Tag Archives: Blogging


A3Serious bloggers know the Huffington Post is the world’s largest blog site. Getting published on the Huff Post is a significant badge of achievement — it’s the gold standard of blogging — social approval by a major media corporation that your work meets its mark of excellence. You just can’t buy this kind of exposure.

As a writer, you have something to say and you should want to hear what others say back. If you have quality content — and that’s the key — you’ll want to say it on the Huffington Post.

But how in the world do I ever get noticed?” you ask.

Well, it might not be easy, but it can be done. And now that I’m a regular contributor to the Huff, I’ll give you Ten Top Tips on how to improve your chances for getting published on the Huffington Post.

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Tip #10 — Know How the HuffPost Works

A19There are four levels of content providers for the Huffington Post:

Salaried Employees — Such as reporters, journalists, and editors who are full-time — generally based in main centers like New York, Toronto, and London.

Assignment Writers — Who are freelancers and paid a fixed rate to work on specifically commissioned projects.

Contributing Bloggers — Who are unpaid, but are a screened and proven commodity. They may submit posts whenever they choose through the Huff’s exclusive internet portal called Backstage.

Occasional Guest Bloggers — Who submit posts on an unpaid, unsolicited basis. This is the Huff’s slush pile and, for the most part, is a longshot at getting accepted.The good news for unknown bloggers is that the Huff editors are constantly looking for new contributors — especially unique, talented contributors with interesting voices. The challenge is in getting yourself noticed.

A21The good news for unknown bloggers is that the Huff editors are constantly looking for new contributors — especially unique, talented contributors with interesting voices. The challenge is in getting yourself noticed.

Read this article by Huffington Post senior editor, Jason Linkins: How The Huffington Post Works (In Case You Were Wondering).

Tip #9 — Be “The Right Fit

The Huffington Post truly looks for the “right fit” in their contributors. This is hard to describe as submission style and content varies drastically in categories as diverse as politics to entertainment to minorities’ issues. Here’s a quote from the Huff editor’s cold-call invitation for me to write my first assignment piece:

A7Hi Garry ~ I wanted to see how interested / available you are over the coming days to tackle a paid writing opportunity for us, for which I think you would be an excellent fit, based on your experience in forensics and the quality of content I see in your blog at www.DyingWords.net.

After getting over the shock of this invite, I thoroughly researched the subject matter (which was on crime scene cleaning) and what the HuffPost expected in format. My first submission raised the editorial staff’s confidence that I’d be a long-term “right fit” and that led to the next invite — becoming a regular Contributing Blogger with direct access to the Backstage — now with over two dozen articles published on the Huff.

What makes the “right fit”?


The combination of everything you do as a blogger.

It’s in the quality of content you write, the uniqueness of your voice, your professional presence, and your commitment to the craft. It’s in your platform, your brand, and your profile. But — most importantly — it’s in the value you offer to them.

Tip #8 — Add Value

A core value at the Huffington Post is “Idea Is King — every move should be predicated on the integrity of valuable ideas and their value in the marketplace.”

A26Bear in mind that publishing is an industry that creates products just like any other business. Those products must have a consumer demand in order to be saleable. They must be valuable to a volume of readers, whether for education, entertainment, or enlightenment.

Arianna Huffington has often been quoted saying she likes stories about how you make life work — how you balance work, family, self, and everything else. When planning to submit a blog post to the Huff, take a good look and ask, “How does it add value to someone else? Not just to please or benefit me, but what it will do for the reader and the Huffington Post Corporation? What bottle of wine do I bring to the party?”

Tip #7 — Know Why You Want to be Read on the Huff

We all have reasons for wanting to belong to a club, especially one as exclusive as the Huffington Post Blogging Team. But that doesn’t mean there’s a fee to pay, a small child to sacrifice, or a secret handshake to learn.

A14Pure and simple, the Huff Post wants intelligent voices with something unique to offer the Huff community through submission of solid content that has the ability to be shared and commented on. A lot of the voice really depends on the motivation that vocalizes it.

