This is a cardinal rule in blogging. Not just beauty blogging, but blogging in general. In fact, this is simple ethics, manners and something we should have all learned in school!
Do not steal.
Do not copy or plagiarize another blogger or their blog content.
Do not use another blogger’s photos without proper credit.
A blogger’s blog is an expression of their thoughts and words. They work hard on deciding the words to use and the manner and style of their language and content. They work hard at taking their own photos, setting up the shot, making sure everything fits their blog and blog post.
When someone steals this content, its like stealing a part of your soul. In school or university, if caught plagiarizing text or content, you risk disciplinary action. So, what makes you think its alright to do it online, in your blog?
For many, plagiarized content or text isn’t something that is easily spotted. If you skim though a blog or just visit it for the first few times, you may not notice plagiarized content or stolen photos. I do not mean a blog comprised of stolen content, spam blogs or splogs. I mean genuine blogs, with primarily original content, but with little bits here and there, tucked away in little corners, bits of text that have been subtly lifted off other blogs, photos intentionally reduced in size so watermarks aren’t obvious. Little things.
As I’ve noted, the majority will not notice it. You will only do so if you have first read it on another blog, or if (horrors!) its your own. I sometimes find it disconcerting to see my own words leaping at me from another page if I come across a plagiarizer. Its like seeing your laundry hanging in another person’s garden.
I was alerted twice : Once to a blogger who reproduced my Sephora Starhill overview post in its entirety, and another to a reproduction of my Hada Labo review; but in both cases, they included some of their own photos and made minor tweaks here and there. It was surreal and probably the worst cases I’d come across to date. If they could include their own photos and take the trouble to tweak the text, why couldn’t they just write their own post? Mind boggling.
I know most of the bloggers reading this post will not be guilty of this. If you are, then shame on you! 😛 But lest you think I’m just coming over all possessive, my point is that it comes down to respect. You do not respect someone else when you copy their hard work and pass it off for your own without proper credit and links.
If you like someone else’s quote, by all means, quote it (not copy the post in its entirety) but please link back to the original blog post or blog that you extracted the quote from. If you like someone’s photo, use it but use it in its entirety – full size, watermarks intact and with proper link credit.
If you are unsure, ask the blogger if they mind you using their photo. Few people will mind but all they will ask for is a link back. It does not cost you anything but it will gain you the respect of the blogger you linked to. It might even result in your blog being discovered and shared by the original blogger.
Link Credit should be clickable
My general rule of thumb is that if you are linking to a blogger make sure the link is clickable. Blogging is a community project and a non clickable link is quite selfish. A proper link should be clickable like so “This photo can be found at its original post on My Women Stuff“. Some people consider a non clickable link sufficient like so “This photo can be found at its original post on www.mywomenstuff.com”. I say it isn’t. That is insincere because you don’t make it easy for your reader. There are times when a non clickable link is useful but when you link to fellow bloggers in a positive way, my rule of thumb is that it should always be clickable.
Whatever you do, image and content theft is never an option.
Good on you, if its not discovered. But once it is, respect for you goes out of the window. I am sure I do not speak for just myself.
So, if you blog, think about what you want to say, formulate your own text, and be inspired by others; but do not copy or plagiarize their hard work. Or if you do, just hope you do not get caught for woe betide you if you do 😛 Bloggers don’t forgive easily and believe you me, they talk.
Have you come across anyone copying your content or stealing your images? It happens more often than we imagine!
I don’t go all out to check for stolen images or content but sometimes I’m alerted to them by readers or friends who happen to come across it. Today’s tip is just a warning and reminder to anyone wanting to get on the blogging bandwagon. I happened to come across a rather creditable blog recently that had an image taken from my blog with no credit. I know my own photos and I know my own flooring quite quite well. My image of said blogger plummeted faster than the stock exchange during the Great Depression. Dealing with it is a tip for another day 🙂
Simple Blogging Tips are some simple tips I have for fellow bloggers, based on my own experiences. I’m no ‘guru’ but I hope they will help you. You may read up on previous Simple Blogging Tips here or please feel free to ask your question in the comment box or in email.