SOMEONE BLOGGING FOR YOU. ISN'T THAT CHEATING?

By
Real Estate Agent with Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC SP98364271

I was just blogging on here when I saw one of the Active Rain Sponsors ads on this site. It says

"Be More Productive". Bring the blog. You're paid to sell,not to blog. We blog for you $399/yr.

Of course,we all blog on here to share information/knowledge,gain knowledge from the brilliant real estate professionals on this site,get good leads,referrals and hopefully turn our leads and referrals into closing. But if you pay someone to blog for you,isn't that cheating? I just want to get your opinion on this because I can be wrong. Maybe I am missing something here or not seeing something. But I just want to know what you all think about that. And if it is not cheating,do you think paying $399 is too much or too little? Please let me know what you think about this.

 Looking for a Washington DC Real Estate Agent that will help you buy or sell your next house or want a "Free Real Estate Market Report" in your area of choice? Check out my website Houses for sale in Washington,DC. I can also be reached at Lanre Folayan "Buy Washington DC Real Estate" (EXIT PREMIER REALTY ... or Twitter Twitter: DCHomesforsalehttp://twitter.com/DCHomesforsale. Please give me a call at 202-378-0283 (Direct) or 301-560-6700 x1154 (Office) at your earliest convenience. Thank you very much. Looking forward to helping you make your home purchase or sale a stress free and very happy one. Have a great day.  "Buy a home in Washington DC"

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Rainmaker
298,991
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Ok, First of all I have said this several times....I do not believe anyone should write your blog but you....I think if you want a ghost writer, then get a newsletter....or an e-mail letter...the template ones that all say the same thing.  Why in the world do I want the same material that you have?????? 

I strongly disagree with what Dan G. says....As a Broker I want all my agents Blogging....I also want them all on the Internet more.....and I want them all to project themselves in their work, not be phoney by having someone else write their material.  This has been debated here.....and I will NEVER think it is OK to pay someone even $1 to write my Blog for me......and I feel betrayed if Dan is not Dan.....Sally is not Sally....and TLW is not TLW........I want to know who I read is really that person.  And as a consumer I want to know that the person behind the Blog IS that person!!!!

Jan 17, 2008 12:14 PM #34
Rainer
2,938
Dan Green
Cincinnati, OH

@ Joseph Grabowski:

I visited your Web site and I see that you have pages and pages of content that you didn't write yourself, including the ubiquitous "Free Reports for Home Buyers" and "Free Reports for Home Sellers".  I also noticed that you never attribute the original author of that content.

If you knew me better, you'd know I am not saying any of this with malice or meanness.  I'm just pointing out that you are condemning Bring the Blog and its members at the same time that you are engaging in the same type of behavior yourself.

And BELIEVE ME -- it's completely okay with me that you're doing it.  Writing your own Web site is a waste of time when there's so much good stuff already out there.  That's why everybody does it.  It's only because blogs are looked at like something IDEAL that people seem to have issues with blog-for-you services.

Blogs are nothing special.  They're a MARKETING CHANNEL for your business.

So, the same way that you and other agents use canned content on your Web site, some people are choosing to do it on their blog (which -- after all -- is just a Web site).

For fun, I ran a quick Google search for "Free Reports for Home Buyers" and it turned up 3,620 entries.  You're not alone.

@Kathy McGraw

I like to hear that, but remember that you are NOT a consumer.  You are a broker.  All that your consumer wants is good information that they can apply to their home purchase or remortgage.  That's it. 

I know this because it was part of my market research.

 

Jan 17, 2008 12:19 PM #35
Rainer
19,093
Joseph Grabowski
Keller Williams Preferred Real Estate - Yardley, PA
REALTOR - 4saleinbucks.com

I agree with you Kathy. Agents who pay someone to blog for them are phonies. And so are the people writing the blogs.

 

Dan,

The "free report" things are a basic setup used by many, but we DONT sign our name at the bottom of them or pretend to deceive consumers by putting a photo of ourselves on it, but allow someone else to write the content.

