I’m feeling testy and here’s why. I just wasted an hour of my life editing and prepping an article for my website that ended up being unusable. Why, preytell, was it unusable? Well, let me enlighten you.
The article was sent by a PR agency that claims to specialise content creation. On first glance the article sent to me contained valuable information and seemed to be linked to authoritative websites. However, upon a more indepth read, it was clear the article was paid for by a client looking for SEO link juice and the agency representative was evasive about who the author was.
Now, I am approached by digital agencies all the time. However, lately I’ve noticed a trend towards pushing content that is purely designed to boost search engine rankings for a paying client. Often that content comes with a dubious author name and bio. I try really hard to sort out the fake authors from the real ones but lately it’s just been ridonc! I thought my detailed author guidelines might scare off the time-wasters, but no dice. So, I’ve now made the decision to only accept articles from real people with real social profiles and a real passion for content marketing. If they can’t put a credible name to their pieces, then I don’t want to publish them.
My question is, how is it possible to work in the PR or digital marketing space without having a credible social presence?
PR agencies clearly need to lift their game. Content creation is not about SEO and it is not about rehashing stats. It is about answering your potential clients’ questions and addressing the problems that keeps them up late at night! It is about genuinely caring about consumers, not about manipulating bloggers to publish content they aren’t getting paid for (but the agency is).
My opinion is agencies need to either ghost write pieces and let clients take full credit (I acknowledge that not everyone can or should write blog posts),or make darn sure that a real person with credibility in whatever field they are writing about can take ownership and respond to comments.
So, content creators and PR pros, if you have to make up an author and bio in order to get a story out there into the blogosphere, just stop! Stop! I have better things to do with my time than vett content from phantom writers who could care less about my clients or their own.
ps: I thought long and hard about this blog post. It’s been weighing on me for awhile and this experience was just the straw that broke the camel’s back. Regular readers of my blog know that I don’t rant like this usually, but when you’re a solo business owner, time is money and I take it personally when someone wastes my time because that’s time I could have spent with my kids, my husband, my loyal clients and followers, a good book or my business. If you’re a blogger who’s experienced something similar, I invite you to leave a comment below and if you’re someone looking to hire me at some stage, know that I will always put your interests first.