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The Fake Real Estate Blog – Pay-Per-Article is Just Wrong

First of all, if you’re writing a blog to get to know your clients, potential clients, and your goal is for them to get to know you, then how in the world will that happen if you’re paying writers?  It won’t.  It’s lazy, it’s insincere, it’s writing for google and other search engines and nothing else.

There is a better way to accomplish the same mission and build your team, brokerage, and public image that is much more sincere and probably better for business in the long run- teach your team or set up individual area offices to blog. 

I cannot tell you how much I loathe the idea of would-be bloggers distorting this fantastic opportunity to meet the consumer face to face via written word- think twice before you travel this road. Now, if you’re creating information blogs with neighborhoods, an even more keen idea would be to recruit stay at home moms in that particular neighborhood to write for the local blog.  This approach is not only sincere, it’s ideal, and first hand.

Don’t be fake, consumers see right through you.

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Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network. Before AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation has received the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular offline events. He does not venture into the spotlight often, rather he believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits and develops, so he gives all credit to those he's empowered.

10 Comments

10 Comments

  1. Robert D. Ashby

    December 13, 2007 at 8:33 am

    Excellent point.

    I thought the whole purpose of blogging was for it to be an “extension of one’s self”. I like to blog as if I was talking to a client (or business partner) and I cannot pay anyone to do that for me.

    My feeling is that if a client contacts you about a post, you better know why it is there and be prepared to ellaborate on it. Failure to do so will show you as untrustworthy or a fraud.

  2. Benn Rosales

    December 13, 2007 at 9:13 am

    Right you are Robert- dead on point…

  3. Colorado Mortgage Broker

    December 13, 2007 at 9:14 am

    The content will never be as good, so these blogs won’t produce the results that an original blog would. I wouldn’t say that it’s wrong, however. Most books written by celebrities and politicians are really written by a ghost writer. We have all accepted that as ok in the publishing world (via our purchases), so I don’t see it as any different when it comes to blogging.

  4. Benn Rosales

    December 13, 2007 at 9:20 am

    A ghost writer has input or an outline from the author. A randomly writen post on a blog does not.

    I don’t read a celeb’s book to learn to buy real estate in my hometown. I read an experts, I read trusted names, I read to grow understanding- if youre just writing to write then youre writing for google.

  5. NikNik

    December 13, 2007 at 10:02 am

    Well, obviously blogging isn’t for everyone…and that is what I tell my clients when they start asking about how often and what they should post on.

    I love your local niche neighborbood contributor idea though. If your goal is to infiltrate your farm or niche area, than getting thoughts and opinions from local residents is definitely one way to get the job done. Interviewing local business owners and community volunteers can help too. But if your focus is being the niche expert, you should provide YOUR expertise from time to time. And having a posting plan to incorporate your own industy articles with outsourced ones would keep you well organized and on track.

  6. PeterT

    December 13, 2007 at 10:04 am

    Great post, Ben. I expect that fake blogs will become more of a factor. There is a lot of buzz about blogs now and everyone is looking for the magic bullet that will bring them business. At the same time blogging and promoting your blog is hard work. People always look for shortcuts, and the services will grow until people realize they don’t work. Then it will be on to the next big thing.

    I really like your idea about recruiting stay at home Moms to write about their neighborhood. If done right this could become a neighborhood portal, and add value for both the Realtor and the residents. A big step beyond Google juice.

  7. Robert D. Ashby

    December 13, 2007 at 10:29 am

    NikNik – I agree that blogging is not for everyone. It takes time and to market your blog takes even more. But that doesn’t mean you should “purchase” posts.

    I mean, I subscribe to MMG (Mortgage Market Guide), but if I used what they said all I am doing is being a parrot (not to mention plagiarizing). That does nothing but make me look bad or like everyone else.

    If MMG says I should recommend floating (as they did today) and explains why, that makes me appear intelligent to some, but when asked to ellaborate, I wouldn’t be able to if I do not understand the real reasons why. (BTW, I suggest locking right now, not floating, and I have my reasons).

    So, it goes back to my point (and Benn’s main one). Blogging should be an extension of yourself. It should be as if you were talking with your client or business partner and you should be able to demonstrate your expertise easily when asked to ellaborate on your post.

  8. NikNik

    December 13, 2007 at 12:11 pm

    Robert, I couldn’t agree with you more. Blogging isn’t for everyone, therefore not everyone should be blogging.

    Although, some interested would-be bloggers could use a hand when it comes to content ideas. And not all of us find our voice right off the bat! So I think it’s important to offer suggestions and ideas to build upon.

    I’m not a fan of regurgitated content, unless it’s something you can add value to or important when applied in your industry.

    And yes, the best content comes from your own experience…your prior knowledge (client questions, niche info, your expertise, etc). When you share your experiences with people, it gives them something they can sink their teeth into and relate to….providing greater transparency.

  9. Ben Martin

    December 20, 2007 at 8:59 pm

    Those who employ ghost bloggers miss out on a valuable side benefit of writing a blog: The critical thinking one must do in order to develop a well-crafted post. Over time, this critical thinking makes you a better professional.

  10. Teri Lussier

    June 11, 2008 at 3:26 pm

    I think an informative, well-written ghost blog can teach and enlighten customers- an important and honorable reason for having a blog. Customers get smarter, we all win in the end.

    I’ve seen too many stoopid posts that do nothing but promote an agent. To me, that is a much worse thing than paying for solid content.

    The best thing is to use your own voice, but a ghost writer could definitely help push the industry forward.

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