Growing Your Blog: Reposting Etiquitte

Welcome to another installment of the Growing Your Blog Series!  Today we’re going to be talking about the proper {at least according to me…lol} etiquitte for when you want to share a great idea you saw on someone else’s blog.

From time to time, all of us see something somewhere else that we think is SUCH a great idea we have to share it with our readers, right?  That’s part of the fun of blogging, all the inspiration we’re able to gain and share.  And, done correctly, the person who came up with the idea will benefit from you sharing it as well.  But, done incorrectly, it can cause hard feelings and even become a copyright violation in some cases.  Here are some rules to follow when you want to repost someone else’s idea.
There are three different scenarios in which we might want to share something created by a fellow blogger, and each has different guidelines.
SCENARIO 1: Someone inspired you with their project and you made your own version.
For this situation, the emphasis is on your own project.  It’s totally fine to write the post as a normal tutorial, showing pictures of your work and the steps you followed.  Just make sure you put a link to your original inspiration, lest they and your readers think you’re trying to claim their idea as your own.  You can simply credit them with a text link, saying something like, I saw this fabulous Sentimental Word Art linked up at our party by Karah from The Space Between. I liked it so much I featured it, and then I just had to make my own version.”
If you like, you can also copy and paste an image of your inspiration too so that your readers can see it.  Sometimes I do this, sometimes not, depending on the project.  The plus side is that it gives the original creator more exposure and is fun to see for your readers, the down side is that if it’s the first image in your post, people might pin that photo instead of a photo of your actual project, which happened to me {a lot!} with my covered clothespins.  {The left image is my inspiration from Vixen Made; the right photo is my take on it!}
So, in summary, for this scenario, here are the:
1. Use a text link to the specific post where your idea came from.
2. {Optional} include one photo of the inspiration.
SCENARIO 2: You’re doing a round-up or featuring projects from a link party.
The goal of featuring projects from your party or collecting projects you like that go with a particular theme is to give exposure to the people who created them, right?  Bloggers love to be featured, especially if your blog happens to be bigger than theirs, because done correctly  it will bring traffic their way.  The idea is that people will see the project, be interested, and click to visit the creator’s blog for more information…which is why it’s important to use the link for the specific post and not just the person’s blog homepage.  Readers will be frustrated if they want to see a particular tutorial and end up on a homepage instead where they have to search for it.  This kind of featuring really does benefit the other blogger; for example, Jen from Tatertots and Jello was sweet enough to include my clothespin magnets {pictured above} in one of her roundups a few months back and according to my stats, that particular post is my 9th highest traffic source of all time!  Crazy!  When you’re featuring another project in this manner, the best way to go is:
RULE: Use one good photo and a clear text link to the specific post.
For example:
Patriotic Jar Lanterns: Here’s to Handy Andy
SCENARIO 3: You see an idea you like on another blog and just want to share it.
So it’s not something you’ve made yourself, and it’s not an official party feature or roundup, you just like it and you think your readers will too.  What do you do?  Well, here’s what NOT to do.
Never copy and paste an entire post!!!
The only time you should have an entire post written by someone else on your own blog is if you have a guest poster.  We all spend a lot of time and effort on each post we publish, and none of us wants to feel as though our work has been stolen.  Recently, I got an email from a sweet bloggy friend who found out that someone had copied and posted one of her tutorials…the title, the content, the photos, everything.  The other blogger had given her credit in a quick little text link at the top of the post, so I’m sure she didn’t intend for it to look like she was stealing content, but we all know that  readers don’t always read every single word of every post we write, right?  Send me a Starbucks gift card now.  You know you want to.  Haha, just checking.  Still with me?  Reading every word?  In all seriousness, though, people often skim, looking for the photos and the tutorial they want to see.  I’m guilty of it, and you probably are too.  So it’s easy for someone to miss that quick little byline, know what I mean?  Which, even if the blogger had the best intentions, makes a lot of people think the project and post were her own.  Plus, it doesn’t drive any traffic to my friend’s blog because everything is already right there for readers to see.  Make sense?  So what’s the best way to show your readers something you think is really cool?
RULE: Use one or two photos and a link to the specific post.  Give your readers a little tease telling them why they need to go see the project, then let them click over to the actual blog to find out more information.
For example, you could post something like this:
“Have you ever wished that instead of making a new wreath for every season, you could somehow just change the one you already have?  Mel over at The Crafty Scientist has figured out how to make a fun interchangable wreath that you can decorate for every season without damaging any of the parts!  You’re going to love it; check out her post for a full tutorial!  Great work, Mel!”
In closing, I want to say one other thing that applies to any and all scenarios when you might be posting about someone else’s work.
Take the time to read and respect fellow bloggers’ wishes regarding their photos and content.
Many bloggers have a little blog policy blurb somewhere on their homepage giving information with respect to what they do and don’t wish to be done with their intellectual property. 
Here’s mine:
The contents of this blog, including text, original photos and ideas are the sole property of the author.  If you intend to use my text or images, please link back to this blog and give credit to One Artsy Mama.  Please do not republish an entire post or post photos of my family.
A notification email would be greatly appreciated too!
Allison, over at House of Hepworths, says it this way:
Bloggers/websites may NOT repost my blog content without my express permission. My tutorials belong exclusively on MY blog. They are my intellectual property. I’ve spent countless hours making these projects and I don’t want them living on someone else’s site.
HOWEVER, linking to my project is perfectly fine and I encourage it! Those who link to a project of mine are welcome to take one or two photos and link each photo back to that specific post.
Some bloggers will limit how many photos they want you to use, others will ask you to refrain from posting photos with family members, and others will have various specific “rules” they want you to follow when it comes to reposting.  Being aware of and respectful of those things will go a long way.  After all, the blog community is a rather tightly knit one and it’s much better to have friends than enemies who think you’re trying to rip off their content, right?
Pinned Image
Also, if you don’t have a blog policy on your own site, you may want to consider adding one!
Whew, ok.  That was a lot of info, huh?  But I feel like this is an important topic and worth addressing.  Was it helpful?
Happy blogging!
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25 comments on Growing Your Blog: Reposting Etiquitte

