1) You should have some reason to think your post will be of interest to the specific recipient, e.g. perhaps they regularly post on related topics.
2) The recipient should be on your blogroll. It's rude and unreasonable to ask for recognition from those you aren't prepared to recognize yourself.
3) Relatedly, your inviting email should be specific to the recipient, addressing them (and/or their blog) by name.
Would you agree? Any other suggestions?
I bring this up because I just received an email which violates all three of these basic guidelines. Well, I guess musings on totalitarian "bio-states" could fit into political philosophy, broadly construed, so perhaps I could grant him #1.
But as for the others: the email begins, "Hi, I've read your posts for some months now and I enjoy them. say, I'd be interrested to know what you think about my..." Nowhere is there any indication that the fellow even knows my name or that of my blog.
Granted, that's just speculation. For all I know he might be a loyal reader. But by breaking the guidelines mentioned above, one loses credibility. One's emailed invitation then seems about as enticing as an invitation to MAKE MONEY FAST with penis-enlarging weight-loss pills. And we all know how much those emails are appreciated. So please -- don't do it.
That's not to say all blog invites are bad. Not at all. I've even sent a couple myself before, though always in accordance with the guidelines mentioned above. Most of them still got no reply, which is fair enough -- when asking a favour of strangers, one has no right to expectations.
Though that now raises the question: since I've gone and written a reply (of sorts) anyway, should I respond to the invitation and let the guy know? Or, given the negative tone of this post, would that just be rude?