The article Don’t Get Caught in a Copycat Fight appeared first on: BuilderIQ
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Look, we’ve all been there. It’s so tempting to just copy and paste what another builder has used – especially if you just want to make a quick blog post. It worked for them, so it should work for you, right? Wrong!
First of all, that’s plagiarism – if the website is copyrighted, the content belongs to that individual or company. That means you can’t just take their copy – it’s called stealing.
Secondly, each time you do that, this little guy sheds a tear:
Just kidding! It actually means you have what’s called duplicate content. Which is still bad, sad adorable kitten or not.
No, You’re Not #Twinning
Duplicate content just means that the exact same content is on the Internet in more than one spot. Basically, Google knows when you have the exact same copy as another website. This causes several problems, according to Moz:
- Google doesn’t know which one is the original – so they don’t know if they should exclude one, a few or even all of them.
- Google doesn’t know which site to send the link metrics to – those little things like trust, authority, etc. that strengthen your site.
- Google doesn’t know which site should rank higher.
All of this leads to your site not performing as well in search. Sometimes it’s just a matter of ranking lower, but if a review by Google leads them to believe you’ve used deceptive practices and intentionally copied, they might even blacklist your website.
Don’t get caught in a copycat fight and risk losing your ranking – follow BuilderIQ’s tips instead for fresh, engaging copy ideas so you’ll never have to worry about copying someone else’s work, and stay ranking at the top of the pack.
Do Your Research
It might seem sometimes that writers just stare at a blank page and the words just spill out like magic.
While I’m all for mystical word vomit, that’s just not the case. We often spend quite a bit of time researching the topics we write about, or even just searching for a topic in general.
Not sure where to start? Try:
- Searching terms like “national home news” or “home builder news in [state]” to get familiar with what’s happening in the builder sphere.
- Find some blogs to follow and gather inspiration from, like the BuilderIQ blog (hello!) or notable builders and experts in your field.
- Keep tabs on other news as well! Bad weather, holidays, and more can be a good jumpstart to an interesting post.
Make It Relevant
This can sometimes be the hardest part of the writing process. Sure, you found an interesting topic – but how does it relate to the homes you sell?
The angle might surprise you. The news about the Grenfell Tower, for example, might spark (pun intended) a story about how you incorporate fire safety into your homes. Or, a recent spout of bad weather could lead you to publish a story on prepping for the worst.
Once you have your topic, your job is just to see how you can make your customers care. How does this relate to them? How can it help you, help them?
It’s Not Always About the Obvious Sell
It can be tempting to always include a call-to-action or prompts throughout the story, highlighting your own product and persuading buyers to act. However, in some articles, this isn’t appropriate and can actually drive readers away if they feel it’s too obvious.
Often, a “boilerplate” at the bottom of your page can help solve this: give customers the information they need, and then hit them with a “if you have more questions” line at the very bottom. This allows you to set yourself up as the expert, while also maintaining that easygoing vibe.
For all those non-English majors out there, a citation basically lets readers know where you got your information.
Usually, this is as simple as just hyperlinking out to the website, post or article – like we’ve done throughout this post. Or, you can always include a brief sentence at the bottom of your post, letting readers know where they can go to find the full source article.
Your blog posts don’t have to read like a ten-page research report – add some personality! The best way to blog is to write like you’re talking to the person on the other side of the screen.
Keep your sentences short, easy to read, and conversational. Oh, and don’t be afraid to hit that “Enter” key to break up chunks of text– sometimes we all need a little space.
Bringing it Home
Don’t leave your customers hanging – you always need to have a solid conclusion. For a top ten list of weather prep, for example, you could let them know that all of your homes include storm shelters or to make sure to keep an eye on the weather and stay safe out there.
This is also a great place to put that “boilerplate” we just talked about, or your final “sell.” The end is where you wrap everything in a big beautiful bow to hand off to the reader – the “what’s the point” paragraph, if you will. Remind your customers why they should care about this post, article, whatever, and how it relates to you.
No Copycats Here
Leave the cats for Internet videos and Snapchat filters – you can do your own writing now, no copying needed. Bonus: no sad kittens either.
Still got nothing? Contact the BuilderIQ team – we can help with content strategy or even blog for you.