  1. Jess@Coxs Corner
    June 16, 2012 at 9:48 PM (3 years ago)

    Thank you for sharing this series! I really like it!

  2. Phil and Darby Hawley
    June 16, 2012 at 10:53 PM (3 years ago)

    Per the usual, this is such an awesome topic for this series! THANK YOU for pointing these tips out!

  3. KCoake
    June 16, 2012 at 11:44 PM (3 years ago)

    Card is in the mail…lol! Just kidding, but I was reading. ;-)
    Thanks so much for the information. I believe I will be adding a ‘policy’ section.

  4. Gen
    June 17, 2012 at 12:42 AM (3 years ago)

    Wonderfully said! Though sometimes I’m afraid of putting the original inspiration on my blog cuz it might be better haha. Or when I copy someone and get lots of “what a great idea” I feel a little guilty it wasn’t my idea and that I seem to be getting the credit, but I ALWAYS link to the original source, sometimes even 2 or 3 times throughout the post.

    And may I just add a little tidbit? You should host the pictures on your own server/blog when featuring. I thought it was something obvious until I exceeded my bandwidth limit when one of my projects got heavily featured (for what I was used to) and the bloggers were using my picture directly. (if interested you can read more here).

  5. Terrie
    June 17, 2012 at 3:11 AM (3 years ago)

    Thanks Amy for another great post on blogging. This is one subject that I’ve wondered about. I do like to feature other blogger’s great ideas now and then and I want to do it the right way so that they get the kudos that they deserve.

  6. SheilaG @ Plum Doodles
    June 17, 2012 at 1:21 PM (3 years ago)

    Very helpful! Thanks for the info- there seems to be so much to think about that I didn’t even know I needed to think about! :) Having a blog policy spelled out for your readers is a good idea, will need to figure out one for myself.

  7. Chiwei @ One Dog Woof
    June 18, 2012 at 2:54 AM (3 years ago)

    This is great information! Just a question, only peripherally related – how do you enforce your privacy policy? Unless you scour the interwebs or follow a billion blogs, you won’t really know if someone is copying your blog content. You’re really just hoping that people are honest, right?

