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The internet is a huge place! So MASSIVE indeed, that you may be sharing the same exact idea or deal (in my case) and YOUR VOICE makes it sound different! You want someone to read and know it’s YOU and not a copy and paste of someone else’s information!

I am very strict on this but here goes it with my thoughts on content and originality. Please don’t copy stuff. Don’t even copy someone’s thought or image without attribution. If you’re unsure of what to do, offer up a link back to the original source. Blogging is about spreading link lurve and it only feels good to do this!

If I see another blogger writing on a similar topic (not a store deal), I ALWAYS offer an attribution somewhere. In the frugal/deals niche, if we see a store deal and someone copied even one piece of information, an attribution is REQUIRED – no bones about it!!

I have heard bloggers may not provide link backs because they are concerned over losing a reader to the blog they linked to. This couldn’t be more false! Your readers may link over to the other site, but don’t you want that? I mean, it’s all about helping one another build a community. Not linking is just not cool. If you have quality content (more on that later), they will continue to be a loyal reader.

Bottom line, your voice is different. When you copy something without proper credit, it will be noticed by someone, trust me. There are CIA-like spies in the blogging world and they’ll uncover it :) Plus, being yourself is so much cooler anyway (kinda like how .net is the new .com :)


Of course, in sharing tips on originality, I need to also touch on plagiarism. Your blog content is protected under a Creative Commons license. You can even get fancy little buttons, plugins and add feed notifications to show what kind of attribution is required. Most all bloggers I have seen require a link attribute, it goes back to building up our community with link lurve.

Anyone who decides to plagiarize your work can be prosecuted since it’s…oh yeah…it’s ILLEGAL! Here is a great article (written in layman’s terms) on blog copyright. There are steps you can take if you feel your content is being plagiarized.

Action Plan: Just don’t copy, as in ever!

Photo Credit: H.E.D.I.

About Andrea Deckard

Andrea Deckard is a personal finance expert and speaker. She lives by the following motto, "save on what you need so you can spend on what you want." She started Savings Lifestyle in 2008, and long-time readers remember the site as Mommy Snacks. Andrea is a go-to resource on frugal living for local news outlets such as WDTN, WGRR, and as well as national outlets like Good Morning America. She has also been featured in multiple national publications.


  1. Becky (Nickels-n-Dimes) on June 24, 2009 at 2:18 pm

    Amen sista! Great write up!

  2. Jennifer on June 24, 2009 at 2:39 pm

    Hallelujah! Very well said and perfect timing! I was just coaching a newbie blogger on this topic. She found one of her stolen posts without any credit given to her which upset her greatly. Thanks for such an awesome article!

  3. Lisa @ Crazy Adventures in Parenting on June 24, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Fabu post! Amen to all of it! ;)

  4. [email protected] on June 24, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    You are so right. Just give linky love.

  5. Carrie on June 24, 2009 at 5:51 pm

    i think this post covers plagiarism and not copying pretty well but i don’t think it really expresses the need for originality.

    i think originality is more about writing things i’m not going to find on 15 other blogs today. content is king, give me some original content.

    • mommysnacks on June 24, 2009 at 7:30 pm

      Carrie, good point. My thought on originality is very simple – use your own voice! I brought in the plagiarism examples since that does affect how someone does NOT use their voice. And, of course it’s illegal. I see so many blogs do a copy/paste and reformat a little. That’s still NOT original. I think presenting information with their own personality, having great content of course, makes your blog original and keeps people wanting to come back!

      And, content is definitely king (I’ll be discussing it in a future post on this too). Bottom line, for me, is using my voice, creating content that my readers find value in. You will find some of what I do on 15 other blogs, but you won’t find it written at all in the way I present it. At least, I don’t think ;)

  6. Sugar Jones on June 24, 2009 at 6:02 pm

    Amen to linking back! I love when I hear bloggers concerned that they’ll lose a reader, when really, sharing links just makes that person more of a go-to person in the reader’s mind. My favorite bloggers are the ones that introduce me and send me to great new reads that I might never have even known about.

