How to blog without breaking copyright laws

posted in: Blogging | 1

By Debbie Marshall


Creating complete, brand-new, never-been-posted-before content for each and every blog post is hard. Some would say it is impossible. After all, if you’re thinking about a topic right now, someone has probably already written about it. Does that mean you can’t write about that topic? Of course not. Just because content is out there doesn’t mean YOUR audience has seen it or that you don’t have a unique perspective.

The question is, how do you make the content fresh and original? How can you avoid plagiarizing without spending all day coming up with something new? Well, I’m not an attorney (and I don’t play one on TV), but I’ll pass along some things I’ve learned.

Do lots of research. What I find is that I rarely agree 100 percent with anything, which is good. I have my own unique perspective, and so should you. Take bits and pieces from several places and put your own spin on them.

If you find a quote, idea or excerpt so uniquely fabulous that you must pass the information along, verbatim, then block quote it and site your source. But remember, this should make up only a small portion of the entire blog post content.

Make sure you link back to the original content and site your source at the end of your post if any part of your blog post isn’t an original idea or original writing.

Use only highly credible sources when doing research, especially when you state facts rather than opinion. You certainly don’t want to publish incorrect information.

Try to find what’s missing from what others have posted. What do you know that they don’t know? Call on your expertise and experience to help you find a unique angle.

Talk to your network, colleagues, friends, etc. Try to gather information firsthand that you didn’t find on the Internet.

Don’t be afraid to take an edgier approach or a completely opposite stance. You want people to think and be interested, not necessarily agree.

Purchase your own images, take your own photos or use Open Source images (and site the source). You absolutely cannot copy images just because they are on the Internet or in someone else’s blog. Image companies have employees that do nothing all day but look for people stealing their images — and the fines are steep.

So what is my best advice? Be unique, be different, put a new spin on things and give credit where credit is due. Research should inspire you and get you thinking. The rest is up to you.


Debbie Marshall is the owner of Thrive Consulting and provides career services, business services, training and motivational speaking. She can be reached at or 515-314-2901new-bio-pic-6

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