As a content marketer and writer, creating original, unique (and occasionally fun) content lies at the heart of my mission. Just as no two clients are alike, no two clients’ websites, e-newsletters or blogs are alike, either. So let’s turn back time to revisit English 101…surprisingly, it overlaps quite a bit with content marketing 101. Especially when it comes to plagiarizing.
No Shades Of Gray
Plagiarizing is copying or reusing another publication or person’s text, content or writing as your own. With the rise of the internet, users increasingly copy + paste text and claim it as theirs with zero citation, attribution or recognition of the original content creator. This is a content cardinal sin. Similar structure, themes or concepts, as well as “rewritten” paragraphs, can be considered plagiarism, too.
Now, whereas in school plagiarism resulted in a flunking grade, a call home to your parents, or even suspension in the internet world, copied text could, at best, result in a major drop in SEO (while the worst could leave you stuck in a messy lawsuit). Whether content is copied from another page on your site (internally) or from another page on another site (externally), these redundancies can heavily affect your rankings. (Moz’s Rand Fishkin goes more into those subtleties about unique content here, and we think it’s worth the read.)
All SEO and English-class references aside, copied content = boring content = less click-throughs = less engagement = potentially fewer online customers. Fortunately, we have a fix for that.
How To Avoid Plagiarizing
Let’s be real here. A huge percentage of the internet today consists of crappy, duplicate content. Facebook’s viral posts of cute puppy videos, freakishly large animals that wash up on West Coast beaches or 25 Smells You Remember from the 90s (yes, really) aren’t making us any smarter—or realistically selling us anything.
Here are three ways to avoid plagiarism and promote great content at the same time:
- Attribute where necessary & cite your sources.
- Take TIME to do your research and gather the sources you want to use. Don’t try to write a new article while you have a similar article in front of you.
- Create something original with a fresh take in your own (or your company’s) voice. Your customers—and the internet world—will thank you.
If you’re looking to spruce up your website with great content, look no further. At The Found Gen, we specialize in creating top-notch content that’s sure to woo your audience.