I recently got an email from someone who wanted to guest post on this blog. I get about 2-3 emails per week from people like this. People who have no nonprofit experience, but who want the backlink from my site. They generally type in some words from my blog post, to pretend that they’ve read it, and then ask if they can guest post.
In this case, the person writing to me was an online for-profit university, in the guise of a “writer and editor.”
“I am a writer and editor for Bisk Education. I work with entities such as Villanova University’s online Master of Public Administration program. I’d love the opportunity to contribute a post for your site. I have written for About.com, Monster.com and had a post featured on The Huffington Post, among others. I cover a lot of nonprofit topics, so I could create a relevant post that your audience will appreciate. I have a true passion for giving back, so writing about the nonprofit sector is always incredibly rewarding. I could send you links to some of my work if you’d like. I would definitely use our social media to promote the post once it goes up. May I send a couple of relevant topic ideas for your consideration?”
Thanks for contacting me. I see your blog posts for Wild apricot and About.com. And I see links to Bisk Education at the end of your posts there.
Advertisements in the end of blog posts are implicit endorsements.
And your employer, Bisk, apparently rips a lot of people off, including employees. I could not in good conscience give an outgoing link to them. Watch yourself.
I also don’t believe online degrees from for-profit colleges are valued by employers. Since I see that you also blog about HR, did you know that there have been a number of reports about online degrees like Bisks being scams? Obama has even signed a bill protecting veterans from for-profit online university recruiters.
Finally, my policy is that if you don’t have nonprofit experience I don’t need your blog post. But thanks anyway. I hope I have given you something to think about.
Want to guest post? If so, you need to have nonprofit experience. Why? Because generally if you have nonprofit experience, you have standards and morals and useful things to share. Unlike someone who, say, works at a for-profit online education company, like Bisk.
Studies have shown that people who take online classes are going to default on their student loans at exponentially higher rates than the general population. This is perfectly all right with online universities like University of Phoenix because they still get the government money to have these students, and then they just sell the debt to a debt collector. It creates such huge profits for them that they got investments from Goldman Sachs.
Does all of this negative PR hurt online universities? Yep.