Stealing Blog Content Is Not Flattery (Or Legal)

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Do you find others’ posts inspiring and want to be like them? Me too!  I definitely have my blogging idols.  But what is the difference between learning from others, wanting to succeed, gathering ideas, and finding inspiration versus stealing blog content?

Stealing Blog ContentPin

I recently had a copycat book blogger.  She rewrote a chunk of my blog content (and others) across her site.  Many posts were very personal and unique to me and my voice.  She admitted pulling from my website and others in my community but only removed one offending article.  I sent a Cease and Desist letter and started reporting her to appropriate channels.

Momma don’t play.

  • Learn why stealing blog content is not flattery. Blogging other people’s content without permission is not OK.  In fact, plagiarism, taking someone else’s work and passing it off as yours, is illegal and unethical.  You also cannot ‘borrow’ copyrighted material.
  • Find out a few ways that you can protect your blog because chances are, at some point, this will happen to you.
  • Discover how to report your stolen content.  You have rights.

Why Stealing Blog Content Is Not Flattery

Right now, I should be writing a post about beautiful Iceland according to my content calendar agenda.  That wistful content is my happy place.  So thank you, rogue blogger, for obliterating my time ALL WEEK to report your transgressions.  However, I am inspired for this current post.

So what happened? Why did this happen? What did I do to stop this content stealer?  What is the difference between copying blog content versus having overlapping material?  When is inspiration a copyright issue?  And when, quite frankly, do bloggers’ morals just blow chunks?

Full Disclosure: I am a blogger.  If someone is stealing your content, plagiarizing, infringing on your copyright, or doing illegal, shady things, always consider seeking professional advice from a lawyer.  This post will not cover all of the comprehensive answers or solutions.  Please do your research and read on as guidance for my situation and ideas on how to handle yours.

Copying and Stealing Blog Content From Other Bloggers Blog PinPin
Don’t get caught unprepared. Pin this information for later in case someone steals your blog content.

How I Discovered Someone Was Stealing My Blog Content

When Blogger’s Ask For Help, Take Your Advice Or Courses And Then Steal Content From You

My copycat reached out the day she started her new book blog, aggressively infiltrating my communities on social media (like Pinterest) and talking about blogging with me.  Friendly but a little rude, I figured she was harmless and motivated.  Blogging is not easy.

Within weeks of starting her blog, she populated her site with stolen, rewritten, and mimicked work.  A ripped off blog name.  Similar taglines.  Reviews and book lists that looked like others. And for me, she used 3+ book blogging posts from my site pawned off as her own.

I didn’t notice for 5 MONTHS.  Sadly, this blogger went off my radar or I would have seen that within 2 weeks of starting her blog, she was writing about blogging as a professional and giving advice.  The advice she copied straight from my posts.  Not to mention using undisclosed affiliate links, and let’s be real, products she had never used because they were COPIED.  I feel bad for her trusting audience.

How I Truly Discovered The Rogue Book Blogger

How did I find the copied posts?  You can always Google yourself and parts of your work.  There are watch websites and Google Alerts.  I did not do that, though. Mine slapped me in the face.

Karma is a weird, happy beast.  Deciding to spend my morning pinning from blogging friends’ group Pinterest boards, I started seeing posts that looked like mine.  This isn’t too unusual.  Many of us write the same book list topics with our own flair and review the same books.  In the travel industry, a gazillion bloggers write about visiting the Blue Lagoon or one day in Riga. This isn’t the problem.

However, my “Why You Should Start A Book Blog” post was personal, comedic, and fun.  Essentially, the post wasn’t easy to accidentally replicate unless you stole it along with my voice and phrases.  Which she did. I clicked on the pin first.

Have you ever started reading a post and just knew it was YOURS?  I know my work.  I live with my high-pitched Minnie Mouse voice every day, and I hear me.

The headings matched mine and she merely reworded and moved them around.  The content and voice: mine. As Kaleena from Reader Voracious once said of stolen content, the work resembled a “Frankenstein nightmare.”  Yup, I had just read my post on someone else’s blog.

I clicked around the site (I hate giving rogue people blog traffic), finding post after post copied not word-for-word but slyly similar using many of the plagiarism methods Turnitin discusses.  Girlfriend stole my blog content.  

Please know, too, that because she contacted me about blogging Day One, I knew she had been pillaging from my site and using it as a reference.  No question there.  Don’t get me wrong.  Please do look at my advice and content:  I teach, I share, I connect, and I love to help.  BUT DON’T STEAL IT AND CLAIM IT AS YOUR OWN.  Quote me, deep link me, and write your own damn posts.

I emailed offending blogger immediately after noticing she was stealing blog content.  Well, first I screamed into a pillow.

Feelings Of Guilt And Is It Me?

