Flogging: A Secret Blog Marketing Insight

Great CEOs know they need help getting the word out. It’s why they frequently hire a Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), have a dedicated marketing department, hire an outside ad agency, PR consultant, or all of the above. It’s also the reason many now consider ghost blogging assistance, now known by the unflattering term of flogging.

The “f” implies Fake for Fake Blogging. In truth, it’s simply ghost blogging – when someone writes a blog for someone else. Ethical? Practical? Smart Marketing? You decide.

My take is that it depends on the situation. If blogging is not a means of personal expression, then it’s either a revenue resource or a marketing tool. As a marketing tool, I can easily argue it requires a marketing mind and potentially paid marketing professionals to help the blog sing (or work to the company’s best advantage).

Ghost writing is an age-old profession that includes great well-known writers as in “as told to” stories, and many never known writers who have successfully maintained their CIA undercover status and are simply happy to cash client checks while remaining anonymous. Other bloggers are those who have adopted their own split personalities to either:
• Have the freedom of a second voice (such as presenting political ideas that may not match an employers)
• Do market research to test if a new voice or concept will resonate with a public.
• Create a second persona as in Men with Pens (written by a woman). The author claims she only got paid when, like George Eliot, she pretended to be a he.

In a recent panel discussion, the moderator asked the question if Flogging was ethical? Since social media is built on authenticity, it was easy to say “no,” but I deferred to reality. “I make a good portion of my living off flogging,” I noted. Hopefully, I’m correctly representing the by-lined voice, and helping them market their bona fide expertise.

If you are considering marketing your firm, a blog may be a great marketing tool. It might be an even stronger marketing tool if it’s included as part of your marketing plan, so you’re clear what voice and goals it needs to adopt and address. And, as with other portions of your marketing plan, it may be best implemented by your internal marketing department or agency. Call them floggers, if you will. I’ll call them your professional marketing team.

Rhona Bronson

Rhona Bronson started down the social media path in 2006 with her blog www.TheParentRap.net and there’s been no turning back. “It opens you up to the world of possibilities,” she notes. She has helped dozens of executives enter into the social media world as part of their marketing growth plans. Her background spans both the B:B and B:C world with experience in publishing, printing, consulting, association, small business and corporate marketing and communications. She came to marketing from the communications side, starting with training in journalism from Syracuse University. With experience in all marketing genres — from Twitter to Transit Advertising — she brings a broad toolkit of skills to any marketing project. Her ability to integrate clear writing with creativity has made her a sought-after expert in developing results-oriented marketing programs for today’s challenging times. Today, she leads the Plaza Consulting Group as its Marketing Strategist specializing in integrating social media into business marketing plans. 


  2 comments for “Flogging: A Secret Blog Marketing Insight

  1. April 4, 2010 at 5:25 pm

    You can read my point of view on this topic in my Bloggers’Bulletin post, “Is Ghost Blogging Fraud?” Simply put, no.

  2. April 4, 2010 at 5:36 pm

    Thanks Jeanette. I went back and re-read your original post. You had it covered. My mistake not to link back to it for a full discussion on the topic. We’re in agreement.

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