Are you doing this for money? Remember as a contributing blogger you’re not going to be paid by cash. You’ll be paid in social currency and that’s worth a fortune if you parley it.

Are you doing this to promote yourself and/or your product or affiliation? Take that into account when designing your content.

Do you have a hidden agenda? Be careful. The gatekeepers at the Huff are very astute.

Looking back, here’s what my motivation was:

  • A31To be recognized as a credible resource by a large audience.
  • The potential to profit elsewhere — both in money and self-esteem.
  • Networking opportunities.
  • Prestige on my platform.
  • To build my mailing list through the amplified exposure.
  • I had stories and information to share.
  • I enjoy helping others.
  • To learn from the experience.

The opportunity to blog for the Huffington Post fulfills all this — more than I ever imagined.

Tip #6 — Learn How to Blog Professionally

Here’s the reason that disqualifies more Huff submissions than all others combined — your post is not written to acceptable, commercially-viable blogging standards, let alone to a Huff Post standard.

A32Blogging is an entirely different style of writing from novels, non-fiction, essays, Facebook messages, Tweets, recipes, how-tos, and letters to your grandma. It takes a learning curve  the length depends entirely on your experience and your willingness to learn.

I strongly recommend investing in yourself by taking credible, online training courses in blogging. Not just writing courses. Blogging courses.

You can read all the online tips you want and follow all kinds of more advanced bloggers, but nothing’s going to pay better returns that learning in a structured format from people who are truly experts.

I’ve taken these two courses and attest to their exceptional value:

A34Tribe Writerswith Jeff Goins of GoinsWriter.com.

Blogging Certification Program — with Jon Morrow at BoostBlogTraffic.com.

I promise that no matter your level of skill, these courses will make a definite difference and increase your odds of getting noticed by Huff Post editors.

Tip #5 — Develop Your Voice

What makes a great writing voice?

Here’s a definition I put together in a guide I wrote about blogging for the Huffington Post:

A33Your writing voice is the one thing that’s unique to you. It’s your most valuable asset — so valuable that you should buy some insurance on it. And it’s the one thing you have to get right. Right from the start. It’d be a bitch to go back and self-edit voice — if it can even be done.

But what is “Voice”?

It’s your relationship with language — how you use language. Voice comes from the people you’ve met, the books you’ve read, the education you have, and the worlds you’ve inhabited — not just in your body — but in your mind. It’s your personality. It’s your attitude to your writing. It’s how you say things.Voice is your distinctive way of choosing and stringing words together — your writing accent, your views, culture, biases, and formal training. It’s using some goddam profanity every now and then. It’s imagery. Being serious, stuffy, snarky, and sarcastic. Being funny, silly, foolish, goofy, and stupid. It’s your level of confidence speaking through.

A36Voice is your distinctive way of choosing and stringing words together — your writing accent, your views, culture, biases, and formal training. It’s using some goddam profanity every now and then. It’s imagery. Being serious, stuffy, snarky, and sarcastic. Being funny, silly, foolish, goofy, and stupid. It’s your level of confidence speaking through.

It’s your rhythm. Your cadence. Your tone. And your mood.

It’s your emotional guts spilling out.  It’s relating gut to gut — not brain to brain. No editing in the world can take an intellectual exercise and make it emotional. Remember — blogs, like novels, aim to evoke emotion in your reader. Get emotional when you write and then again when you revise. “No tears in the writer — no tears in the reader. No emotion in the reader — no interest in the story.”

I like this definition by the Grammar Girl, Mignon Fogarty, who gave me permission to quote her:

Huff Post 101 RevisedVoice is the distinct personality, the style, or the point of view of a piece of writing or any other creative work. Voice is what Simon Cowell is talking about when he tells American Idol contestants to make a song their own and not just do a note-for-note karaoke version. Many musicians have played The Star-Spangled Banner, for instance, but there’s a world of difference between the Boston Pops’ performance and Jimi Hendrix’s, even though the basic melody is the same.

