Need A Blog Post? Legally Steal This One! Now Reblogging Friendly

April 18, 2012 · 53 comments

in WordPress

present or gift, wrapped in a bowNeed A Post?  
Here! Use Mine!

No, no, I’m not off my rocker!

I am in the process of adapting the licensing on my blog to openly encourage re-publication with attribution.

And boy did I raise some questions from the community!

Essentially that means you can help yourself to re-use any post on my blog as long as you credit me, with name and do-follow link to the post title, as the author.

Your Invited To… 

Go ahead, no need to wait, pick up any post you feel your readers may enjoy and publish it on your site. Simply mention me as the author, dofollow link to the original and you’re good to go. Very similar to guest blogging – only reblogging instead. 

This can be a great way to get a relevant piece of high quality content, with no cash-cost, to feed your hungry audience without having to work hard!

Want to include it in your e-book or autoresponder? Guess what, you can do that too! (Still must be cited and linked.)

There’s all sorts of juicy stuff in the archives that your readers likely have not seen even if they follow me.

What You Can Not Do

You can’t break, remove or replace internal links. Editing within the post itself is also not permissible. This would risk my integrity as it would appear that I linked to or wrote something I did not. Makes sense right?

You can not no-follow the attribution link, since that would no longer be a correct giving of credit where it’s due.

You may also need to replace the thumbnail/featured image when it is from a stock source such as 123rf.com or istockphoto.com as those can not be republished per their terms. Screenshots, iconfinder and GPL photos etc can be used however.

What You Might Consider Doing

You can “frame” the content with a paragraph before and after, if you want it to have SEO relevance, but that is not required if you simply are publishing it to give your current readers good content.

This “top and tail” method is known as framing in the SEO world and has been used successfully with republished articles from article directories for a long time. 

(If you use framing, you don’t necessarily need to set the canonical SEO field.)

Why Don’t Others Do This?

I have been asked why more sites do not allow this so let me give a little back story: 

People have avoided this up till now due to some very legitimate fears that used to be a bigger issue. 

Three things are mentally holding people back from this…

(1) I personally risk someone out ranking me with my stuff, not likely but a fear of other people. One site that has been allowed to republish mine for a good while now, every so often, DOES outrank me because of link-building work they do. I’m okay with that – my name and link is in that post! 

(2) If you publish the post in full it will not usually rank highly in SERPs. Many people are so SEO focused they never write posts only for their readers (foolish). If you “frame” the post you improve both the context for the reader and the SEO situation. 

A year ago I was calling this model too dangerous for both parties but now I’m not. I’ve been monitoring the changes for a while and with a couple new “flags” that Google uses to define both “freshness” and “the original post” this is much safer for everyone when done right.

Correctly cited sources are not regarded as duplicate content (as long as they are not multiple copies on the same blog). Correct citation is a method of avoiding the duplicate content penalty. We can also (optionally) use the  canonical field in your SEO settings to ensure Google knows where the original lives. Easy Peasy.

(3) A site that is not producing enough substance to balance the advertising and site structure will get knocked for having “thin” content. An example of a site with thin content might be a jewelry catalog where there is mostly promotion and little true content. This is not a ding for “bad” content or even “republished” content but content that is excessively short or missing.

However, any reader of THIS blog is unlikely to be at a risk of this.

You might be surprised to learn that there are some sites that ONLY republish others full articles and produce no content of their own… and because of their community building efforts and link building efforts they outrank many big sites.  It just has to be done right.

Many of the sites that have been hit by Panda have been as a result a list of faults that your site is unlikely to suffer from: Too little real content with too many ads with too little brand development is always a recipe for trouble. Always.

Is there some gamble in this for me? Sure is. I could be wrong and this could hurt me. I sincerely doubt I’m wrong and my site’s traffic should give you an idea that I usually accurately call my hunches. Even if it’s not a “perfect” SEO move for me, it will build a stronger community, and I’ll take that any day of the week!

I’m a fan of the open source community and to be able to open my content to you, under terms that serve us both, thrills me.

