Sharing, copying and real estate blogging

I attended a real estate social media class and the speaker said, “Just cut and paste other people’s posts into your own blog. Boom. Blogging in just a few minutes”. What’s wrong with that?

blogging image purchased and used with permission by sacramento appraisal blog - 530

Is cutting and pasting someone’s entire blog content and using it on your own site really sharing? Or is it something else? This is important for the real estate community and really any industry to understand – especially when we hear advice like the speaker gave above. Blogging can be a very powerful tool to help build an online voice for your business, but it’s important to do it the right way. I hope this will be insightful for you, whether you have a real estate blog or you’re considering starting one (go for it). Additionally, I hope this article will help clarify what I mean when encouraging others to share my content (see 5 ways you can share my stuff). When I say, “you can share some of my content”, some people hear “you can copy my posts verbatim”, but that’s definitely not what I mean. Mostly this is just about having good manners online and creating content on your blog that will help grow your business.

What is the difference between copying and sharing real estate articles?

It is copying when…

  1. You cut and paste without giving credit.
  2. There is no link back to the original article.
  3. You didn’t ask permission to share an entire article.
  4. There is no reason why your reader would need to read the author’s website because you included all of the author’s content on your site.

It is sharing when…

  1. You clearly give credit to the author where it is due.
  2. You link back to the original article.
  3. You have permission to share an entire article.
  4. You include a snippet of the article, insert your own thoughts and leave room for your reader to visit the author’s website (just like Doug did last week with one of my graphs). In most cases it is probably okay to share snippets of posts without permission as long as you clearly identify the original author’s words and link back, but be sure to know the author’s sharing policy and realize it’s still a good idea to reach out and ask the author.

The Bottom line: Make it your ambition to respect other people’s original work. If someone took time to create something useful, honor them for it. Don’t just use someone’s content so you can get more traffic on your site or compensate for the lack of time you’re willing to put into developing your own content.

blogging-tipsSome Quick Blogging Tips:

  1. Original: Write original posts. Cutting and pasting is not blogging.
  2. You: People want to get to know you on your blog, so be sure to balance sharing portions of other people’s content with developing your own.
  3. Target Audience: Who are you writing for? Knowing this will help guide what you write about and how frequently you write.
  4. Content: What do you know that will help clients and future clients? Your blog posts can simply answer questions your clients are asking.
  5. Resource: Make it your goal to share helpful information on your blog. Be known for being an incredible resource to clients and the general public. Look in your “sent” email folder for post ideas because chances are you’ve answered questions recently that will make for great blog posts.
  6. Rhythm: Be consistent with your posts, whether you write once or month or even multiple times per week. Readers should know what to expect from you.
  7. Other tips? Comment below.

BLOGGING RESOURCES: If you’re looking for some more advice on real estate blogging or wondering how to get started, check out Quick tips for real estate blogging or How to develop original blog content or 10 ways to be a spammy real estate person online. By the way, I’m speaking about effective real estate blogging at the NorCal Real Estate Expo in two weeks. I’d love to see you there.

NorCal RE Expo Presentation Times

I hope this was helpful.

Thank you for being here. I sincerely appreciate it and I am truly honored when you share my content too (within the confines of my sharing policy of course). Seriously.

Question: Any insight, comments or blogging tips to share?

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  1. says

    This is now one of my favorite posts ever, but you know how I feel about folks stealing / taking content from blogs. 😉 Great work in spreading the proper blog word. And folks, do NOT miss Ryan speaking at NorCal RE Expo (no joke) – there will no better experience in learning more about the appraiser perspective (and tips) and learning proper online blogging behaviors.

    • says

      Thanks Heather. You are too kind. I know you’re also passionate about being social and sharing content in a way that honors the original source. You going to the Expo? I hope so.

  2. says

    I am a big fan of Ryan’s blog. I too have an appraisal blog at I am proud that all of my content is original; but, Ryan’s blog is clearly in another league and I’m so impressed at his ability to deliver great content week after week. Ryan’s blog is my target for success. I know that there are lots of people teaching bloggers to use article spinning robots or hiring article spinners. I consider this to be theft as well.

    • says

      Thanks Gary. I really appreciate your kind words. Thank you so much. Wow. You keep up the great work too. I’m so glad you’re producing original content. There are so few appraisers blogging, so you’re ahead of the curve.

  3. says

    I agree. Now, compare to Z***w and several other 3rd party regurgitators of data….its exactly the same…. taking another professional’s post and reposting it without credit… sure, if you dig, you might find the true source, but if they pulled from an agent’s website, it’s often been already filtered out. I’ve described it as “electronic sign replacement” when you google your own listing and find all the uncredited reposts by both agents and blind services, redirecting the calls away from the listing agent…..I digress.

    • says

      Now that is a relevant topic, Jeff. This seems to be THE topic of discussion right now. I think your description is perfect too. Do your sales get re-posted or just listings?

  4. says

    Awesome post Ryan. Another positive benefit to sharing others content is that when you reach out to that person to get their permission you can possibly get to know them on a more personal level and develop a longer lasting relationship. Who knows where that will take you, huh?

    • says

      Tom, I’m so glad you mentioned that. When we share the right way by honoring another person’s content, it can mean a great deal because it enhances that person’s reach and highlights their quality. I think the same holds true on a smaller scale for even commenting on someone’s blog. The blogger has worked hard to create something original, so it’s an honor when someone leaves a comment. That doesn’t go unnoticed.


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