So, what do all publishers (including me at Culture Spain!) want – whether conventional or Internet based)?
Well, irrespective of the subject matter, they want ‘copy’ that is unique and original. For the Internet this is particularly important because Google ‘likes’ original and unique information and this is one factor it seems to use when assessing a web site (or article) for search result ranking.
Of course, high search result ranking is supremely important for a web site or any article that is published on the Internet. This is because if a web site or article appears high on the results of a search (preferably on Page 1) then it is likely to obtain ‘hits’ and thereby human traffic interested in the site (the article promotes) its products and services.
Needless to say, if a web site is far down on search results i.e. on page 2 or 17 or whatever then the web site or article concerned is very unlikely to be seen by anyone and be, for all practical marketing purposes, useless.
So, all publishers want the same thing – unique and original content, which is both a good and bad thing for copy writers!
The good ‘thing’ is that there is constant demand on the Internet for well written articles (that are unique and original!). Indeed, very few web masters will not accept an article that is offered to them if it is unique and original copy – that is well written and relevant to their site. This is exactly what they want and they will almost visibly breathe a sigh of relief in not having to write yet another article themselves on their activity.
The bad ‘thing’ is that copy writers can often find themselves having to write for a given site whilst trying to produce original and unique copy. This can become incredibly tiresome and lead, after the umpteenth article on the same subject, to genuine writer’s block!
Of course, you can, in theory, ‘spin’ articles. This is when you write one original piece and then turn it into several versions, all with a slightly different wording and layout (even to the point of re-arranging the order of paragraphs). You can do this manually or through the use of an automated spinning service.
However, as a professional copy writer, in my view, you are ‘playing with fire’ – if you offer a web master a piece of original and unique copy, if it has been spun in any way. The chances of this being found out are reasonably high, as good web masters are normally very well informed about any articles being published about their activity – and would quickly spot the similarities between the one you have given them and a spun one published elsewhere.
The consequences are obvious – you will lose all credibility and not be employed again. Meanwhile, your name may be passed around the Net as someone unreliable, which could badly harm your future prospects.
So – never offer unique and original copy to a site unless it is genuinely unique and original and appreciate the value of well written copy to others. It is ‘gold dust’, can enhance a site hugely and people will pay you for it…
Nick Snelling is co-author of The Laptop Entrepreneur (print book only £14.99): the book that shows you how to make a living on the Internet. Nick is the author of five books, a copy writer and runs Culture Spain, an authority site about ‘all things Spanish’.