If You Want to be an Expert, then BE the Expert
I was reading the other day a guest blog tips post on a popular blog who was scolding bloggers for bad blogging practices. She was trying hard to present herself as a blog tips expert in blogging. After reading it I found a few errors and omissions that I felt are important enough to mention.
1. This person scolded bloggers for copying content from other bloggers.
On the face of it that sounds good, but the blog tip she forgot to mention is copying someone else’s idea (not just the exact words) without attribution is wrong.
In fact it’s even worse than blatant copyright infringement because it is more devious. Darren Rowse calls it “writing in a different voice“. Some marketers might it content curation. But the reality is it’s plagiarism.
2. She reprimanded bloggers for not linking to older posts.
True, it is good to cross pollinate within our blog with deep linking, but the blog tip she forgot to mention is something called self-plagiarism.
Self-plagiarism, also known as recycling fraud, occurs when an author reuses their own content without attributing to the older post. This is done all the time and I have read Darren Rowse heavily promote this.
Now that a lot of us are making money blogging and claiming to be pseudo-journalists it’s time to up our game, be transparent and cite our own content (i.e. linking) as well as those from whom we learn.
3. She also mentions replicating posts on other sites.
If you are making guest posts on someone else’s blog to promote yourself, then an important blog tip to remember is please be ethical and do NOT post the same or similar content (i.e. using synonyms or changing the words a little) and re-posting to other sites. That’s also plagiarism. Remember, it’s also the “idea” and not just the words.
4. Generally speaking, she was scolding bloggers for not doing enough research for their articles.
You don’t become an expert just by researching and recycling other people’s work. You become an expert by learning. I spend most of my online time reading and learning, and the least on writing.
5. Google is not the authority for ‘original’ content.
Google is perhaps the ultimate content curator on the web. It is not the authority on “original” content. It does look for duplicate content but it can be fooled with synonyms and changing the words a little. Don’t be one of those unethical bloggers.
REMEMBER: It is ok to summarize or copy someone else’s content so long as you attribute it (i.e. link) to the original source.
The title of this post is “If You Want to be an Expert, then BE the Expert“. Ironically, most of her content I’ve already read elsewhere or written something similar myself. That’s meant to be constructive criticism (blog tip) by the way.
Speaking of deep linking, please click on the links below for more reading.