Written by Yuwanda Black
While doing some research on the web for an article I was writing about a week or so ago, I ran across some content of mine that had been stolen. I posted about it on my SEO writing company’s Facebook page, explaining what happened, ie:
Just found one of my articles stolen (slightly rewritten) on a major site. I notified the company, and within an hour they removed it (which, to be honest surprised me because content theft is so rampant). And, they also apologized.
They wrote the following by way of explanation:
Thank you so much for reaching out and alerting us to the fact that one of our guest posts was composed of writing stolen from your original work. The article has now been completely removed from our site.
I assure you, we had no clue the content was plagiarized. You’ll notice most of our content is written in-house or and if outsourced to a guest contributor, from someone we either have an existing relationship with or someone we sought out because we liked their writing style.
The post in question is through an inbound “write for us” experiment, which came to us from overseas via Naukri.com. I was very surprised at the quality given the source. We’ve since added background checks to the process, but after this incident will probably pull the program altogether, as we have not gotten any quality writing from it.
Lesson: Be careful who you outsource your content needs to. Content theft is rampant. Quality content costs. It’s an investment in your business — that pays off for years, so don’t be afraid to make it.
You’ll be so glad you did. And of course, we can help. Learn how at http://NewMediaWords.biz/.
Before I explain a simple way to profit when someone steals your content, let’s look at some of the main reasons people steal it. It’ll make my line of reasoning easier to understand.
Why Content Theft is So Rampant – and Why It Means More Work for SEO Writers IMO
When someone starts ripping stuff off, that means it’s popular, or providing value, or is a need – or all three.
Content marketing is all the rage now (popular); companies are seeing real value from it (provides value); hence businesses are investing more in it (need is there).
How popular is content marketing? The Mashable article, The Content Marketing Forecast: 10 Predictions for 2014, states:
1. Content will be its own role or department.
I talk to CMOs [Chief Marketing Officers] and agency heads all the time, and they’re all looking to hire new roles with “content” in the title (emphasis added) — it’s a gaping hole in many org charts. We’ve seen many journalists already go into various companies and agencies to run editorial of late, but in the year ahead, Content Marketing Manager, Director of Content or even Chief Content Officer will start popping up more than ever before.
The reason content marketing has become the marketing flavor du jour is because it provides real value. Proof?
The Search Engine Journal article, Hard Proof That Content Marketing Works—A Professional Speaker Case Study, reported the results of a three-month case study which showed that organic traffic was way up. Feedburner traffic went up as well. And the only difference was posting MORE relevant content.
The overall conclusion was the following:
MORE relevant content posted at regular intervals with the right formatting gives better organic search results = better conversion. Simple as that. If you want your phone to ring, more relevant email inquiries, and/or more people to come through the door, give them more reasons = more content, to do so.
Why the need for content is increasing more than ever: When businesses discover that something works, then they want to invest in it – ESPECIALLY if their competitors are. And study after study after study has revealed that more and more businesses are investing in content marketing.
But, many businesses have a hard time keeping up with demand, creating content, creating RELEVANT content, etc. And this is why so many steal content – and where you as a freelance / SEO writer can profit from content theft. Proof?
One SEO writer emailed me to let me know she’d picked up a $1,700 job because of content theft. She wrote in the comments section of this post:
Late last year I spent out 80 e-mails using your suggested technique. Nothing came of them at the time, but a few days ago someone I e-mailed called me. He does SEO web design and one of his clients had found out that the original writer he hired had given him 100% plagiarized content. I just picked up a $1700 gig rewriting the entire site.
So, there you go … content theft is real — and provides a golden opportunity for you!
One Easy Way to Make Money from Content Theft
When I found my stolen content, I posted a comment on the article, saying that it was repurposed (stolen) content. I never expected a response; I just expected the comment to be deleted and for the article to remain live.
But, as the correspondence above proved, the site owners took my content down and apologized, which I thought was very classy.
Following is the email I sent back to them:
Wow, you guys are quick. I never expected the content to be removed, as content theft is so rampant now. So, I’m impressed — very!
And no harm, no foul; so no worries. Thank you for your prompt action; again, much appreciated.
FYI, if you ever need quality content, please consider my SEO writing company, http://newmediawords.biz/ as a source. We’ve written thousands of articles for tons of companies — and would be happy to be regular contributors to your site (well-researched, high-quality, non-plagiarized/rewritten content).
So basically you just turn the situation to your advantage. A lot of companies never know that they’re buying stolen content, so approach the site, let them know the content is yours and has been stolen, and offer to write for them.
Another Simple Way to Profit from Content Theft
This is one of my favorite content marketing methods, ie, writing up short, special reports and distributing them. In this case, you could write a simple 1-3 pager entitled, Small Business Owners: How to Avoid Content Theft, that details how companies can AVOID purchasing stolen content.
Offer it as a free download from your site AND proactively send it out to existing and prospective clients.
It could be some of the best ROI you’ll ever see because companies that care about their brand don’t want stolen content. They want great writing that is not plagiarized.
While having your work stolen can be a blow to the gut, it’s the world we live in now. So make lemonade out of lemons where possible, and just keep on stepping.
Plagiarism and Stolen Content: A Growing Web Problem — Is Your Firm Unknowingly Falling Victim and Being Penalized by Google & Other SEs
SEO Content Theft: What to Do When Someone Steals Your Writing Samples
Share Your Thoughts
Have you ever had content stolen from you? If so, how did you handle it? Do you regularly search for your work on the web? If so, why? If not, why not? Do you think content theft / copyright infringement is getting worse? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.
Following is what was published on InkwellEditorial.com, this blog’s parent blog, this week.
Last Friday: The weekly Quick Tip for Freelance Writing Success (we post one every Friday; this is the most recent one).
Tuesday: How I Found Freelance Writing Opportunities as a Stay-at-Home Mom (a guest post by Dorit Sasson)
Yesterday: Self-Publishing Advice: How to Turn One Blog Post into a Profitable Ebook — In One Weekend
P.S.: It’s Almost Time for the SEO Copywriter Training Class in Jamaica. Have you registered yet?
FYI, did you know that the average salary of search engine optimization writers is $66,000 as of this writing.
That’s $15,000 above the median household income in the U.S. right now.
Remember, when you learn how to write SEO content, you learn so much more than this one skill because it gives you the knowledge you need to take control of your financial future.