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Jul
03

Online Copywriters – How To Avoid Copywriting Plagiarism

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It’s not hard to avoid copywriting plagiarism if you follow a few simple rules when writing for your blog or other online text, such as  opt-in pages, sales pages.

Definition: copying, infringement, piracy, theft of someone else’s work and pass them off as one’s own.

Dilemma:

The discussion of copyright infringement and design plagiarism was frequently discussed among designers when I was was involved with the craft and gift industries.

I diligently tried not to copy or plagiarize other designer’s work.  However… the question always came up… “How close can I come without crossing the line?”

After all… how many ways can you draw or design an apple?

Likewise, online copywriters don’t want to cross lines and be accused of copywriting plagiarism.  But… how many ways can you discuss SEO.  SEO particulars are specific?

None Of Us Live In A Vacuum.

Remember… new ideas come by way of evolution…line upon line, precept upon precept. This applies to all design, writing, or other creative endeavors.

An artist or writer may see or read another person work,  and it sparks a thought or a new idea.  It’s a little like the inspiration to build a better mouse trap.  Look how aviation has evolved since the Wright brothers.

So what is one to do?

Online Copywriting Ideas

Other Blogs: You may read someone’s post and you realize you could add to the discussion because they left out information that you feel is important.  You could take that one point and expand upon it.

You may read a post, and realize your experience differs and could write a post coming from a different perspective or point of view.

Other Sales Pages: You can’t copyright format.  You may see a format that you like and want to use it.  You can use the format but, you must change the text.  You have to change the headline and  body content.

Other Opt-in Boxes: The same rule applies as for sales pages  Use the format… but you must change the text.   Make the text your own!

Personal Experiences: Personal everyday experience is an ideal background to draw upon for your online writing.  Use personal stories that your reader can identify with and still put your business concept across. (Comedians use this strategy.)

Common phrases:
Common phrases don’t fall under copyright restrictions.  Who else wants to….(way over used in my opinion.) Remember when…Can you imagine…Little by little.   Look to see how others use common phrases and use the same phrases but with a little twist of your own.

Develop Your Own Style:

Artists and writers must come up with their own style.  We may be drawing or writing about the same subject… but the outcome must emulate our own style or flare.  Perhaps your style is formal.  Maybe your style is casual.  If you develop your own style, and add your own personality to your online copywriting, you will be less likely to be accused of plagiarism… especially for common subject matter.

The more you write, the quicker you will develop your own flair.

How Do You Handle Common Subjects?

When you are writing about common subjects, like SEO, that have particular specifics…change the writing format and style.  Change sentence structure and make the descriptions your own.

What To Avoid:

Avoid your “copy and paste” function to pirate someone else’s exact words and claim they are yours.

Detecting plagiarism is not difficult when you read an article that you know for a fact has been copied word for word and the original author has not been credited.

Avoid taking little snippets of text from someone else and adding them to your blog posts or articles.

Here’s my final little tip for avoiding copywriting plagiarism. When in doubt… don’t.

Til Later,

Kathryn Griffiths

P.S.  What about Swipe Files?  Well that’s another online copywriting story and the next blog post.

Technorati Tags: blogs, Copywriting, online copywriting, plagiarism

Categories : Copywriting

Comments

  1. Suzie Cheel says:

    Brilliant Kathy, One other idea I use is when I have been inspired by another blog, that I then write about I always make sure I acknowledge the author

  2. rosie says:

    Thanks Kathy. Tell me your views on proper use of swap files?

  3. Kathryn says:

    My next post is about swipe files.

  4. Angela says:

    If I’m blogging not only do I try to credit the other blogger’s Idea if I do talk about it, I also run my blog through an article checker so that I can be sure that my own content is truly unique. I find it gives me peace of mind to know that I have talked about who the source of the information was, and the fact that I did not accidentally copy someone else’s work.

    I love this post, it makes us stop and think about the best approaches to not copy someone’s work.
    Thanks for that 🙂
    Angela