Gather round newbies, today I’m going to teach you how to make friends and influence people on the Internet. Today, you will learn how to properly re-post someone else’s work and what to do if your work has been stolen.
When I first started this website I knew nothing about blogs. And I mean nothin’ with a capital what the hell?. In fact the only website I knew for sure was a blog was The Pioneer Woman. I could instantly recognize it was a blog. She was talking about her life, showing us recipes and making me laugh. It made sense. THAT was a blog.
Then I started to meet other blogs. Blogs that confused me. They called themselves blogs, but all they did was put up posts they found on other websites. They didn’t claim these ideas or posts as their own, they just shared them with the world. GREAT! A conglomeration of really great stuff other people took the time to find. What’s not to like?
Unless you’re the one who originally wrote and worked on those posts.
For the first little while I’d get as excited as a chicken eating a watermelon if I saw one of my posts on another site. Obviously this was confirmation that my post on 10 uses for a Dollarama Candy Dish was exactly as great as I thought I was. I was great. The world was great. Everyone and everything was great.
Until I took a smart pill and realized this wasn’t flattering, it was stealing. That post took me an entire day to do when you add up the time to gather and buy the materials, take the photos, write the text and upload it to WordPress. (it was one of my first posts so I hadn’t quite got the hang of anything yet)
It happened over and over again and every time it made me angrier and angrier. And when I get angry I swear. Big swear words too. The kind normally reserved for jail cells and paper cuts. There had to be a way to stop this.
And there is.
When I first started this blog I had no idea what the rules and regulations were to blogging. I mean, it’s blogging. How many rules can there be other than always double checking that any pictures of yourself don’t accidentally show a nipple.
Turns out there are a few rules, especially when it comes to referencing other sites or using their work.
First off I should say that the standard opinion is that you should email the originator of the content and ask their permission. BUT, if you re-post properly you probably don’t need to do that.
How to Re-Post Someone Else’s Work.
I happen to love a particular post on dying jeans by Centsational Girl. See how I did that? When I mentioned her site, I automatically highlighted her site’s name and created a direct link to her site. That’s rule #1.
#1. Always mention the site’s name you’re referring to and link to them.
#2. If you’re linking to a tutorial of some sort with lots of pictures, only show one picture. Two at the most. This will give your reader an idea of what you’re so excited about without giving so much information that they won’t click to see more of it at the original site anymore.
#3. Don’t include and talk about all the steps involved in the project you’re reposting. The more information you give your reader, the less likely they are to go to the original post and the MORE like stealing it is.
#4. I also happen to think it’s best not to show the final or “reveal” photo. Leave that surprise to the original poster. This is a judgement call though.
#5. Create a link in both the picture and with text underneath that takes the reader directly to the blog post you’re so excited about.
#6. If you found a post through someone else’s website then you should include a link to both the original blog post and the person you found it through. If this is a problem and a post has been through a million different websites, always link to the site the content originally came from.
So a re-post would look something like this:
“I was browsing around the Internet the other night at 2:00 a.m., as I often do, and I came across a post from Centsational Girl I must have missed the first time around. She normally does house related stuff; painting furniture, re-arranging furniture, cutting up furniture … she’s your basic furniture genius. But this post was something else entirely. She tried something I’ve wanted to try for years. She tried to dye her faded jeans.
(Notice how I don’t mention whether her experiment worked or not? That’s part of the fun of her post is discovering whether it was successful or not. She didn’t reveal whether it worked or not until the end of her post, so you shouldn’t either!)
Go have a look! It’s a GREAT post.
That same night, closer to 2:30 a.m. I found this as well. It’s a starburst mirror made out of metal rulers!
If you found a post that someone else has re-posted (like in my above example) I think it’s nice to post the originator of the content’s link first.
It’s your choice whether you would like your links to open in a separate window or not. I have mine open in the same window so to get back to my site you just hit the “back” button, which is the most used button in Internet navigating. Others believe you should have the link open in a separate window so your site is always open in the browser. Like I said, it’s your choice.
See how easy and straight forward? This kind of re-posting is what makes the Internet a happy and smoothly running machine. This and those magic wires and Internet Unicorns up in the sky.
Finally, I wanted to share with you what to do if someone re-posts your material improperly. All you have to do is send them a simple email asking them to fix it. When people link improperly, it’s usually because they don’t know any better. Or, they had no idea where the original post came from. Just telling them you’re the originator and you’d like the link to your site usually clears the problem right up.
No swearing required.