How to Properly Cite Sources (in a Non-Annoying Way)

Content marketing is all about sharing ideas, but it’s important to make sure those shared ideas are properly sourced. Some entities online do not want their ideas shared at all, while others are open to sharing their work along with proper credit. Failure to properly cite the information is unethical and could even lead to legal trouble, so be sure to follow the rules when sharing content that isn’t yours.

Check the Website for Citation Rules

The first step in deciding whether to share content from a blog or website is to check for citation rules. Most sites will have a page or blurb about citing their text or photos. Some sites are also part of Creative Commons, a service that helps establish content sharing guidelines. They may request that no work be duplicated at any time, or they may simply ask for a link back to their site to establish credit. If you’re unsure about sourcing or there is no information regarding citations, contact the site administrator. Most active site administrators will respond quickly.

Properly Sharing a Large Quote

Sharing small quotes or ideas does not require a formal citation, although mentioning the author and their site is always a kind gesture. For larger quotes, you should cite the source in a manner similar to academic writing.

“Less is not always more. Today’s content consumers value their time, but that does not mean you need to constantly churn out 200-500-word blog posts. Rather, it means you should be creating content that shows you want to provide value for the time invested.” Brian Guthrie, Content Equals Money Blog

Here, credit is given to the author, as well as the site he is featured on. The link back is provided and should always lead directly to the content page, not the site’s homepage. This is the proper method for crediting work, yet also gives the reader further articles to read on the topic.

Statistical Links

As a consumer, you may notice that writers and bloggers often misrepresent statistical links in their writing. To make the reference clear, statistics should be linked back to their source, either the company or the research organization first reporting the statistic.

If you come across a statistic on a health blog citing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, you should find the specific information on the CDC’s site and link it on your website. Do not link the health blog, as the site is not the originating source. There is also a chance that the information is being misrepresented or is misleading, so it is your responsibility to provide reliable information by linking official sites.

Social Media Posts

With the popularity of social media platforms, linking to these sites is increasingly common and, fortunately, simple. To cite content from a Twitter account, include via@username along with the tweet.

Don’t let your stellar content go unnoticed! via@Content_Money

To cite Facebook, use the ‘Share’ button, which will link directly to the URL while also giving credit to the originator.

Screen capture:
Facebook
1 March 2018

To cite a source from LinkedIn, include the link to the content you’re citing and mention the individual or company.

Link Sources for Readability

In an article or blog, your sources should be included in the text for readability and never detract from the content you are writing. Here’s an example:

Instead of This:

Capturing and keeping reader attention is an uphill battle, according to Content Equals Money.

Do This Instead:

Capturing and keeping reader attention is an uphill battle.

To keep the reader engaged, include the link as text in a non-annoying manner. This method credits the original author but does not detract from the message you are relaying.

Plagiarism

All bloggers understand that plagiarism is a serious concern, especially if you have hired a company or third-party writer to create content. Although you are paying for these services, if the content has been plagiarized, you will be the one held responsible.

To ensure the content is original and does not include plagiarized work, run the work through a plagiarism checker. There are free basic plagiarism checking programs online that can be used specifically for checking content.

Hire a Company for Help

Creating content can be a time-consuming process, but it is necessary to draw traffic to your business. If you don’t consider yourself a writer, or simply don’t have the time to create engaging content, there is always the option to hire a writing service. Be sure the company is reliable and based in the U.S. Many companies outsource their writing to non-native English speakers, which often results in subpar content.

CEM is a reliable and trusted company for the creation of online content. We offer a $500 guarantee against plagiarism, and our writers are college-educated, native English-speaking individuals based in the U.S.

If you’re too busy to create your content, remember that you can contact us for help you can trust.

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Krista Basham

Always the adventurer, Krista Basham of the San Antonio joined the US Air Force straight out of high school and began her work abroad as an intelligence analyst. When the desire to marry and pierce her nose got to be too great, she left the military in search of a formal education. She earned her MS in Organizational Psychology from Walden University and has worked in publishing, marketing, and human resources, but she has truly found her home as a writer. Krista’s passions include her husband and sons, traveling the world, as well playing with any animal that's small and furry. Her spare time is spent watching the Chicago Cubs or reading in the bathtub with a glass of wine.

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