This is the first thing I tell any content writer who is getting started. Copying content seems to be the easy way out.
Who will know – if I sneak a line into an article? How will anyone find out if I copy a few phrases here and there?
Well – you do not have to think much. If you are a new writer who is starting his/her career, you can be assured that it will take your editor just a few minutes to find out that you have copied the content. It takes a few tools to know if the content is copied from anywhere.
Is it possible to find out I have copied content if it is taken from the 3rd page of Google?
Yes, it is! With Copyscape, it takes just a few seconds to detect plagiarism. Your editor will know from where you have copied, how much you have copied and the phrases you have copied. You will also be given a screenshot of the copied content – and of course, you need to explain!
So, if you are copying content – do not think that you can escape! You will be caught and, in many companies, there is ‘Zero Tolerance policy for plagiarized content.
Why Such Strict Rules? What is the harm?
Well, if you are a senior writer, you might laugh at these questions. But in my career, I have come across several writers who ask me this. What is the harm?
Number 1 – Aren’t you being paid to write? Why be dishonest?
Content writers are paid per word basis usually or on an hourly basis. So, you are basically being paid for writing content and NOT for copying content. So, there can be no explanation for copying content. If you are doing it purposely, it simply means you are dishonest – so, the company might not want to use your services further.
Number 2 – It Hurts SEO and Google might penalize the site.
Google hates copied content. So, for whichever site you are using the content, will definitely not gain in any way. The site shall lose its credibility and rankings. When you are being paid to help a website improve its credibility, rankings, and search positions – why would you be hired?
Number 3 – Why Take Credit of Someone’s Hard Work?
How would you feel if someone shares your work as his/her own work or creation? Wouldn’t it hurt your feelings?
When you are copying someone else’s content, you are using their hard work – of course without permission. It is ethically wrong.
I have explained three reasons in short – though there is so much to say about it all.
Plagiarism Is Never Tolerated
Content writing companies and agencies always stress the importance of unique content. I have come across companies, who do not even give content writers a chance to explain how or why they have submitted copied content. Never copy content because you can even lose your job due to copied content.
What if the content becomes copied in error? There are so many websites that are writing the same thing over and over again?
Yes, the internet is full of articles and coincidentally, there are several websites that publish similar kinds of articles and topics. But, the plagiarism tools are very smart. They will not detect plagiarism until you copy it. Remember, if you are copying, you will be found out.
There might be some situations when you are working on technical articles or using certain phrases, where it is impossible to change the terms, you can keep them as they are.
Yes, they will be detected on the plagiarism tool, but that is fine. Your editor will understand and so will search engines.
How Easy is It to Write Unique Content?
No, you don’t have to be puzzled or scared about this all. It is no rocket-science to write unique content and everyone can do it easily. You just need to be careful about a few things.
Tips to Write 100% Unique Content
- Research more than 1 site for writing on a topic. Search at least 3-4 websites.
- Understand the topic thoroughly and never begin writing until you are sure what you will write.
- Never rephrase someone’s introduction. Try to write on your own. Add your own views, opinions or experiences in the introduction. This will make your article different from all other articles available online.
- Take ideas from different articles and blogs but never write exactly as someone else has written.
- Always change the content structure of the article and never leave it like the sample articles.
- Rephrase every line and every sentence. Remember, it is not necessary that you have to use every line written from your reference article. Just take an idea and rephrase it.
- Always change headings and sub-headings.
For example – you are writing an article on ‘Tips to lose weight’ and you come across subheadings like
- Exercise Regularly
- Control your diet
- Drink lots of water
- Have fresh fruits and vegetables
- Cut down sweets and sugar from your diet
Now comes the question – how do you change each of these points? Well – have a look below-
- You need to plan an exercise routine for yourself
- Be careful about what you eat – diet control matters
- Stay hydrated
- Include fresh vegetables and fruits in your diet
- Say NO to sugar and sweets
Wasn’t that easy? Your sub-headings will now be totally different and your article will be unique.
Now, I know many will still ask – how can plagiarism destroy my content writing career?
The sad part is that plagiarised content might be the short-cut way to save your time for a day, two days, a few weeks – but eventually, it will be caught.
Your Personal Loss –
We all love ourselves the most. When you are copying content, you are cheating. You stop learning because you are taking the wrong way. You are using someone’s hard work and at the same time not gaining the experience you need. With dishonestly and cheating, even if you manage to gain 1 year of experience, it will not help you in the long run. You know you have not done the hard work, you have not learned anything – you just copied. You are not growing as a writer. Will you be able to accept that?
You Lose Trust and Credibility
When you copy content and you are caught, your editor or senior will certainly lose trust? Even if you write well and there is no copied content, your intentions and hard work will be under suspicion. Companies treat plagiarism quite seriously and writers who submit copied content are always penalised. You can be assured that you won’t be trusted till a very long time.
You Can Be Fired
If you are caught copying content multiple times, you will be fired. There are several companies that have no tolerance for copied content. Once you are fired, it will definitely affect your CV and your career.
Why take such a risk when writing is always the easiest way out?