What If You Think I’m Too Crazy – But Still Want To Share?

If you are deeply concerned that simply providing a link to the original will not be enough to keep Google happy, you are certainly welcome to set the Canonical URL field in your WP SEO plugin.

This is not mandatory but would keep Google very happy. However, enabling it will ensure that your copy identifies itself as a copy and flows link juice correctly to the original.

The canonical flag simply points Google down the path to the original article and causes it to essentially overlook the copy.  You don’t have to do this, but if you’re feeling uncomfortable with the risk, this solves it.

What The Future Holds

You’re going to see more of this in the future. It’s already in the cards. 

With Google having figured out how to handle content curation based sites and actively working on how to minimize negative impacts of both resyndication and content theft on the master blog, the doors are opening for this.  

Wikipedia aptly describes reblogging as:

“The mechanism in microblogging which allows users to repost the content of another user’s post with an indication that the content of the repost is a “reblog” from another user. For a number of microblogging and social networking services, reblogging has become a means of both social bookmarking and user commentary…

Reblogging (and the increased attention paid to the indexing and encouragement of reblogging) has become a major feature of many social networking sites and content-hosting services, and it has also become a potent means of secondary content promotion and audience measurement whereby links to external content are syndicated across multiple profiles and the reposts are indexed as a measurement of currency and relevance.

Platforms like Tumblr, which are beginning to dominate, have reblogging as a vital part of their platform. A huge percentage of the posts on Tumblr are reblogged content.

Triberr, the twitter syndication community, has also now enabled (optional) functionality in their plugin to enable re-blogging of a full post. This is the same as Tumblr already offers.

WordPress.com has recently reintroduced their reblogging features.  I’ve done the same semi-manually using “Press This” which is built into WP.org Tools page. (There is a new reblog plugin for WP.org but it depends on iframes so I do not recommend it at this moment.)

The Legal Stuff

Just like other journalists and authors, you don’t need my permission to editorially cite a partial copy.  That is already granted to you by “fair use” laws. I’m granting license however to use a full copy which would usually not be permissible, under certain terms. Rather like a guest post.

Once I figure out how to correctly class this site’s content, it will most likely be listed as Creative Commons, Commercial-Permissible license.  I need to make some adjustments (waivers) to the Non-Derivation clause however to make it work correctly for this use. 

“With a Creative Commons license, you keep your copyright but allow people to copy and distribute your work provided they give you credit — and only on the conditions you specify.”

WrapUp

You can learn more about how Creative Commons is changing the web and why this approach is as much a “heart issue”, from my belief in the free flow of ideas, as it is a head issue for business growth. 

You’re going to see more of this as people realize that content curation and out-linking is working.

Content Curation is here to stay. 

I’ll write more about content curation later because you really need to understand how it is shaping digital media over the next three years.

When you can be the trusted-filter, for your community, that protects them from having to sort through everything out there. You win. Whether you bring them whole posts, snippets or just links, building on them with your trusted advise, you become the go-to. 

This is essentially the model that newspapers use (at least here in the States) where 2 big publishers produce most of the content that smaller, local papers run as articles with a little blurb that says “by Associated Press” or “by Reuters”. (This is also partially the origin of the term syndication among publishers.)

Many people have already taken me up on this and it’s working nicely.

I invite you to do the same.

Be sure to let me know via my contact form if you republish so that I can come tweet it for you!

~ Kimberly Castleberry ~
Simple Tech Tips For Marketing

PS: Googling “Steal this Blog” and “Steal this Post” will reveal that I’m certainly not the first author turning to this practice in one form or another. 

 

image source: iconfinder

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53 comments
dapo fabs
dapo fabs

Hey Kim,

thanks for a post like this. this is definitely going to help my new blog

ioneevan77
ioneevan77

Reposting always seems like a good idea to reach out to a further audience. Not only that, helpful information is quite scarce today on the internet. I really wanted to be a part of a blogging community, in which everyone is helping everyone popularize their content. Awesome idea Kim! I was firstly a bit scared of this idea, because you can really hamper your web rank if you do it wrong, but after reading this thorough information, I’ve actually found out how to perform a copycat properly.