In writing, the New York Times and the New York Post may cover the same story, but their headlines are likely to be quite different. For example, when Ike Turner died, the New York Times had a straightforward headline “Ike Turner, Musician and Songwriter in Duo With Tina Turner, Dies at 76 whereas the New York Post went for a bad pun: “Ike Beats Tina to Death”.

Is there an ideal voice?

A12Nope. But my advice is to lighten up. Personally, I’m not big on sarcasm or stuffiness. Ever go to a party with lawyers and politicians? I have. They’re boring as shit because they’re bound by the restraints of graduate degrees and academic correctness. Ever hang with cops & coroners? I have. They’re a blast. They’re like honey badgers and don’t give a fuck what they say.

I like hearing a natural, open, appealing, and charismatic tone and style that draws me in and binds me with storytelling. Ever read foul-mouthed Chuck Wendig? Hilarious crime writer Meg Gardiner? Listen to quadriplegic blog-king Jon Morrow? Or follow opinionated Johnny B. Truant? Now those folks have voice.

Voice is the way you put things down. The way you say it. It’s your personality coming out on the page. It’s not the paint on the wall. It is the wall.

A15For your blog posts to be successful, your reader has to hear your voice telling the story. Nothing else matters if they can’t relate to your voice. They want you to sound confident, intelligent, personal, authentic, trustworthy, and even vulnerable. They want to be your friend and follow you around.

So be natural. Don’t overthink. And be careful not to cut your own voice’s throat by being too careful.

Tip #4 — Know the Huff’s Blogging Structure

The Huff’s blog structure is no secret. It’s much the same as print journalism where there’s an old news reporter saying “Don’t bury the lede.” The what? The “lede”. Not the “lead”.

Conventional articles are written in a six-part structure:

  1. A22Headline
  2. Lede
  3. Body
  4. Solution
  5. Call to action
  6. Byline

Same with the Huff. This is critically important stuff to know and implement if you want to blog for the Huff Post.

Tip #3 — Make Your Posts Look Like Huff Posts

Study the style and format of other Huff Post Bloggers, especially the prolific writers in the same sections you’re targeting. Notice how they use titles and subtitles, where they embed block quotes, where they hyperlink and how often, as well as how they proportion the six-part structure.


Notice which font the Huffington Post uses. It’s “Georgia” in 11.5 point in the older posts and “Helvetica” in 13 point in the new look. Additionally, the Huffington Post logo and collateral material are in the “Adobe Garamond” font.

A24Notice even the tiniest things—like how they use two en-dashes — instead of an em-dash, which is their uniform break style. Seriously, the editors will send your piece back to you for errors like this and tell you to correct it — then re-submit. (And then WordPress overrules HuffPost and converts them back to em-dashes 🙂

I think it’s critical that when you submit a piece to the Huff — when you’re an unknown and pitching to get one post published (let alone trying to get on as a Signature Contributor) — that you present it in as publishable a format as possible. That means you have to make it look like a Huff post. Just sayin’…

Tip #2 — Brand and Profile

Your brand is a summary of your values. Branding is the story other people tell themselves about you.

Final LogoYour profile is how you present yourself in words and in images. The more closely these align, the better your audience will understand what you do and what you stand for.

My brand is crime writing — both fiction and non-fiction. It’s been built by my years of experience as a homicide detective and forensic coroner, now bestselling crime writer. You’ll see this in my Byline on my Huffington Post blog pieces. My audience knows I’ll provoke thoughts on life, death, and writing and I value a no-bullshit approach.

My profile comes through visibility on my website, social media presence, personal and video appearances, and in my books. I promote myself by exposing my experience and make no apologies for self-promotion. You must do the same if you want to be recognized by a Huffington Post editor.

Byline Screenshot

Here’s a great article by the Huffington Post Writers Relief Staff titled Why Every Writer Needs an Author Brand.