Secret disclosure here too… I KNEW this blogger had taken my work 200%.  But still, I self-doubted if I could do anything.  Was I powerless? Would people believe me?

Copying Blog Content Is Not Flattery

Plus, some bloggers preach the cliche that ‘imitation is flattery.’

Truth: I always feel disgusted when I see bloggers’ justifying mimicking and stealing others’ content.  Equally barfy is when bloggers and non-bloggers say it’s flattery.  Get your year’s worth of hard work, content, and words straight out stolen from under you, rank front page Google for all of those posts, and let’s see how honored you feel.  I’m not flattered; I am straight out pissed and hurt.

P.S. Copied text that matches yours confuses Google, registers as duplicated work, and your Google rankings are now toast.

But it doesn’t matter how I feel.  There are rules, laws, and regulations.  Let’s see how copyright laws feel instead…

Others say, “Well, it’s your work but it’s not literally word-for-word.” More to come on this.  There are many types of plagiarism.

Let’s not forget too: Plagiarism gets you kicked out of school.  Why do we accept and judge it as less in the blogging world?  No one should copy your content, and nope, you shouldn’t just “let it go.”  Everyone needs to educate him/herself on plagiarism.

And to all those who don’t care, again, wait until it’s you. You can hate me for saying that, but it’s true.  You’ll understand then.  I have no doubt.


Refined ThemePin
Instead of stealing my blog content, why not legally think about using my blog theme to enhance your website?


Plagiarism vs Overlap: Will Blog Content Overlap?

And this is where the problem starts: justifying stealing content or brushing it off.  “Ohhhh, EVERYONE has a post about how to start a book blog.  The points are mostly the same and ‘standard’ (my rouge blogger’s word there) so I copied YOURS.  I love your blog and your content.  You inspire me so I used it.”  Mmmmhmmmm, OK, sort of. Naw.  Let’s play:

Travel Example Of When Content Overlaps And Is NOT Plagiarism

Recently, another travel blogger and I visited the same country around the same time.  Did we see the same sights?  Some of them.  Did we write itinerary posts with the same places? You bet.

However, while our itineraries overlapped, we still had different feelings and experiences.  I saw landmarks that she did not and vice versa.  My posts added a boozy and bookish flair for my niche and had my voice.  Her posts represented HER.  With similar general content, our posts remained in many ways unique to us.  No question there.  It would be a small miracle if we ate at all of the same restaurants every day.

Being Unique Works In Your Favor

With that said, being unique is king.  I believe the Internet is big enough for all of us.  We hear this all of the time.  It’s not my phrase.  My only competition is myself sucking.  And with this particular awesome travel blogger, 1. I love her and would never even worry about her content looking like mine and 2. She’s good so I want her in my community.  We decided to deep link non-competing, relevant travel posts and even collaborate for posts to fill in gaps of what we saw and experienced.  Ultimately, we wanted to work together as a team to enhance our readers’ travels.

Working together with similar content is beneficial to you.  Swiping it is not.

Not every blogger is all Kumbaya, though, and you do you.  That’s totally acceptable as well.  We don’t have to work together or share or collab or even talk.  Just don’t rip those people’s itineraries and change a few words.  If you learn something from them, credit them.  They are not your competition except maybe for a front-page keyword on search engines.

Your audience reads you FOR YOU. Think about that.

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So, Yes, Content May Overlap With Bloggers

So will content overlap amongst bloggers? Yes. Bloggers have similar niches, itineraries, and how to blog guides.  But they shouldn’t be exactly the same, with the same branding, same voice, and pretty much SAME everything.  Just because hundreds of people write about something doesn’t mean you can copy their post.

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So When Does Inspiration Become Stealing Blog Content?

Are you with me on overlap?

What about inspiration?  Do we get pin design ideas from each other or love a particular blog format?

YES.  But, once again, we all have colors, fonts, voice, words, and ya know, branding.  We have different things to say our way.

Does my WWII blog post inspire you to write one based in another country?  Cool, let’s connect, collab, or share.  In fact, I might have that exact same post with many different books.  I tend to add YA titles in my posts and multicultural elements.  That makes me, me.  My reviews are my opinion.

When “Inspo” Goes Rogue?

Let’s say you see my posts and are now inspired.  Where can this possibly go wrong?

My rogue blogger claimed she just loved my content and was inspired.  In an email responding to my legal confrontation, she even said that “your points encouraged me to start one [meaning my now copied why book blog post].”  She said that she felt other information I provided such as how “to book blog” was “standard;” she justified swiping it because it was a guide that seemed universal enough.

She lifted others’ “inspiring” book lists because, hey, they were standard.  Hmmm…

That’s getting SO GRAY to RED now right?!