Mohul Ghosh
Mohul Ghosh

I must say, its a revolutionary step in the SEO industry.

Content curation and sharing has been redefined.

Kudos!

Rhonda Hurwitz
Rhonda Hurwitz

Hi Kim,

Wondering if you ever considered a service like icopyright.com to do the same thing, but also to monetize your content (they enable free embedding of your original content on another blog, and it gets served with ads and ad revenue split 50/50)? I just became aware of it, and I'd love to know what you think of that ...

Wouldn't that build community, give you back links, plus ad revenue? Some big publishers do it, bloggers, not so much. Why?

Rhonda

Jim Murray
Jim Murray

We really don't like admitting it, but people will always be tempted to pick the shortest and less challenging way, even if it implies taking advantage of someone's work. I for one am for this re-publication with attribution, can't wait to become something that everyone obeys to!

Michelle
Michelle

Like, like, like! If more publishers would use re-publication with attribution we would be facing a lot less plagiarism. Like any great idea however, it takes time to be accepted :)

Angel Gomes
Angel Gomes

What a great idea! I wonder what the effects will be. Have you found a way of monitoring the times and the amount of articles that have been reposted?

Joyce Edwards
Joyce Edwards

Hey Kim,

I just learned this technique and I feel it is a win/win. If I do a repost you will get more exposure. I will be tagging along on your exposure too! I do think that you should have some original content through.

Jim Antoine
Jim Antoine

Very nice! Thank you Kim! I am going to try it today in one of my blogs!

I always feel you really care for your readers.

Thank you again!

John
John

This is interesting. I do get tired of jerks that steal posts and often break meaning (links often convey meaning...). Setting up a good way to do it and helping people follow how it should be done seems like a good idea. There are jerks but there are also a fair number of people that are just ignorant and don't understand what is unreasonable use of others content.

Jacob
Jacob

That is really nice of you to allow your readers to do such a thing... it really is along the lines of a creative commons licence that photographers and designers use, so I personally think it is a great idea !!

Suresh Khanal
Suresh Khanal

Bold decision Kimberley and perfectly suits for someone who has huge amount of worthy content to offer. BTW, thanks for some best useful links like canonical URLs!

Leif
Leif

Well, after reading a bunch of these comments, I feel compelled to sound the bell of reason here. If you re-blog any persons blog post on your blog or wherever and you DO NOT care about SEO then that is super great and attribution is awesome and all that.

It's fantastic :)

If you are concerned about your rankings and SEO of your site then i suggest that you slow down and figure it out thoroughly before your re-blog a post.

Don't get me wrong, I love Kim's blog and posts here, that is why I am here haha, I just want to say that just because the author wants you to re-blog their posts and says that its ok to do so because of this or that reason is a recipe for penalization of your site for dupe content.

I could elaborate but this is just a comment, no offense intended Kim, still love ya, just throwing in my 2 cents.

Stevie Smith
Stevie Smith

Awesome! I'm fond of sharing posts to my friends and you have given us an offer that can help us enjoy more! Thanks for the share! And let's re-post all along! :)

Byrl Lane
Byrl Lane

Kudos! What a great idea. Sounds like you really put great efforts into putting it together.

Chris
Chris

I've often wondered what the appropriate procedure was for reusing an article/blog post. In fact, I just went through this with getting a blog post that fit perfectly with my website. Fortunately, it looks like I did it correctly based on your best practices. It would be nice if we all could spend less time worrying about WWGD (What Would Google Do) and more about what is best for our blogs.

Thanks for your service.

Val Adams
Val Adams

Definitely a great idea. I'm intrigued or curious on how much will be the increase of page visits next month or on a few months with this one.

Jeremy
Jeremy

Hi Kim, it is always a mystery to how Google (or any other SE) treats content copying. Though new algorithms are rolled out on regular intervals, it is really interesting to see how it comes in effect.

lariane
lariane

I also feel like I’m getting conflicting messages about duplicate content. Looking forward for more usable blog.

