When I first got into blogging, I thought it to be world’s most easy and most leisurely work. Unlike a regular job, I had no boss hovering over my head, no official deadline except for the ones I had set on my own, didn’t have to wake up at seven every morning to get to the office on time and certainly no creative limitations. For me it was the most perfect profession one could ever think of. However, with the passage of time I started to realize certain pit-falls that were initially not so evident. For instance, not having an alarming deadline can make you lazy and can cause serious procrastination. Also, not having a boss means that you have to deal with everything yourself, including finances, organization and even scheduling.
Nevertheless, somehow I managed to deal with all these matters; however, one issue that became my biggest hang-up in blogging was plagiarism. No matter how hard I tried, I often had to face issues like copyright infringement, duplicate content detection and sometimes even a notice from Google. Some of these issues were genuine and usually evolved due to my carelessness while featuring other people’s content on my blog, but most of the time, the complains of plagiarism were totally baseless or could have easily been avoided.
Tips to Avoid Plagiarism
Therefore, the things I learnt the hard way, I am going to mention those in this post today for you to learn them the easy way.
Give Original Content in the First Place
There is absolutely no substitute for original content. So, the first and fore most point to remember is to try and present your users with original content. It does not matter if you give only one or two posts on your blog per week; the objective is to keep the quality higher than the quantity. If you are running a design or writing blog, and also keep a regular job that leaves you with very less time, then don’t take it as an excuse to publish rouge content. Instead, take two or three days to make one post, but make it original and genuinely interesting.
Use Plagiarism Checkers for Guest Posts
Guest posts are a good source of content and they indicate that the blog is going healthy. But it is important to keep a close check on what kind of content is being offered by the guest authors. It is my personal experience that some guest authors gave me their content which I posted on my blog, but after a few months I got a notice from Google accusing me of duplicating content from some other blog. After investigation I got to know that the same guest author fist got his content published on some other blog and then offered the same content for my blog which when I published, came under the radar of duplicity.
So I would suggest you to use free plagiarism checkers (easily available on Internet) for all guest posts coming in for your blog, and save yourself from embarrassment of duplicity and copyright infringements.
Give Credits to Minimize the Risk
If you want to feature content and designs from other artists or blogs on your website with an honest intention, then do never forget to give credit. Always give a link back to original author/ designer/ publisher’s website or page under the featured content to minimize the risk of getting caught in the first place.
Disclaimers can be your best shield against petty copyright infringement complaints. A generic disclaimer should be mentioned at the footer of your blog mentioning that all the content featured on your blog is credited and that your blog should not be held responsible if the link you have mentioned is not of the original writer/ designer/ publisher. Here is a funny way to say it…
Things always become gentle and easy if you ask for permission instead of doing it anyway. I am not suggesting you to send a ‘may i?’ email for every single image you are using on your blog. But if you are featuring the work of a single artist/ writer, then it is always good to let him know first. In fact, asking permissions will add to your market reputation and good-will and they might spread a word about you or your blog only because of this nice gesture.
The Wrap Up
In today’s world, originality is a rare commodity. However, reproducing or regenerating content is not a bad thing as well. In fact, I am of the view that 90 percent of creative ideas come from already existing ideas. Same goes for blog content. Most blogs these days are based on re-presenting or republishing content which often lands them into copyright issues. The above mentioned tips are extracted from my personal experience of running several blogs from last four years and I have shared them with you so that you don’t have to face the troubles I had to. Happy blogging!