The Differences Of Inspo, “Standard,” And STEALING Blog Content

I agree here: blogging about blogging has somewhat standard bullet points: hosting, plug-ins, choosing a brand name, and using tools like Canva.  Same for starting a bookstagram or books set in a country.  But if I see you talking about giant wine glasses at Joann’s, I am taking your ass out.

If you rip and copy every single point one by one from a blog and change a few words, you are in the WRONG.  Once again, experienced bloggers will still have a few (or many) different recommendations, their own swing on it, and their voice. I doubt we literally did ALL of the EXACT same things in that order with those same feelings, tone, and phrases.

Same for this cheating blogger’s lessons learned.  She copied my “increase blog traffic” post literally heading by heading.  Quirky phrases unique to me: STOLEN.  P.S. She learned in less than 3 months EXACTLY what I learned in a year+.  I guess she did: from me by stealing my post.

While I trust that “consistency” will land on most blogging about blogging posts at some point, when your post is 200% mine, it’s not ironic or chance or universal or duh.  YOU STOLE WORK.  I didn’t inspire you to create cleaner pins, better use of subheadings, or find new blog post topic ideas.  My success and solid posts inspired you to CHEAT and STEAL to get ahead.

This is also sounding incredibly repetitive and annoying now, right?!  And it is.  I am saying the same thing 10 different ways because I’ve heard it all this week.

But get this: ALL OF THESE EXCUSES  & THOUGHTS ARE PLAGIARISM.  And if a site is copyrighted, it’s copyright infringement too.  I don’t care how you “justify it.”

P.S. Hobby Blogging Doesn’t Mean You Can Steal Work Either

One more point to clarify:

This blogger claimed that she blogs for fun as a hobby, meaning stealing is no biggie; it doesn’t matter then, right?  You aren’t making money off of anyone…

WRONG.  Plagiarism is plagiarism.  In this case, she stole my work, time, and she indeed tried to make her own affiliate sales from me.

P.S. Know that rogue blogger’s site was fully monetized, she had a Work With Me page (looked exactly like mine, cough cough…SO STANDARD), and she had posted her VA services all over Facebook groups–funny how well documented the web is.  I’ll let you judge because I sure did…hobby, my butt.

Instagram Collab Scams Related PostPin
As a blogger, quite frankly, there are a ton of ways to get screwed. Learn more about Instagram collab scams. This post discusses a good brand collaboration vs a bad deal and company taking advantage of you.  Never pay a brand to promote their products.


Dealing With A Copycat Blogger

I hope by now, you see the problem and the excuses that won’t face up against the rules and bloggers’ rights.  This week’s blogger wasn’t the first transgression, and she won’t be the last.

Last year, a blogger tried to cut and paste my content that he said was “gold” onto his brand new site.  Honestly, that plagiarism is SO much easier to deal with immediately.  Straight out word-for-word copying gets instant action. Rearranging and changing someone else’s content gets just slightly harder to prove.  BUT IT CAN BE PROVEN, and in my case, it was.

Again, this is all still PLAGIARISM.  Ya just made a lazy attempt at mixing it up.

A lot of bloggers thinking ‘mixing up’ someone else’s content is OK.  It’s not.

Learn The 10 Types Of Plagiarism Here

 Turnitin (the system my MLIS-degree program used to check ALL papers), made the world an Infographic with 10 ways to plagiarize.  I highly recommend reading it: The Plagiarism Spectrum.

Which brings me to the ultimate offense.  I can be pissed all I want, but hey, this is plagiarism.  I feel like I needed to say it AGAIN.   Stealing words, content, and ideas and pretending it is yours is plagiarism.  Grab that dictionary. This blogger infringed on my copyright too, which has legal ramifications.  The law protects me.  Peruse Turnitin and DMCA.  Google it.  As bloggers, do whatever you need to understand.

Wanna know the consequences of rogue “inspo”: accounts get suspended, your site may poof, and hey, you might find yourself owing a ton of cash, if it goes that far.

Oh yea: Under 17 U.S.C. Section 504: copyright infringement statutory damages range between $750 and $30,000 per piece. Damages land you up to $150,000 per work for willful infringement.  My lawyer hero, Amira from A Self Guru, will reiterate that.  This goes for pictures and images not protected by Fair Use.  That sounds serious, right?  Because you committed a SERIOUS offense.

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Worried you might not be able to track down this post again? One, join my newsletter, and two, pin it for later.


What Are A Few Things That You Can Do To Protect Your Blog Content

Are we on the same page about what stealing blog content looks like?  How about plagiarism and copyright infringement?

So what can you do to protect yourself?  What do you do when your content is stolen?

As a blogger, first off, don’t steal content.  Chances are you will get caught and go down.  Have integrity, morals, values, and a sense of the law.