Tip #1 — Pitch to the Right Place

Make sure your submission goes to the right Huffington Post section. Editors specialize in certain departments and will bypass a submission that’s not suitable for them, but might be an appropriate submission for another department. Be aware of how busy these editors are and that they don’t normally have the time to pass a submission on to another editor in a different department.

A40Take the time to learn all the Huffington Post sections. Go to their homepage and scroll through the top bar and drop down menu.

Also, make sure you’re pitching the right country. The biggest site and where most editors are is the U.S. but if your article is country specific, you might want to contact that arm directly.

Bonus Tip — Believe in Karma

What goes around, comes around is an absolutely true statement. If you consistently strive to produce unique, quality content eventually you’re going to get noticed and will catch the attention of a Huffington Post editor.

There’s an extension of karma called providence and it’s well captured in this quote by German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

A42Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back — always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth — the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. A whole stream of unforeseen events issue from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents, meetings, and material assistance, which no man could have dreamt would have come his way.

Who? When? Where?

I can’t answer this. But I do know it was my goal to build my blog into a publication worthy of catching the Huff’s attention. Karma worked for me and it’ll work for you. Just be aware of how big a thing you’re wishing for and treasure it when it arrives.

Then feed it like a hungry beast.

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Huff Post 21 RevisedYou can get “How To Blog For The Huffington Post — 21 Proven Tips for Getting Published on the HuffFREE in pdf by using the sidebar or go to the Amazon page where it’s under a FREE promotion as a Mobi eBook.  Click Here

Huff Post 101 RevisedOr get the full-length guide “How To Blog For The Huffington Post — 101 Proven Tips for Getting Published on the Huff” by going to the Amazon page.  Click Here  If you do read either of these guides, I’d sure appreciate you taking the time to write a short review! Also, please check out my Huff Blogger Profile and “Fan” it.  Click Here

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Footnote:  As of this morning, 20 February 2016, “How To Blog For The Huffington Post — 21 Proven Tips for Getting Published on the Huff” is the #1 BestSeller on Amazon in the “Writing Reference Guides — Journalism” category and #5 overall in Books & Publishing.

Huff Post #1 BS Screenshot



B1There’s no doubt some professional bloggers make massive amounts of money online. A few internet entrepreneurs have hundreds of thousands of followers and earn millions of dollars annually. These are not lucky gals and guys, like lottery winners. Profitable bloggers are intelligent, strategic, resourceful, ambitious, credible, likable, and above all, generous. And they have one common secret—the coin’s not in the blog.

So how do they do it?

First, let’s look at what blogs are and how they work. Then we’ll rip DyingWords apart to see what’s going on behind the scenes.

B2Blogs started in the 90’s as web logs or individual diary entries on the Worldwide Web. The term got cut to blog. Here’s how blog king Darren Rowse of ProBlogger.com puts it:

“It’s really quite simple. A blog is a type of website that is usually arranged in chronological order from the most recent ‘post’ (or entry) at the top of the main page to the older entries towards the bottom.”

Today, blogs cover pretty well every topic. News. Politics, Sex & Religion. Sports. Arts & Entertainment. Cats & Dogs. Cars. Beauty. Fashion. Travel. Games. Gardening. Garden Gnomes. Science & Technology. Lifestyles. Crafts. Men’s Erectile Dysfunction & Women’s Shoes. Living on Mars. Online shopping. Cigars. Wine. Marihuana. Books, Blogs, & Writing. And don’t forget Duct Tape and Danish Ditch-Digging.

Some bloggers make money. Most don’t. And the big guns in the blogosphere make it big by doing two things exceptionally well. They have huge audiences and have multiple products for sale—especially teaching their writing and blogging knowledge online to a multi-million audience of active bloggers and writers.

