In the movie, "Roxanne," Steve Martin plays the part of a small town fire chief who writes a bunch of mushy love letters for one of his fellow firefighters. The recipient of the letters, played by Daryl Hannah, is captivated by the words, but when she finally meets the fireman face-to-face, she quickly realizes the two don't match.
I remember when I first started my career in real estate back in Lawrence, Kansas. I was with a Realty Executives franchise (Realty Executives/Hedges Real Estate) that was owned by a good friend, Bryan Hedges.
Back then, real estate was all about the Agent. People would spend tons of money on marketing their image, their branding, or their team.
One female agent in town was especially popular. She would plaster her picture all over town - shopping carts, billboards, phone books, even the Big Screen at the local movie theatre, just before the feature film was shown.
Funny thing is, when I finally met this popular agent during a weekly home tour, I was completely dumbfounded. While her promotional picture was very striking (for the less politically correct, that would translate to being a 'hottie'), in person she looked nothing like her picture. Either the photographer spent an inordinate amount of time in PhotoShop, or her picture was taken 20 years ago.
Okay, so what's my point? Well, Brian Brady posted an article recently that stirred quite a bit of controversy (why is this not surprising?) concerning the use of ghost writers in blogging. And specifically, should members of ActiveRain receive points or have their articles 'featured' if they don't create the original content themselves?
To read Brian's post, go HERE.
I guess I tend to be somewhat of a purist, but it seems to me that publishing a 'ghost-written' article to your blog defeats the whole purpose of conversational blogging. If the primary reasons behind blogging is to effectively 'engage' your readers in meaningful dialogue, and to convey your unique personality, perspective, and passion, how can this be accomplished when the blog author ISN'T the author?
I suppose, in some instances, I can concede that 'ghost-written' articles can possibly serve a purpose. Perhaps in some industries where the relationship between the business and the consumer is not so intimate. Or maybe, someone just isn't gifted as a writer, but they want the benefits that new, fresh, relevant content can bring to their search ranking.
Still, what will happen when some potential client who has been lurking on your blog, reading your articles, finally takes the next step and commits to meeting with you? Who is going to show up? Will they recognize YOU?
Or will they be dumbfounded?
For further consideration, read two additional articles I've written along the same lines:
"Counterfeit Blogging" - What's in Your Blog?
"Original Content" - Using Your Own Voice in the Rain
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Rich Jacobson is a licensed real estate professional providing knowledgeable empowerment and relentless representation for his clients of residential properties and vacant land throughout all of Kitsap County WA and portions of Pierce, Mason, and Jefferson Counties. You can also find him at KitsapLife.com, SOUNDBITEBLOG and Crabbing in the Hood, or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org