and ask me a general question which I make the time to reply to, please say thank you. I am not paid to do this, it is a labour of love. If you ask me a question and I reply but you do not bother to thank me for my time, you run the risk of having your email address publicly named and shamed on my blog. I am a human being sitting at the end of this email address, not a machine. Thank you for your understanding.

8) With all due apologies, I have become a little tired of memes and rarely join in with them these days. Thanks for asking me anyway. Unless I find a particularly inspiring or topical meme, I probably won't oblige, though, I hope you understand, after 3+ years of memes, they can get a little tired after a while.

9) I do not have time to help you with your new web2.0 blog promotion website/directory/portal for blogs etc. You may think you are the only person trying to do this, but believe me, several people a day ask me to get involved in such scheme. Sorry - there are just too many of you and I don't have time to look into them all.

10) Want help with food blogging? I'd love to help you - but there are hundreds of other people out there who want help too. So I started a community called 'Food Blog S'cool' where dozens of bloggers come together to help each other out. Please sign up for Food Blog S'cool if you have a food blogging question. Here is the URL:
http://foodblogscool.blogspot.com/

11) Thank you for valuing my opinion, but I cannot afford to be an unpaid consultant for every web2.0 startup/site that asks questions of me.

12)Looking for advice on where to dine in the Bay Area?
Please check out these two posts here:
http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/2007/07/where-and-what-to-eat-in-san-francisco.html
http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/2007/12/san-francisco-visitor-goes-out-to-eat.html

To get a better understanding of what Becks & Posh is about, you can read about all of these things in more detail, with further explanations, on my 'about' page:
http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/2007/01/about-becks-posh.html

thank you for your kind understanding,
and thank you for contacting Becks & Posh

Sam Breach
http://becksposhnosh.blogspot.com/



8 comments:

Casey said...

great post. what I love about blogging, as opposed to my for-pay freelance writing, is that I'm the absolute EMPRESS of my blog --and if sometimes I want to channel the Mad Queen from Alice in Wonderland, by God I can.Yesterday I deleted a reader's comment because it was such a generic, sent-to-100's-of blogs bit: "Hello. I like your blog. It is interesting. So is mine. Please check it out. Here's the URL."
Nope. ain't happening.

ParisBreakfasts said...

BRAVO & Thank you!
I have got to do the GMail thing.
I'm so tired of being mistaken for a Parisien personal shopper..or a macaron baker..

Ellie @ Kitchen Wench said...

Sam, that is EXCELLENT and just the solution that I am in need of! Do you mind if I totally steal this and use it myself? With due credit, of course ;)

Siri said...

this was one great post and thanks sharing with us. setting up the gmail thing u suggested is such a cool idea! Kudos to u.

Siri

Sam said...

Of course - everyone can go ahead and use this as they like. No credit necessary, really. I guess everyone would need to adapt it slightly to match their own particular circumstances. Plus of course - edit the links that go to my blog to your own!

I am very happy as well about you all sending newbies straight here to Food Blog Scool with their blogging questions as well so you don't have feel you have to answer each and everyone of them personally.

Good luck everyone.

Karina said...

This is brilliant. I'm spending way too much time answering e-mails lately; feeling overwhelmed.

Thanks, Sam!

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