Long story short.
It's not right to pay someone else to develop content and then represent it as original.
I have often marveled at how some consultants seem to be busy as hell yet seemingly possess a superhuman discipline and creativity to pound out decent content.
For some their "secret" is ghostwriters.
A ghostwriter is paid to develop content that is credited to another person. Many blogs and books are written by ghostwriters in a manner to appear as if another actually wrote them.
This is a common practice.
The content war.
Google seeks to provide a valuable user experience (UX). Google's algorithm changes periodically as they improve their UX.
It is reasonable to conclude that regular, updated content with associated clicks is a sign of content value to Google. Furthermore, quality (length of stay and multiple page views by each viewer) coupled with quantity of eyeballs served are important.
I am unaware of any Google algorithm that identifies if content is original or ghostwritten. Google probably does not care as long as it seems users engage it.
The effect is a virtual avalanche of mediocre (at best) content that is not original.
While I would like to believe most readers are victims because they care whether or not they are consuming original content, I doubt few care.
I care and I believe our current and future Clients do as well.
Truth be told.
I have considered using a ghostwriter two or three times since the birth of The Rainmaker Group in 2001.
In fact it recently crossed my mind. Only for a moment. After all, it is a good practice to revisit one's assumptions and practices.
What sparked my consideration was counsel I received from an acquaintance whose website is kicking our website's ass from a traffic perspective.
"Spend $1500 and get yourself ten pieces of content a month."
My head immediately swam as I did the math. That is more than two consistent pieces of content a week. Then I thought... Google will like us more and our rankings will go up and...
Then I thought... That would be living ten big, fat lies per month.
And that exceeds my lie quota.
While well-intended advice, using a ghostwriter goes against who I am and we are as a company.
Artisans do the work.
Ghostwriting is wrong - at least for us.
It is wrong because true artisans do the work. Readers should know where the content they are consuming came from.
True artisans do not take short-cuts. There is beauty in the grind and in the imperfection.
Ghostwriting is wrong for us because consumers of our content expect the unvarnished truth and expertise that can only come from our brains and our experiences.
We will do our best...
We will do our best to develop quality, original content as frequently as possible.
There may be a week or two or three or six between content pieces, but rest-assured, the content you find on our website is ours and ours alone.