OK, I have to chime in on this one, but my thoughts are too long for just a comment. Anyway, that is where my blog subjects most often come from, the online conversation.
Don’t miss Jessica Sulliman’s great blog entry: Pay Per Blog is it Kosher
You’ll find a great thread of opinions and conversation…
My answer to Jessica’s question regarding the use of Ghost Writers for your Active Rain blog;
“So, fellow ActiveRainers, what's the word? Kosher or No Good?”
I say, “No Good”, here’s why…
As Nick from DotLoop commented, “After all, a blog is a ‘web log’, it's your online diary. Would you want someone else writing your own diary?” I agree with this. It’s like saying I think I need a little religion today, “would you mind going to church for me? I don’t have the time.”
Okay, hold on… I’m not an old fuddy duddy, nor a purest, and I realize things change and we do a lot of mashing up these days. But in the spirit of tradition, blog was born out of something different than marketing or advertising. Not that there is anything wrong with either, I love them both. It’s just that ‘blogging’ is neither. Blogging is one voice speaking out, “Here’s what I think about this or that.” Then the conversation ensues or it doesn’t.
Blogging can be a form of marketing in that you’re sharing yourself online; your thoughts, experiences, passion, and points of view, but it is your voice, your conversation, your diary. If your blog develops a following because people find your conversation interesting, then yes this is good marketing. You become an authority or an influencer to your readership when they engage and agree or disagree with you.
If you are using a ghost blogger to create your diary then you are not blogging. If you’re simply pumping content for search engines under the auspices that it’s your voice then you are running a deception and misusing the medium. (I'm not talking about corporate blogs, different animal.)
Anyway, what’s the point? If you’re using other writers, give them credit. You’ll benefit. You’ll be associated with them and their content (which I hope is good) and you both win the Google Juice awards. After all, the reader came to your site for the content. If you can afford to hire a good copywriter to create your marketing and advertising pieces to build your business, you’re smart and ahead of the game. But it’s not blogging.
Social Media is not just blogging, but blogging is certainly part of your Social Media presence. Be real.
S.H. Simmons, author and humorist, relates this anecdote.
(From: What is Marketing)
"If a young man tells his date she's intelligent, looks lovely, and is a great conversationalist, he's saying the right things to the right person and that's marketing. If the young man tells his date how handsome, smart and successful he is -- that's advertising. If someone else tells the young woman how handsome, smart and successful her date is -- that's public relations."
We’re all here on ActiveRain as participants in the expanded reality of the life online. We all hope to benefit somehow by being part of a community that encourages learning, sharing, and experimentation. We all want to master our presence online as best we can to create relationships and business, at least to the point that we optimize opportunity. Many here have done that very well.
I ask you, if I imply that these writings from this my personal blog are mine, from the desk of me and by me, and they are not… How then can I possibly ask, “What’s my return on investment?”
Personally, I won’t take that risk. There are a lot of very smart people on line. I for one won’t under estimate them. If I make a fool of myself in my blog, it’s authentic. If I’m fortunate enough to have a following, they’ll chime in and let me know what they think.
Thanks Jessica, you got me thinking.