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Category:  Articles » Writing & Speaking » Copywriting

 

Copied Content or Unique Content

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2006-11-02 01:57:50     
Article by Partha Bhattacharya

For content writers, life is never rosy. Their role in website building is seldom appreciated, though everyone knows in the back of their minds that it’s the well-written content that primarily fetches search engine traffic.

One reason why content writers find it tough is that there are already enough contents available on the net. Which makes it easy for new website owners to copy-paste them as it suits, modified with minor changes here and there. You may feel I’m skeptical. But I know this is true from my experience.

Recently I am asked to fill in ‘unique’ contents for a hotel website. When I quote my fees, they’re taken aback. They’re not prepared to shell out my supposedly high fees because they ‘know’ all I’d do is copy-paste contents from other websites. If so, I ask them, why can’t they do it themselves?

They say they don’t have time, and so want the work hired out. I get the sense that they don’t have time for such ‘nondescript’ work, nor do they feel the work is anything more than simple copy-paste. Of course they caution that copy-paste has to be done in such a way that no legal tangle ensues on account of ‘plagiarism’.

So that is what they actually want. They do not want web content that is unique, relevant to the site’s need, smells of quality and speaks of value. They just want ‘any’ (read ‘copied’) content sans legal trouble.

If you feel this episode is an exception, you may be in for surprise. Just look at postings of content writing jobs in Elance, Guru, etc. What you’ll mostly notice are works that need hundreds of content pages for an average fee of about $5. I’ve even come across one that is looking for 120, 400-word articles everyday for $1.5 apiece. The job-heading proudly says: Earn upward of $3000 every month for content writing.

Of course, there is another side of this story. Indeed there are websites that look for quality content, well modulated, analytical and non-plagiarized. It’s always a pleasure to work for them, knowing that an appreciation of value is waiting at the end of the toil.

But such works are not many in number, given that an overwhelming majority is just not interested in quality. In their hurry to scale the traffic ladder, all they want is quantity, and more of it in double-quick time.

Since there is no study as yet (that I’m aware of) to suggest how ‘any’ content weighs against ‘quality’ content, it is difficult to conclude which strategy is better: quality or quantity. Any thought?

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