Lisa and Jim's Northern Nevada Real Estate Blog: You Hired Someone To Write Your Website Content-Now What

You Hired Someone To Write Your Website Content-Now What

This happened to me ... we have an article that we wrote about 5 years ago about Homesteading you home in Nevada.  We have blogged it on various sites and it's been published and updated in local publications many time.  When I contacted the agent she was mortified!  Not only was she sorry about the mistake but she was hopping mad because she had paid a pretty price for the "right" to use the article.  They ended up pressing charges against the individual ... who by the way was an ActiveRain member.

Copyright Cartoon from iClipArt.comYou are proud of your new real estate website.  The company who helped build your site sends out an annoucement for you. It's picked up by Google and appears in a Google alert.  Another Realtor® opens the link to see what all the excitement is about.  That's when it happens.  You get an email saying "please remove my content from your website."  You are shocked.

The excuse you use in your reply is "we hired a third party" to write our content, we had no idea.  Unfortunately you aren't the first Realtor® who has used that reason as why the content on your site isn't original and you probably won't be the last.

Besides immediately removing the content from your website to avoid a copyright lawsuit, what recourse do you have against the person you hired to write your content?  It's a question anyone who hires a third party to write their website should be asking. 

Does the contract you are signing state the content will be original?

What are the penalties if it isn't? 

Will they give you a refund of your fee? 

Will they cover attorney fees or a copyright infringement lawsuit?

As excited as you may be with your new site you may want to take the extra step to run your website through Copyscape or another content checker to see if your "original" content pops up somewhere else.  If it does check it out.  The bottom line falls on you.   It's your name and contact information on the website another Realtor® sees.  You will be the one with the attorney letter in your hand and facing the penalities that U.S. Copyright law allows, not the third party you hired.  Think about it before you go live with your new website.

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If you are interested in learning more about the Northern Virginia Real Estate market including Alexandria, Arlington, Fairfax and Prince William Counties give Cindy Jones and CJ Realty Group, Inc a call at 703-346-2213. 

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Comment balloon 7 commentsLisa Wetzel • November 19 2011 09:13PM


Lisa:  In addition to running into the "duplicate content" that can easily occur when you hire someone to write the content for your blog... really, for me, one of the purposes of my writing my blog is for folks to get to know the real me.  Building a relationship here, is key.  How can that happen when what your readers are reading... isn't about the real you?

I guess it might be likened to my placing a "personals" ad... and using Julia Roberts' picture instead of my own.  What's the point ?

Posted by Karen Anne Stone, Fort Worth Real Estate (New Home Hunters of Fort Worth and Tarrant County) almost 8 years ago

Blogging is your voice, allowing someone to be your voice means you will have no voice in discussion,

Posted by Yvonne Burdette-Van Camp, "Home"work, I have the Answers! (To Buy and Sell Real Estate, see me at Southwest Missouri Realty) almost 8 years ago

I've never approved of the "ghost writer" thing.  It's always seemed a little dishonest to me. But I suppose there are many out there who would disagree with me.

Posted by Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker, Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you! (Janisch & Co.) almost 8 years ago

Karen ... You are a Crack Up!

Yvonne ... I agree ... no one has allowed anyone to steal their content that I know of!

Jeanne and Ralph ... I guess some do write for that purpose but not us!  We are out there reaching out to make contacts!  Right?

Posted by Lisa Wetzel, CDPE, SFR (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) almost 8 years ago

Lisa-thanks so much for the reblog and sharing what happed to you.  We have to be diligent these days.

Posted by Cindy Jones, Pentagon, Fort Belvoir & Quantico Real Estate News (Integrity Real Estate Group) almost 8 years ago

They said, Imitation is a form of flattery. Not when it happens to you. I remembered my experience and I was FURIOUS MAD.

Posted by Loreena and Michael Yeo, Real Estate Agents (3:16 team REALTY ~ Locally-owned Prosper TX Real Estate Co.) over 7 years ago


Cindy ... Absolutely my pleasure ... ypu are such a great writer ... I love your blogs!

Loreena ... I agreem it's not fun to have your material stolen!

Posted by Lisa Wetzel, CDPE, SFR (RE/MAX Realty Affiliates) over 7 years ago