If someone is stealing blog content from you, here is what I did (remember there is a LOT more so seek professional help and read up):

1. Know Your Responsibility As A Blogger

First and foremost (do I sound official here?), you as a blogger are responsible for both protecting yourself and for knowing and following the laws.  Are we all perfect?  Hellll to the no.  Do we mess up or have incorrect stuff by accident.  Most likely.  Take classes, work hard, network, join Facebook groups, and do your research.  Talk to legal professionals.  Fix your mistakes and learn from them.  Stay in the loop.

2. Copyright Your Blog

I am not a pro on Copyright.  What I do understand is that you can have that little Copyright symbol with the year in your blog footer.  P.S. The second you publish your work (as long as it is yours to start), it is YOURS right then and there, regardless.

You can set up Google alerts with excerpts from each post too.   This will let you know if someone completely copies and pastes your work.

Know that there are other more formal ways to register and pay for hardcore copyright per blog post.

3. Have A Terms And Conditions Page Along With All Proper Legal Pages

I don’t speak legalese, but I know people who do.  Sorry, I got mad librarian skills and can save lizards.  I can even play basketball in heels. 

Having a strict “Terms and Conditions” page lets users know exactly how they can and cannot use your site, content, and words.

One of my blogging heroes, Amira from A Self Guru, is a lawyer and a blogger who has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs with their legal pages plus thousands of her clients.  She has a cheap and thorough legal bundle that the best and most invested bloggers use.  Raises my hand.

Best blogging training courses and tools Legal BundlePin
Click here to learn more about blogging legally and protecting your business with this bundle.

For reference, look at the bottom of this post and see how protected I am via her Disclaimer, Terms and Conditions, and Privacy Policy.  One of the best purchases I made.  Check out this lawyer-drafted legal bundle here.  Amira is also a great person to have in your pocket.  I love her FB group, emails, and tweets.

4. Know Your Rights

Check out the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  Look into obtaining a Cease and Desist letter, and if needed, seek legal guidance from a lawyer.  You have rights.

LLC For Blogs Related PostPin
Learn why you want to protect your assets and register your blog as an LLC here.


5. LLC Protection

I talked to a volunteer lawyer when I first started blogging.  I registered as an LLC to protect my wine fund from my blogging funds.  Seeking official business status is more about protecting and separating your assets vs copyright infringement, but just in case you end up in a legal battle, you want personal vs business separated.  Our house is not up for grabs.  I won’t risk a $150k fine… I use stock photos carefully AF.

Learn how I became an LLC as a blogger here, and learn the difference filings as a business.  If I can do it, you can do it.  Plus, The Uncorked Librarian LLC just makes me sound badass.

6. IP, Blocking, Reporting, Emailing

Once someone lifts your blog content, it’s time to get serious. Screenshot copied blog posts with post content and URLs.  If you feel comfortable, reach out to the offending blogger professionally first.  Ask the blogger to take down the posts.

When posts don’t get removed, start reporting them to the rogue blogger’s web host, Google, and Pinterest–to name a few.  Have proof because they will ask for it.  Nothing is assumed, and documentation is BOSS.

Then, I blocked all social media accounts–although you might want to skip this to keep in eye on the shadiness.

I also blocked IP addresses–which isn’t a be all end all for many reasons.  Won’t point those out for the cheaters, though.

If you see other’s content that you think is stolen on a site, kindly let them know.  We need to have each other’s back and hold each other accountable.  Don’t get yourself in legal trouble, threaten, or defame.  Just be honest, open, and professional.

Let the law lead the way and have faith in it.   Pinterest is amazing at getting stolen content down in one day, at least for me.

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Did you know that Pinterest is not only great for protecting your digital rights? Pinterest can explode your blog traffic. Check out the course that jumped my blog traffic off the charts by my Boss Girl Bloggers’ hero, Ell.


Lastly, Don’t Be THAT Copy Stealing Blogger

People can claim unintentional plagiarism to a small extent or straight out admit to stealing your work.  At the end of the day, bloggers struggle with people copying blog content on all levels.  There is protection, but let’s be real too: some bloggers will get away with it.

The law, platforms, and persistence smushed my situation in less than a week.  Posts went down, and for now, the offending Pinterest profile is down as well as the rogue blogger’s website.

Every time that I go through some copyright and talk to other’s in the same situation, I learn more and more.  I am so sorry if this ever happens to you.   Blogging other people’s content is not OK, and it sucks for you.  You will power through it. 

Fight for your content.  

I fought this week like a lover scorned.  When you steal my stuff, you unleash a powerful, passionate beast.

Once again, please know that this post is meant to help bloggers stuck with those stealing their work.  Let this all be a reminder for those bloggers who seek inspiration from other bloggers:  There is a line you can cross.  Please don’t.  And if you do, be ready to face the consequences, including fines.

Looking for more blogging advice?  Try these all-niche blogger hacks.

