Is This The New Trend? Outsourcing Blogs?
Tere Rottink ROCKS! She made a comment (#90) on Karen Parson-Fiddler's blog post entitled, "Paying For Blog Articles? Avoid Looking Like A Fool And Get Original Content" that inspired me to write like a crazy woman to get my thoughts out.
Terri said this: "A couple of days ago, I had someone from the Asbestos.com website ask to be a guest writer on my blog post. I of course said yes, and I was flattered. UNTIL, I took my time read what I was going to post for him and Google one paragraph. Several ActiveRain members have that post as original content plus this website is a for profit for an attorney who makes money on lawsuits regarding asbestos and cancer. Thanks, but no Thanks."
I found myself thinking WOW... I am happy writers are taking the time to check on who is asking them to do what and why. I have been getting so many e-mails about attending functions, guest blogging, embedding links on my websites to direct traffic elsewhere, as well as an increase in advertising inquiries for my newsletter (and other baby blogs) that I had to put my virtual brakes on and stop talking to people.
Have I checked up on them all? I don't remember... Sometimes when you are really busy you let things slide. Am I checking on them now? You betcha.
I was talking to Margaret Rome earlier today and casually mentioned I was turning down invitations from someone I didn't know. Did I feel like an idiot when I discovered it was someone famous that I was unfamiliar with but she knew? You betcha. Will I still turn down invites that don't fit the minion schedule? Yeah... because the wee people come first in all things, however, maybe next time I'll put more effort into getting a minion sitter (LOL).
Tere, thank you for reminding me to do due diligence even on the small things. After all, it only takes a moment to pause and check to see what is up with a site and where the people associated with it are coming from.
Search engines can be very useful if we use choose to use them and the writers who pay for original content should expect original content. Pssst... my hint to check (LOL). We can all tweak our posts or not, so being told we have that option is not a benefit for paying someone to write something for you. While it seems like a money saving idea for some I have to ask do outsourcing bloggers save time and/or money, or do they lose their voice and audience because readers find the duplicated item on a larger, higher ranking website? What if your reader doesn't understand you paid for copied content and they think you sole it?
I remember a writer posting that they lost a writing job because when their site was audited by the potential employer their content was discovered on another person's site and that site was credited by Google as being the original source of the work. The writer trying to get the job was accused of plagiarism. By the time the content issue was sorted out, the job belonged to someone else. Are you sure you want to outsource your blog content. BTW, what if the writer you pay a small sum to actually is stealing portions of the content from somewhere else? Hmm? Where does that leave you regarding the potential copyright lawsuit? My dumb opinion may not be as eloquent as some outsourced writers but at least my original content lets me sleep peacefully at night (LOL). ;-)
I am a very quirky person and make my own content every single day (with the exception of a re-blog or two - LOL). It's easy when your content is simply having a daily conversation. When did social media become an outsourcing industry? I thought the whole purpose was primarily to be social... Even Donald Trump will sit down and write something on his own. Even the President tweets. Warren Buffet has been known to answer his own cell phone. Are we really that busy? Seriously?
My most important question is: Are bloggers paying people to write blog posts for them because they have nothing to say or share? When I cut all the other explanations down to size this question keeps rearing its ugly head. I have money constraints, I have time constraints, yet I blog every week to keep in contact with my family, friends and the people who take the time to read me. The public e-mails me daily and I have more digital conversations than face to face meetings and telephone calls combined. I have a lot to talk about so I blog.
I like the idea of outsourcing and delegating technical issues (like coding) but because my blog is important to me and because my virtual friendships are important to me, I would never have another person ghost write here because their words are not my words, their heart is not my heart and their personality is not mine.
Being a blunt person I have to ask a direct set of questions: Is this the new trend? Outsourcing blogs? I am not for or against it because people own their blogs and they can do what ever they want with them. It's a freedom thing. However, my personal preference is for original content and I would be disappointed to discover I thought I was in love with your writing and your mind only to find out it was some Granny in a nursing home doing your rants and a retired Professor making your appear smart when in real life you are really an asshole.
If someone else writes it, why not let them take credit as a guest writer on your team blog? Why not co-credit if you tweak it? Journalists write together all the time and guard their by-lines. Why can't bloggers be honest about it when they do it and be just as jealous of their by-lines? Is this why bloggers are not taken as seriously as other writers? Is it because we think this is okay and don't take maintaining our own blogs as seriously as a journalist does?
I vote for less confusion and more honesty. Just sayin... :-)
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