BY Erika Yigzaw, American College of Healthcare Sciences Chief Institutional Officer
Are you addicted to health and wellness blogs? Want to share some content with your website readers or store customers? Who doesn’t want to share tips on how to get well and healthy with simple therapeutic lifestyle changes and organic botanicals! But how much sharing is ok?
Google announced recently that they will be taking even more steps to lower rankings for sites that "steal" content, so how do you ensure you’re following the rules? Not just the rules of copyright law (can you explain “fair use” at a cocktail party?) but also the netiquette, twitiquette, and blogger-etiquette of it all!
Copyright - and how to quote, cite, borrow, and rework existing content - is a common enough issue for students writing papers, but it doesn’t go away once you graduate. Most business owners need to steadily create content for blogs and websites, and that can be tiring, particularly if you’re not that handy with the keyboard. While a small percent is blatant and just plain rude, we know that lots of folks out there are innocently copying and pasting away...
We think that holistic health folks are 99% good sorts... and our view is that many folks don't realize that online content has copyright protection too! Imitation is not flattery in this context. So if your goal is to protect your karma AND generate some great content for your own websites and blogs, read on!
We loved this blog post from Hubspot on how to share and give credit in a way that builds your credibility and links, rather than inadvertently stealing content and hurting your Google rankings: http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/33098/How-Not-to-Steal-People-s-Content-on-the-Web.aspx
And here are some other ideas on how to get original content for your website or blog:
- Write about what interests you or takes up your time. Did you have a hard time figuring out what to cook today? Did the drive through look waaaaay too tempting? Blog about it! Everyone is struggling with their own issues and there will always (well usually) be someone interested in what you have to share! As much as we'd all love to be blogging about our divine care free life in Hawaii (sigh) - that could get boring pretty quick. Although I am happy to volunteer to test that theory. Just saying.
- Build on what you've learned. Say you've just completed your aromatherapy certification program with ACHS and you're in love with your essential oils. You want to share the love. But you know you can't just post the information from your online class into your blog, so how to share? Share your own experiences! For example, you could talk about how you learned that lavender (image above) (Lavandula angustifolia) can help you relax and sleep, so talk about how you experimented on this for yourself! Did you diffuse it? Make a bath oil blend? Where did you buy your lavender oil? How did you make sure it was the right variety and why is that important? What happened? That would make a great blog post!
- Invite guest bloggers to contribute. (Are YOU interested in writing a blog post for the ACHS blog? Email us today! No, really. We’re talking to you!) This is a great way to increase your content while helping someone else get more readers to their own site and business. We love that our new blog tool easily lets guest bloggers create draft blogs! Look for tools that make it easier for you to leverage your time! We love having ACHS students and graduates share their tips and experiences with their holistic health training with our readers.
- Hire a ghost blogger. It’s hard to make a living as a writer in your pajamas. There are lots of would-be Huffington Post writers out there who can write for you and your business. As a ghost writer, they don’t get credit or links out to their own business, but you have to pay them. What to pay ghost writers depends on the industry, experience, word count, etc. You may even want to become a ghost or guest blogger if you just love blogging! But to pay a ghost blogger remember you'll have to monetize your blog!
- Get a copy of Dragon Dictate. It helps avoid carpal tunnel and makes getting that stream of consciousness down on “paper” that much easier. Even with my weird kiwi accent, I've managed to "train" my dragon to understand me at least 80% of the time. Hey! That's better than my husband!!!!
So what about netiquette, twitiquette, and blogger-etiquette? Well stay tuned! Each one needs a post of its own! Or maybe we'll put together an eBook!
Do you have a blog or newsletter for your holistic health business? What are your favorite tips for generating new content?