sticker for laptop

{image from Schtickers}

Today’s question is from Anna. It’s a long one, but bear with us, and we’ll get into some juicy discussion about blogging etiquette below…

Hi there Jess!

Hope you are having a fabulous time in the big USA 🙂

I have a question for you that you may be able to answer on Create and Thrive. {Just as a side note, THANK YOU for all your excellent advice on C&T, I can’t get enough of it}

I am thinking about starting my own blog to help bring more traffic to my Etsy store and my question relates to blogging references and blogging ideas.

For example, if my idea was to do a blog on a recipe that I originally found in a Jamie Oliver book, (and I added a couple of new ingredients to make it my own recipe), what is the blogging world etiquette on referencing original ideas? Naturally, I would think to include some sort of reference at the start of my blog to say, “hey, this is a version of Jamie Oliver’s fantastic chicken…. etc” and link Jamie’s name to I guess my question is, do I need any sort of permission from JO? {Example 1}

Or, another example is, say I just want to do a very quick blog or FB post on a great DIY project (and lets say, I didn’t have time to actually do the project myself) “hey everyone, check out this great new DIY from this great blogger www.homeprojects??.com” – should I contact www.homeprojects??.com and let them know that I will be directing traffic their way (I’m sure they would be very happy with this), but I’m not sure what the protocol is. {Example 2}

I guess lastly (and importantly), what if I got a DIY idea from another blogger and I wanted to blog about it myself? Do you think I need to get permission off the original blogger OR just reference them OR avoid any ideas that have come from other bloggers (its very difficult to come up with an idea that hasn’t been done before).{Example 3}

Thanks Jess – I’m a big fan of yours so I would appreciate any advice you have!

Anna 🙂

Hey Anna! Great question – and I love your examples, you’ve laid out some really common situations that most crafty bloggers will come up against during their blogging career. {Side note: I am a huge advocate of how important a blog is to growing your business and sharing your story with your customers, so I think it’s definitely something you should do.}

Let’s take a closer look at these examples, shall we?

Example 1

I would do exactly as you have said – state where you got the original recipe from, and link to the source if possible. Then, get on with the post and tell us how you put your own twist on it, and why! Preferably with your own lovely photos.

I don’t think there is any need whatsoever in this case to ask for permission, as you’re using a published, easily available recipe from a ‘big name’ and you’re referencing them. That’s enough.

Example 2

We all do this sort of thing – sharing cool stuff we find! It’s so prevalent these days thanks to Pinterest, twitter, FB etc – your blog is just another place that you’re sharing that content. So as long as you reference and link to the source, no permission is usually needed. However, two things to remember here.

First, some people ask that their photos are not used/shared without their permission. This request is usually on the sidebar of their blog, so have a quick look there, as well as on the About page for any such disclaimer. If there isn’t one, you’re good to go. If there is, and they say that they’re happy to give permission if you contact them first, do that.

Second, bloggers LOVE to know when someone has shared their stuff! So, if you have time to send them a real quick ‘hey there, just wanted to let you know I’ve shared your project/post/recipe/product here – (link)’ – do so. Chances are they’ll thank you… and send some more traffic your way, too!

Example 3

I  think it’s just fine to make and share your own version of a DIY you’ve seen online. Just so long as you ALWAYS credit the original source of the idea!

As I said above, just check their blog quickly to make sure they don’t have any issues with people sharing their photos etc, but in this case, since you’re making your own project (and should therefore have your own photos) I don’t see that any blogger could possibly get upset with you running with a DIY idea they’ve shared, so long as you’re not claiming it as your own invention, but giving them the credit they deserve.

In Short…

All blog sharing etiquette really comes back to one thing – credit.

So long as you always give credit and link back to the source of a photo, idea, or project, not only will the original source not mind you sharing 99.5% of the time, they’ll be very happy you loved what they do and have sent some traffic their way!

Once in a while you may get someone who is very protective of what they do (photographers/artists especially as they get sick of their work getting shared without credit – understandably!) and they may contact you and ask you to take down your post/remove their image etc. And if they ask, do it. I usually have a little disclaimer on my site that says something along the lines of ‘all work shared here is credited to the source… but if you see your work and would like it removed, please just contact me (email)’.

I should state for the record here that I am very much of the mindset that ‘if you put it on the internet, people will share it’ and there’s nothing wrong with that.

As someone with an online business, I am ECSTATIC when someone likes my jewellery enough to blog about it or otherwise share it.

Thank you, random fan! You’ve just give me free publicity and marketing, and excellent social proof – it doesn’t get much better than that. I am of the same mind when someone shares a blog post I write, or anything else I do.

They are showing their appreciation for my work, and sharing it with their networks, therefore increasing my reach. How is this in any way a bad thing?

That’s my perspective… but I’d love to hear from you. What’s your take on this issue?

Are you cool with people sharing your work on their blogs? Why/why not?


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