Are you stuck in a rut? Don’t have the time or resources to continuously pump out new, unique content for your website?

Although re-purposing content can save you a lot of time, allowing you to work from an existing muse, beware of the dangers associated with re-purposing content.

Don’t Plagiarize

One of the biggest mistakes you can make while working on re-purposing content for your website is the old copy and paste trick. Copying content from other sites and pasting that content into your website is a big NO-NO. That’s plagiarism at its finest. I’m sure you remember the warnings against plagiarism your teachers and professors repeated year after year since elementary school. Plagiarism wasn’t OK then and it’s not acceptable now. Search engines, like Google, are smart enough to recognize duplicate data. Simply copying and pasting content from other websites to yours may slide under Google’s radar the first time but it won’t work forever. Google has your best interests in mind in this area of content development, encouraging you to contribute something fresh. Plus no one wants to receive a reprimand from the content’s original author letting you know they don’t appreciate your attempt to pass it off as your own!

Intellectual Property

One of the dangers associated with re-purposing content is infringing on somebody’s intellectual property rights.

Don’t Steal

Another way not to re-purpose content is by stealing. You can’t just use other people’s images, graphics or charts in your work without paying for them or at the very least siting them. Using other people’s work without their permission that you found during a quick Google-search is grounds for a lawsuit. It’s called intellectual property rights. The owner of that intellectual property will know you took their work illegally and they can sue you for it. In the interest of time, ask yourself if the few seconds it takes for you to click Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V is worth the days you could spend in court, not to mention the monetary loss and, maybe even more importantly, credibility loss for your company. Keep in mind that it actually builds credibility to source your content because then people know you’re not just making it up.

Don’t Misrepresent

Taking someone’s work and trying to pass it off as your own is another danger zone. You can’t just take someone’s white paper and put your logo on it (no matter how legit you think you can make it look). Fooling people into thinking that something is yours when it’s not is bad business practice in general. However, if you find a resource from a different company that you think is useful and contains information your clients would be interested in reading about, don’t be afraid to share that information with them. Just remember to attribute the credit for the information back to the owner in a clear, transparent way.

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