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One important factor to think about is the individuality and uniqueness of your content. Nothing can replace it and someone else’s work is not going to be better.
Once you can accept that, you realise that there is a place and a market for your voice. We always criticise ourselves as writers and believe that others are better than us.
You have something to say and your voice is important to someone out there. This is why you should always write unique content and not copy the work of others.
Besides the fact that copying comes from insecurity, you can also get into a lot of trouble for it. If you want your blog or website to be a success, you do not want to be fined for plagiarism.
This will institute a penalty against your domain and it takes a while to have that reversed.
It does not only apply to online content, but students have to be wary of this too.
Academic writing is difficult and it might seem easier to just copy content, but if you simply learn to paraphrase or add a reference to your writing, it is not considered plagiarism.
What does it mean to paraphrase?
In simple terms, it means to rewrite content in your own words.
You take the foundation of the facts that you’ve found and restructure the sentence in a way that does give the same message, but not in the same flow.
If you need help with paraphrasing, there are many online websites that can help you understand the concept better.
You even have paraphrasing tools to help you out if you are not too sure how to reword or paraphrase a sentence.
Paraphrasing vs plagiarism: citing
If you are not too sure about paraphrasing sentences, your next option might be to cite your sources.
This way, you are giving recognition to the original author and protecting yourself from being accused of copying.
It’s easy enough, but one needs to be weary of using this method too often. The idea of being a writer is to get as much practice as possible. You are not going to learn much by copying and pasting anything.
Adding a link to your source is great from an ethical point, but you want to try and at least write the majority of the content yourself.
Now let’s look at how you can write unique content
People do not understand the importance of an outline. This gives structure to your writing and will prevent you from writing random facts down without any structure.
There needs to be a flow to your writing and you can plan this by creating an outline. Write a short summary in each section of your outline and fill in the gaps after you do your research.
It may seem like a waste of time to some, but this is the best paying wasted time. Your life is going to be so much easier after you do this.
You will want to spend some time on your headlines, if you are going to capture the attention of your audience.
If you are a blogger, this would be your followers or readers. A student might have the committee or their professors as their audience.
There are always people who are going to be reading your work and you want to grab their attention immediately.
A strong headline can help you achieve this, so think about the types of headlines that grab your attention and use it as a foundation.
What would you like the readers to do after your work has been read? Do you want them to share it with others or do you want them to leave their information on your website?
Whatever it is, you must follow your content with an action. You can also use this as a way of guiding your readers on how to apply your content points practically.
There needs to be more than content, but the idea of it adding value to someone’s life is the goal.
Encourage your readers to apply your tips or tricks in their own lives. A good writer adds value to lives and doesn’t just strings words together.
The internet is flooded with information and you want to add to that, instead of repeating what is already there.
When you come up with a unique concept for an article or essay, make sure that your facts are accurate.
You are trying to gain the trust of the readers, and one false fact can hugely affect what you are trying to do.
Check and check some more before you state a fact as true in your own content. You need to be the one who debunks lies – not creates them.
Some writers do not do this on purpose, but merely fail to follow up their facts with intensive research.
When you write engaging content, your readers usually cannot get enough of it and they take in every word you write.
This is what you want to achieve and you can do that by writing thought provoking content.
Allow your reader to engage with your content and do not lose their focus and attention throughout your writing piece.
You can achieve this by taking the reader on a journey by the way of a story. Take your reader through a story line that keeps them interested and engaged.
Leave your audience with profound questions that they can ask themselves or research deeper into.
Face behind the work
People forget that content is created by an individual, but maybe it’s difficult to remember that when the writer does not give you any personality.
As human beings, we are always going to connect with other humans. Show your readers that you are a person with feelings and emotions.
Display that carefully in your work without being too obvious and straightforward. There is more to writing than just marketing and getting your grammar correct.
Those who are going to stay loyal to you are going to have to make a connection with you. And they are not going to do that if your work does not speak to the persona inside themselves.
Proofread and edit
After you are done with your first draft, you can start the proofreading and editing process.
Do not skip this step!
There are so many little mistakes you can pick up through this process. You do not want to publish your work, only to find lots of mistakes when reading it again.
Ask a friend or family member to help you with this.
There was a writer who once said that he puts his first draft away for two weeks and does not look at it.
After the two weeks go by, he starts the editing process with a fresh mind. We can all learn from this tip.
It is not so difficult to write unique content. All you need to do is spend a little more time with your thoughts and then research as much as you can.
We have access to so much information, but we need to remember that this information does not necessarily belong to us.
We can borrow it if we give credit. But otherwise, it’s more valuable to create your own content.
Here is a list of useful tools that can help you to ferry out plagiarism and to make your content unique:
This is a free tool that can help you detect plagiarism, fix grammar mistakes and ensure that your text is unique.
Click here to download it.
This one will help you not only with plagiarism checking. It can also correct your grammar and spelling mistakes.
Grammarly will even cite sources for you automatically. Click here to find out more. Alternatively, you can read an in-depth review of Grammarly here.
Plagiarisma supports the following documents: TXT, HTML, RTF, DOC, DOCS, XLS, XLSX, ODT, PDB etc. This is also is a free tool, but there are some limitations here.
If you need to paraphrase or rewrite your text – this one is perfect for you. All you need to do is just copy your essay and paste it in.
Using this tool, you will quickly find new ways to express your paragraphs or sentences.
You can copy your favourite article, paste it into this tool, click the button and create unique text in just a few minutes.
This handy tool will check an article of 2,000 words or less for duplicate content.
It’s not free, but 100 searches only costs $5. Make sure you use them up within 12 months though, or you will lose the remaining credits. If that’s a problem, just buy 10, 20 or 50 at a time instead.
About the Author
Karla Long is a content manager and amateur Guest Post Writer. She is fond of writing, traveling and painting. Karla enjoys every moment of her life. Her motto is “Believe you can and you’re halfway there.”
Image source: Author-owned