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Is This The New Trend? Outsourcing Blogs?

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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Comment balloon 16 commentsC Tann-Starr • January 07 2010 10:47AM

Comments

Thanks for Sharing. I learn a lot from Active Rain blogs. Best Regards,

Posted by Celia Maddox (Solutions Real Estate-The Celtic Connection) almost 11 years ago

Great share.  Gosh you just never know what to expect from day to day. 

Posted by Rosemary Brooks, The Mother & Daughter Realty Team (BMC Real Estate - 209-910-3706) almost 11 years ago

I dont "get" the buy a blog crap... I really feel that our blogs need to sound like us in order to have any true value.... and I have seen the same blog pop up with in a matter of minutes with different people as the "author"  I think that makes everyone look bad.

I will stick with my own mental vomits!

Posted by Robert Rauf (HomeBridge Financial Services (NJ)) almost 11 years ago

If you need to buy a blog "cause all the cool kids are blogging" then you should not have a blog.  The very nature of this type of forum is personal.  Stick to web sites and other static forms of advertising.  Having someone else write for you is like putting someone else's picture on a dating site.  If you ever actually meet the person they won't know you.

Posted by Paddy (Patricia) Pizappi, Real Estate Associate Broker Hudson Valley NY (Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty) almost 11 years ago

Hi C-

You can't be too careful and that's too bad; but just a fact of life.  I am disappointed by all of the non-original content that I see, even here on AR.  I can only imagine that consumers really see the difference as some seem to spend HOURS on these sites.

Since we can all hold a conversation, we should be able to muster the courage (and some time) to write our thoughts down. 

--Sara in San Antonio

Posted by Sara Woolford & Steve Golson, ALHS (iTexas Realty Co.) almost 11 years ago

C,

Participating in cyber space in the blogospheregets harder daily.  I just had a discussion on blogtalkradio this morning about small businesses and how many owners do not have time to write for themselves nor do they have a clue of how to write a blog post.  The small business owners want to be out there so people can see them... this causes a huge problem since the owners don't want to learn but want to participate in the blog process... the guest on the show said, as a business, they interview the owners and can listen as to where the business is coming from and then write for the business....the owner pays for the service until they learn how to do it on their own. 

With mediocre content out there, I think it will make those who are doing their own writing and engaging rise to the top of the field.   

Posted by Carra Riley & Declan Kenyon, Helping people Transition at all ages! (Brokers Guild Cherry Creek Ltd) almost 11 years ago

C-the buy-a-blog gang is kinda queer....Are virtual brakes when you just throw your feet up on your desk, near the computer and yell "WHOAAAA" or what? Oops...for me, the chair fell backwards.

Yes, due diligence on who, and what we sign up to participate/play with. It seems they are out for their own good, more than our own good. Very tricky this web stuff!

Posted by Jane Cross (Homes By Cross serving Charlotte NC Real Estate Needs) almost 11 years ago

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.

There ya go.  That's my opinion, right there in that one sentence.  People who don't want to write need a website, not a blog.

Posted by Lisa Heindel, New Orleans Real Estate Broker (Crescent City Living LLC) almost 11 years ago

C-Tann - AMEN!  I couldn't have said it better, except for maybe Rob.  LOL at his "mental vomits".  Ditto  :)

Posted by Donne Knudsen, CalState Realty Services (Los Angeles & Ventura Counties in CA) almost 11 years ago

I agree with Carra; I think it's a lack of time thing that makes folks buy what they don't have time to write themselves.  Writing does not come easily to everyone; if it ain't easy, it takes longer - - in some areas, it makes sense to out-source what you're not good at or what you don't like to do, but I agree, blogging isn't one of those things!  Even in the business arena, it is a PERSONAL thing.

Posted by TERRY DRISCOLL, REALTOR - Buy or Sell in Any Season! (MAINE HOME REALTY) almost 11 years ago

I believe it is disengenuous and counter productive, the beauty of blogging is that you get to be yourself. We know that people like to do business with people that are like themselves, so knowing this, why would you have someone else write your blog? 

I would rather end up with the people that I enjoy working with me then the ones that would have enjoyed being with the ghost writer LOL

Posted by Scott Leaf Personal Real Estate Corporation, Scott Leaf & Associates Real Estate Team (Keller Williams Elite Realty, Port Coquitlam, BC) almost 11 years ago

As a person in the opinion business, my feeling is that unless the opinions you claim to be yours are ACTUALLY yours, you are placing your entire career in the hands of a stranger.

Nothing is harder to reclaim than a reputation.

Posted by Jesse Skolkin (Independent New York State Certified Real Estate Appraiser) almost 11 years ago

CTS ~ I don't believe you should buy blogs and here is why:  I told Karen the other day it would be like imitating me and it can not be done!  Nobody can be another person when it come to their heart, feelings or opinions.  I don't believe in the fact they can't blog, Brad told me once if I can write an email then I can blog!  I have RE-blogged a post that I thought others may have missed it and it was a good one.  What is going to happen when they get a call on say a short sale and they ask them a question and they really don't know the first thing on Short Sales?  I say don't buy your way into the market in my opinion. It's a fake you and you not being an honest person.

Disclosure: my blogs not as good as many many people just on here but I WROTE THEM AND ITS ME AT THE MOMENT.  I am growing one blog at a time....

OK, off my soap box. 

Posted by June Tassillo, Let me help you with the next phase of your life! (Owner/Broker RE/MAX Elite Realty) almost 11 years ago

June, stay on your soap box. It gives you more virtual height (LOL). I like talking to people and dislike the idea that I am wasting my time befriending someone who isn't my virtual friend. The person I think I want to meet may not be the person that I do meet. that saddens me because if I bring up an old conversation will they even know what I am talking about?

Jesse, very well said, my friend. :-)

Scott, I agree. It is disengenuous and counter productive...

Uh-oh. My three year old is up again. Will be back shortly to chat with the rest of you. Gotta get the Blur Minion back in bed (LOL).

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 11 years ago

There is a company in our area that writes what I call 'SPAM BLOGS" because if you subscribe, they automatically post a blog article on your blog. So if you subscribe to several blogs with the same service, you receive the same article several times over. HATE IT! I think it is impersonal and I "un-subscribe" to those blogs for being so unoriginal!  You don't have to be a genious blogger to blog, you just need original thought and content!

Posted by Teresa K. Nelson (Windermere Real Estate/HLC) almost 11 years ago

Teresa, that would make me really, really crazy.

Terry, I agree with you and Carra, it should not be outsourced. Writing doesn't come easily to some and I think people should consider team blogs if they want content but don't want to write everything themselves. Credit should be given for the work. They should also consider writing with another person and sharing by-lines. Turning a blog into an on-line magazine makes more sense to me if you want to pay people to write for you. People have the right to do what ever they want with their blogs but what they do does have consequences...

What if someone claims they write for you and they don't?

Posted by C Tann-Starr (Tann Starr & Associates, Inc.) almost 11 years ago

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