AA2I’ve spent the past three weeks taking online courses in blogging and relevant stuff. One course is Tribe Writers with Jeff Goins through his site GoinsWriter.com. I began following Jeff when I started blogging. Back then, he was struggling to break the thousand mark on his subscriber list. I liked him. Jeff’s honest, knowledgeable, and exceptionally generous. In under four years, Jeff built a monster following and developed multiple products. Jeff teaches writers about writing and he’s good at it.

B3Another cool dude I follow is Jon Morrow of BoostBlogTraffic.com and GuestBlogging.com. Jon’s also the veteran editor with Brian Clark at Copyblogger.com. His blogging career has made him a millionaire. Jon’s got one unfair disadvantage the rest of us don’t—he’s a quadriplegic and works from a wheelchair. But Jon doesn’t make his money directly from his blogs. He teaches bloggers about blogging.

B5Mariah Coz is a young lady from Femtripreneur.co who’s using her blog to sell online teaching courses—specifically webinars—and she’s making incredible returns. I “met” Mariah through the Teachable.com group and I have to say I’m impressed all to hell with her drive and delivery. If you want to get motivated about the potential earnings from running a targeted blog site and developing online training courses, you gotta listen to what Maria Coz will tell you — for free.

Now you’re probably wondering what an old guy like me is doing hanging around people younger than my kids. Well, it’s because these impressive movers & shakers knew something I didn’t—and that’s how bloggers really make money.

B15Their common secret is not that complicated. It just takes immense time, enduring energy, and a proven system to build a large blog subscriber list and the initiative to create a number of quality-content products. Then, they use their blog list in driving qualified traffic to internet portals where they sell their products.

It’s a numbers game.

Whoever has the biggest list and most quality-content products—at the right price point—wins.

So where does DyingWords fit into this? Well, a tiny fish in an immense ocean.

For now.

B7But I’ve learned something from the past few weeks of paying people like Jon, Mariah, and Jeff to teach me their information — there’s a predictable formula to this blogging numbers game.

Here it is. If you do this—AND DO THIS RIGHT—the rule of thumb goes like this:

One dollar per month. Times the names on the subscriber list. Times the number of saleable products. Equals income.

I see what Jeff Goins is doing. He openly divulges that his list is over a hundred thousand and a look at his website indicates Jeff has about ten different products for sale through online books and courses. Applying the formula to Jeff Goins’s blogging business…

$1.00 X 1 month X 100,000 subscribers X 10 products = $1,000,000.00 per month.

Yep. Twelve million bucks a year.

B8Jon Morrow holds his numbers closer to his chest. He probably has half a million subscribers and at least six expensive stand-alone products on three different blog sites.

Mariah Coz is super-candid about her income. Her goal for the end of 2015 is 15,000 on her mailing list and she just pre-sold a new online course to a pile of followers for a total of $233K. Maybe I’m a sucker, but I saw her screenshots.

Mariah, Jon, and Jeff represent entrepreneurs who use their blog credibility to parlay a variety of products and services into cash. Here’s a list of the least—to most—profitable streams of revenue that comes from blogging exposure:

11. Direct merchandising — selling hats, t-shirts, and beaded Kokopelli key-fobs.

10. Donations — relying on goodwill or subscriptions to support blog content.

9. Sponsorship — backed by corporations.

8. Blog networks — paid to write other blog posts / ghostwriting.

7. Blog flipping — selling your blog list as an entity.

6. RSS advertising — links to other parties’ products.

5. Adsense — Google or social media advertising.

4. Affiliates — kickbacks from Amazon or other online marketers.

3. Freelance writing — paid articles for The Huffington Post, etc.

2. Speaking & consulting ­— paid for appearances and personal coaching.

1. Digital assets — selling books, courses, and webinars.

Yes, clever and credible people are getting wealthy selling products through a large following they’ve built by blogging.

So how’s Garry Rodgers and his little DyingWords blog making out?


Well, I’m happy to share this because it might give you a measuring stick and some motivation or encouragement.

