question regarding content...

16 replies
Hello, my name is Dave, 33 years old from the UK. I just want to say that this forum is great, and thanks to everyone who shares their knowledge on here. I am just about to dip my toe into the water of the niche website world, after deciding that affiliate marketing might have to come later. I already have a niche planned out. I have been researching as much as I can on the keyword and on niche site building for about the last month, and feel ready to give it a go.

My niche is a specific health issue, and I had a question regarding the content - I will be outsourcing some article writing, but in terms of describing the actual condition, would it be a problem to copy something from wikipedia? Or would it better to read that, and just try and put it in my own words. This is purely for the factual stuff like describing the condition and the symptoms and treatment, etc. So, is it a definite no-no to copy from somewhere like wikipedia? Or should all the content on my site be original?

Many thanks in advance,

#content #question
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Originally Posted by daveskey69 View Post

    I have been researching as much as I can on the keyword
    You've already decided that you want to try to attract search engine traffic, then, Dave?

    If a different perspective is welcome, personally, I'd advise you not to put too much of your time and effort into trying to attract "organic SERP's" traffic, for two main reasons: first, it's very precarious and makes your business Google-dependent, and any business that's Google-dependent is no more than one algorithm-change away from a potential accident (or even a potential disaster), as so many Warriors have been finding out over the last year or two, some of them to their very great cost; secondly, for me, search engine traffic has been uniformly the worst-converting traffic out of everything I've ever tried in 8 entirely different niches over the whole of the last 4 years - search engine visitors to all my websites typically stay the least time, view the fewest pages, opt in the least often and actually buy anything by far the least often. I admit I do get tons of search engine traffic to all my main sites (just because of all the high rankings I've got, incidentally, from article syndication to relevant sites) but I'd certainly hate to have to make a living from that traffic! Google rankings are not really much of a "traffic-generating plan" at all. Especially for affiliate sales.

    Originally Posted by daveskey69 View Post

    in terms of describing the actual condition, would it be a problem to copy something from wikipedia?
    I think it would be perfectly legitimate to quote a sentence or two - accredited, of course - from Wikipedia (though it's hardly a "respectable source"!), but to copy content from Wikipedia, I would think will be a problem on many levels, plagiarism and lack of uniqueness being only two of them.

    Originally Posted by daveskey69 View Post

    Or would it better to read that, and just try and put it in my own words. This is purely for the factual stuff like describing the condition and the symptoms and treatment, etc.
    On medical matters, the content of Wikipedia is far from "factual", Dave. It's enormously variable in quality. There are plenty of much more informative and reliable sources than this available.

    Originally Posted by daveskey69 View Post

    should all the content on my site be original?
    Are you possibly confusing "original" with "unique"?

    All the content on your site certainly doesn't need to be unique (previously unpublished), but the more of it that's original (containing information not readily available elsewhere), the better for your visitors. And how good it is for your visitors is what's going to determine your income. Search engines don't buy from you - only people do.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8382725].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author AnniePot
    Hi Dave

    You are always better using your own words for your website, although correctly attributed short passages taken from true authority sites are admissible.

    I would be cautious accepting what you read in Wikipedia as factually correct. Wikipedia content is randomly provided by other internet users and who is to say their statements are legitimate? If your website will be about a specific health issue you would be far better off going to a library and researching the subject in books written by genuine experts.

    You beat me to it Alexa LOL
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8382726].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Zabrina
    Ooh, this is my bread and butter, so I'm happy to help. It sounds like you have a solid plan, so it's time to stop researching and start doing!

    When you're describing the condition, don't copy and paste. People can get that information on your source website if they wanted to! Instead, you or your writers should be using these websites as source material, along with other sites. For instance, other niche sites about the condition, WebMD, MayoClinic, and so on. Also, look up scientific research about the condition. What does the latest research say? Are there any recent news headlines involving it? And the most underrated tip of them all: use Wikipedia's sources! Ignore Wikipedia and go straight to the sources they provide at the bottom of the page.

