The business of hired bloggers who write on behalf of someone else

    Blogs have become largely the territory of electronic diary writers and a source of sensation. People regularly go online to check on their favorite blogs, possibly using RSS feeds. In the blogs you can find absolutely any information, ranging from recipes for the preparation of the holiday cake, and ending with reports from the battlefield in Iraq.

    But blogging turned into a marketing tool, creating a new direction - custom blogging (in the original - ghost blogging).

    Businessmen and entrepreneurs realized that through blogs you can quickly disseminate information, establish communication with customers and give yourself the best placement in search results.

    But many famous people are faced with a lack of free time for writing blog entries.

    To solve this problem, they hire third-party bloggers who blog for them. An increasing number of writers and web design companies write and publish blog entries on behalf of famous people who either do not write well or do not have free time. Such a blogging business is becoming increasingly popular because customers realize that a good blog provides a high position in search engines.

    “This is the most interesting service for our customers,” said Nancy McCord, owner of McCord Web Design. “They understand the usefulness of blogs, but they don’t have time for blogging.”

    McCord has a team of four freelance writers, and 80% of their work is related to blogging her clients. Nancy has just completed her own research. She followed similar sites of her company, made for 3 independent insurance agents. The only difference was that one of the sites was designed as a blog. As a result, it turned out that this blog generated 25-35% more traffic compared to other sites, apparently due to a better position in search services.

    “Google is the search leader and Google wants fresh content every day,” said Mary Gillen, a web developer at a company in Virginia. This company often uses freelance writers to support a growing list of clients who need a corporate blog.

    Ethical issues

    Using hired bloggers raises ethical issues related to trust between bloggers and readers. That's why hired bloggers say it’s very important that their posts reflect the identity of the client. Otherwise, they risk losing the trust of readers. To avoid such situations, hired bloggers initially give a message to their clients, and only after that publish a post.

    The idea of ​​custom blogging has found many skeptics.

    “In order to have a good blog and benefit from search engines, you really need to be a great blogger,” said Stephen Turcotte, head of SEO. Stephen does not advise his clients to resort to custom blogging.

    The phenomenon of custom blogging raises the question of whether world-famous bloggers act in this way. Such concerns were heightened last year when former congressman and novice blogger Tom DeLay was caught using hired writers.

    Heads of large companies also understand what it means to make a mistake, says Debbie Weil, a blogging consultant in Washington and author of The Corporate Blogging Book.

    Real bloggers

    Vale hosts a site that monitors hundreds of blogs of various company executives, and she has no reason to believe that they resort to the services of hired authors. She says that Bill Marriott, the head of Marriott International, writes the texts for the blog himself, though they go through the hands of the editor. And the head of Sun Microsystems, Jonathan Schwartz (Jonathan Schwartz), Vale calls the best blogger among the CEO, who writes himself, and also a very good language.

    Of course, executives may want and get help writing posts, but they need to be honest with their readers and tell them about this help, Vale said.

    “People expect credibility and transparency,” she says. “If you don’t follow the basic rules of etiquette in the blogosphere, then you will lose.”

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