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.