  8. Jen Lossing
    June 18, 2012 at 11:23 PM (3 years ago)

    These are some really great tips and advice. I currently don’t have a blog policy and I am going to create one right away! Thanks!

  9. Janelle @ Emmaline
    June 19, 2012 at 12:18 AM (3 years ago)

    Thank you for the great tips! Now here is a question… can I copy your blog policy? lol!

  10. Michelle
    June 19, 2012 at 1:00 AM (3 years ago)

    Perfect timing for this! I am fairly new to blogging and I saw a great idea that I am going to make my own version of. Your tips are very helpful!

  11. Justine of SewCountryChick
    June 19, 2012 at 4:39 AM (3 years ago)

    Wow, what a great post you have written. What do you think about if someone gives you a text link saying they got their idea from your tutorial, but then they write and post pretty much the same tutorial but with their own photos as the one you wrote and they got the idea from? That happened to me and Im not sure how I feel about it.

  12. Shara @ Palmettos and Pigtails
    June 21, 2012 at 7:09 PM (3 years ago)

    I’m loving all of these tips…as a relatively new blogger, it’s nice to learn the unofficial rules!! =)
    I’m pinning this to my Blogging 101 Board so I can reference back to the series later!

    Shara @ Palmettos and Pigtails

  13. Six Sisters
    June 21, 2012 at 11:33 PM (3 years ago)

    Thanks for this post!!! So very important! We appreciate you linking up to our “Strut Your Stuff Saturday”. Hope you’ll come back soon! -The Sisters

  14. Rebecca
    June 25, 2012 at 12:02 AM (3 years ago)

    Really good info, thank you for writing this. Now you have me wondering if anyone has ever re-posted photos of my family!

  15. grok78
    June 25, 2012 at 8:06 PM (3 years ago)

    Thanks for this information! I’m new to blogging as well, so etiquette and tips are greatly appreciated. :)

  16. Chick Flick Diva
    June 25, 2012 at 10:54 PM (3 years ago)

    Good article. Thanks for paying forward for all of newbies.

  17. Anonymous
    June 26, 2012 at 12:21 PM (3 years ago)

    At the risk of disagreeing with everyone, I think lifting a picture from someone else (copying and pasting) without their permission is called stealing… even if you credit them. You can’t just take someone else’s work? You must ask them first- unless they give you permission in a written statement somewhere on their blog.

  18. Mel the Crafty Scientist
    July 4, 2012 at 7:36 AM (3 years ago)

    Thank you so much for featuring my little wreath project! I was happily reading your post because I’m still sometimes a little unsure about re-posting one picture with credit and wanted your take (I usually tell the person after I did it if they don’t have a formal policy and I try to always tell everyone that if it’s not okay with them, let me know and I’ll get rid of it – most people are flattered.) Anyways, saw my project and got super-excited!!! Thanks for your super-sweet words! : )

    -Mel the Crafty Scientist

  19. wedding salwar kameez
    August 7, 2012 at 6:01 AM (3 years ago)

    It is nice to read such a good blog post. However, I don’t like java. Because of the unavailability of native development environment such as visual studio for .net.

  20. FactoryExtreme
    September 20, 2012 at 8:19 AM (3 years ago)

    I’m learning new things in bundles as there happens to be a lot of unique stuff here. I hope it will continue to deliver nice information.

  21. lisa :: the red thread
    February 27, 2013 at 12:25 AM (3 years ago)

    SCENARIO 1: I agree, it’s great to take inspiration form someone else’s projects, that’s why people create tutorials. It’s fine to use one of their images and correct blog etiquette link to their tutorial. And fun to show what you’ve made. What’s not OK is to create your own step by step tutorial (the same or almost the same) as the original and post it on your blog. That’s basically copying someone else’s original idea, and reposting their tutorial in full. I think this is sometimes hard for people to grasp, but it’s a very important part of showing respect for bloggers who create original content. It’s a lot of hard work.
    Can you tell this is a soap box issue with me?! LOL.


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