 

Jan 17, 2008 12:24 PM #36
Rainer
2,938
Dan Green
Cincinnati, OH

@Joseph Grabowski: There's no need to resort to calling people names.  That's against the spirit here, isn't it?

Like I said, you don't know me well and the comment section is a bad place to make someone's acquaintance.  I think you thought I was being mean, or rude, or something else.  That's not me at all.  There's plenty of people that you can ask about that.  I'll just assume you didn't know...?

Anyway, I wasn't indicting you.  I was just making the point that a blog is a just a Web site and too many of us spend too many hours for too little return.  Look, it's 9:30 P.M. in Yardley right now and you're watching for comments on a thread that has nothing to do with your business.  Instead, use this time to write something for your clients, or spend time with people that are important to you.

Blogging can rule your life if you don't exercise some control over it.

Speaking of -- I'm off to bed.  Hope nobody else calls me names before the sun comes up tomorrow.  :-)

Jan 17, 2008 12:31 PM #37
Rainmaker
311,669
Brian Brady
San Diego VA Home Loans/858-777-9751 - San Diego, CA
858-777-9751

I agree with you Kathy. Agents who pay someone to blog for them are phonies. And so are the people writing the blogs.

Where should I start?

Gregg Neumann?  Maxine Gellens?  They're phonies?  I've met them ,Sir and I can assure you that while they may use a ghost-blogging service, they are not phonies.  No 8 figure real estate producer (even in a bad market) is a "phony"; they are very much for real

Barbara Corcoran write on Active Rain for a while; we found out that she wasn't really writing her articles here because she wasn't responding to comments.  By your logic, Sir, is Barbara Corcoran a phony? 

Furthermore, I'm appalled that you would harshly criticize a sponsor of this community (especially without knowing what they really do).   bring the Blog, among the other fine sponsors, keeps this community free for us.

Thank you, Dan, for keeping Active Rain free.  Without you, Sir, we would all be paying for the right to make imbecilic statements 

 

Jan 17, 2008 12:56 PM #38
Rainer
19,093
Joseph Grabowski
Keller Williams Preferred Real Estate - Yardley, PA
REALTOR - 4saleinbucks.com

Dan, Bring the Blog - "The spirit here"? Cmon now. What is everyone here on activerain have to agree with each other? I know thats what you would like, but people have their own opinions and are free to use their voice. I never called you anything. I simply said people who have other people write blogs for them are phonies and so are the people writing them. Take it how you want to take it. Fully clothed or butt-naked. It is what it is. When someone has their photo, their name, and their signature at the bottom, but someone else writes the content, that is called a fake. That is deceitful to consumers and deceitful to other members in the community. It's funny cause you tell me how to spend my time online, and that I should be spending it somewhere else, but who is pretending to be someone else??? Oh, wait, that's you.

 

Brian Brady - We can't criticize someone here now can we? The people you mentioned above, I have no clue of who they are, and I never heard of them. If you are willing to point them that they have someone write content for them, but they put their photo and their name on it, then they can be considered phonies as well. REGARDLESS OF SALARY. How do you have the balls to say that someone who makes X amount of money cannot be a phony? Brian, are you really Brian, or are you really Dan logged in under Brian's account? That is what we get when we have people falsely advertising themselves. I am appalled that you condone these activities.

 READERS, CONSUMERS, MEMBERS BEWARE - A BUNCH OF THE BLOGS YOU ARE READING ARE WRITTEN BY SOMEONE ELSE AND NOT THE PERSON WHOSE NAME IS ON THE ACCOUNT!

joe

Bucks County Real Estate 

Bucks County MLS Homes Search 

Jan 17, 2008 02:42 PM #39
Rainmaker
59,084
Candy Henthorne
Results Realty - Spring, TX
Spring Texas Real Estate
Lanre - I personally would rather write my own, as bad as they may be.  Kind of like in school, would rather do it myself and get a decent grade then have someone else do it for an A.  Just doesn't mean as much.
Jan 17, 2008 03:20 PM #40
Rainmaker
298,991
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

Well, this got quite heated.....and I see Brian is on here (Hi Brian)....regardless of who says what I still feel it is wrong to pretend that you have written a Blog that someone else did.......isn't that a violation of the Code somewhere .....false advertising? 

