If you’ve known us for like five minutes or so, you know we’re BIG on content. Content is King, as they say.

If you want your website to rank in Google searches, and you want your audience to see you as an authority in your industry, you need clear, relevant, well-written content.

A great way to provide that content is through blogging.

Many of our clients draw inspiration from other relevant and valuable articles they find online. Which is great! I mean, why reinvent the wheel? Lending credence to other reputable sources can actually boost your own credibility as well. It shows that you’re educating yourself and staying abreast of new developments in your industry, as well as providing value to your audience, regardless of the source.

Obviously, we highly discourage copying and pasting other people’s articles. Not only could you get slapped with a hefty lawsuit, but to Google, it appears as duplicate content – even if you link back to the original content – and you don’t want that. Google penalizes sites for duplicate content.

So here are some dos and donuts – excuse me, don’ts – of reposting articles on your blog.

  1. Rather than reposting an entire article of someone else’s, write your own brief synopsis of the article. Highlight some key points and why you found it valuable. Then cite and link back to the article.You can cite by saying the source ahead of the article or quote – something like, “According to the California DMV…” or you can link to the article by saying “Click here to read more about [then say some keywords about the topic].” Or if you want to cover all your bases, do both. You’re not trying to pass it off as your own original work, so you can be generous with your citations.

    For example, we drew inspiration for this article from Adam McLane’s article, How to Repost a Blog Post with Style and Grace.

  2. If you want to quote some key passages that are super profound or that you couldn’t word any better yourself, try to limit the quote to around two paragraphs. If it’s more than that, you’re better off just paraphrasing the article or rewriting it in your own words.
  3. Make it obvious that you are directly quoting by using the blockquote feature on your blog, or indenting and italicizing the content, or both.

    The blockquote feature looks like this. – Tyree Nelson, Website Muscle

  4. If you must repost an entire article of someone else’s, get permission first. Don’t simply cite the source and link back to it. And definitely don’t just post it as though it’s your own.

How do you get permission? Same way you did with your mom when you wanted to play at Johnny or Susie’s house. You ask. Send the author an email or leave a comment asking permission to repost the article, and most likely the author will be happy to grant it. (Who doesn’t want free press?)

When you do get permission for reposting articles on your blog, cite the author and link back to the article, but also provide language that says you have permission to use it. (Something like: Article reposted with permission from Website Muscle.)

We put together a handy “Blog Writing Guide” eBook with 10 tips on making the best blog posts possible. If you’re interested, you can fill out a form and download it here.

Happy writing!