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Archive for the ‘writing life’ Category

Content Buyers: Please to Read This!

The title of this post sums up the #1 reason why you shouldn’t hire Third World content writers willing to provide original content for $1 an article. While the grammatical errors may not be quite so obvious as the example in the title, a freelance writer who speaks English as a second language will always be at a disadvantage to a native English speaker.

The content on your website should accomplish several objectives: demonstrate your expertise within your niche, create rapport with potential customers, and harmonize with your brand’s image.  The ideal content will blend information and entertainment in a brand-appropriate style. (For example, a financial planning website calls for a more formal style than a party planning website.)

Your blog shouldn’t read like the script for a radio commercial.  Your keyword-optimized articles should flow naturally and not appear keyword stuffed with your keyword just for the sake of keyword search bots finding your keyword. (Yes, I made it sound that way on purpose to illustrate the point.) SEO is important but it’s the human visitors that click the “buy now” button.

“You get what you pay for” is a cliche for a reason. Of course, I’m biased. I’ll admit it.  I’ve written articles for $1–as a sample. Once I demonstrate my expertise and reliability, I expect to be paid accordingly. I don’t have to write for $1 an article any more. I have a steadily growing client base willing to pay a whole lot more. Maybe one of them is your competitor….

 

 

 

 

 

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Why I’m Not Worried About Duplicate Content

A lot of people are going to great lengths to avoid the “duplicate content penalty”.  Those efforts have brought us the (sometimes amusing, always sad) phenomenon of article spinning. Or, as another “original content” provider might put it:

Many persons are traveling a long distance to prevent penalty for duplicate content. Their tries have returned to  us the development of spinning an article.

I’m not competitive (much). And I’m not too concerned about someone “spinning” my articles.The (computerized) Thesaurus tool might say that “development” is a synonym for “phenomenon” but which paragraph would you rather read? The articles I offer here are free to reprint and I don’t worry about a “duplicate content penalty”. Here’s why:

No website will ever duplicate this one for more than 24 hours, because I’m adding fresh content daily. These articles will always appear here first, along with some behind-the-scenes insight into the writing and marketing process. (Or how a crazy old lady’s mind works. You’ve been warned!)

There’s even a lot of confusion about the exact nature of the “duplicate content penalty”. Article banks like EzineArticles.com offer free reprints but their site isn’t deleted for “:duplicate content”. The penalty was instituted to deter content scraping and encourage original content.

If I run a reference site for, say, crochet tutorials, I can link or reprint to other people’s tutorials (properly attributed, with permission). But as a knowledgeable internet marketer, I know I need more than just a collection of copies–even if I have the best and most well-organized collection. What makes my site unique for the human visitor to keep coming back? Original content, added frequently.

How am I supposed to make any money giving away my work? I’m hoping to attract the attention of publishers willing to pay for quality original custom content. It’s a model that’s worked since the early days of the Internet.

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(This article is free to reprint, unedited, with resource box below)

Judy Cox is a freelance writer providing quality original content on a variety of topics. Grab some freebies and read article samples at https://publisherpotpourri.wordpress.com .

Writer vs. Copyscape

Once again I’ve been informed by a client that Copyscape “identified plagiarized material” in an original article I wrote. Since every article I write is 100% original (and I find it difficult to imagine another writer coming up with exactly the same words I would use) I don’t worry much about Copyscape.

Unless, of course, I’m doing an assignment through Freelancer.com. I’m finding that a lot of times I end up working for a third world subcontractor who depends too much on Copyscape and not enough on common sense.

After checking the flagged text, I emailed the client and pointed out that the flagged material was: 1. a direct quote 2. from a recognized expert in the field 3. properly identified and attributed as a quote and 4. therefore NOT “plagiarism”. He emailed me back, saying, ok, he would leave it as is for his client to approve or not.

I’ve had Copyscape flag common phrases (such as “red, white and blue”) before and often it’s easier to rewrite the phrase, especially for a client who speaks English as a second language. To me, it reduces the quality of the article and makes it read awkwardly.

Copyscape and similar tools were designed to improve the quality of online content, just as search algorithms were designed to return relevant results.

. “Quality” may not always be formally “correct” in terms of following Established Rules of Grammar. (Sometimes a sentence fragment is more effective than a proper sentence, and I have been known to deliberately fragment a sentence for effect.)

We just need to remember that the ultimate audience for our content is human.

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(This article is free to reprint as long as it is unedited and resource box below is included)

Judy Cox is a freelance writer specializing in blog posts and articles on a wide variety of topics. Grab some freebies and read article samples at http://publisherpotpourri.worpress.com .