Stuff that occurs to me

All of my 'how to' posts are tagged here. The most popular posts are about blocking and private accounts on Twitter, also the science communication jobs list. None of the science or medical information I might post to this blog should be taken as medical advice (I'm not medically trained).

Think of this blog as a sort of nursery for my half-baked ideas hence 'stuff that occurs to me'.

Contact: @JoBrodie Email: jo DOT brodie AT gmail DOT com

Science in London: The 2018/19 scientific society talks in London blog post

Advertising and guest posts - basically no

Brief summary
No, I'm afraid you may not advertise on this blog nor will I publish your guest post or add a suggested link (unless it is actually relevant). Comments are usually stripped of hyperlinks so you won't get your advertising in that way either :) 

I will likely publish your email here so that anyone else receiving one can find it by Googling, if they're wondering whether an email request is genuine or not.

Like many people with a blog I receive spam requests from people offering me guest posts for publication. We all know that this is merely a ruse to Trojan horse / cuckoo egg an ostensibly decently written post onto someone else's blog with a bunch of links in. These links will point to some company or its products and, since Google is believed to favour sites to which there are more links over those with fewer links pointing to it (this indicates that 'the internet' values the site and wants to alert people to it) it's obviously of benefit to the spammers to get these Trojan posts on other sites. Presumably they are paid by the companies.

If you email me asking me if you can write a guest post on this blog my first reaction is to assume that you're either a spammer or a moron who's not done their homework, sorry about that. The blog is clearly called stuff that occurs to me (not to other people). Having said that it's not impossible that someone will come up with a good idea for a post but then I'd assume you were a moron for not writing it on your own blog, again... sorry about that. At least you'd need to do a reasonable job of convincing me why I should post it instead of you.

My standard response is now going to be "Sure. Guest posts are published here" with a link to this page.

Much more rarely I get requests asking if people can advertise on my site, either by adding a link and some keywords, or possibly with some sort of widget.

One request went something like this:
Them: can we advertise our weight loss product on your website?
Me: what's the evidence for your product?
Them: don't understand the question, can you elaborate?

Table of Contents
1. People who want to publish a guest post
2. People who want to insert a free link on my site
3. People who want to advertise offering payment
4. People who want to survey bloggers

1. People who want to publish a guest post
Here's an email I received from someone who wanted to see if I was interested in posting something. Perhaps my spam trigger is set too high but this sets of warning bells. The proposed content isn't very relevant to my blog (or at least the author has failed to convince me how it relates, but the key nouns sound sufficiently relevant so that I probably wouldn't immediately discount it). There's also not very much information so I'm put in the position of needing to ask for further details, if I wasn't already convinced it was spam. 
Hi Jo 
I'm getting in touch with you because I'm interested in writing an article for your blog. I came across your blog post while writing for a website on the scope of bachelor degree programs. During my research, one of the aspects I've focused on has been industrial design, and I've found that increasingly so that curriculums from the humanities, sciences, and business can be applied to improve the design process.
Please let me know if you'd be interested in an article about this idea. Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
See also, from thebloggess:

16 June 2019 - email from someone at a company which specialises in SEO and link building.

Howdy, editor!

I hope you're having a fantastic week! I really like Would you be interested in publishing an article written by a professional writer on your site? I'd like to know your post policy, and if there a fee to make a submission. I could offer you an article of around 800-1000 words as per your submission guidelines.

I’m willing to submit this content for free and listen to any request you may have.

Thank you and I look forward to hearing your thoughts!


2. People who want to insert a free link on my site
1pm, 25 February 2013, Claire Harding [] ( was registered on 14 January 2013) wrote the following after failing to spot that my post which mentions the word 'bypass' has nothing at all to do with heart disease:
Hi Jo,

My name is Claire and I'm a freelance writer. I was recently involved with curating a complete video guide to heart disease and health[/]heartdisease.html covering some really useful advice as well as some educational video resources.

With research by the CDC showing that 600,000 people die from heart disease in the US alone each year (almost a quarter of total deaths) it’s important to share a message of lifestyle improvement and prevention.

I noticed that you have a great set of resources on your site on a similar theme: [they have confused my use of 'bypass' in this post with coronary bypass, Jo]

My family has been touched by heart disease with my brother lucky enough to be back on his feet after a ‘mild’ attack two years ago and I’d love to see more people get the help and advice they need; as a result I would love it if you could share this resource with your audience.

ps don't worry - you aren't on a mailing list and I won't contact you again if you aren't interested. If you do end up sharing on your site please do let me know as I’m excited about getting these messages out there.

27 August 2013

Hi There,

My name is Aileen and I'm a Community Outreach Specialist at Open Colleges. I'm also a regular visitor of your site and I remember this page of yours: [I wrote about a misleading advert for diabetes that had been criticised by the Advertising Standards Authority, Jo]

I noticed you linked to various sites about  iridology so I'd like to give you a heads up about this page http://www.opencolleges [.] [/] courses/natural-therapies/iridology/ and ask about how I can get it included into the list.  [I did write about iridology, but only to point out that it's utter nonsense and a colossal waste of money, Jo]

I look forward to your feedback! And if you have any questions, I'm all ears. :D

Thank you!

Aileen Pablo

Annie Edison [from palatino, which is a hosting site]

Hi Jo,

My name is Annie and I am a writer and researcher. After graduating in biology and nutrition, I worked in several areas of the health industry before moving into writing upon becoming a mother for the first time.

Last year, my father had a quadruple heart bypass and as you might guess, this led me to research everything I could to understand and help his condition. Recently, I researched and wrote this piece on the connection between hair loss and heart disease and I thought it would be a good fit for your site - [link deliberately mangled]

Would you like to link to this article on your site? I noticed you had an excellent resource section of your website - and I thought my article would be a helpful resource for other people who have had to go through the pain we all went through; especially my father.