If I advertise my name is.......and I am a Broker for.......and this is my Blog.....and this Post is on XXXXXX wouldn't the consumer THINK that I wrote this?  And according to my interpretation of truth in "advertising" that if I put my name there, then I wrote it.......

Now to your comment Dan, you said," All that your consumer wants is good information that they can apply to their home purchase or remortgage.  That's it.  I know this because it was part of my market research."

I disagree that I am only a Broker and not a Consumer....I read the Blogs here, and find out who I want to hire for whatever....and I sure would be ticked if what I see is NOT what I get :) I like to know who I am working with, or spending my time with, and I want to know that Integrity and Honesty are more than just words on their Profile........

Jan 18, 2008 04:55 AM #41
Ambassador
1,090,772
Celeste "SALLY" Cheeseman
Liberty Homes - Mililani, HI
(RA) AHWD CRS ePRO OAHU HAWAII REAL ESTATE

My opinion is my own....  there is no power trip in my mind because what I think no one can change but me...you guys pay to blog...blog and pay or do whatever you like. I like my own style and so do my leads that contact me ....because of me in it.

If you guys think it's fine and dandy ....cool beans. Then respect the rest of us who like REAL.

Hi Lanre!  This has been a continuous topic of discussion and don't know why people think they're going to convince others it's the "way".  It's not MY Way :) And.....to each his own...right?

Jan 18, 2008 07:32 AM #42
Rainmaker
259,533
Melina Tomson
Tomson Burnham, llc Licensed in the State of Oregon - Salem, OR
Principal Broker/Owner, M.S.

I think if someone wants to pay a writer to write blogs for them, that is their choice. The whole point of free speech is choice.  I do think though that a blog is an expectation of something personal.  Most consumers would expect when they read a blog, that it is written by the author. I personally believe that when there is a mass expectation or belief such as that, when you deviate, you need to disclose. I would just write on the bottom of the blog, "blog ghost written by such and such."  That way consumers will be clear that you are not representing that you are the author. 

I would love to have the eloquence of Andrew Lenza's metaphors, Jennifer Bukaty's etherealness, or Lenn's hard core style.  Unfortunately I am not eloquent, ethereal, or hard core.  If I was a consumer reading Andrew Lenza, thinking I was getting an eloquent agent, and Melina Tomson showed up at my door, I'd be disturbed by the obvious difference in communication styles.

Consumers do read our blogs as a gauge of who we are.  I guess if you think otherwise, maybe ask James Frey, the author of A Million Little Pieces about representation and his thoughts on the topic.

Jan 18, 2008 07:53 AM #43
Rainmaker
316,251
James Downing - Metro DC Houses Team REALTORS®, CRS, GRI, ABR,MRP, MilRes
Real Living | At Home - Washington, DC
When Looking to Buy or Sell - Make the Right Move

Well it may not be "cheating" - but as in everything like - it should be disclosed.

At the bottom of the post should read:

 "This was written some staffer.  These may or may not be the words of this agent.  We just make stuff and type it for them.  This isn't actual "Real Estate Advice" because we are not REALTORS, we just type for money."

"Any similarities to other blog posts is of course not accidental - we can't make original stuff up for all our clients!"

- The whole point of BLOGS was that of a person sharing and writing about their own experiances and opinions.  But like everything - we find a lazy way out and pay someone to think and write for us.  Thank God for free enterprise!