You May Also Find These Posts Helpful:

Why Register Your Blog As An LLC
Truth Bomb Blogging Tips & Tricks
Our Favorite Blogging Resources
Blogging Courses We Champion
How To Increase Your Blog Traffic



  1. Thanks so much for writing this – I found your post through google after I realized someone had stolen my blog content. I agree it’s easier when it’s a copy/paste deal. This was not word for word but very obviously just rewritten from what I had – it was a list type post and all of the headings were the same topics, just slightly reworded. It’s really upset more than I thought it would, so I want to try and do something about it. I’m contacting the blogger first so we’ll see.

    1. Thank you so much for the kind words, and I am so sorry that happened to you. Good luck with getting the issue resolved — I hope it’s fast & works in your favor. It’s definitely upsetting when you’ve put in the work and poured your heart and soul into something.

  2. Thanks for sharing such an informational blog which wil, surely be a big help to the students who are creating a thesis or working on dissertation work

  3. I’m so sorry this happened to you. I was plagiarized once (only once I know about…), and the feeling of discovery was AWFUL. Somehow it felt really violating and personal. In my case, the plagiarist also stole from many other bloggers. I find that’s generally the case. Plagiarists don’t steal one thing. They steal until they’re caught. (This was true when I taught too. If I caught plagiarism, I’d go back and look at the students’ other essays. Guaranteed they had already plagiarized other assignment for my class or were already on record for cheating in other classes.) I don’t blog for money, so I didn’t feel it was worth it to involve a lawyer, but I did alert other bloggers whose work was stolen, and we all messaged her to stop and reported her on every site possible. Weirdly she still blogs, but if she’s plagiarizing still, she’s gotten better at hiding it.

    1. Oh man–I am sorry that you were plagiarized from too. I definitely think–for me–watching someone steal my tone, jokes, words, and overall writing was the hardest. I work really hard on my writing–and it’s what makes me, me–so to see someone just callously swipe it to make money off of me really bums me out.

      You are right too about stealing more than once–and in my case, this blogger wasn’t just copying me. Once I figured it out and flagged her for my close community, other people found their work stolen through her across the months.

  4. Absolutely outrageous. You have such a distinctive tone of voice and it injects your personality into everything you write. How anyone can steal that and think they’ll get away with it…. This makes me so angry!! Someone stole my work once and claimed it as his own. He then told me to ‘stop harassing him’ and never paid me for it. How these people get by in life I have no idea!!

    1. I know right? I am so sorry that happened to you. In college, you’d just be booted right out. No questions or debate. It’s super frustrating.

  5. I’m so so glad that you caught her and I’m sorry that you had to experience this and that it dampened your stay in Iceland. I’m so glad you used this to write such an informative post that helps bloggers deal with this, and also points out what and what isn’t acceptable when it comes to copying other’s work (basically nothing lol). I’m definitely going to be more careful and make sure that I’m not plagiarizing anyone’s work or images!

    This is such an awesome post ❤ You’ve got a new follower!

    1. Hey! Thanks for the message. Thankfully, I wasn’t actually in Iceland at the time–just writing about it for the blog. That would have been even worse. My evil stares would have melted all of Iceland lol!

      I am glad that you found this post helpful too. It’s not my usual per se, but I just figured that I wasted so much time fighting fires, I might as well be productive with it. I’ll be checking out and following along with you too. I always love meeting other book bloggers. Thanks so much! Xxxx

    1. Thank you. I’m so sorry you had to do the same thing too. I started off semi-nice but forceful. It got me somewhere but not to the point where all of my work was coming down. I decided to not be as forgiving in my second attempt and left no doubt soooo out came the Cease and Desist. I sadly just think that stealing and copying blog content is becoming more and more of a problem with so many more digital nomads and bloggers coming into the scene.

  6. Killer kick-ass post! I love how you schooled everyone. Copying is NOT flattery. It’s one thing to be inspired, another to cheat by ripping off someone else hard work. I can’t believe she admitted it. She was obviously not well educated in the subject and had no ideas who she was messing with. Sorry your week was taken up by this BS but you wrote an amazing blog post and because you experienced it first hand, the passion is there. I can feel your wrath! You’re like a mama bear protecting her cub (is that the saying?). In this case, it’s your blog. Go, girl! If there are any other cheaters out there, hope they read this and learned that this is NOT okay.

    1. Haha, thank you. I wrote this one literally with my blog fingers on fire lol. That blogger really made my week crazy. My words are everything to me. It’s like she stole my wine glass right out from under me.

      I definitely don’t think she knew what she was up against–but then again, she not only stole one post from me: it was a few. AND then I realized she took from my book blogging community members. That was freaking it.

