“Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.” ~ Simone de Beauvoir
Quoting others on your personal or business blog, or on your Social Media networks like Facebook, is a great way to engage your audience and to make an important point.
It is one of many ways to spice up your content marketing.
If you’ve read my published blog posts or follow my personal Facebook timeline, you’ve probably realized I am a quote junkie. I often add a quote to the end of each of my blog posts. There’s one near the bottom of this page. 🙂
I try to quote the words of others accurately, and I also attempt to properly attribute the quote to the original author or authors.
I have made mistakes, and when I do, I always correct my error when I am aware of such.
Never Claim the Words of Others As Your Own
One thing I never do, at least not knowingly, is claim the words of others as my own.
Unfortunately, I see others do this far too often.
If I don’t know the author, I indicate that by appending “Unknown” or “Author Unknown” or “Anonymous” to the quote.
Here is a fascinating story of just how easily a fake quote comes to life and how quickly it can spread.
The improperly attributed MLK quote mentioned in the article was tweeted to 1.6 million followers, and subsequently received over 9,000 hits on Google, all in less than 24 hours!
Simple Rules For Quoting Others
- Don’t claim the words of others as your own. Your readers will notice and it will ultimately damage your credibility and reputation!
- Enclose the quoted words with quotation marks.
- Perform at least a couple of Google searches to verify the accuracy of the wording and authorship of a quote. Be prepared to receive erroneous results, especially if a quote has gone “viral”.
- If you are unsure of the author, or if it has been attributed to more than one person, then state it as follows, “Attributed to ABC & XYZ”.
- If you have no idea who said it, then end the quote with “Author Unknown”.
- And if you make a mistake, and you probably will, correct it as soon as possible!
Words Are Powerful
Words can be very powerful.
Sometimes sharing an inspirational quote with your friends or blog followers might be just what they needed to hear on that day. Other times a simple quote can explain, reiterate, or summarize an entire paragraph or article.
The interpretation of many quotes is nuanced by its precise wording, and knowing who said those wise, or timely, or humorous words can add much to the context.
Just as most of us choose our own words carefully when we speak, we should exercise the same care when we choose to share the words of others.
Now, go find a good quote and inspire, educate, entertain, humor, or maybe even offend your readers.
At the very least, make them think!
“I often quote myself. It adds spice to my conversation.” ~ George Bernard Shaw