Tag Archives: writing services

The Ethics Of Your Writing

Last summer, Peter and I noticed that one of our blogging friends seemed to be posting things that were lifted from another source. They were word for word what was on another website; we considered that a serious breach of ethics.

fountain pen
Phil Hilfiker via Compfight

I finally had the opportunity to ask him about these posts, telling him that I had noticed that they were the exact same thing is on some other websites. He told me that he had purchased some PLR (private label rights) articles and was using them because he didn’t have time to write anymore but wanted to keep new content on his website. I pointed out that it didn’t look right, and that when people usually use PLR articles that the idea was to modify them so that they would become one’s personal articles.

As some of you know I now offer writing and blog writing services as part of my business. With one of my blogging clients, I knew his industry really well, so I didn’t have to do much research with it. With most of the other writing that I’ve been doing, there has been a fair amount of research. What you start to find out is that as you read on the subject enough times, you start to get the feeling that you know it fairly well and can pretty much write totally original content more than half of the time without having to do any research at all.

But there are those times when you have to do some kind of research. On most topics, what I will do is think of what I want to write about, pull up four or five resources, read them all, and then start writing. If the majority of the resources quoted exact same information, then I would use that exact same information, but will alter the words if it’s possible.

Sometimes it’s not; if you have a list of things that have to go in a particular order, you’re pretty much stuck using what’s there. For instance, I once wrote an article regarding something called “revenue codes“, which is a health care term. I listed a whole bunch of numbers and descriptions, and no matter what resource I might have had to look at, those numbers and descriptions would have been the exact same everywhere.

I think when it comes to writing there has to be some kind of ethical standard that a writer has to have. It doesn’t do a writer any good to copy blocks of words from someone else’s articles without giving them attribution. One of the gripes I’ve written about often on this blog is seeing people on other blogs saying the same thing over and over that they got from another blog.

True, there may not be many new ways to say “create great content” when talking about ways to improve one’s blog or to encourage visitors to stop by, but that’s part of the essence of what writing is supposed to be about, that being creativity. I’m sure that someone else has probably written about ethical writing in the past, but I’m also betting that no one is ever written about it in quite the same way that I’m writing about it right now. That’s the kind of thing that makes us all unique.

There’s also the question of rewriting articles. Many people believe that’s unethical, because they’re taking one source and basically saying the exact same thing that someone else said only in a different way. I have kind of a different take on that one also. I have rewritten my own stuff from time to time, and as I am the original source for that information, I have no qualms about doing that rewrite.

I also think that it depends on what you’re writing as to whether doing a rewrite of something is ethical or not. For instance, if you’re writing something about a new story you read, and you can only find that information in one place, I don’t think there’s anything unethical in writing that in a different way; after all, that’s news, and it’s what all the major newspapers around the country do when they get those newsfeeds from places such as the AP and Reuters. I do that on my finance blog all the time, although I also didn’t comment on those stories which make them unique.

What are your thoughts on ethical writing? Do you think I’m too strict, too lenient, or something else? Inquiring minds want to know. 🙂
 

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Blog Writing Services

Time for an advertisement, but this one’s for me.

As you know, I’ve been writing for people for a few months now. I’ve started getting some blog writing clients, and I’ve decided it’s time to mention it here.

two businessmen shaking hands
Wirawat Lian-udom via Compfight

I’ve set up a contract through my other site where I’ll undertake writing blogs for businesses (actually, if you check my About page you can see my offering services there also). I have a price structure for how much I’ll charge based on whether the consumer wants 10, 15 or 25 articles written a month. The guarantee is that each article will be at least 200 words unless it’s a breaking news story; those always seem to work well on blogs. And, for an additional fee, I’ll even post the articles and maintain the blog; I just won’t be the one answering comments on the blog, so the blog owner will have to read the content at some point, or just ignore all comments. Yeah, that defeats the purpose of blogging overall, but some people fancy themselves to be Seth Godin.

What will I write on? Well, I did write a post mentioning what I wouldn’t write about, but there are some other things here and there. For instance, if it’s too tight a niche, one where there’s not enough information to research to make it something I can write on for a long time, I probably won’t take it. In other words, if it can’t really be researched, for the money it’s not worth it. A guy the other day asked me to write on battle strikers, and I had no idea what that meant. Then he showed me it was a toy, and he wanted 25 articles on it. There wasn’t any research that could be done on it for 25 articles at 500 words apiece, so I declined.

In other words, don’t back me, or any other writer, into a corner that’s impossible to work from. One of my clients has me writing on anything related to real estate and weddings. Another has me writing on travel. Those are broad subjects with lots to write about. Still another one has me writing on debt consolidation; it’s kind of a tight niche, but there are plenty of ways to go with that one, so it branches out into some other things. If you let me just write, it all works out well.

The question might be why someone would need a blog writing service. If you have a website and have a blog associated with it, and that blog has at least some kind of consistent activity, it can boost your website’s online presence and keep your website and web business somewhat prominent, even if most of what you do is offline. If you have a blog that links back to your website, you’ll get some kind of bounce off it if also. And if your blog represents all kinds of things about what your business is related to, you look like an authority on those topics and might get more offers for contracts that way. And, of course, you might just want it to sell stuff from, and need to try to draw visitors; hey, that counts as a business blog also.

No, I’m not posting the rates here, but if you or someone you know wishes to pursue this, send me an email on the QT and we can talk. You see there’s a contact area up at the top, and your identity will remain hidden, even if I happen to mention a topic here and there on this blog.

There’s the deal; let’s see how it all works out.