You created a beautiful piece of content, maybe a pitch, a sales letter, or an offer. You worked hard on creating compelling copy that draws in customers. But how do you get the credit for your work? What does “attribution” mean when it comes to the content you create? How do you get paid for your efforts?
Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of getting credit for your work, including how to properly attribute the work of others, and how content creators can make money on YouTube.
How to Attribute Credit When Copywriting
When you create content, whether it’s a pitch, an offer, a sales letter, or anything else, there are a few basic rules you must follow in order to be attributed properly. Before we get into specifics, it’s important to understand what “attribution” means in the first place. For the purposes of this article, we’ll define “attribution” as the act of giving proper credit to the creators of content you use in your own work.
When you use another person’s content without crediting them, you’re misrepresenting their work. If someone produced an original piece of art, like a painting, and you used it without attribution, you would be accused of plagiarism. The same concept applies to every piece of content you use, whether it’s a pitch, offer, or any other type of writing.
For example, if you wrote a sales letter for a company and you didn’t attribute this piece of content, you are in the wrong. The content was likely created by a company employee or a freelancer. You are not the only person who can write a compelling sales letter – many CEOs, CFOs, and other executives can. So, by not crediting the source, you are, in fact, taking ownership of the content, which may not be what you intend to do.
Proper Attribution Means Crediting The Source Of The Idea
The first step to proper attribution is to properly credit the source of your idea. You must acknowledge where you got the idea from or who inspired you to create the piece in the first place. Consider the following examples of improper attribution:
- Musical.ly: I got the idea for this app while listening to a song. The song’s lyrics referenced a real-life scenario, and that’s how I came up with the idea for the app. But since the lyrics were not attributed, it created a problem. The song’s writer and the app creator both claim ownership of the content. In the end, Musical.ly couldn’t resolve the issue, and the two parties went their separate ways.
- Elmo: The Sesame Street character inspired me to create an online hangout with other comedians where they can interview famous comedians and discuss funny topics. But since I didn’t give proper attribution to the creators of the character, I couldn’t claim ownership of the content. Sesame Street didn’t want to claim ownership either, so I had to give them the benefit of the doubt and assume they knew what they were doing. We were never able to resolve the issue, and the interview was never posted.
- Livestream: I used to work at a company where every week we would interview different celebrities. One of those interviews was with a famous basketball player. During the interview, he dropped several hints about how to monetize a blog. When the interview was posted, it got hundreds of thousands of views, but since the player wasn’t credited for the advice, the owner of the company where I worked sued me for plagiarism. They even went as far as to claim that I knew exactly what I was doing and that I intended to rip off the player. Even if I had, it’s not against the law to suggest something as part of an interview. This situation was settled out of court, but it put a scare into me. The lesson here is to always give credit where credit is due.
- Laughteralot: Sometimes you come across a piece of stand-up comedy or a podcast and you think, “That’s funny! I should tell my story!” But if you don’t give proper credit to the creator of the content, you are breaking the law. Comedians and podcasters who are not properly credited have to defend themselves against allegations of plagiarism, and it’s a pain in the ass. It took me a while to figure out why these comedians and podcasts kept having these issues, but once I did, I made a vow to always give proper credit to my sources. Luckily, I am not being sued anymore because of my good deeds.
Once you’ve acknowledged the source of your idea or content, you’re free to continue and describe how you developed the idea or created the content. In the case of pitches and other sales-related content, you should explain what key steps you took to make the sale, along with the role you played. You can also mention competitors and how you handled them. Remember, what you say here is what matters the most, so be sure to write out a compelling narrative that highlights your skills and expertise.
When developing a sales pitch, you should start with a hook that will compel the reader to keep reading. A good hook will make your reader interested in your entire presentation, not just the first few paragraphs. This is the most important step to ensuring that your reader does not go away with just a few moments of their time. In the case of this particular article, my goal was to educate and inspire you to get the most out of your content on social media. But if you read only the first few paragraphs, you’ll never know how my entire presentation will unfold. It will seem like a jumble of words, and you’ll likely decide that this content is not worth it. So, to avoid this problem, make sure that your hook, thesis statement, or other beginning details draw the reader in and keep them engaged. If you used a little white text on a dark background for your pitch, the text would pop against the dark background and draw the eye in. This is why you should never, ever use a bright white background when presenting your work. It will hurt your eyes and distract you from what you are writing.
Make Sure That What You’re Copying Is Properly Agreed Upon
When you are copywriting for brands and businesses, it’s important to make sure that what you are writing is actually authorized. First of all, you should work with a lawyer who is familiar with digital media and trademarks in order to properly secure your client’s interests. Remember that just because a business acknowledges your work with a “Thanks!” or other similar remark does not mean that their legal department has agreed that what you’ve written is, in fact, original and does not violate any copyrights or trademarks.
When you’re dealing with a prospective client, it is your job to verify that they are the legal entity that is permitted to be doing business in your jurisdiction. In some cases, this might mean conducting some basic research into the company or individual who owns the trademark, brand name, or copyrights for the content you are writing. In other words, you would need to make sure that this is a real company and not a scammer who is trying to steal your work. Most importantly, when you are doing any sort of commissioned work for a brand or company, you are representing their interests, not your own. This is why it is so important to make sure that you have the proper licenses and rights to be able to do this work. Otherwise, you could find yourself in serious legal trouble.
Get The Money You’re Due
Another important point to make is that even when you’ve followed the proper steps and credited the source of your idea or content, you still might not see any compensation for your work. This is because a lot of times, the entity you are working for might not see the value in what you’ve done. But even if they do, it still might not be enough to cover your expenses or even give you a small profit. In these situations, you might have to rely on your own efforts, networking, or even selling your own products or services in order to get the money that is rightfully yours.
Speaking of money, YouTube creators can make a lot of it by playing the game correctly. There are a few different ways that content creators can make money on YouTube, and they can even make money while you’re asleep. The most popular is called “monetization”, and it allows content creators to make money off their videos through affiliate marketing, sponsorships, and live events. In order to monetize a video, you must make it public to reach a large audience. This means that your video will be seen by anyone who visits the YouTube website.