    Any personal experience is also super-useful. Once you have enough traffic to rank well enough in Alexa, get your writer to submit a "Help A Reporter Out" request or similar to talk to people with the condition -- those who have recovered, improved, gone downhill, anything at all. Use their insights to help others.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8382730].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author jbowden
    Hey Dave,

    The best practice that I have found is to make articles *unique*. There are several ways that you can perform this that have different levels of effort. The most basic effort is 'spinning' in which you can change content with synomyns and slight re-wordings. This can be effective in some areas but I would use cautiously. The option that I prefer is to get a couple different sources of content and find good parts of each of the sources and then tie them together in a completely unique way. This is a trainable skill for you outsourced content writers and good ones practice this skill. With that said, the ultimate goal you have to have is to provide value for your reader. For example, if your reader can easily go to Wikipedia which usually ranks high on google and fine the content then what would be motivated to read yours? To help you know this, there are tools out there such as copyscape that can help you review your writers content for uniqueness.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8382800].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author MonitorScout
    So, is it a definite no-no to copy from somewhere like wikipedia? Or should all the content on my site be original?
    The 2nd point is right. All the content on your site should be original. But Google will not punish you even you copy text from Wiki, but there's a condition - that you have to always mention the source from where you get it, instead of taking the credibility.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8382873].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author maddyy
    Hi dave,

    Never trust Wikipedia mate.. it is always best to write your own words. take the time to research and come up with your own content to get better results and better traffic.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8382977].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author thatjc
    I agree that Wikipedia may not be a good authority on medical content.

    Because I'm usually writing about web, Microsoft Windows, or computer technology, Wikipedia often IS authoritative. So, I sometimes quote them (with a link and credit).

    And because this type of info is often very "geeky" I then provide my own easier-to-understand interpretation of the Wikipedia article.

    I feel that this method gives the best of both worlds - (1) including an authoritative source and (2) my own unique take on it.

    Just my 2 cents...
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8383115].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author sidfromla
    my experience is that the more unique your content is the better ! Quoting a very reliable source here and there seems to work fine but you want to try and limit this to a minimum and keep the vast majority of your information as unique as possible.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8383569].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author thedanbrown
    Ya you should probably just get in a habit of spinning it into your own words, reorganizing the structure of the sentences, and if you're making videos make it into a more conversational tone

    With factual information there is only so much you can do to make it "original"
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8383611].message }}
    • Profile picture of the author PCH
      All the above suggestions have huge value Dave - these guys know exactly what they're talking about. About the only thing I'd like to add is that if you decide to outsource your article writing, be absolutely sure that your writer has English as a first language.

      At some of these sites, they may say that English is their mother tongue, but the finished product will reveal otherwise. I tried several different writers, and basically had to go through everything they wrote with a fine toothed comb. In the end, it was more efficient - and quicker - just to write stuff myself. A much better job too.

      Hope that helps, and all the best

      {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8383798].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author wrcato2
    If you outsource articles for your site, find a freelance writer that specializes in the health writing. They more than likely have hard bound medical books in their library.

    I am a freelance writer, but I specialize in IM, Christian bible studies and home improvement. I have a really good library of books on all those topics.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8383859].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author daveskey69
    very valuable advice from everyone, and I really appreciate it. Like I said, I am just starting out, so I will be learning all the way. My main goal is to just try and rank the site eventually.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8383935].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author Chris Douglas
    Wikipedia is NOT a credible source of information. While it would be fine to paraphrase a medical piece of text from a credible source, I would strongly recommend that you outsource it to someone with more of an expertise on the subject.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8383976].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author wrcato2
    Another piece of advice about outsourcing articles is this:

    You need to add your own voice to the article. And if you do find a good quality article writer, keep 'um. Get to know them. Talk to them on the phone and skype. By doing this the writer if they are worth their salt, will learn your inflections and will be able to transfer it to your articles.

    That tip will help save you time once you find and keep a good writer.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8384101].message }}
  • When it comes to this type of content, it is 100% fine to quote from an authority source. I'd advice going to webMD or another source over wikipedia though.

    Also, while traffic from Google can be great, don't limit yourself to this source. In fact, don't even make it your main strategy. Search engine traffic should naturally flow to your site as the result of your actual traffic generation strategies such as article syndication, direct advertising, quality forum posting and things like that.

    Hope that helps.

    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8384114].message }}
  • Profile picture of the author daveskey69
    yes, thanks again guys. I am researching backlinks, and how to generate other traffic as oppose to just search engine traffic. It's a lot of work, but like anything in get out what you put in, right?
    This is all just a test at the moment, with a view to just trying to rank the site, and see what search engine traffic I can generate before then moving on to other forms of traffic. One step at a time, I guess.
    Thanks again guys.
    {{ DiscussionBoard.errors[8384770].message }}

Trending Topics