Copying bloggers, is it EVER okay? I confess I have copied other bloggers. In fact, I do it a lot … wait, wait – hear me out …
Whenever I am getting ready to create content, whatever form that may be in (images, video, written etc) I start by heading to Instagram or Pinterest for inspiration. For these images, I searched through the hashtags for ‘Cheese Plant’ as I knew I really wanted to have the plant in the picture. I decided that my favourite ones were the images where there wasn’t much other colour so the plant popped and when it wasn’t the focus of the whole picture. Next, I realised that to get a good shot of my outfit with the plant the plant needed to be on the table and worked from there …
Copying may be a very loose term so far, but I only wanted a cheese plant after seeing others with them and also only thought to tie the scarf on the t-shirt after seeing a girl do it on IGTV (I can’t remember who, sorry!). I look to other bloggers and copy their poses, altering it slightly to suit my body more. I bought this belt because I saw it all over Instagram.
In some ways, I guess you could say the industry I’m working in relies on people copying bloggers to one extent or another. Affiliate links work on the basis of people purchasing items I recommend and use/wear. Brands pay me to feature their items, hoping you will buy them too. To a degree, I need people to copy me – just as other bloggers do.
But there’s a fine line and taking it too far can be a serious problem.
The blogging community is a group of incredible people who spend a lot of time and effort to create the content they create. To outright copy is nothing short of stealing. However, I believe taking inspiration from others is completely acceptable. Like a dress another blogger wore and want to buy/post in it? Fair enough. But buying the dress, going to the same location, using the same props and copying the pose – way too far.
I have been guilty of copying bloggers, in the sense that I may have recreated a similar image (like here, I recreated something similar to one I loved by Chloe Plumstead but made sure her username was the very first thing in my caption) or that I’ll buy things they wear. But to outright steal somebody’s work is disgusting and I don’t believe it could be excused in any situation.
In writing this post, I read a little more about copying other’s work. Copying bloggers work could affect their search engine rankings or even make them look like the copycat. You could seriously damage somebody’s livelihood.
Some of you may remember the debacle earlier this year when a blogger decided to outright steal some other bloggers’ work, which they took to Twitter to discuss here. Somebody within our community causing such pain and anger makes this worse. Blogging is extremely personal, by writing a piece you’re putting a piece of yourself, your mind out there. Copying bloggers is more personal than cheating on tests or fudging calorie diaries for an extra slice of pizza.
When copying bloggers you’re taking their blood, sweat, tears and a piece of their soul to claim for your own.