No Wonder Ghost Blogging Has a Bad Name

I haven’t written much about ghost blogging lately, though plenty of others have, and I’ve bookmarked their posts here. I didn’t think I had anything new to contribute to the topic.

Anyway, I seem to be doing less blogging and more writing of other kinds for my longstanding ghost-blogging client, so my authority as a confessed ghost blogger might not be as great as it was. I’m not particularly hip to the industry trends, as it were, though I’m well aware of the ongoing controversy.

I had heard that there were people outsourcing the writing of their blogs to workers in India and Malaysia who charged $4/hr. This seems a bit counter to the idea of ghost-anything: no one is likely to think you’re the one writing the posts if the blogger is manifestly sub-literate in English.

Of course, you only care about things like that if the purpose of your blog is to establish your credibility in your field. For most consultants and coaches, it is. But there are other uses for blogs. One is to provide “spider food” for search engines and attract visitors to your website where they will then take usefully income-producing actions.

If the purpose of your blog is to get people to come click on ads, then it hardly matters if the posts are scarcely-coherent clusters of keywords. That’s why “splogging” is so pervasive. It works.

But if you hire some poor slob from Elance to keyword-stuff your own custom splog in order to get money from Google and Amazon, I’d think the last thing you’d want to do is show the thing off to your colleagues, because there’s no possible way it can enhance your credibility.

Yet someone I will not name did just that not an hour ago, posting a link to one such article to a professional group on LinkedIn. Now, there is some actual useful content in that article and the others on the blog. It’s just that very nearly any other possible source of that same information would be more readable and more credible.

In fact, I hope for his sake that no one else on LinkedIn actually reads his article, or if they do, they resist the urge to comment in the group’s discussion section.

But I really, really want to tell this guy to stop being so cheap and hire a blogger who can write. Only not me. I can tell this one is a job I wouldn’t want, even if weren’t already obvious that the blog’s owner wouldn’t pay my rates.

I guess it doesn’t take that many clicks to support paying $4/hr. But what’s it really doing for your business?

8 Things You Didn’t Know About Me

Ta ever so to Shel Holtz for tagging me on this. I have mixed feelings about blog memes anyway, and none of my blogs is really the kind that such a post is appropriate for, since despite encouraging comments, I’m really a columnist, not a blogger. But it’s an interesting sort of challenge to list 8 things about me that pass the test I have for anything that goes online: would I be willing for my mother and my clients to read it?

My mother is not actually online, but many of my family members are, and all of my clients. So what can I reveal that most people don’t know about me but that wouldn’t be likely to lose me a job or horrify my mother? I doubt any of them will be news to close friends and family members, but they might be to people who wandered over here from Shel’s blog or who know me primarily for my Reports from the Asylum on FIR.

  1. I learned to ride a horse at the age of three, shortly after learning to read. You can blame my mother for my precocity in both areas. I’m still reading, but haven’t been on a horse for years, even for a trail ride. The skill stays with you, but the muscles don’t.
  2. I played the Cheshire Cat in a youth theater production of Alice in Wonderland. In some scenes I was replaced by a large plywood grin.
  3. When I was in high school, my ambition was to become a psychologist. Once I got to college, I discovered I didn’t have all that much aptitude/interest, and got sucked into the Classics Vortex instead.
  4. I wrote my first never-published novel during my freshman year in college. (While not doing my psychology homework.) It was about Helen of Troy from her point of view.
  5. There is actual video footage of me in the role of the drunken madam in a production of Plautus’ Cistellaria at the University of Michigan. (I was not originally cast in this role, but the actress had to go into emergency surgery on opening night, and I knew the script because I’d translated it.) And no, I am not going to post it on YouTube.
  6. I own more than 30 hats, but don’t wear most of them because there isn’t room to keep them in my apartment. (And anyway, I don’t need wool hats as much in California as I did in England.)
  7. My partner’s parents hated me at first sight. After almost 13 years, his mother is now reconciled to the fact that I’m not going away, but still appreciates me most from a distance.
  8. I get migraines at least once a month. They have driven me on more than one occasion to pray for menopause, but as I’m only 40, this is somewhat in the nature of Augustine’s “Lord, make me chaste—but not yet.”

I don’t believe I actually know 8 bloggers who haven’t already participated in this little adventure, but I’ll tag Tee Morris, Stefan Didak and Keith Ferrazzi. (Keith, wait ’til you can type, huh?)