    And AMEN again to not copying. You can’t be original if you’re always doing what the pack is doing.

  7. [email protected] on June 24, 2009 at 10:00 pm

    I just had an entire deal post copied by a bigger blogger with no credit and it is just awful. All the work that goes into blogging and someone thinks they can steal it and take the credit. It just amazes me. Thanks for the post!

  8. Marcy on June 25, 2009 at 7:36 am

    Great series Andrea! And LOL on the “CIA-like spies comment”. I have no idea who you are talking about! :-)

  9. lynn on June 25, 2009 at 9:56 am

    Awesome write up and I love your blog by the way! I just started blogging and ALWAYS link back, but I was wondering if when people post the coupon match-ups, deals, do you retype them, changing wording or can you just post it with the link back?? or post just your fav’s and directthem to the link forthe whole list?? What would you recommend?

    • mommysnacks on June 25, 2009 at 1:24 pm

      Hi Lynn, this is my personal opinion, of course :) I always just highlight the deals, as you mentioned. If someone copies/pasts an entire post, whether they include a link or not, there is absolutely no value for their reader to click over to the site who did the work. I don’t agree with that.

      If someone is highlighting a few things and linking back to the original source, this gives good information and provides a teaser to the rest of the deals – and their hard work. You can also just post a link directly to their site as well.

  10. BusyJulie on June 25, 2009 at 10:41 am

    Hi! I am a new blogger and this series has been very helpful to me. Here’s my question about this post: Do I need to email to ask permission to share a deal found on a site, or does the link back to where I found it suffice? Also, sometimes I find things on Slick Deals or City Data and post it, only to see others post the same freebie/deal later. Then, because I don’t have a link, I am afraid someone will think I got the info from their site. What’s the “protocol”? Thanks for any advice you can give :) Love your site! My husband’s loving all the cash I am saving!!!

    • mommysnacks on June 25, 2009 at 1:31 pm

      BusyJulie – I don’t expect someone to ask for my permission, as long as a proper link back is given. With the arrangement I have highlighting deals, I made personal connections with all of the bloggers requesting permission to do this. It was a courtesy, really on my part since I wanted to highlight those on a weekly basis. I know many don’t make contact with the blogger and in my opinion, that’s OK too.

      Regarding finding the information on a message board, if I see it there I’ll usually reference it (like each week with my Drugstore Ad Scans from HCW and Slickdeals). My big thing is that I’m trying to teach people to save. I want to give people to tools to do this so I share resources if they wanted to go search the deals themselves. I know my personal friends don’t want to mess with it, that’s why this blog is here in the first place :)

      Sometimes, if I see a deal posted all over the place, I don’t list off all of the sites talking about it. Usually, I get those deals in my inbox too so if that’s where I got it, then I may mention the value in signing up for various email newsletters to those sites. I do give credit to whoever brings it to my attention.

      Honestly, as long as you are right with what you’re doing don’t worry about what other people think :) And, so glad to hear your hubs is happy with your savings! It doesn’t take long to convince them that our saving skillz is of the awesome!!

  11. retro mama on June 25, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    I followed your link to the helpful article in layman’s terms and found that most of his helpful plug ins were specified for word press, I have yet to find any for blogger. Therefore I have been reading on this download…is this really a better forum than blogger?

    • mommysnacks on June 25, 2009 at 2:36 pm

      Retro Mama РI do see a lot of his plugin suggestions are for WordPress. But, with Blogger it’s just updating a piece of information in your settings (so much easier, actually).

      In Blogger, go to Settings :: Site Feed :: Post Feed Footer. You enter your copyright language in that section. WordPress is GREAT for so many things, but for this specific need on copyright language, Blogger can also do it for you. Hope that answered your question.

      And, I am going to discuss Blog Platforms next week. I’ll do my best to explain the pros/cons of Blogger and WordPress then :)

  12. Cindy on June 25, 2009 at 3:25 pm

    Thank you again for doing this. You answered so many questions. When I first startred blogging I did not want to link up because I also thought I would lose readers. I just did not have a clue. I now link to other bloggers and it so much fun not to mention saves so much time doing deals.

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