 

Jan 19, 2008 04:24 AM #44
Rainmaker
298,991
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate
I see some more interesting comments......and I like the one that said just because someone else believes something it doesn't mean we all will.  Also,,,James and Melina are right on about disclosure.....that would alleviate the issue of a consumer, me, or anyone else reading thinking the Author is whose picture we are looking at, and whose name is on it.
Jan 19, 2008 04:50 AM #45
Rainmaker
210,832
Renae Bolton
Marketing 4 Realtors - Garfield Heights, OH
I'm your Professional Real Estate Marketing VA!

Wow!  What a great (but heated) discussion!!

As a Virtual Assistant, I would like to comment on this topic because it leads to many other "what's ok and what's not" conversations.  As a VA, there are many tasks that we handle for our clients that have the agent's name on it - newsletters, postcards, drip e-mail campaigns, website content and more.  I think the misunderstanding here is that the Rain community is more about making contacts and meeting people you may refer to down the road or use their services later on than blogging outside the community.  Blogging here is not like typical blogging outside of Active Rain.  Most blogs are strictly informative.  Blogs at the Rain tend to be more introspective, advice-oriented, or just plain "hey, let's chat" posts.  And there is absolutely nothing wrong with those types of blogs.  They serve a purpose (as I've quickly come to learn and understand) as do other, strictly informative blogs.

When we write blogs for clients (on WordPress blogs or other similar setups), they have a specific theme or purpose.  Our clients will tell us what they want us to write about, we write it and send it to them for revisions or approval, then we post it.  Unlike what I've found here, though, we actually respond if someone comments.  Or the agent does.  I've found some really great tips on this site, written to the blog owner a question or two, and never received a response.  Probably because they don't monitor their blog like a VA would do, which is unacceptable.  However, the point here is that the blogs we write are done so in close contact with the agent.  They are their ideas that we map out in words.

Now, just as we write the content for your newsletters and send them out with your name and picture on them, and just as we write the content for the drip e-mail campaigns that we place your leads on, which has your name and picture on it, informative blogging is so similar.  When we post to blogs for our clients about a specific topic, it is not a "copy/paste" job.  Each post is written specifically for that client for that topic.  You won't find it anywhere else.  I guess that's the difference between using a VA who will write specific content for you as opposed to using a $400/year service that does not customize the posts but only gives you the same content someone else is using.  Template blogging is not a productive use of your time - or anyone else's for that matter.

Anyway, I hope what I'm trying to say has come across appropriately.  When you are blogging to get to know people, that should most definitely be done on a personal level.  However, when you are blogging as a form of disseminating information - like writing articles and distributing them online - that is a task that can be outsourced.

Rhonda

No, seriously!  ~Renae - Marketing 4 Realtors - http://www.marketing4realtors.biz/

Market 4 Real!

Jan 19, 2008 06:08 AM #46
Rainer
2,025
Sara Norton
Cross Roads Real Estate - Hammond Crossroads, SC

Ain't America great! We can all just throw whatever we think right out there. I will put my hat in the ring for a yes to someone else writing your blogs or even gathering information to blog about from other sources as long as you get permission to republish it. That's why we have to agree before we publish that if it isn't ours original thoughts we have permission to blog on it. There that is my thought on it. I respect your viewpoint and your right to blog for yourself and not to read someone's blog if it isn't there original thoughts. I visited your website will you visit mine?

 Thanks

Sally in Greenwood Sally's House

Jan 19, 2008 06:25 AM #47
Rainmaker
298,991
Kathy McGraw
CELLing Realty - White Water, CA
Riverside County CA Real Estate

This is to Renae....you have some interesting perspectives.  And I do think you presented them well.....doesn't mean I agree, just means you presented them well :)  What I would like to say though is you made mention about people here on AR that did not respond to you......that is a problem with many people.....they just haven't gotten the reciprocal thing downpat yet, maybe they didn't read the rules, maybe they forgot about the post, maybe they have a fake profile, or any other million and one maybes......but I did feel bad that you took the time to ask a question and no-one answered (been there done that) .....

