Are Ghost Blog Writers for You? How Do You Find the Time to Blog?

By
Real Estate Agent with Sereno Group Real Estate

A lot of great blog posts are inspired by questions that I get. Sometimes they are asked directly to me, and other times. I check VisiStat or SiteMeter to see how people have found my posts. At least one time in 50, it's a question that lands a Googler to my blogsite.

After speaking at Bloggers Connect last month in San Francisco, a LOT of bloggers asked me how I find the time to blog, read other blogs, and respond to comments. I know that this is a huge question for a lot of folks, especially those who are not yet convinced that blogging actually pays off.

It does. It just takes time, like any other form of marketing, like farming with postcards. But with THIS form of marketing, it requires more time than money.

As for me, I like to write, so when I have a topic I'm enthusiastic about, it's easy to write and it's fun to write. True confession: reading some other blogs are not so enjoyable. A lot of bloggers don't know how to write. It's as interesting as listening to a dial tone to slog through some blogs. But many of them, even some of the dull ones, have great information. Many are inspiring with the info they've dug up, the pictures they showcase, or whatever new gizmos are on display. (After attending Connect, I finally ordered a flip camera. I will catch up with the times!)

For some, writing is hard. Maybe it's impossible. Or maybe there's just not enough of a buy-in to actually blog, even through they're hearing from the gurus how important it's going to be for SEO.

Is it important enough to hire a ghost writer?

That's an interesting question. My initial take is "it depends". Will the content be local? Will it be unique? That's one thing. People can get national news on any website, so my thinking is that blogging about stuff than can be found on CNN just doesn't make a lot of sense. But even worse is if the content is not unique.

Last year I had a virtual assistant and someone on her team offered to do some posting of sorts for me on my Realty Times subscription. (It expires this month and I'm not renewing - better, I think, to have the traffic on my own site, though I did make one sale from RT.) Anyway, since I was so busy blogging, I had ignored the RT updates and the virtual assistant's team member was going to take my info and update it for me.

Bad idea.

Know what I got?

I got national news and I got something that was copied onto all their other clients' RT updates. And it didn't just happen once.

We're talking fired. At least that member of the team was history.

Today I had a look at a blog - a gorgeous blog, I might add - for a very high end team which is wading into the pool of blogging. The site looks very professional, but there's a paid blogger with national, non-unique content being posted. I Googled two lines and sure enough, it's on other sites as well.

How will that help SEO for them? I'm assuming that's the goal: improve the SEO, get the traffic, and the traffic turns into leads. But if the content isn't unique, I rather think it's not going to help.

What do you think about ghost writers on a blog? Is it a good way to solve the "time problem"?

(Please NO LINKS or "advertising" in the responses.)

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Groups:
Blogging & SEO
Tags:
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ghost writing
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Rainmaker
55,630
Aloysius Donohue
Ridgewood Real Estate
Keller Williams Realty

Mary,

Obviously, I am no expert but it seems like a bad idea to me.  If you are writing to inform and so that folks can get to know you - why would anyone want to put their name to something written by someone else?  I don't see how your personality could come through this way.  Also, it takes some thought to craft a post interesting enough to get someone to read it while still having some good SEO-friendly attributes. 

I automate and farm out every reptitive task that does not require a lot of thought but I don't think blogging fits into this category.

-Al

August 19, 2008 09:54 PM
Rainer
1,702
Jeff McLaughlin ~ Silicon Valley Realtor
Alain Pinel Realtors ~ Los Gatos Ca

I"m sooo hooked Mary! what a fascinating discussion for realtor SEM junkies. You've created a gigantic monster it appears! I really have to get some work done now...lucky you! jk

So Stanley-Thank god for SPEECH WRITERS....could you image our current President without one?

But on this subject, I strongly beg to differ with your contention above; just because an agent or team doesn't have anywhere near enough time, or inclination for that matter, to blog enough to make it at all worthwhile for clients to read and/or google spiders to grace it with a high PR, etc, doesn't mean a blog platform [vs a static old school 1.0 website] can't ethically and righetously be an effective & preferred communication and marketing tool simultaneously for them...again as long as they're open about whose posting what/where/why....Realtor=love of disclosure right?

And certainly it doesn't mean that agent(s) who seek 'blogging assistance' can't write, communicate, or negotiate effectively; au contraire! I take serious issue with that contention. Rather many of the top negotiators/communicators won't/can't be bloggers themselves precisely because they're too busy negotiating & selling homes!! [my mentor/partner Rick exemplifies this...amaaaazing negotiator...ZERO TIME to blog. Yet he thrives off more leads/biz constantly...hence our team effort-Collaboritive Blog strategy, pro-blogger post supplementation, etc]. These can be mutually beneficial relationships indeed, compared to 'one man band' approach to both blogging and RE in general I might add. Not that I take issue with that approach at all of course....

Anyway, I just think ya'll on the opposite side of the fence on this delicate issue, should really try to see the broader picture and various motivations blogging can bring to different agents. One approach is not necessarily better than the other...just different.

And free time to blog...what's that? Hell my laptop is steaming, and I'm behind with 'work' already 1 day after 'discovering AR'....back to work! There I've said me piece...

The Muse

P.S. Mary-I'm off to read the two blogs you mentioned right now...thanks! lol

August 19, 2008 11:06 PM
Anonymous #70
Anonymous
Anonymous

I love to take an idea, research it, and the write about it. I've been doing it all my life, and even created several small businesses dedicated to the task. My first business at the age of 10 was researching, writing, and typing papers for college students at Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M University at Kingsville). Since I've had 43 years of experience, there's no need for me to copy someone else's work unless I'm quoting it and crediting it, and I even try never to do that if I know it's going to be on the Internet.

August 20, 2008 02:37 AM
Ambassador
294,813
Ray Saenz
Homes for Sale in Aurora, Colorado - Aurora, CO
United Property Brokers, Inc

Mary,
great post, btw, I do not want a ghost blogger, but I need help with my grammar, very difficult sometimes to write blogs, it is not very easy when english is not your first language and what you really want to transmit, many times very hard for me this oohhh well ! :)
Ray Saenz

 

August 25, 2008 03:32 AM
Anonymous #73
Anonymous
guptil


Well said! That certainly proved Canada's stupid foreign policy and the minister shut his wide mouth after hearing all other countries attending the CHOGM. Canada is promoting terrorism to be a close ally to US. This is very wrong and they just want to grab the Tamil votes which are mostly Liberal.

June 28, 2013 04:32 PM
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Rainmaker
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Mary Pope-Handy

CRS, CIPS, ABR, SRES, Silicon Valley
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A discussion on the real estate market and practice, particularly in Silicon Valley, CA.











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