Content Marketing and Plagiarism

Written by Nick Stamoulis

Content Torn Paper ConceptYou could be guilty of plagiarism and not even know it. Maybe you “borrowed” a sentence or two from a research book for an English paper back in college. Maybe you didn’t give full credit to your coworker for their idea that you ran with. Maybe you were more inspired by the exact wording than the general topic when creating online content for your website.

Just like in college, getting caught plagiarizing comes with serious consequences. Your reputation, your website’s trust factor and eventually your business can be adversely affected if you get caught copy-pasting. Read on to find out more information about what copyright law is and how to avoid getting in trouble by creating 100% unique content.

What Copyright Law Is

Did you know that once you write something, you automatically own the copyright? You don’t need to do anything extra or file anything with the United States Copyright Office (although that can help!) Once you write the content, you own the copyright, plain and simple. How would you feel if someone were to take your content and pass it off as your own?

Copyright law is fairly complex, but the basic idea is that you should never, under any circumstance, take someone else’s work. In fact, violating copyright law is a serious offense that can have legal repercussions. Contact a copyright lawyer or the United States Copyright office for more information. The main thing to remember is that it is never okay to take someone’s content and pass it off as your own.

It’s Okay to Be Inspired

There is nothing wrong with being inspired by a well-written blog post or article. You can even use it as your starting point and write a response post. Just make sure that you cite and link back directly to that blog and its author. You might even create an amicable relationship with that author, where they write a post in response to one of yours. This is a great way to boost your website’s link building efforts. Just make sure that you properly cite the original article so that you don’t run into trouble, and that your inspired article is completely unique in its own way.

Always Create Unique Content

Gavel at the keyboardPart of a good content marketing strategy is the continual creation and push of new content. If you find that you are stressing to write three blogs, two articles and find a dozen blogs to comment on every day, your content is going to suffer. “Borrowing” content is a very tempting solution when deadlines are hanging over your head. You think, “The Internet is a big place. Who is going to notice if these few lines sound the same?” Maybe no one will notice. But then again, maybe they will. Now you have a maelstrom of issues to deal with where the outcome is seldom good.

Plagiarism Has Repercussions

Not only does plagiarism do disservice to your credibility as an author, depending on how much trouble it causes for the website, you could lose your job. If your company loses a client because of your plagiarism, don’t expect to be sticking around much longer. There are also legal ramifications to consider if you get caught plagiarizing. When it comes to content marketing, the number one rule is that the content MUST be original. You can take a topic, but put a totally different spin on it.

As you can see, violating copyright law can have plenty of repercussions – and not just legal ones. Your best bet is to make sure that you always create unique content. As a full service SEO firm, we do understand how important your content strategy is. We also know that it is vital to have a lot of unique content. That is why we create all of our content from scratch!

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