Borrowing Articles for Your Blog? Read Them First!

Services for Real Estate Pros with Marte Cliff Copywriting

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 One of out of date telephonethe most popular sources is The articles are free and you’re welcome to use them as long as you include the writer’s resource box.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owner read this article before posting it, he or she would have recognized that the statements it contained were sadly out of date – and would hopefully have chosen something different to post.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


Re-Blogged 1 time:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Patricia Kennedy 12/04/2016 08:09 PM
Real Estate Sales and Marketing
Real Estate Rookie
Blogs Happen...
Bartender, Make it a Double
Vets serving Vet's real estate needs
website content
blog content
web content advice

Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Spam prevention
Show All Comments
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

Marte, very good point no matter who wrote the post or who  is attributed to the post we get credit for it.

I find in our busy lives, most people have such huge attention deficit issues. The causes are numerous:  we get bombarded with 300-500 junk emails a day... we  have Twitter feeds, Facebook Feed, LinkedIn the list goes on and on.

 We do not listen, watch or read the news, we live in a world of "sound bites .... so it behooves us to read what people write for us.

On a side note hope you are well and had a relaxing Thanksgiving. Endre

Nov 27, 2016 10:40 AM #1
Susan Haughton
Long and Foster REALTORS (703) 470-4545 - Alexandria, VA
Susan & Mindy Team...Honesty. Integrity. Results.

I had never heard of  For anyone using a service for writing articles for their own site, your advice is spot on - always check it for accuracy and relevance.

Nov 27, 2016 11:45 AM #2
Nina Hollander
RE/MAX Executive | Charlotte, NC - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Great reminder, Marte, for people not to simply click and "share." Once it's out there, it's out there and people aren't looking for attribution.... they just see your name attached to the content.

Nov 27, 2016 01:40 PM #3
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Knowing what you are linking to is very important.  I read something recently, referencing another article, where the author had made an assumption of the direction the article was going by the title, but it turned out to be the opposite statement than what the author of the blog was trying to make.

Nov 27, 2016 02:20 PM #4
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

good points ad making sure you have permission and or give credit where credit is due.

Nov 27, 2016 03:23 PM #5
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Marte, point well taken.  You are so right, these posts can bounce around like a grasshopper!

Nov 27, 2016 04:10 PM #6
Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®,CRS,
RE/MAX Professionals. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

My first 1000 blog posts were mostly about my adventures in real estate Marte Cliff. I became a person trying to please others which was a disaster. I am having tech problems where what I post becomes garbled. As soon as I push publish no matter how much I preview my post wwuxx#$  QWES#@!....

Nov 27, 2016 09:06 PM #7
Thomas McCombs
Century 21 HomeStar - Akron, OH

As is usual for you, this post is right on point.

Nov 28, 2016 06:59 PM #8
Diana Dahlberg
1 MONTH REALTY - Kenosha, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Very good advice for anyone tht is using a blogging service or borrowing from someone's message.  Needs to have your own thought, be up to date and credit given where credit it due.

Nov 28, 2016 07:45 PM #9
Lyn Sims
RE/MAX Suburban - Schaumburg, IL
Schaumburg IL Area Real Estate

That's one of the reason that I won't join those services. Even if 1 in 10 do not reflect my views - that is too many. There are too many agents(anyone really) that is too fast 'to click' & share. I see it all of the time on Pinterest. Staging articles being shared only to open into porno sites.

It's always a reflection on you.

P.S. No matter what time in the market it is, there never enough bank bashing!

Nov 29, 2016 04:53 AM #10
Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC
Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC - Rockledge, FL
... a small office, delivering big service!

Good advice. Creating your own will tell the audience "who" you really are and give them a chance to know you.

Nov 29, 2016 07:39 AM #11
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude - Carlsbad

Hi Marte

Hope you had a wonderful holiday, now that we are speeding toward the next one.

I suspect it's true of Ezine Articles and other sites as it is in the general media - reading past the headline may yield contradictions, errors, and a theme that has nothing to do with the title. And one should consider how that article might reflect on your own philosophy, beliefs, and knowledge, as you pointed out so well! I suppose the other consideration is whether the article being shared adds any value for the consumer - it might be better to write your own.


Nov 29, 2016 07:55 AM #12
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

You're just written the best post for many who blog without reading the contributing article.  So important and one of the main reasons I write my own content.  I'd never want to make that big of a mistake!

Dec 01, 2016 05:54 PM #13
Carol Williams
U.S.: I specialize in helping agents who have been in the business 2 years or less create a thriving business. - Wenatchee, WA
"Customized Mentoring & Marketing Services"

I pride myself in writing my own stuff but, as you say, sometimes we get stuck. I might look for ideas elsewhere, but I would never copy something.  I do appreciate the reblog feature on AR, though.  I do read them prior to reblog!  

Dec 02, 2016 02:36 PM #14
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH Real Estate - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

Marte, if you are looking for content on the blog section of your real estate web site, using other people's stuff could work, but on ActiveRain, it really doesn't.  There are several huge brokerage companies that provide pre-written posts, and I'll see a bunch here in the Rain that are identical.  Also, you'll lose your points if someone runs it through one of the plagiarism detection sites - there are lots of free ones now. 

And I like your idea of looking for them to get ideas for posts we write ourselves.

Dec 04, 2016 08:02 PM #15
Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI
Realty National - Carlsbad, CA
Presence, Persistence & Perseverance

Excellent points made with this post, Marte Cliff ! I think many think they can just sneak one by, but to be stigmatized as a plagerist is a title not soon disposed of in the eyes of many including, US! Regarding pre-written posts, No Thanks!

Dec 05, 2016 06:07 AM #16
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
your real estate writer

Sandy Padula and Norm Padula, JD, GRI NMLS#1483386 For some folks, using pre-written posts is the only way to keep adding fresh content to their personal websites/blogs. Of course Active Rain is not the place for that - and no blog is the place for it if you've "stolen" the copy.

Dec 05, 2016 09:19 AM #17
Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi
NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656 - New Lenox, IL
708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience

Your advice is so true, Marte Cliff ... I know we LOs must keep this in mind all the time.  The content of what we share must be correct, timely ... provided within guidelines and regulations.  For so many reasons, I hope readers take your advice to heart ...


Dec 28, 2016 12:29 PM #18
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker and Attorney Licensed in DC, MD, VA,

great advice to all of us - I really enjoy what you write and learn so much!

Dec 28, 2016 08:36 PM #19
Post a Comment
Spam prevention
Show All Comments

What's the reason you're reporting this blog entry?

Are you sure you want to report this blog entry as spam?


Marte Cliff

your real estate writer
Do you have a question about real estate copywriting? Just ask!
Spam prevention