If you do not want to put the link on your site, I can write an article on the same subject for you at no cost [I wonder if said article will have a link to the site - Jo]. The Hairlosscenter-dot-org website is a free health resource backed by an ethical health company approved by the FDA.



Ps. I’m looking forward to hearing back from you if you’re interested but I wouldn’t dream of adding you to a mailing list or getting back in touch if you’re not :)

3. People who want to advertise (offering payment)
Hello JoBrodie,

Hope you are doing well. I am seeking out for blogs related to Digital Menu Boards for Restaurants, where we can place an advertisement. Your website seems interesting. The content is informative and catchy. I would like to know whether you shall be interested in placing an advertising.

I will be glad if you share the multiple options for advertising/backlink text links, Guest Posts, banners etc and the advertising rates/quotation, which ever fits you the most. Also, it will be of more help if you can share the url's of any other blogs/websites where I can advertise.

We would appreciate if you can link back to our website which is related to Menu Boards for leading Restaurants etc.

Thanking you in anticipation of prompt & positive revert.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Will 

Date: 25 September 2013 16:27
Subject: RE:
To: Me

Dear Sir or Madam,

I am emailing you regarding the purchasing of a link.

I am keen to gauge your interest in formulating a stronger relationship on behalf of my clients.

My name is Will [redacted] and I work for [redacted] based here in UK. I work on increasing the worldwide SEO visibility, capability and online presence for my clients in England.

I am interested in placing an article on your website containing a link straight to the client’s desired URL, from a keyword of their choice that would be on topic. It would be a small text link contained within the article.

For your part in this arrangement, I would look to pay you for this benefit that you would be extending to the client. Therefore, I would ask you if you would be able to consider pricing options you feel appropriate for hosting a pre-written article, or a link in an already established piece of content in the architecture of your domain.

Obviously I am keen to agree a partnership as soon as possible for this project, so I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

So in summing up : We will pay YOU to host a link in an article on your site for our Client.

Please note that at times, we may have to find a more appropriate client for you to link to so please don’t be disheartened if we do. If this is the case, we will be in touch with an appropriate offer as soon as we can.

Kind Regards,
Will [redacted]
Partnerships Executive

This e-mail communication & any attachments are confidential & for the sole use of the intended recipient(s). Any review, reliance, dissemination, distribution, copying or other use is strictly prohibited & may be illegal.

Any opinions expressed in this communication are personal & are not attributable to [redacted] or any of its associate companies.

The reliability of this method of communication cannot be guaranteed. It can be intercepted, corrupted, delayed, may arrive incomplete, contain viruses or be affected by other interference. We have taken reasonable steps to reduce risks against viruses but cannot accept liability for any damages sustained as a result of this transmission.

If you are not the intended recipient please delete this e-mail & notify the sender immediately by replying to this e-mail.


15 July 2020 (New) 



I am interested in posting on your blog I need to know 5 things in advance before I include your site in my offer:

1. Final and flat best rates per post.
2. Type of links (dofollow or nofollow).
3. Do you add disclosures/sponsored tags or you can avoid this?
4. Apart from regular clients sometimes I have gambling/adult or marijuana-related clients. Do you also allow links from such niches and at what rate?
5. Do you offer an Instagram brand mention? If yes, what is the price for post mention and story?

Payments are sorted in 7+ business days after posting via PayPal unless else is pre-agreed.

If you run other sites in any niche and language feel free to share with the above info.

I receive 3000+ orders monthly from different clients in all niches. The volume of orders does not depend personally on me; you will receive an order for your site in case any client selects your site for their campaign. I hope you can understand.

Looking forward to working with you!


B---- P-----
Founder of Dzhingarov^.^com , TravelTips^r , Cry^toext, BlogF^rWeb, Health^nnotation and Monet^ryLib^ary

4. People who want to survey bloggers

---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Christine
Date: 17 September 2013 04:32
Subject: Survey on Blogger Outreach's Rate of Response
To: (me)

Dear mate,

Before you totally ignore this email or delete it off your inbox, can you please spare me a few minutes into reading it and see if it’s worth further attention from yourself?

In order to improve our customer relationship as well as products, we’re currently rolling out a survey to collect as much feedback as possible on how we can do it better for all of us.

Our long term goal is to achieve a mutually beneficial relationship with our customers as well as discovering new leads by the means of ‘Guest Posting’. I’ll certainly be more than glad to have you on board to join us on our journey of transformation.  Hence, hopefully you could kindly participate in our survey and share your thoughts.

The survey consist a total of 10 questions but it will only take you less than 5 minutes. Simply click on the link HERE [[redacted] ] to participate. If you do not wish to receive further communication from us, please simply reply us with a ‘NO’ in your email.

Once again, I’ll take this opportunity to extend our apologies if you’ve previously feel annoyed at receiving our emails and also a special thanks for taking the time out to participate in our survey or even just to read this.

Best Regards,


  1. I just got a similarly worded email. So similar that I found your blog while running a google search on the first sentence.

  2. Haha, spammer Toko emas says:

    "So similar that I found your blog while running a google search on the first sentence p3lu4ng us4ha kec1l 5amping4n" (I've replaced the text with numbers as I've no idea what it means).


Comment policy: I enthusiastically welcome corrections and I entertain polite disagreement ;) Because of the nature of this blog it attracts a LOT - 5 a day at the moment - of spam comments (I write about spam practices,misleading marketing and unevidenced quackery) and so I'm more likely to post a pasted version of your comment, removing any hyperlinks.

Comments written in ALL CAPS LOCK will be deleted and I won't publish any pro-homeopathy comments, that ship has sailed I'm afraid (it's nonsense).