Kraman
Kraman

Kim, aren't you taking a big risk by having duplicate content on the web? Forget being outranked by someone reposting your posts, what about the news that article databases like eZine are being throttled in Google because of duplicate content issues? Won't this also lead to lowering your blog's page rank in Google?

Liz
Liz

If we aren’t penalized for duplicate content, I think this idea would help many, beside just sharing a link. Thanks for sharing..

Monna Ellithorpe
Monna Ellithorpe

Hi Kim,

Interesting idea but like some others, I also feel like I'm getting conflicting messages about duplicate content. If we aren't penalized for duplicate content, I think this idea would help many, beside just sharing a link.

I will be looking for your reports on how it progresses.

Monna

Steven Papas
Steven Papas

This is great I love taking anything that is free and better yet getting to share it again. I know it is not stealing but I act like it is to make it more fun!

James Martin
James Martin

Hi Kim!

Finally, someone got the courage to share rich content articles. Thanks! It's true that it takes risk to do such a bold move but this is one organic and clever way to generate additional backlinks and to keep archive posts a bit updated through reblogging. This is definitely helpful for someone who is running out of ideas to write, this will definitely buy me sometime to come up with more subjects to write on. Thanks for laying down the rules, i might reblog some of your post. Keep writing though and keep sharing it!:)

Herbert
Herbert

Wow!! Looks very interesting Miss Kim... actually, there is 1 or 2 post here that I love so much, I might be reblogging it :D

Thomas
Thomas

Hi Kim

It sounds like a great idea as long as we don't get punished for duplicate content, but it seems like you have covered that. It is also a great way for you to get a lot of deep link to your blog. It is a real win-win saturation.

Jonathan
Jonathan

Thanks Kim for the post. I agree with Jon Gaydon, that posting other content from other people / news services (with proper credit) is a very good thing. It's done all the time. AP being one of the biggest.

Brankica
Brankica

I am in. No seriously... let me know how you did the licensing thingy and I wanna do the same :) This is totally a great idea!!!

marquita herald
marquita herald

I first became aware of this strategy from Nicole Dean who does it beautifully. I can't really see using it in my particular niche, but it certainly makes sense for those in network marketing, social media, or anyone teaching others to set up online businesses - and there is no shortage of any of those!

Tan
Tan

Wow, thanks Kim. Thanks for sharing, this is definitely a good idea. But I am still worry about being penalty by Google due to duplicate content. So, canonical to URL will be safe to doing so.

Allie
Allie

Kim,

As I was ending the post I wondered "Isn't this what the Associated Press does?" I hear the same news story sometimes on different channels.

I am still scared of Google. It has been drilled into my bloggy head to not take the same content and republish it somewhere else.

Basically, I will just come back and reread this post when my head is fresh and the kids aren't nagging, lol. And then I'll get it, hee hee.

Great article!

~Allie

Mandy Swift
Mandy Swift

hi Kim, I have been 'offline' for what seems like forever, so what a lovely post to come back 'online' to :)

I think it is a great idea and, if you have strong content and a strong following (that'll be a double 'tick'' to you then!) then I think it is a win-win.

I'll definitely be back to share some of your stuff as soon as I am organised and 'online' again. See you soon :)

Azam
Azam

Hi kim

By reading your this post I can say that you have proved your self marketing guru. This post has provided a new milestone to all those who have pretty interest in online marketing.

Idiot Box
Idiot Box

i'm using tumblr for reblogging but it looks like there more way to use reblogging

Sire
Sire

Hey Kim, that's a pretty good idea. What a great way to get links to your site. Heck of a lot better than just pinching the article without giving you due credit, that's for sure.

Andreas Pazer
Andreas Pazer

With quality write-ups, people won't mind reblogging or referring your post to other online users.

