Saturday, October 29, 2011

Avoiding Seeming Plagiarism in Article Writing

The Internet and the ease of finding information online have brought the issue of plagiarism front and center. Plagiarism is nothing new, but it is much easier now for some writers to take the creative work of others and try to pass it off as their own. Unfortunately, sometimes people are unfairly accused of this when they really didn’t copy someone else’s words. As an article writer, I’ve learned that while plagiarism may seem apparent when reading two almost similar articles, it may well be that both were written independently of each other.


Two persons can easily write sentences and paragraphs that are so similar it would be hard to convince others that no copying took place. I know it is possible because I’ve written articles almost without research and then when using plagiarism checkers was stunned to see almost word for word what I had written. This shows the importance of checking your writing before submitting it to clients or article directories. 

Good Plagiarism Checkers

Plagiarism checkers are sold online but some are offered free as well. Some are better than others, but so far, none have been shown to be 100 percent accurate, but some do come pretty close.  Five popular plagiarism checkers are:

Advanced Plagiarism Checker

Doc Cop



Being accused of plagiarism is hurtful when you know that you are innocent. It therefore pays to double-check your work before submitting it to avoid being labeled a plagiarist. The five plagiarism checkers listed above are just those that I like, and there are many more. Do a test run of some for yourself to see which ones you like. As an article/web content writer, you have to use a plagiarism checker to avoid being accused of plagiarism.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Do I need to Pay Someone to Write SEO Articles?

Anyone who owns a website and hopes for high traffic will need quality content. There are many ways to acquire content, with the most common means being:

  • Buying it from someone or somewhere. Some SEO writers will say that it is a requirement to pay a professional to write website content.
  • Write it yourself
  • Use content from free content sites
Many owners of start-ups are in that delicate position where every spending decision must be carefully weighed. So paying content writers is not at the top of the list even if the website is lacking in quality content. For them, the second options are the most attractive if not always the most effective. 

Of course, it is not always about money, as you may want to be in complete control of the information on your site or blog.  Writing content yourself is possible, but there are some fundamentals that must be followed when writing good SEO articles. Luckily these can be learned, and thankfully there are lots of sites online that provide useful information. Another thing that anyone writing their own content should know is how to recognize bad SEO writing. 

Recognizing Bad SEO Content

Anyone who uses the Internet regularly would have come across articles that are so bad it almost hurts to read them. Aside from poor grammar, other ways to identify poor SEO content include:

  •  Articles which feature heavy keyword usage with very little thought given to clarity
  •  Articles which seem to have little relevance to the nature of the website
  • The use of a long list of related keywords in an attempt to get search engines to index the site 

One of the main challenges facing business owners with an online presence is finding time to follow the changing SEO landscape. In this context it pays to be realistic about what you can accomplish. For example, you can stay on top of what’s happening with your blog while paying a competent SEO writer to generate useful, traffic building content.

The business owner will still have a responsibility to learn about SEO content and what constitutes good practices. This is the best way to know whether you are getting quality work and value for money. Remember, bad SEO practices can be worse for a website than no SEO at all. Some search engines will penalize a site for using keyword stuffing and other ‘bad hat’ practices. Ultimately, the decision to buy a professional SEO writer to produce content or not will depend on your needs, budget available and what you want to achieve.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Using Images in Blogs

Even the simplest visual can add a whole new element to your blog and help to capture the attention of readers. Some blog pros often suggest adding images whenever you can to make the reading experience more pleasant for the reader.Endless lines of content can make reading information uninteresting and even tiring, but adding an image or two helps to break up the content. This improves the flow of the article as well as boosting the quality of the blog.

Finding Pictures

That said, there are a few considerations to be kept in mind when you want to add pictures to your blog. Legal implications are probably among the most important, since you don’t want to gain a reputation for copyright infringement. So the first thing you want to do is make sure you have the right to use the image, which can be done by:

•    Taking the picture yourself
•    Paying someone to take it
•    Purchasing the image
•    Requesting the right to use the image and giving credit
•    Using free photos from sites that grant the right

Most bloggers don’t have much of a budget to begin with so buying pictures may not be possible, at least for a while. Public domain sites that offer free images could be the answer to this problem. On top of this, once you have the images you have to know how to use them effectively. A few suggestions in this regard are:

•   Place photos/pictures at or near the top of the article. Putting them after 
your blog serves no purpose and they could end up being missed.
•    Make sure images are suitable for the content being provided.
•    Edit the photo so that it fits the layout and to keep it from being too large
•    Search for information on crediting your picture sources if this is not already provided on the websites themselves.

