Copying is NOT the highest form of flattery.
Yet copying seems to be a constant problem on the web. Sometimes it seems that no blog or website has gone untouched.
I’m frequently asked if my material can be used in its entirety elsewhere. Generally, the answer is “no.” After all, the posts on this blog are protected by copyright and writing is how I earn my living.
While I’m pleased and flattered that someone likes what I write well enough to want to reuse it, copying a complete post and pasting it to your own site is not the right way to share my material.
So, what can you do if you want to reuse the information that you find here?
Here are three great and legitimate ways to use my material:
- Link to the post in social media. Every post has a Twitter button for sharing. And you’re always welcome to share a link to my material on Google+, LinkedIn, or most mainstream social media sites.
- Quote a few lines of the post with attribution and a link. Attribution looks something like this: On her WritingThoughts blog Laura Spencer asks, “How friendly are you to your fellow freelancers?” From that point on, use your own words to talk about the post.
- Hire me to write an original post for you. This option has a number of advantages. First of all, you don’t have to worry about duplicate content–what I write will be unique to your site. I have ghostwriting options available, so if you choose that option you don’t even need to provide attribution.
As a matter of fact, there’s a rather ugly word for pasting someone else’s material into your own blog without asking–plagiarism. I haven’t used that word in this post until now, because I know that a lot of new website owners and bloggers are unfamiliar with copyright law and how it applies to intellectual property.
I wanted to get the legitimate options out there first.
If you have questions or are interested in learning more, I covered this topic a few years ago in more detail in a Freelance Folder post on plagiarism.
What have I missed?