“I have gathered a posy of other men’s flowers, and nothing but the thread that binds them is mine own.” — John Bartlett
Sometimes someone else just says it better.
Including quotations in your article can help lend a certain credibility or atmosphere to your writing; contributing further background to the topic you’re discussing. Although it’s okay to add them from time-to-time, exercise caution when using quoted material in your article writing and marketing. Keep in mind that you are the Expert Author – make sure your readers know it!
While a news article or academic writing will often contain multiple quotations, this practice doesn’t translate well into the article marketing world. You want to present yourself as an authority in your niche—someone your readers (and potential customers) will want to seek out. By overloading articles with quotes, you make readers wonder what makes your personal brand special and why they shouldn’t just go to the source instead.
Because there are some topics that could be better conveyed with the added emphasis of a quote or two, we allow them to be included in your articles … sparingly.
When Using Quoted Material in Your Articles:
- Re-examine the quotes or sourced material in your article before submitting it. Is it necessary? Can you explain this information better with your own words?
- Don’t include third-party testimonials about products or services in your article body. Promotional statements like these belong in your Resource Box or, better yet, on your landing page.
- Is your article at least 400 words long without the quotation(s)? If not, you’ll want to flesh it out a bit more.
- Always attribute the quoted material appropriately to the author (like the quote in the subheading above).
- Include only one or two short quotes or excerpts in your article. More than that, and your article could be flagged for derivative or duplicate content.
- Remember that you’re piggybacking on somebody else’s credibility, so be kind. The only exception is articles specifically written to be critical, such as reviews and critiques.
- Quote only celebrities or other people of high notoriety. Quoting non-celebrities is a dangerous and slippery slope that can lead to time-consuming hassles, unsavory confrontations and even lawsuits.
For practice, why not go write an article based on a famous quote or an excerpt from a well-known document? If you don’t overdo it, this style can be refreshing and effective, plus it’s a great way to jumpstart your writing process when you’re feeling unmotivated.
Do you have any other tips for properly quoting sources in your writing? Share them in the comments below!