Today’s message is a partial repeat of a blog post I wrote on my website back in 2010, but it’s perhaps even more valid today, as more and more of us recognize the value of adding content to our websites for both SEO and visitor engagement.
You probably know that you can borrow or purchase blog content in many ways. One of the most popular sources is EzineArticles.com. The articles are free and you’re welcome to use them as long as you include the writer’s resource box.
This, by the way, is a good resource for ideas if you prefer to write your own posts. We all have days when we feel stuck, and reading what others have written about can give us a much-needed jump-start.
But back to today’s topic…
The day I wrote this article I had received a goofy email from a service that sends out links to blog posts.
The title for the first post said: “Guiding Your Down the Path to Home Ownership.” That was strange enough – guiding your what down the path?
Then, although the title indicated that the article was about real estate, the introductory sentence was all about investing in jewelry. So, of course I was curious and had to see what this was about.
It turned out that the writer wanted to contrast investments in jewelry with investments in real estate. So far so good – that made some kind of sense. But then the article went on to say that real estate was booming, and that “We all know that the value of property never decreases.”
That was a wild statement to make at any time, but in 2010, when real estate prices across the U.S. had plummeted, it was ridiculous.
Upon further investigation, I found that the article had been written in January of 2008 – about the time that the real estate bubble burst.
Had the blog owner read this article before posting it, he or she would have recognized that the statements it contained were sadly out of date – and would hopefully have chosen something different to post.
Some subjects are “evergreen,” so it’s perfectly safe to post something written ten or twenty years ago. But when the subject is the economy, it isn’t safe.
Like it or not, your blog is a reflection of you. The people who read it will automatically assume that you are in agreement with the content you post. They may even mistakenly judge your competence by the typographical errors, poor grammar, and mis-used words in an article - even with someone else's name at the end. So take the time to choose articles that are well-written.
And… never ever assume that because you paid for content, it is fresh, relevant, and well written.
In this case, the entire article didn’t make sense. It bounced around like a grasshopper, going from one subject to another. It held nothing of value for the reader.
You need to read every article before you post it, not just because you’ll be judged by the quality, but because the writer’s attitude and philosophy may be just the opposite of your own.
I remember a client of mine who had subscribed to a service about short sales before we met. He would send the posts directly to me to edit and sometimes re-write before posting. As time went by, the articles became more and more bitter and even hateful toward the banking industry. Several times I wrote and said "Tom, this doesn't reflect your philosophy. You don't want this article." Eventually he discontinued the service.
It doesn’t matter that you put the author’s resource box at the end. Readers will still associate the article content with you.
You may be trying to increase your site optimization by posting one or more articles each day, but remember that you want to impress human readers, not just search engines.
If you’re subscribed to a service that posts articles automatically, pay attention to what time of day they’re posted, then check them as soon as possible. If you find an article like this one – out of date, poorly written, and making no sense – delete it. It’s better for your reputation to go a day with no blog post than to post something that makes you look incompetent.
P.S. You may know that while I encourage agents to write their own posts, I do have a weekly blog post service for agents who don’t want to write, don’t write well, or don’t have time to put something fresh on their sites each week. Those posts are written “fresh” for each issue – so my customers have no worries about out-of-date information.
Image courtesy of start08 at FreeDigitalPhotos.net