Elena
Elena

Interesting marketing idea... I saw something similar at EzineArticles. You do have really useful articles :D

Jennelle
Jennelle

Very cool! I got your email blast about this. I'm fairly new to SEO concepts, so I really appreciated your advice on "framing" the content. I've also misunderstood "fair use" laws, but now I seem to have a better understanding of it. Thanks for sharing your posts!

Jennifer Rai
Jennifer Rai

Great idea, Kim. I think you are right on the money and you are right that this is how all of the big media outlets work!

Uyendt
Uyendt

Thanks for this nice offer, it’s really kind from you!

Brian Hawkins
Brian Hawkins

Hi Kim, I don't think you're crazy at all Kim, Content Curation has been around a while and, like you said, Google has a handle on it. Proper curation helps both parties and provides valuable content to a wider audience.

I've been doing the same thing with images I own (created be me) and I've considered the same for old posts. While article sites like Ezine Articles took a hit by Panda, the concept of allowing republished content with proper credit is solid and many people, including myself, has benefited from the links generated by it.

Julieanne van Zyl
Julieanne van Zyl

Hi Kim, I can only see this being a good thing, especially for your blog! It will give you a lot of backlinks. And, of course, it will help the people using your content, because they're going to have even more great content on their blog, for their readers!

Ty Tribble recommends using snippets of other people's articles then linking back to the author. I think publishing the whole article is better, because that way, people will stay at your blog to read the whole article.

Great idea Kim! Regards from Julieanne

Amy
Amy

Wow! That's really a big deal, I think I will use the opportunity when I won't have any time for writing. Thanks for this nice offer, it's really kind from you!

Dave Lucas
Dave Lucas

Awesome idea, Kim! I am about to roll it out in a post on my blog in a few hours, which I admit will be a bit "copycat-ish" - but you know what they say about imitation!

Valerie Cuell
Valerie Cuell

Thanks, Kim.

I have taken up your offer, and sent you a message as requested.

Autoverzekering berekenen
Autoverzekering berekenen

Very cool idea. Many web masters are just craving for content. Can i ask you... How do you check if the webmaster keeps your links and do-follow intact?

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

Rhonda, that service might work for some. It wouldn't work here.

Why would I want my COMMUNITY (if they really are that) to be forced to deal with ads that I don't have any explicit control over?

So what happens when you have the Google Adsense version of the Dog Rescue Community and have the Adsense ad that is running on that site selling puppies from a known puppy mill and you don't even realize it.

There's a reason that adsense ads and other ad types that are out of my control run on very very few pages of my site... and why would I then subject not only myself but my "community" to that? ( I would if I thought of my community more as customers and less as community... but I love my peeps!)

Sure, it's like everything else... content is monetizeable if it's awesome. There's 100 different ways to monetize awesome content and none of them work for crap content.

I still generate CTR revenue when affiliate links that are in my posts get republished and then clicked. There are still ads in my content but I have 100% control over them. Those links live HERE and I can change their destination AFTER they are publish because I'm using PrettyLink Pro.

If a product suddenly starts sucking, I can redirect every single link to that product that I have out in distribution back to either a better product or to a review of the problem.

Sure, you're right, many big agencies don't mind all this stuff. These are the same agencies used to running their columns in an ad-fluffed copy of Vogue or in your local newspaper full of ads. Their mindset looks at advertising differently.

However, when you look at truly TOP syndicated media... Associated Press & Reuters etc... you don't see this content loaded full of ads. The content is clean, lightweight and very very easy to republish.

Me personally, I'd rather work under the Creative Commons Commercial Attribution-Required license which makes it super simple for everyone involved while supporting the open and free flow of information.

You're right though, there are people for which the service you mention will be brilliant.

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

Exactly Julieanne! Ty is correct when it comes to content curation. Generally the best you can legally get away with is snippets. Most blogs are not licensed in such a way that you can do more than that. So licensing issues changing first now open the door for my content to be used more liberally.

Kim

Kim Castleberry
Kim Castleberry

Hey, I have no problem with starting a revolution! LOL Give me a shout when you have it posted so I can tweet it for you!

Kim

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