      Thanks! I wasn’t even going to blog about it, but then I figured that I learned so much…and everyone kept wanting to know what was happening…so why not turn into a bubbly limoncello spritzer. It’s a good lessons learned for us all, and hey, my blog is a little more legal and lawyer-ready because of it.

  7. GO OFF SIS!!!!! So glad you could claim a victory from this whole, unfortunate debacle! And I really appreciate all of the tips & information that allows us, your fellow bloggers, to get our foot in the door in terms of protecting ourselves and how to go on the offensive if necessary. It’s so awful that people really can’t just find their own voice, style, and brand by working hard at it. Cheating, lying, being dishonest, and STEALING what others have toiled over is GROSS. Full stop!!

    1. Haha, thank you! I am sure you know from college how crazy this all is too.

      Definitely think we all have a ton of stuff to say unique to us in our way. Thanks for the cheer.

  8. Gosh, I’m so sorry you had to go through this. Copyright and legal uses should be something all bloggers have to learn about so they can protect themselves, and not hurt other bloggers.

    It’s distasteful when people downplay blogging. All the hours and care I put into a single post is hard work.

    1. Right! New bloggers just don’t always research what they are getting into too. Myself included when I first began blogging. I think the other problem is the ‘flattery’ attitude or “well, do I really care.” People just let the copying go on and on because they don’t want to deal with it (it’s a lot of work to prove plagiarism) or know what to do. They don’t know their rights. Yet, this coping hurts everyone because the copycat blogger learns it’s ok to steal (and then steals from others), and the blogger doesn’t realize how bad this hurts their content with Google and search engines.

      I deal with downplaying blogging on a weekly basis: I feel you! People just have no idea what goes into blogging, which is totally fine and understandable. I have no idea what most jobs do, but I would never put down what someone does for fun or a living. I would never assume that what they do is meaningless or easy, either (which happens in the blogging world). Blogging is pretty dang hard and so much happens behind the scenes. Nope, I am not just live journaling my life.

  9. How awful! Especially after you spent time answering this blogger’s questions and presemubly helping by giving advice for her to start her own blog. I don’t understand how people think it’s flattery. Stealing your ideas and hard work is just that – stealing. And as a blogger I know just how much hard work goes into blog posts, it’s not just the writing, careful keyword choices, and image selection. It’s also the endless promotion and updates. So sorry this happened to you.

    1. Thanks for your empathy and understanding. Having to explain all week why stealing blog content was not OK to multiple bloggers and IGers blew my mind… I definitely know this is exactly how a lot of my blogging friends feel too. A few bloggers that I love and take classes from constantly find their course ideas stolen literally the next day. I watched a blogger take a course (no one else knew she took it), tell everyone every single detail that she learned within that week (but didn’t credit the teacher; she literally pretended it was all her own), and then offered her paid services to implement what she just learned and ripped off from someone else. It was just mind-blowing. People get this get-rich-quick idea in their head and stop at nothing to achieve it, at the expense of others (and the law in this case).

      And you are definitely right–so much goes into blog posts. I think what my copycat blogger failed to realize too was that my audience isn’t hers. So stealing my content probably barely would work for her anyway.

  10. I want to start by saying, I’m sorry it happened to you. I’m glad you caught it. And this is an awesome post. I mean, I don’t blame you for getting as much information on the whole thing and what you can do. But that also means you’ve helped a TON of bloggers by bringing it to the front of their mind. Well written and some great advice!
    So glad you caught the stealer!

    1. Thanks so much! I honestly cannot believe that this went on for as long as it did without me catching it. I am going to be hyper vigilant from now on. I definitely feel better protected in the future. I’ve had other issues in the past year, but this one topped them all by far.

      I am glad that you found this write-up helpful (I re-wrote it 4 times), and thank you so much for reading as well as following me on Twitter.

      Thanks, again.

  11. Great post Christine. Some useful info for every blogger. Might need to look into those Google alerts I think.

  12. Some people are just the worst, but despite the nonsense it sounds like your hard work will pay off in defending your site & content (not that you should have to)! Bonus blogger points awarded for using this situation as inspiration for a post educating others on what you’ve learned this week!

    1. The posts and now offending site plus platforms are gone, which is great for now; when your blog is literally ALL stolen content, there really is no going back. I just hope other bloggers are inspired to take action and now realize that they have rights. Full disclosure that you may not always win or the process may take MUCH longer, but I always think that we have to try. Plus, in this case, she was killing my SEO and Google front page content. I wasn’t giving up when it had devastating effects on my job and site. I don’t think anyone should.

      I was definitely glad that I could turn these lemons into limoncello ; ) Thanks for reading!

  13. Me, reading this: is she…is she talking about me?

    I smiled reading the whole section about how to write about the same thing without stealing others’ work. I’m so glad that we can both write about Iceland and collab without worrying about anyone stealing. I’m writing another Iceland post at the moment as well!

