As a business writer of original content, I take pride in giving it all I have. I spend a great deal of time researching, paraphrasing, formatting and illustrating articles and blog posts. Then, I apply writing and marketing skills to produce a useful, original article.
Unfortunately, dedication to quality work puts a target on my back for content thieves who feel copyright restrictions don’t apply to them. Many other hard-working writers are also victims of this crime. Stealing content (all or in part) is no different than stealing anything else that someone has worked hard for. In my case, the theft often extends to original content that businesses have paid me to produce. I don’t know why some people feel entitled to take it free of charge and use it for their own benefit.
7 Ways Stealing Content can Ruin your Business
What the culprits apparently fail to understand, is the negative impact that content theft has on their own business.
- All website hosts prohibit illegal activity, including copyright violations. If you’re reported for violating a copyright, they will remove your website.
- The search engines can detect who published the content first and they penalize sites that republish it later. Adding a few sentences or changing things around doesn’t make it yours and the search engines recognize the tactic.
- If the writer reports you to Google or another search engine for plagiarism, you could be pulled from the results entirely.
- It’s very easy to determine if content has been stolen and when people see it on your website, you will look unethical. At best, you will appear to be seriously lacking in creativity and expertise. If you’re writing about something you know little about, you’ll make a fool of yourself.
- Virtually all affiliate programs prohibit illegal activity, including copyright violation. If the writer contacts your affiliates, they could drop your site and take your outstanding commissions.
- If the writer goes public with your theft, you’ll lose all credibility.
- You could end up in court for copyright infringement.
NOTE: Rewording the content doesn’t make it yours. If you’re stealing the entire concept, resources, research and so on you’re still guilty of theft, especially if you don’t credit the source. However, credit doesn’t mean you can do it without permission either.
If you really want to use someone’s content, ask for permission and credit them as they request. If you love the writer, hire her to create original content for you!
A Good Writer Won’t Cost you a Dime
A good employee doesn’t cost you money, they make you money. In this age of digital content, you can’t afford NOT to produce it.
If you don’t have the knowledge, talent or time to produce original website or blog content, investing in a good online writer is bound to be profitable. You can opt to hire a professional writer for content creation, or go all the way with a digital communications/content specialist who will wear a variety of hats, from writing content to social engagement.
The pros of hiring a professional in content creation include:
- A talented writer spends hours researching and writing content that is suitable for your niche.
- Professional online writers have a high level of knowledge about marketing and search engine optimization, and they know how to apply that knowledge to content while still making it readable and interesting.
- Digital content specialists are also talented social marketers who know how to promote your content once it’s written.
- Digital communications professionals will engage website and social media visitors.
- Ideally, your writer will have graphics design skills to professionally illustrate content and make it shareable on social media.
- It’s a perfect job for remote employment. There’s no need to expand office space or buy equipment because digital professionals have a fully equipped home office. That gives you a Canada-wide talent pool to fish from!
All of this converts to sales for your business, which pays for your writer or digital content specialist and leaves a nice profit for you.
Resist the temptation to hire just anyone who says they can blog, and instead invest in an exceptional writer. Otherwise, you’ll probably end up with stolen content or low-quality copycats and spinner articles.
Have you ever dealt with content theft? Have you hired a professional for content creation? Please share your experiences in the comments below.
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Melody McKinnon's formal education is in business management, which she enhanced with more than 60 certifications revolving around business, marketing, health, general sciences and writing. In 25 years of working online, she has owned or managed both educational and ecommerce websites. Her book, 7 Recession Proof Online Businesses to Start From Home, is available on Amazon.
Melody has worked with many businesses & brands in a multitude of capacities. She can often be found on CanadiansInternet.com, CanadianFamily.net and AllNaturalPetCare.com, as well as other quality digital publications. Her content has earned reference links from highly-respected websites, magazines and university textbooks.