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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.

Written January 30th, 2012 by | 22 Comments | Filed under: Blog Ethics, Blog Tips, Favourite Blog Tips, Featured Tips , , , ,

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There are 22 Comments so far to “If You Want to be an Expert, then BE the Expert”

  1. Beautifully written and more important beautifully said!
    Number 4 resounded in me in that, many so called gurus will say that you don’t NEED to know a topic to talk about it just by doing a bit of research and getting your keywords done properly ( um, hopefully that made sense.)

    My take on that is, there are those times, when you “become” interested in a topic, you research it and then you talk about “what” you have “learned”, that to me is perfectly acceptable, a great way of sharing and possibly others will want to learn more themselves.!

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    Reply by: BB at 2:17 pm said...

    @Diane ( Blogneta) … “talk about what you have learned”. I like that. Can I share it? ;-)

    That “research” the “gurus” promote by the way means giving licence to steal content from bloggers like you and me without attribution (linking). Some of those “gurus” have even made lucrative careers for themselves by cheating. Well at least they practice what they preach.

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    Reply by: Diane ( Blogneta) at 10:28 pm said...

    @BB, well I would be um humbled ( maybe laughing a lot) if you would want to share my wee bit of wisdom.

    Maybe on a more serious note I feel that people need to know that blogging is and never will be a quick get rich scheme and even those “gurus” had to learn how to do things in a way that would have people listen to them.

    Yes there are a certain amount of shortcuts that one can use that can be useful, but note ( to me) never at the expense of your credibility.

    All the points that you made in this post are of value and I really hope that people will take heed, learn and share.

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    Reply by: BB at 2:30 pm said...

    @Diane ( Blogneta), but seriously I wonder how many really don’t understand what they are doing is wrong. I’m sure there are a lot of naive followers who don’t understand (or heard of) internet literary standards such as ‘link attribution’.

    Then there are the “gurus” who just don’t care. They’re not interested in ethics or teach their flock about link attribution. They do this to give the false impression that we can all make lots of money from blogging so they can sell their ads, courses, ebooks etc. to the ill-informed and innocent.

    They will tell you to ‘fake it till you make it’. Just do a little “research” on Google (or in other words steal content from others without attribution), finesse it a little and pretend that you’re an expert in your chosen niche.

    Incredibly some of these “gurus” have raised themselves to celebrity status and are now book authors and give the appearance of being nice, respectable people. They remind me of rum runners from the prohibition days who transitioned into legit alcoholic beverage corporations. Al Capone would be proud.

    It’s only about the money and they will never change. Adding insult to injury they have even tried to paint me as the bad guy and shut me down for discussing ethical standards. It boggles the mind.

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    Reply by: Diane ( Blogneta) at 7:50 pm said...

    @BB, this is yet another one of those times that we are in total agreement… ^-^

    I know for a fact that for all those who have a glimmer of understanding of what is involved ( and I have to say I have had the pleasure of seeing their blogs, reading their thoughts etc.) there are many more who see the almighty dollar and have been led down the garden path ( full of weeds) where they have been told so many things, that they sit there and get lost or worse they give up.

    Far too many people are being told they can make lots of money blogging, digging into niches, using the almighty keyword and what else..oh ya..SEO - what is wrong with this picture? What is rarely said is… talk to your interests, talk to what you know or want to know and learn how to just be yourself…maybe I am not being fair, but when I do a search on blogging these are the things that people are talking about and that to me is a big mistake!

    I have talked to people who are so smart on different subjects from music to having such conditions as M.S…but they get trapped into the thinking of “internet marketing via blogging” and I find it a crying shame!

    The writer that you have talked about in this post, talks of technical issues and that is important, but without giving a well rounded information, then it becomes misinformation or even disinformation and that can hurt a lot of people.

    I believe there is always going to be the two styles of bloggers, the ones who are their own publishers on whatever topic that drives them and then there will be those bloggers who use the blog as a tool to further them in their ventures.

    I believe like everything in life there is room for both styles, but as you have repeatedly said so many times, you have to have ethics…

    Thanks for letting me air my views…lol, I sure to ramble on don’t I?

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    Reply by: BB at 8:07 pm said...

    @Diane ( Blogneta), I like money too and we can make money and still be ethical at the same time.

    Unfortunately some think they can scam their way into expert status. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t come across a curated post without attribution that I can trace back to my archives.

    Coincidentally these types of bloggers are usually internet marketers. A lot of the so-called “blog tips” bloggers that infiltrated my niche fit into this category. Of course not all marketers are bad but it only takes a few rotten apples to ruin it for everybody.

    By the way, the blogger that I mention here is actually one of the least technical of the bunch. I don’t mean to pick on him but it just so happens it was his blog that inspired me to write this lesson.

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    Reply by: Diane ( Blogneta) at 8:22 pm said...

    @BB, in that case one can hope that the person reads this post and maybe will come in to air their views.

    Regardless the reason, the post is a good one…all I can say

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  2. Bless you for trying to explain the terminlogy to the newbies!

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  3. I will try to return later to complete the rest of the beautiful articles here .. thank you for this site.

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  4. I always like to read the articles in this site but this is my favorite.

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  13. If You Want to be an Expert, then BE the Expert — Something Tech Writers need to be mindful of http://t.co/quemdD9G via @BLOGBloke

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