    I have learned that being an LLC is really the best position to be in for these situations. I’m going to be looking into it at some point. Probably when I grow just a bit more.

    This post is crazy helpful, and I really appreciate that you took the time to write it this is SO important and I know you don’t want others to go through this as well.

    I’m so sorry this happened to you and maybe future perpetrators will see this and run away. No one can match your sense of humor and boozy, bookish ways. They are unique to you and why your readers keep coming back!

    1. Haha, that first line sounds really bad when I first read this comment lol! Like no, you aren’t the copycat blogger ; ) HAHA, yes the travel collaboration is definitely you. I debated mentioning that I may have made a scenario from us–which is equally funny timing because you just posted about the Golden Circle (which I will read after I write mine on the area lol). But I didn’t want to make it a thing either. I just felt like I kept explaining to people over and over again in private messages that content overlap and listicles for travel places are not an excuse to plagiarize. Our Iceland example hopefully brought it home that we are all a team with our own communities and audiences. Yes, all bloggers compete at times for the same keyword and some traffic, but that’s about it. We benefit from working together as bloggers vs against each other.

      I have to figure out how to cancel my FL LLC and turn it into one fast for NC. I think it’s pretty easy, but I’m definitely a little anxious to look at it. Taxes aren’t going to be fun this year. I definitely recommend an LLC for everyone, though. The protection is worth the few hundred dollars.

      I’m glad you found this post helpful; thank you! Thank you for your kind words too!

      1. So after I posted the first reply, I thought the first line sounded kind of bad. Hahaha. Oops! At least I clarify if you keep reading!

        1. What a bit**. I’m glad you realised and came out on top. It’s just not on. Also fair play for writing this, as hopefully it will help others who have had similar problems.

  14. You are awesome. What a horrible thing to happen but to take what happened and use it to help guide others, is awesome. I can’t believe you were able to get things taken care of so fast and write a blog post about it. You’re amazing!
    I don’t understand how anyone could do this. How could they possibly feel good about what they’re putting out? I think some people are just missing a few screws in their brain. Narcissistic people. They only see the world from their point of view. I hope this person’s blog is permanently over. Or if she comes back to at least write her own stuff. I suspect she may try to cheat again. Doesn’t believe in herself enough to do something original.

    So glad it’s resolved and you can get back to Iceland!

    1. Thanks, Lauren!! I am amazed that you had time to read and comment with your BIG birthday! Thank you so much for thinking of me. Your weekend looked amazing!!!!! I hope you had a wonderful time.

      Girl, I was like a lover possessed. Don’t get me wrong, I will come for anyone who steals my work. However, this girl picked all of the posts that I rank front page Google for. Her duplicate content and keyword competing were harming my traffic potential and one year’s worth of SEO. SEO that I studied, and updated, and worked tirelessly on. Ohhhh, it makes me SO dang mad. lol.

      I suspect she will come back somehow and somewhere and try again in a different community. She might be brazen enough to hit up mine again, but my eyes are wide open. Based on her disappearance, she knew she was busted too. Blogger after blogger started seeing their work in hers.

      I think many bloggers just want to make it fast and start earning instant income. Plus, they think they won’t get caught. It just doesn’t work like that. This blogger copied book lists, people’s fun book tags that they created, and then blogging about blogging posts. She picked some of the most successful book bloggers thinking that she’d achieve their success. And maybe she did for a little bit? But probably not because her audience wasn’t ours. Plus, she was lying about affiliates that she never once even used or heard of herself.

      Thank you! Iceland has a post tomorrow, woooohooo!

  15. I am so sorry this happened to you; what a horrible week. I am really glad that the outcome was swift and the content was taken down.

    I think that a lot of people de-legitimize plagiarism that because this is “a hobby” (even if you are blogging for your career, blogging is kind of looked on like a hobby and not like a viable thing by the masses) . But in my opinion is is worse than in school: we are effectively writing content for consumption like journalists write news articles.

    It feels very violating to have your ideas stolen from you, and all it would take is a deep link with credit for inspiration (and using your own words) to make me over the moon! Thankfully the book blogging niche generally is very good about over crediting as a rule, and the community is really close. Every time my content has been plagiarized in some way, I found out about it because my friends told me. I just need to be better about advocating for myself and knowing my own worth!

    Thank you for taking the time to write up this post on what our rights as bloggers are and linking to some really incredible sources to help us protect ourselves!

    1. Hey Kaleena, Thanks so much for being there through it all–and also proving to me while it was all happening that I wasn’t crazy. I am so relieved that the situation is cleared up–and hoping it stays that way too.

      I completely agree with you–the whole hobby idea, on many levels and definitions, is a fallacy. I think it’s worse than college too (not that you should ever plagiarize period), but in this case, you are messing with someone’s work, income, career, and then lying to the public. There is social responsibility too.

