Many of you must be wondering what is a ghost blog? A ghost blog is a blog run and managed by an anonymous author(s). A ghost blog can also be a blog written by a company or person on behalf of another company or person. It could also mean that it is a blog dedicated to ghost and so on…
Ghost blogging means that someone else writes a blog for you. It’s like you hire someone who helps you out on a project, but that person gets no credit for it, and is only paid for the services provided by him or her.
But why hire someone else to write a blog on your area of expertise? Does this practice conform to blogging best practices? What are the blogging ethics with regard to ghost blogging? There have been many debates as to whether ghost blogs should be taken seriously or not.
Many bloggers believe that a blog should be written by the owner of the blog, but there are so many people out there who have great ideas to share but don’t have the requisite writing skills to express their ideas. These people can enlist the help of ghost bloggers to write for them.
A blog is a component of social networking, which is based on openness and honesty. So would it be ethical for a blogger to hire a ghost writer or ghost blogger to write a blog? Is it fair that the ghost blogger should go un-credited?
Here are some reasons why it is wrong:
- People reading a blog expect the person listed as the author to be the one writing the post. This expectation is critical, and is a key difference between new and old media (where, this kind of practice eroded the credibility of many marketing tactics);
- As the owner of the blog, the danger of damage to your credibility and reputation if you get found out easily outweighs the benefits you get from hiding the true author;
- For corporate blogs, the CEO doesn’t need to be the face of a company online. If your company has grown and the CEO needs to focus elsewhere, someone else could write, or you could set up a group blog, or the blog posts can be from “staff writers”;
- There are plenty of other social media (and other online) tools out there. If authentic, transparent blogging doesn’t work for you, use a different medium;
- Social media is built on trust. By misleading people about the identity of the author, you stand to lose the trust when the deception is revealed, especially if you’re projected as an “expert” in the area.
A blog is, after all, channel for an individual’s expression. Ghost blogging takes away this identity of a blog If you are interested in building a long term, sustainable image, want to adhere to the blogging best practices and blogging ethics, you would either give credit to the actual author of your blog or refrain from ghost blogging.
Contributed by Pooja Giri