Blogging and Writing

Do You Share Non-Original Content on Your Blog?

blogging word cloud

Most of what I see turning up in my WordPress feed is bloggers’ original content, but not always, so I thought we could chat about what the exceptions might be.

Reblogs

This is sharing another blogger’s content, either by hitting the reblog button or hitting the share button thingy in the WP Reader. Your reblog post will show an excerpt from their post and a link that takes you there.

When used occasionally, reblogs can be a great way to share each other’s work. I don’t currently follow anyone that’s a high-frequency reblogger, but earlier in my blogging days, there were a few people who typically reblogged multiple times a day, and I might see the original post and then a couple of people reblogging it. That was definitely excessive. If my WP Reader feed is busy, I’m likely to skip over reblogs.

On a side note, I remember some SEO tool was telling me I should optimize my older post on reblogs for the keyword reblop. I was very puzzled by this, until eventually I decided to Google it and discovered that’s the name of a porn site. Who knew?

Theirs + yours

Some posts will borrow from another blogger and then follow up with their own. That might involve a couple of paragraphs of copy and paste to give the background, or prompt questions, or whatever it might be, and then you take it from there with whatever you have to say. Or perhaps you find something that pisses you off and you feel inclined to rant about. It’s not fully original, but it’s still the blogger’s voice and ideas.

Sharing non-blog articles

Sharing articles from major sites can work well on social media, but it doesn’t translate well to WordPress. I remember a blogger who would get frustrated by her low stats, but the majority of what she was posting was links to articles she’d come across. Sometimes it works, and it’s certainly fine to include a link to an article within a post you’re writing, but I think that’s not really what people are looking to read when they’re hanging out on WordPress.

Guest posts

If you allow guest posts on your blog, do they have to be original? My emerging blogger series has kind of sputtered out, but I decided early on that I would allow people to share things they’d already posted on their blog. That’s not the best choice SEO-wise, but my priority was making it easier for new bloggers, so I was fine with that.

On the other hand, copying a full blog post without permission, even if it’s attributed to the original author, is still plagiarism.

Fun stuff

Whether it’s cute animal videos, cool quotes or memes, or Bernie’s Mittens, sometimes non-original content is a lot of fun. Perhaps what’s important here is to makes sure there’s a balance so the audience gets a sense of who the blogger is and what their voice is.

Reposting your own content

Chances are a lot of your readers now never saw the stuff you posted two years ago. There’s nothing wrong with republishing your own content.


Is there anything else I haven’t thought of? Do you share much non-original content on your blog?

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41 thoughts on “Do You Share Non-Original Content on Your Blog?”

  1. I like to share music videos, quotes and motivational videos with a message from myself explaining why it motivated me. Also, a message to make readers feel better. But if it’s not my content I always give credit. That’s simply polite and I feel common sense. πŸ˜ŠπŸ€—

    1. You might get a “pingback” that shows up in the comments of your post that says it’s been reblogged and gives the URL where it’s been reblogged.

    2. Usually you see it in your notifications. I saw someone reblog something of mine today and it appeared in the notifications (the little bell if you’re using WirdPress).

  2. I once reblogged a post to be part of a link party, and actually kind of regret it. It provides no value to my site now. I’ve considered deleting it and redirecting the URL but I’m not sure how that would affect SEO.

    1. I eventually delete any reblogs I do and set a 301 redirect to either a post that’s relevant or my blog index page. I’ve never looked into setting up a 410 http response (page gone).

  3. Aside from music videos everything I post are my thoughts. If my thoughts are in response to something I’ve read elsewhere, blog or otherwise, I always put an identifying, clickable link to that thought source (as you know). Since I care nothing about stats, SEO etc I am oblivious to how that affects anything. Do readers click those links? I don’t know (and yes I know that there is an indicator for clicks in the stats area). I’ve never re-blogged, I am not fond of reblogs, I rarely if ever read reblogs. Acknowledging other bloggers with a link – Absolute Yes.

  4. Actually, I struggle with this. In my ideal blogworld, I would never post non-original content. But I learned a long time ago that people don’t read posts without images, so I compromise by using some from the free sites and saying so at the bottom of my post. I also like to participate in Song Lyric Sunday, which requires a YouTube video. But I have deleted all my posts that were other people’s poetry ~ I posted a lot of that way back when. Even though I credited it, it ended up making me uncomfortable. I also don’t quote scads of rules when doing a prompt. So unnecessary and annoying! I just link back via a word or phrase. I reblog only when someone reviews one of my books (thank you!). Yeah, this unoriginal content issue is something that bugs me!

    1. When I started creating graphics with Pinterest in mind rather than just using images, stopped crediting the source of images of pictures I was using in my graphics. The site I use from doesn’t require crediting, but I do sometimes feel bad about not doing it.

