Creative Blog Content: How to Use .GOV Material for Resourcing and Writing

Sections of this topic

    usa gov - Copyright-free informationAre you looking for fresh, interesting ideas for your blog?

    Well, if the U.S. government feels that certain topics are important enough to publish for US citizens, chances are that you’ll find something of value on those .gov sites as well.

    A great source for valuable, targeted articles and content can be searched and used almost verbatim from: The federal government cannot copyright their content – it is public domain information and may be used by anyone for any purpose. But be careful – the content must be written by a government agency, and NOT in collaboration with a private or state source.

    .Gov Copyright Legalities

    Watch for the copyright symbol © or lack of it. Many times, government agencies declare their content to be public domain, others do not.

    For more detailed information about .gov and copyrights , see the government legal source:

    Key Points About Using .Gov Material:

    • .GOV material is generally not copyrightable. HOWEVER, if the content came from a non-government source such as a collaborating organization, then that content is probably under the collaborating organization’s copyright.
    • Be careful to look for the copyright symbol. In its absence, look for information that states specifically that it is NOT copyrighted and may be used.
    • Many times, the .GOV source wants to be credited. Listing the domain Home page in our manual under “Resources” should be sufficient to satisfy this request. Note that this is a request and not a requirement.
    • State sites may or may not be copyrighted. Most state sites are copyrighted. Again, look for evidence of the copyright symbol or other such declarations related to copyright.

    Examples of Great Information for Blog Posts That Come From .Gov Sources:

    Go to: – You can search for specific topics or keywords to find .gov content. Information is also categorized this way (copied directly from website):

    Find Government Services and Information by Topic

    Learn about consumer issues, ta

    A-Z Index of U.S. Government Agencies

    Find contact information for federal government departments and agencies.

    About the U.S.

    Learn where to find answers to the most requested facts about the United States of America.

    Benefits, Grants, and Loans

    Learn about government programs that provide financial help for individuals and organizations.


    Find health resources from the government.

    Housing and Community

    Get information and services to help with finding and keeping a home.

    Jobs and Unemployment

    Find out how and where to look for a new job or career, get help if you are unemployed, and more.

    Money and Shopping

    xes, unclaimed money, buying from the government, and more.

    Travel and Immigration

    Learn about visiting, traveling within, and moving to the United States.

    Find Valuable Information for Your Audience, and Write a Great Post!

    Step-by-step: How to find examples of relevant, copyright-free information to use in a blog post related to Health:

    1. Click on the topic above, “Housing & Community”.
    2. You arrive at this URL:
    3. These are the “Housing and Community” subtopics from which to choose:

    Get information and services to help with finding and keeping a home”:

    Find help with buying or renting an affordable place to live.

    Learn some of the basics about avoiding and handling foreclosures.

    Find housing resources targeted to certain audience groups.

    Beware of these frauds and scams when buying or foreclosing on a home

    Find out what to do if you have one of these complaints when buying or renting a home.

    • Keeping Your Home Safe

    Find our most frequently requested information about safety in the home.

    Find public, state, and federal libraries.

    Learn some of the basics about mortgages.

    Find resources to help you when you’re moving.

    Look for help with repairing or making improvements to your home.

    Find answers to the most popular Post Office questions.

    1. Now, click around to find meaningful, helpful information that will benefit your followers.
    2. Write your post, but don’t use duplicate content. If you do, Google will recognize it as duplicate and will not search it. Duplicate content has no chance of showing up in Google’s search results!
    3. You can also turn these into a Tweet, Google+ post, Facebook update, etc.

    Go ahead and give it a try! We’ll all learn some interesting and useful things in the process.

    For More Legal Information About .Gov And Copyrights, Review These Resources

    RESOURCES: Summary of Use of GOV Material and Copyright Implications

    1. See copyright law – section 2.2 – File Name:

    Frequently Asked Questions About Copyright Issues Affecting the U.S. Government
    October 8, 2008

    1. See copyright violation – File Name:



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    About the Author:

    Lisa Chapman helps company leaders define, plan and achieve their goals, both online and offline. After 25+ years as an entrepreneur, she is now a business and marketing consultant, business planning consultant and social media consultant. Online, she works with clients to establish and enhance their online brand, attract their target market, engage them in meaningful social media conversations, and convert online traffic into revenues. Email: Lisa (at) LisaChapman (dot) com. Her book, The WebPowered Entrepreneur – A Step-by-Step Guide is available at: