Create original content – Don’t steal it

Don't be a Grinch - Create original content - Don't steal it

Do: Publish your own original content on your website or blog.
Don’t: “Rewrite” or “curate” other people’s words and publish it as your own.

It’s OK to hire someone to create original content for you as long as it is original (no one else has written this specific information). But it’s not cool if content has been stolen from someone else. I didn’t think people did this, but they do.

Example: I was hired as a freelance editor some time ago by a company that created content for business sites. I was told I would be editing “curated” content created by freelance writers. I was told the writers would rewrite an existing article from the Web using their own words. If they quoted from the original article, they would use direct quotes or paraphrase and attribute this to the original article. The writers were not supposed to plagiarize, and, as editor, it was my job to make sure that they did not.

But they did plagiarize. A lot: Phrases, whole sentences and sometimes without attributing the article as the source. This all became clear when I read the original articles and checked them against the curated ones. This plagiarizing was just wrong. It was also time consuming for me, as an editor, to read and compare the articles, searching for plagiarized words. So, in no time I resigned from that job, citing those reasons.

A better way to create content: Write your own brand-new copy. If you don’t have time, hire someone to interview you or your other experts to write original stories for your blog. If you don’t know what to write about, it’s OK to search other sites for subject ideas. But then you need to create your own angle and do your own reporting and writing. It should not be a copy of another article. It should be your own. Keep it real, and keep it honest. Otherwise, why bother.


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