Let me explain;
A couple of weeks ago I decided it was about time I dipped my toe into the world of article marketing. If you are not sure how this works it is a simple idea.
I write around 700 words on a subject related to my niche, at the end of my article I include a link to one of my sites. I then submit my article to as many online article directories as I can. My article is then freely available to webmasters and ezine publishers to republish as content for their readers and on their websites.
The benefit to me is backlinks to my sites resulting in targeted traffic and improved search engine rankings.
Anyway, I signed up to Ezine Articles (one of the biggest directories) and I set to work. I wrote a Twitter article which linked to my Twitmasterclass site, I wrote an article about pro-blogging that linked to my Blogging for Profit product – I’m sure you get the idea.
To drive traffic to my eBay niche product – Prints Make Profits I merged a series of short eBay business tips articles that I wrote in 2008 into one large article.
The day after submitting this article I received an email from Ezine Articles explaining that they were unable to accept my article for publication because it was the same as an existing article in their directory.
I naturally queried this and they emailed me a link to the existing article.
A mixture of shock and disbelief followed by anger came over me as I read the article – it was word for word identical to one of my short eBay articles. I followed the link to the author’s other articles and was amazed to discover four other eBay articles each one an exact copy of one of my short, eBay, article series!
I used Aweber’s subscriber search facility and sure enough the ‘author’ of the stolen articles was indeed one of my own subscribers!
I’m sure you can imagine how betrayed, cheated and mad I felt, I’d read about plagiarism of online content but it is one of those things you don’t really think about until you are the victim.
What should I do? My head was in a spin – how would I convince Ezine Articles to remove the stolen content from their directory? What if they thought I was the thief?
I needed advice so I turned to my mentor – John Thornhill, John has always been there when I’ve needed guidance or a helping hand.
John advised me to send a “cease and desist” notice by email demanding that they remove the articles within 48 hours or face legal action for breach of my copyright. (Here is a link if you ever need to put a letter like this together yourself http://www.rightsforartists.com/examcease.html)
I followed John’s advice and a few hours later I received a one line reply from the thief;
“The articles have been deleted.”
Not a word of explanation, excuse or apology!!
I spend many, many hours creating content for my blog, my newsletter and my products and it astounds me that anyone would have the nerve to copy and paste my work into an article, put their name on it as author and publish it online.
I’d really like to hear your views on this, particularly if you can offer any advice on protecting ourselves from these ‘cyber thieves’, please click the ‘comments’ link at the bottom of this post and let me know how you feel.
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