      Look at photographers and how much they have to fight for their photos, even when they hired for wedding and engagement pics. We had to sign endless contracts and agreements about using the pictures and credit, especially when sharing online. I don’t blame them: it’s how photographers earn a living and they need to protect their art and job.

      Usually, the book blogging community is awesome about crediting and not stealing blog content in general. I’ve seen a few sketchy things, but nothing to this level. If someone ever sees my content elsewhere, I’d want to know, and it’s nice to know that the community has each other’s backs. I was talking to another blogger about my problem, and with proof, she kindly removed this person from shared group Pinterest boards to protect all of us. You don’t want to defame someone, but you also don’t want them to sit pretty and keep stealing.

      Thanks for reading and helping me out! Loved using your quote, too.

  16. Sorry you’ve had such a sh*t week. At least you have the respite of Iceland to look forward to this week… Not that it helps.

    Although the whole situation sucked, at least you managed to get this chick’s content down ASAP and to even help others in the community (even if they didn’t all want your help). We gotta have each other’s backs as bloggers. The culture of copying = flattery is getting pretty tired. Both to read as a consumer (so. boring.), but also from a professional POV, as your post illustrates. This complacency is is gonna get them in trouble, too. What if someone removes dates from their sites and tries to report you and prove THEIR content came first? I know you can still prove yours was published first, but imagine the palaver in the meantime! Copying is not flattery, it’s just cruel and lazy.

    But hey, this post was killer helpful (if not mildly repetitive at times 😉 ) and funny (cause you’re funny without copying someone else)! Keep doing you.

    1. Can’t stop laughing at the “I liked yours so much so I copied it” line. People can be so dense.

      I always advise that people look at the work of others and then take ELEMENTS they love from different works and combine them together into something unique. Ex: I like how she layouts her article, I love her use of accent colors, I love how he writes in such a conversational style, etc.

      For example, I love how you added your links to various blogging resources and articles in this post instead of ads. I might copy that idea someday, but I’ll leave your content alone. Besides, I don’t think the boozy librarian vibe would fit me.

      1. People can be dense…and I think, too, these people feel that if they flatter you, then you won’t threaten to report or sue them. Like oh haha, that’s SO NICE you love my work. I’m so honored that I am your role model and inspiration for…cutting and pasting. NOT.

        Right, you can definitely learn from other bloggers. I see book bloggers change their logos all of the time and pick up the pink, beige, and turquoise colors from my blog. I don’t own the color spectrum, and they are indeed complimenting, friendly colors. It’s just an element, and they aren’t pretending to be me. It’s not my actual work. I check out others’ graphic designs for pins to get ideas for what fonts and formats look better on Pinterest. I still have fonts specific to my blog/brand too. Like our private convo about a new book blogging style and tactic for better SEO, it’s just an element and idea for better quality traffic and even site navigation. Like yes, I may add some special pages now, but I won’t cut and paste yours into my Word document and sign my name. I have my own ideas about how to use them too.

        If you go boozy, I will know that blogging has officially thrown you over the edge.

        And thanks! I decided to try the fun little covers to see if they convert better. I hadn’t seen them elsewhere, but I wanted to improve my bounce rate. We will see how they work!

    2. Haha, OMG Iceland had me slightly going yesterday because all of my photos are covered in snow. I could never compete with the professional or highly edited rainbow-y tinted pictures there. Not that I would want to for this blog post or any really. I think that before we went, I looked at too many overly stunning Iceland pics (and don’t get me wrong, the country is GORGEOUS), but was like yep, this country is NOTHING like anyone’s more fabricated pictures. I’d rather my readers know what to expect from Iceland in the winter. Real pictures. Not pretty ones for my wall. That could be a whole other blogging controversy post right there. LOL. Just had to share that tangent with you for a second since I know that you’ll understand. In all kind of fits in with the whole social responsibility thing, though.

      Copying = flattery is tired, and I also think universally, there is a problem. I’ve taught abroad and just know that not everywhere is like the US with Copyright and digital law protection. It’s like the EU with GDPR. Some countries are strict (thank gosh) and know how to protect not only the consumer but also the blogger/artist/writer. Other countries lack regulations, rules, education, and enforcement. This creates problems for us all. It’s like dang IG and disclosures. In many ways, I wish the social platform would have regulated, universal requirements for ad and sponsorship disclosures–that way no one could claim that their country doesn’t care while mine does. It just lets influencers sneak in ads without telling you.

      I always wondered that about dates too or if someone just changed them to pretend they were published first. I think the host probably can dig out all of those records, though, and if you were pinning consistently and on social media–there would be a huge discrepancy that would probably land you in court. Everything is traceable online.

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