Okay, so here goes my broken record impression again....
For those of you who've heard this tune before, and actually GET IT, you have my permission to move on to the next post.
I've covered this ground numerous times before. Here's a quick trip down memory lane:
In our on-going efforts towards improving overall posting quality, one of the reoccurring problems we encounter here in the Rain are members posting 'Cut & Paste' content - articles lifted (stolen) from other websites, and regurgitated/dumped onto their blog. For many new members, this act is committed somewhat innocently, out of ignorance and lack of experience. For others, it is a willful, deliberate way to simply game the system, and garner/hoard some cheap points.
Now, I'm not saying that it's wrong for you to quote some outside source material within the context of your blog article, giving rightful credit to your source. But to only write a brief lead-in sentence, and the rest of your post is someone else's intellectual property, doesn't constitute good quality or 'original' content.
There is one surefire way to ensure that you are never accused of plagiarism or infringing on anyone's copyrights: write "only original' content, all the time!" Recognize that good, effective, quality blogging takes time, thought, and commitment. There are no 'quick-fix' shortcuts. Plagiarism is the results of a lazy blogger.
Let me give you some honest advice: If you're not going to invest the time and energy to publish good, quality content on your blog, then don't blog! Seriously, find some other means of marketing yourself.
Call on 'Expireds.' Solicit 'FSBO's.' Put your glamour shot in shopping carts. But whatever else you do, DON'T blog!
While we're dealing with quality content here, let me breach another issue. Blogging, in its purest sense, is an 'engaging' conversation. It's a dialogue between people. It's interactive.
That having been said, "What are you saying in your blog?"
Put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. Go outside the ActiveRain platform, and re-enter as though you were a prospective client searching for information in your particular town or county. If they were to come across your blog, what would they find? Would your articles 'engage' them? Would they invoke a responsive conversation? Does the information you provide through your writing give them practical advice and information? Helpful and knowledgeable counsel?
I'm not attempting to micro-mange your writing here, or force you into some blogging box. Blogging is far too personal, expressive, and creative for that.
One size never fits all in the Blogosphere.
However, many of us come to the blogging table carrying a lot of past marketing baggage. We simply assume what has worked in other mediums will work here as well. Your blog isn't a business card. It's not a newsletter, or a refrigerator magnet.
The goal of your blog is a 'two-sided' conversation. Static websites of the past did ALL the talking. They filled the Internet with cold, lifeless facts and self-promotional overkill. The consumer couldn't ask questions. And even if they could, no one was listening.
Go back through your blog archives. Right now. What do you see?
Does your writing 'engage?' Does 'evoke' a response? Does it stimulate conversation? Are you sharing good, consumer-relevant information?
Or, does it read more like an advertisement? Is it ALL about YOU? Or, are you simply doing ALL the talking?
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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