Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Who You Gonna Call - Ghostbloggers?

It's amazing to me that there is even a debate as to whether "ghostblogging," the art and science of paying for blog content written by someone else and pretending as if it's your own, is ethical.

It's not. End of debate.

But not these days. With the flood of lawyers searching on Google for "how to make money as a lawyer," and the recent "how to make a lot of money as a lawyer," the notion of "faking it" on your blog, is acceptable to many. Eh, who will find out anyway?

The argument that lawyers want to "educate the public" about their practice, and "don't' have time to blog, is a total bunch of crap. If a lawyer wants to educate the public about their practice, that's the purpose of a website. If a lawyer doesn't have time to blog, the best way to resolve that, is not to blog. A blog is a collection of thoughts tied into news. Not to today's lawyers it isn't. To today's money hungry shill parading as a "lawyer," a blog is a way to get good placement on Google, and therefore not having time to write just means paying someone else to write.

Ghostblogging is fraud. Fraud is only accomplished when someone in the loop isn't aware that it's a fraud. This is why the ghostblogging frauds want people like me and others, and others, to shut up about it. This is why there is a defense being mounted for these fraudsters that people calling them out are just being mean. See fraudsters rely not only on the fact that people won't realize it's fraud, they also rely on the hope that no one will call a spade a spade. These people want to lie in private. They want to be left alone.

I understand. Blogging is time consuming, and who wants to take the time to write their thoughts when they can buy a blog. Blogging is not for expression of thought, it's for profit. He'll, even the king of blogging for profit glosses over why he really left the practice of law. Honesty is an afterthought. Who cares, right? It's all in the name of getting clients, and in a world of lawyers who thought they were entitled to a BigLaw job but are now just practicing out of their living rooms and trunks, getting clients trumps ethics.

The new blogger community just wants to pretend, and they'd like you to call them and hire them. So call them, hire them. Maybe part of their practice isn't based on fraud, even if the reason you are in their office is because the lie worked. Even if you'll never ask the lawyer if they actually wrote the content on their blog, because the fee is reasonable, and it's all about hearing what you want to hear, even if it's all a lie.

Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. Read his free ebook The Truth About Hiring A Criminal Defense Lawyer. Please visit www.tannebaumweiss.com



Dave Lorenzo said...

I agree with you 100% on ghost blogging. If you can’t do it yourself, you shouldn’t have a blog.
Just keep in mind that working a key word or two into your totally legitimate blog posts will help you with search engine ranking.
In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with being smart about how you are writing your articles. As long as you are the one writing them.
There is no better Internet-based business development tool for a lawyer than a well written blog updated regularly!

David Fuller said...

I spent the last 4 weekends completely rebuilding and rewriting my website. I get ghost blogging offers weekly, but I spam filter them out. I'm proud that I write my content. When my clients go to my website, for better or for worse, they see how I think and how I articulate the law. Also, as someone who missed both the AFC and NFC playoffs to write content, I resent the hacks out there who can't be bothered to write 300-500 words on their own.