The business landscape has been drastically re-shaped by the influence of the online world. In order to move forward and take advantage of lucrative opportunities, business owners find the need to not only improve on their traditional business principles but also diverge from them.
There are various strategies that are being implemented by business owners to gain a foothold online, especially with the goal of crossing geographical boundaries and gaining the custom of clients on a global scale. One of them is starting a business blog.
At the end of the day, however, the “old” adage that “content is king” still applies, no matter how clichè it has become.
Original content and its importance
Upholding the idea that content is of utmost importance is well and good, but there is also another important consideration: providing authentic, original content.
Saying this is not merely paying lip service to the idea, but actually implementing measures to ensure that business websites and blogs provide original content that provides value. The obvious reason: clients want value.
Another just as important reason: search engines have standards with regard to original content and plagiarism, and they do impose penalties for those who do not comply.
What about professional content developers?
Hiring professional content developers is common practice among business owners, as they usually don’t have the time to spend on constantly coming up with ideas for content and publishing them. Furthermore, professional writers know what they’re doing, ensuring that the final product is of high quality, right?
Yes and no.
These days, it is easy to call one’s self a professional writer, and sometimes, if you’re unlucky and you hire a rotten apple, then you might get into more trouble than if you had written your content yourself. Sometimes, writers can unwittingly commit plagiarism, too. That’s why it is important to make sure you hire a professional writer with a good track record. After all, you’re entrusting the reputation of your business to him!
Professional writers are not immune to plagiarism
Take the story of Evan Ross, co-founder of a travel company providing services online. He felt the need to hire professional content developers to design and maintain the business blog. Good idea, right?
However, after a few weeks, they received a search engine notice/warning them of plagiarism. Having hired a professional writer, this came as a surprise to Ross, but he was soon able to trace the root of the issue. It was a little too late, however, as the travel web site had lost its rank in the SERPs due to search engine penalties.
Lesson learned: the work of professional writers also need to be checked for plagiarism.
One way to do this is to use online tools such as http://plagiarismdetect.org/, which give you information as to the originality of the content your writer has produced. This will ensure that you do not have copied material on your site, which can lead to dire results, as Evan Ross found out the hard way.
How do you determine the worth of content developers?
That being said, hiring a professional to create your content is still a good idea. The trick is to measure the worth of the writer before you commit to a working relationship.
Here are some important things to consider before hiring a writer:
- Ask for sample work – live URLs of previous work will give you a good idea of the quality and originality of the writing.
- Ask if they have an portfolio. While some of the work may not be live posts, you will still get a feel for the writing, and you can run the material through plagiarism checking tools as mentioned above.
Once you have decided on a writer, it is also a good idea to have a trial run to see how they work and if they are a good fit for your business. Another good practice is to continue checking their work for plagiarism – even spot checks will do, especially if they have proven to be trustworthy after a while.