Giving credit where credit is due – 5 tips for Authentic Blogging

Today I read a good blog post about content curation vs. content scraping “Are You a Content Thief and Don’t Know it?” by Kim Stiglitz. According to the article,

“The key difference of content curation vs. content scraping has everything to do with proper source credit and attribution.”

I was reminded of the scandal early this year when Toronto District School Board director Chris Spence was caught out for plagiarism. It began with a newspaper article and before long it was evident that he was a serial copycat. From his doctorate dissertation to his blog, he was guilty of plagiarism.

I don’t think that most bloggers intentionally steal content. One of our LearnWP students asked innocently enough if it is acceptable to repost someone’s blog post on his own blog.

What is the acceptable way to use blog content from others without violating copyright?

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. This is not intended as legal advice.

Follow these 5 tips for authentic blogging

  1. Resharing, not imitation, is the sincerest form of flattery on social media. Guy KawasakiIf you are quoting someone else, actually quote them and make sure that the context carries over their original intent. Use quotation marks and attribute the comment to the original author.
  2. Provide a live link to the original source. If you properly cite your sources it adds credibility to your post.
  3. Check if the source you are quoting has content usage guidelines and if so, follow them. I once heard a blogger at a conference say that if it’s on the Internet it’s fine to reuse it because of creative commons licensing. I nearly jumped out of my seat! No that’s not true. The entire Internet is not licensed under the creative commons! If the original author has published their image or copy under a creative commons license you can share and reuse the material in accordance with the copyright. If there isn’t clear licensing information associated with the material, then you should request permission to use it first.
  4. Don’t use a post in its entirety. Quote from it but then add your own take on the subject. Offer more to your readers than the original article offered, give them a good reason to follow your blog.
  5. If you want to publish an entire article, ask permission from the original author and make sure that the original author is credited. I wouldn’t make a habit of this. If you are going to blog, write your own original content.

When you find content because of someone else’s post, use this protocol: compose and share a post with a link to the source and then add a “hat tip” to the person who brought it to your attention. – Guy Kawasaki & Peg Fitzpatrick The Art of Social Media

Compose a post with a link to the source, add a “hat tip” to the person who brought it to your attention #ArtofSocialClick To Tweet

It is so easy to copy and paste from other web sources when writing a blog post. If you don’t want to be a copycat, give credit where credit is due.

Happy blogging!

3 thoughts on “Giving credit where credit is due – 5 tips for Authentic Blogging


  1. Hello,

    I was wondering if you can provide more guidance on how link back to other people blog posts.
    I am passionate traveler and because of my passion I ended up following and reading many travel blogs. Sometime I don’t have much time, I want to read only about a specific location I am interested into ,so going through all these blogs and searching for that specific location proved to be quite difficult.
    That is how I got this idea ..why not make a website with all the top travel blog posts categorized in country/location, which will show people only relevant posts form various travel blogs based on the location they select.

    So I created http://www.travelblogpedia.com

    Well my dilemma is now, how can I properly link back to the original post and give credit to the author and provide value to the reader as well.

    You can see here an example of what i trying to do ( quote the original article and link back to it):

    http://www.travelblogpedia.com/usa/driving-across-the-united-states/

    I plan on contacting every author of the blog posts I want to include and ask for permission to do it, however I want to make sure first I am doing everything I can to make this proposal to be as legit as possible and one that everyone will benefit from..

    Can you please give some guidance?
    Thank you!


    1. Hi Andrew, the way you have done it is perfect. If you get permission then you’ll have no worries. You could also accomplish this by pinning articles to Pinterest boards by pinning articles to different boards then you don’t need to seek permission.

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