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Your Guide to Avoiding Plagiarism in Your Content Marketing

One of the most important aspects to watch out for in your content marketing is plagiarism. While most of the time marketers don’t seek to deliberately plagiarize material, it is something people find themselves doing without even realizing it, especially when they are linking or doing something. reference to the work of competitors. Whether it’s forgetting to cite the source, neglecting to indicate that a particular sentence or paragraph is a quote, or paraphrasing incorrectly, all of this leads to the same result: plagiarism. In this article, we discuss what plagiarism is, why it’s important to avoid plagiarism in your content marketing, and several ways to avoid accidental plagiarism in your future content.

What is plagiarism?

Plagiarism involves taking material from another source and presenting it as your own.

Before you start discussing how to avoid plagiarism in your content marketing, it’s important to understand what it really is. Angela Harper from Josué Lyons Marketing states that plagiarism is defined as taking “material from a website or publication and presenting it as your own without giving proper credit to the original author.” She goes further by saying that there are three types of plagiarism: accidental plagiarism, paraphrased plagiarism and complete plagiarism.

Accidental plagiarism is exactly what it sounds like, an accident. This most often happens when someone simply forgets to cite a source or author or neglects to put quotes around a quote. This is not intentional, however, even if it is only an oversight, it is still considered plagiarism and can have the same repercussions as the other two types.

Paraphrased plagiarism occurs when the source material is not completely paraphrased. When you paraphrase something, the point is to summarize the idea without using the exact words and structure of the original source. In case of paraphrased plagiarism in your content marketing, some words or phrases may be changed, but the general structure of the sentence or quote remains the same. This type of plagiarism is tricky because it often happens that content marketers feel like they’ve summarized a quote enough, but it’s really not as easy as substituting a word or two and calling it Well. It’s much more complicated than that. Later in this blog post, we discuss ways to make sure you’ve paraphrased the source material correctly.

The last and most egregious type of plagiarism is complete plagiarism. This is when someone else’s source material is directly copied and presented as your own work. The difference between this type of plagiarism and others is essentially its intention – it is done on purpose, knowing full well that the material is being copied. Hopefully, this isn’t a problem that many marketing teams run into, but it’s important to be aware of it and be on the lookout as it can have some pretty serious consequences.

Why is it important to avoid plagiarism?

plagiarism word cloud

Plagiarism can have many negative consequences for your business.

Beyond wanting to be an ethical content marketer who proudly creates their own work, there are plenty of other reasons to avoid plagiarism in your content marketing. According to Harpist, the consequences can include loss of consumer confidence, a destroyed reputation, loss of target audience, penalties in the form of fines or jail time, and even repercussions from Google.

If one of your main goals in content marketing is to build trust and a relationship with your audience (which it should be), the mere idea of ​​losing their trust and destroying your brand image should be devastating. . Once consumers believe your business has created some type of fraud, they are unlikely to become customers again. Plus, since it’s easy to share information on the internet and social media, you run the risk of your misstep going viral and ruining your reputation with potential consumers as well. While it is possible, it can be incredibly difficult for businesses to work things out after being caught in this type of situation. Apologies can go a long way, but consumers have long memories and you don’t want your business associated with any kind of plagiarism, accidental or otherwise.

While the idea that your business is losing customers is not in itself an incentive to avoid plagiarism, another factor to consider is the degree of punishment that can result. If it turns out that your content isn’t your own creation, you can be fined quite a bit. Some plagiarism offenses can even lead to a prison sentence. This monetary penalty and risk of jail time are definitely worth making sure you’ve avoided plagiarism in your content marketing.

A final reason to avoid plagiarism, and particularly for content marketing, is the SEO penalties you might be faced if Google finds out that you used someone else’s work without properly citing the original source. While there may not be a monetary penalty, there may be a loss in your SEO ranking. With SEO being such an important part of content marketing, you want to do everything possible to avoid a plagiarism error affecting the traffic to your website.

How to Avoid Plagiarism in Your Content Marketing

Use quotes to avoid plagiarism

There are several ways to make sure you avoid plagiarism in your content marketing.

The consequences of plagiarism are quite intimidating, and the thought of being responsible for ensuring that your content marketing is free from any form of plagiarism can seem overwhelming, especially with such high stakes. There are, however, several ways to make sure your content is plagiarism free. One of the easiest ways to do this is to simply cite the original material and cite the author or web page. If you’re having trouble finding an original way to say something, use quotes and cite the source where it came from. This method is truly foolproof, and if you want to be as secure as possible when using someone else’s source material, this is definitely the way to go.

Despite the ease of citing material, there may be times when using a lot of quotes starts to look a bit awkward in one element of content marketing, especially when using a variety of quotes from different sources. It can be difficult to get your content flowing naturally when it’s interrupted by so many quotes. This is where paraphrasing comes in. Getting it right can be a bit tricky, especially when dealing with a difficult topic, but there are a few tips you can use to make sure your paraphrased content doesn’t turn into accidental plagiarism. Assad Shehzad of SEO blog states that one of the best ways to avoid plagiarism when paraphrasing is to give yourself plenty of time. If you’re in a rush when creating content, you’re much more likely to copy content directly, even if you don’t intend to.

Grammar also gives some great tips for paraphrasing correctly, including: “Rephrase and format your writing in an original way, and try to avoid using too many words or similar phrases from the source. The key is to do this without altering the meaning of the idea itself. Keep in mind that you are always using someone else’s idea, so you will need to include a citation from the source. This last sentence is something that a lot of people tend to forget. Even if you don’t cite the material verbatim, you should still give credit to the original source each time.

Two other ideas for paraphrasing correctly to avoid plagiarism come from UCLA Library. The first is to be very thorough in your note taking. Be very clear when taking notes for your content marketing about ideas that belong to you and those that come from other sources. For example, when writing notes for my blog posts, I bold ideas from other sources. This way I can go through my notes and immediately see what sources I need to cite, as well as what material I need to take the time to paraphrase properly. I am also including the link to the article I used in the notes so that it can be easily cited in my blog post.

The following idea may be the most important for paraphrasing and avoiding plagiarism in your content marketing. You actually need to understand the content you are paraphrasing. If you’re unfamiliar with a topic and don’t have a good grasp of what the content is trying to say, immediately ditch the idea of ​​paraphrasing and use quotes instead. If you try to paraphrase content that you don’t understand, there’s a good chance you’ll accidentally do it incorrectly and succumb to plagiarism, or change the meaning of the content altogether. The two results are obviously not ideal.

One final way to make sure your content marketing is plagiarism free is to use an online plagiarism checker. These programs analyze your content and compare it to previously published content. Some of the plagiarism checkers available are Edit block, Check for plagiarism, Small SEO tools and Grammarly Plagiarism Checker. Each of these websites allows you to enter a certain amount of text for analysis and can ensure that your content marketing is original with the material correctly cited.

It goes without saying that all content marketers want to create and publish error-free content, which also means being plagiarism-free. Citing sources correctly, using quotation marks, paraphrasing correctly, and using plagiarism checkers are all fantastic ways to ensure that you are posting material that will never be accused of plagiarism. It’s important to note that while this article deals specifically with plagiarism in written text, it’s essential that you remember that these ideas also apply to graphics and images. Anything that you haven’t created yourself should be correctly cited.