Transcript of Why Rewriting Someone’s Blog Post is Not Okay Video Tutorial
I want to tell you that there are really major content marketing gurus who will, in practice, they will find an article that they like a lot and they will simply rewrite that article. I don’t recommend you do that. It’s kind of cheap. It’s kind of stealing peoples’ ideas. It’s not delivering the best possible content, so I feel like I need to be delivering the very best article ever about small business story telling to deserve the shares and the attention.
I am a perfectionist. I’m a professional writer, I try to do absolute A+ work at every turn so I just don’t do stuff like that. I’m always trying to over deliver. It’s just how I’m wired. Part of why I’m doing this, in all honesty, is nowhere near as lofty. That’s because I have actually, in the past, I have gotten written up to Google for a copyright infringement.
Let me tell you the background about that. It was a different niche. I hired a writer who was supposed to be taking 15 different topic sources, a couple of them were ebooks and they were supposed to be rewriting this mound of 150 pages worth of content into 20 different articles. Unfortunately, I did not read and verify every paragraph. I had read most of their background material that I gave them quickly, but I did not read it paragraph for paragraph and I did not recognize one section of one of those section of one of those ebooks when it came back as the writer’s finished version. Basically, what they had done, is they had taken — say this was the ebook and they had basically just rewritten a couple pages from the ebook which is not okay. It was not what they were hired to do.
Unfortunately, the ebook owner came across this. She was very upset. Legit. She claimed that I had infringed her copyright and she reported me to Google. The deal was that, actually, I had not infringed her copyright because the writer did rewrite everything. Unfortunately, they did such a crappy job of it — forgive my language — that they kept their list in the same; actually they did move the list items around and they rephrased them, of course, but when you closely read the section of her book versus what they had sent me, it was pretty clear that they had borrowed much too heavily. It was not copyright infringement and I showed Google what had happened and they released me from copyright infringement hell, which basically means your site doesn’t show in the search engine results.
They didn’t consider it copyright infringement. It wasn’t, but I made an enemy, it was really sloppy, it was bad and it was because somebody had just pulled the trick of “find the best article you can and just rewrite it”. That’s why I’m really against it. It’s a mistake I have made. I encourage you not to make it. I made it for you. Just don’t do it. At the very least, pick three or four articles as your sources and move on.
So that’s enough of a story around that. That’s why I really don’t recommend that. It’s a constant thing I get asked from people is like, “I found this really great blog post so I just rewrote it and that’s okay right?” No. It’s not okay. It becomes actually more okay if you’re willing to link back to the original article. I suspect the vast majority of people who have done that, I’m going to call it “sleazy rewrite trick,” will not link back to the original article because they don’t want the original article’s author to know that someone did that because they will be caught. Also, because they know a reader will read their article and then go back to that link and be like, “This is really similar. They just hacked off somebody’s article.”
If you think that you’re article is different enough that you can link back to the original source and not feel guilty and feel like you used their article to contribute to and overarching idea that you have, that’s absolutely cool. If you feel guilty about doing it like you’re going to get caught, then you need to rewrite your article.