 

Jan 19, 2008 10:09 AM #48
Rainer
76,527
Mary McKnight
Sacrilicious Marketing - Orlando, FL
Ha.  Cheating.  That's funny.  The top agent in the country blogs.  Do you think she blogs herself? Do you think she has that kind of time?  Nope.  Plenty of celebrities maintain blogs through their PR agencies, how is that any different?  Are you disparaging these top tier Realtors for having the wherewithal to pay someone to post for them?  It's all marketing and if you pay someone to design and manage mail pieces for you, you shouldn't have a problem paying someone to manage your blog for you.  There is only so much you can do as a busy Realtor.
Jan 19, 2008 11:48 AM #49
Rainmaker
807,239
Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

Dan Green - Bring the Blog - Again,I am just asking the question. Isn't that cheating? I didn't say it is cheating. I am here asking the brilliant real estate agents here if it is cheating? You right,top producing real estate agents are not spending hours a day in front of a computer blogging. Thank you very much. I will check out your company when I get the chance. Take care.

Mary -I am just asking a question. I didnt say Blogging is cheating,I said isnt it cheating? I am asking a question. You're right. The top agents on here blog. But every agent should blog for themselves with their own content. That's just me.

Kathy - I got some good responses from this blog. More than I even expected. Thanks for your post. Much success to you. Take care.

Sally - I will definitely visit your website. In fact,I am going to visit it many times if it can help improve your ranking on Yahoo,Ask,Google. Thanks for your great comments. Mary,seems like she is a little angry at me.

James - What's going on. Thanks for the e-mail. And I agree with you 100% bro. Take care man. Great post.

Melina- I think if someone wants to pay a writer to write blogs for them, that is their choice- I agree with you to an extent. But what about if the content is not the writer's own content? Great post.

Thanks for everyone responding to my post.

Jan 19, 2008 12:18 PM #50
Rainmaker
259,533
Melina Tomson
Tomson Burnham, llc Licensed in the State of Oregon - Salem, OR
Principal Broker/Owner, M.S.

Lanre,

If the content is not the "ghost writer's" content?  Someone has to originate the content.  Whoever wrote it, has the copyright, and if they want to sell it to an agent for blogging that would be their choice.  Otherwise, if it is not the ghost writer's content then it is plagarism.

Renae,

I disagree that blogs are similar to print materials.  I think it is generally accepted that businesses hire copywriters to write material for them for print and advertising.  I think most people think of a blog as an online journal.  That why it's called a blog and not an article (which could be more acceptably ghost written).  Hiring someone to do a newsletter is an entirely different expectation of writing vs. a blog. I do think there is a different public EXPECTATION.  Blogs are a running commentary that are different in nature than a newsletter, which is not interactive.  Having said that, I don't think it's as bad when they tell you a topic, and then review it prior to publishing. At least they are accepting what is going out there. I do still think you should write at the bottom  "written in collaboration with Renae Bolton."

That is why there was such an uproar over Frey's book because he called it a Memoir when it really was a fictional memoir.

Jan 19, 2008 01:47 PM #51
Ambassador
627,922
Roland Woodworth
Q Realty - Clarksville, TN
Q Realty - Power In Real Estate

WoW...... What a reponse rate.... What else is there to say.........

 HAPPY BLOGGING EVERYONE !!!!

Jan 19, 2008 01:57 PM #52
Rainmaker
807,239
Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan
Keller Williams Select Realtors-Buy a home in Washington DC. Sell a home in Washington DC - Bowie, MD
I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES

Melina -Frey is a great example to use. Sorry it took me a decade to respond. Thanks for your comments.

Roland -Happy Blogging to you too Roland. And sorry it took me a century to respond. Thanks for your comments.

Mar 07, 2008 04:50 PM #53
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Rainmaker
807,239

Lanre-"THE REAL ESTATE FARMER" Folayan

I don't make promises.I deliver results.SOLD HOMES
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