  5. Great thoughts. I completely agree. Re-blogging is fine since it’s clear and linked to the blog, I keep meaning to get some guest posts on my blog even if they’re repeated. I don’t mind since it’s new content to my site and given freely by the original author. That being said, I could just reblog. But the idea of a guest blogs shows more sense of collaboration rather than just sharing on a good blog.

    As for a mix of borrowed/quoted and original, I’d prefer to keep the balance in the favour of my original thoughts with key quotes only and a link to the other person’s site if anyone wants to read more.

    It’s good to share and create a community as long as we all throw in our original thoughts too.

  6. Most definitely, I love advice columns! Out of respect for the advice columnist, I follow some rules:

    * I don’t edit the column (but I’ll simply use the part about one letter, if that makes sense, instead of posting the whole column); if I were to edit, there’d be a reason, like if the fake name used is my name, or there was a huge typo, etc., etc. Otherwise, I keep the content in its purest form.

    * I give copyright attribution at least once per blog post (like, I won’t repeat it if I comment on two letters by the same advice columnist in one blog post)

    * I don’t comment anymore on Carolyn Hax, because she went to a non-free format where you have to pay to access her column (or hack in using an in-private browner… HA HA! Hacking Hax!), but either way you look at it, that would feel wrong to me, even if I were paying for the content.

      1. Anyone who subscribes to the Washington Post, and also–her advice is above and beyond the best. I’d say it’s worth the price! (Whatever the price is.) She’s amazing. She has profound insight.

  7. I suppose I DO share a lot of un-original content on my blog. Are ‘prompts’ (challenges, photo contests and the like) blog sharing? Aren’t they? I have a few bloggers I follow that routinely write stunning blogs which to me bear a re-share. All the bloggers I follow have at one time or another written a post that I re-shared. I do not consider it plagiarism nor stealing if I credit the author AND link back to their original work. I do consider it plagiarism and stealing if someone just scoops up all the content verbatim and doesn’t even write a small paragraph about why they might be stealing my stuff. I say the line might be found between using all non-original content and adding your own original content blended with the original blogger’s words. I rarely take everything anyone has written (in fact I can’t think of any time at all that I’ve taken a whole post from someone else). I suppose there are gray areas in the original versus ‘stolen’ question. But someone has pointed out to me that ‘there are no new things under the sun.” So how original is original anyway?

    1. That’s very true, it’s all been done before. I agree, mentioning and linking back to someone’s work isn’t stealing; it’s promoting it and encouraging people to go have a look at it.

      I find that all of your posts, whether they’re in response to prompts or sharing other bloggers’ posts, always contain a substantial amount of your thoughts, which gives a far more personal feel to it than just hitting the reblog button on someone’s post.

  8. I would still love to write something for you about mental health. Totally original πŸ™‚ To me, what’s the point of re-posting someone else’s blog? I can do that all day long on Facebook. I understand that someone might really like something, but take that and write your own spin on it. I love other people’s original thoughts and ideas.

  9. This is really helpful. It hard to know the correct processes sometimes and ensuring the original author is cited correctly is important. I appreciate this. A lot.

  10. This is timely because I have a question and I figure you may know. Plus I am trying to eat and all this distracts me sufficiently… okay. Erowid dot org, experience vaults. Take a look. Choose ketamine and go look at what is going on in the experience vaults. These are trip reports – Are they public domain? The drug users freely gave away reports about their experiences, with more intention of profit, and this (very old) site is heavily linked to and quoted by other sources about drugs. I was cooking up a post to heavily quote from people’s experiences and then provide links to each individual report as well. One or two quote from each experience I choose to include, which for DMT will be damn near all of them. the post will include my thoughts and original writing, but will rather heavily quote from the erowid experience vaults. Can I do this or should I get permission?

      1. Okay thanks, and I meant no profit up there, not more. Haha shit. I did see that copyright page but the answer was not clear to me even after reading. But since you say it’s fine I will roll with it.

  11. I periodically do the “guest blogger” thing. When I’m in a groove of presenting new content, and Im going to miss a few deadlines, I’ve got some friends who are better writers than me, and more schooled in mental health, who will cover things I’d never touch. Sometimes, I will put up an excerpt of a book, but that’s rare. If you look at my original posts, you may find something I wrote in my book or talked about in a podcast before I wrote about it here, but the only things I’ll pull off other blogs (which pulled them off someone else) is statistical data and that’s only if it can be traced to the source. I wasn’t always as careful about pictures though….

  12. As yet, no, I have not but I have seen plenty of blogs that lift word-for-word from other sites and post as if they were original content πŸ™

  13. Great post,πŸ‘ Re blogging smthing which worthy to read it’s a good thing, personally I never reblog anything yet, but seen others doing it.

  14. i dont reblog…but i have made a blogging page for a person i admire a lot…so i post the link of the content of that page…which too is written by me…on my own page

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