Don’t hesitate to dress up your blog and keep it from being an almost endless stream of text. Otherwise you might want to consider shortening the blog to make sure readers don’t get bored. Readers losing interest is not necessarily an indictment on your writing skills. Just remember that you are competing for the time of people who really don’t have a lot to spare. Anything that makes your blog more entertaining is worth the effort. Web content writing is much more than great copy.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Providing Relevant SEO Content

Many business people often discount the value of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and blogs because they do not see results. While competition is rife online, this is not the main reason why some businesses are not reaping benefits from SEO and blogging. Often, it is simply a matter of online content not being relevant to the target audience.

Relevance is the driving force being the success of any blog or online content. If people do not feel that information can add value they will not waste time reading it. Some tips for bringing relevance to your blog or online content are:

· Know your audience: while some bloggers will have success with a blog that covers just about everything, for businesses, this is not the way to go. Decide on your niche and cater to readers of that niche.

· Provide the right content: The content must be relevant to the visitors to the blogs. If you are in the jewelry business your blog should address applicable areas such as caring for precious stones for example.

· Use the right keywords: Use keywords that refer to what you have to offer and what your target audience is likely to use to find what they need. If you have an indexing business, terms like ‘freelance indexer’ and ‘book indexer’ can help to build traffic.

· Make it real: People are more likely to visit and become fans of blogs that discuss things that are of importance to them. They will appreciate the idea that they are interacting with real people who understand their concerns. Responding to their comments and having give-aways and contests can help to enhance communication.

While utilizing these tips, try to blog often. A minimum of three times per week is a good start. If you do not have the time to write frequently you can consider hiring a freelance writer with SEO experience; they should be able to provide superior web content. In fact, many businesses do just that.

Friday, April 22, 2011

3 SEO Mistakes You Might Be Making

In the World of SEO nothing is ever guaranteed. You might put in the same amount of work as your competitor, but not earn the same amount of clicks per day. This doesn't always mean you're doing something wrong, but even the best strategies can sometimes benefit from a little tweaking. If you run an online business and you have committed to SEO, the benefits may take some time to show themselves. If you have been at it for, let's say, over six months, with no noticeable changes you could be making one or more common SEO mistakes.

Poor Keyword Density

Inexperienced SEO writers are usually the ones guilty of this. From a reader's standpoint it is not a major transgression. When search engines look for your relevant keywords however it could cost you. Think of it this way; you and a competitor sell identical items and have the same content posting schedule. Your competitor uses the keyword five times in each article, while you use it one time. A search engine is designed to check for the use of this word, and is therefore likely to give your competitor’s website a higher ranking when it returns a search result. This means there will be more eyes on the competition on any given day.

Using too many keywords can also lead to problems. If search engines see your site as practicing keyword stuffing, the site may be blacklisted. It therefore makes sense to keep abreast of what’s happening in regards to keyword density.

Infrequent Updates

Updates are also closely tracked by search engines, so missing one or two posts for the moths can set you back. If you think this is a little unfair keep in mind that search engines are nothing more than software, sophisticated, yes, but still just computer programs. They have to function within clearly defined parameters, and checking for websites that update content frequently is one of them.

Poorly Structured Content

In a bid to meet deadlines and update websites frequently, some website owners sacrifice quality. The same is true for content developers who are unfamiliar with some subject areas, or simply lack language or writing skills. This can lead to many problems, not the least of which is keyword stuffing. This is where the writer tries to cram the keyword in as many times as they can without worrying about little niceties like sentence structure or flow of content.

While you no doubt know the subject area of your business, writing may not be your forte. Superior web content can get you noticed, but poor content can get you the wrong kind of attention. Ask content writers you intend to do business with to provide samples of their work. Always remember that when seeking content for your company website, a low price should not be your first consideration.