FREE DOWNLOADI started the DyingWords blog in June 2012. I’ve been at it for three and a half years. The first three were hit & miss with irregular posts and only one product for sale – a novel that I didn’t actively promote after its initial run. My purpose of blogging was to raise my profile as an authoritative author, hoping one day I’d get connected and make some decent money through crime writing.

Over time, I built a backlist of blog posts and experimented with content. I learned the craft of blog writing and began to get noticed. I played with social media and networked with other bloggers and influencers. One-by-one-by-one, people signed my email list.

I got serious this past July. I buckled down to really learn how the blogging business works and I wrote full time—with a plan—blogging being the core of my internet presence.

Things changed.

On July 1st, my internet traffic was good. My mailing list had 504 subscribers. My Alexa Ranking was 2,940,467 and rising. By the end of November—five months later—my Alexa ranking increased 46% to 1,587,952. But my email subscribers leaped to 1,373. Two hundred and seventy-four percent!

WTF happened?

B9We’ll, I’d built an attractive platform and learned more about effective list building. Other things occurred. I began getting invites for guest posts on other blog sites and I hosted a few influential folks on my own. I spent more time on social media and it generated talk. Word-Of-Mouse, so to speak.

Then… right outa the fricken blue… The Huffington Post cold-called, offering me a paid gig to write a feature article on the world’s biggest blog. Then, they liked what they saw and took me on board as a regular contributing member of “The Huff Post Signature Blog Team”. Check out my latest post on today’s Huff titled Can You Beat The PolygraphOr check out the blogs I’ve done for them now. Click Here


My platform elevated to appearing on the Huffington Post. Their website has an Alexa Ranking of 56. I got in front of millions of viewers.

Like—you just can’t buy that exposure.

The Huffington Post opportunity came because I took my writing seriously—as a professional. I’d committed myself to full-time, professional writing.

But something’s missing from the equation.


B11Now, here I’m standing on my platform—shouting out to my peeps and they’re shouting back, Hey, Garry! You look good and you sound good and your audience is growing. But you only got one product to sell. When’re you gonna put out some more stuff? That’s what it takes to make a living off this schtick, you know!.

Hang on. I’ve spent the last six months building a stream of new products to come online over the next six months and most of the heavy work’s already done.

One is a new 80K word novel titled No Life Until Death. Eight are guides on Crime Writing. One is a guide on Blogging. And I still have the JFK manuscript lurking out there. So that’s ten—maybe eleven products—twelve if you take in my first novel No Witnesses To Nothing. Plus, I’m seriously thinking of getting into the online course market because that’s where the really big return seems to be. And, as I write – another balloon was floated.

Hey, Mister Future Money-Bags — How’s that fit into your fancy formula?

B12Well, so far, it seems to fit fine. In the month of November, I got an Amazon royalty check for $100.00 and the Huff paid me $1,000.00 USD for their feature article. With the exchange rate, that converts to $1,385.00 Canadian.

Let’s see…

$1.00 X 1,373 subscribers X 1 online product = $1,373.00

Yup. Purdy akkerate.

B13Remember, the formula relates to online digital products and other stuff you need to have going—speaking, freelance writing, affiliates, advertising, etc. All 11 steps contribute to the formula and support the income statement. It’s part of the formula. You need to be doing related side jobs in addition to digital books—and putting in fourteen hours a day, seven days a week.

But you’d never, EVER, be able to work the formula if you didn’t anchor it to a free blog that sells your voice.

Think about the potential with six products.

$1.00 X 1,373 subscribers X 6 quality-content, online products = $8,238.00

Imagine doubling your mailing list?

$1.00 X 2,746 subscribers X 6 quality-content, online products = $16, 476.00

Quadruple your list? Quadruple your products? Quadruple your average product price?

Does this sound like a pipe-dream? A get-rich-quick scam? Something that could only happen to someone else?

B18Nope. It’s happening out there.

I’m not drinking some kinda Jeff-Jon-Mariah Kool-Aid. These people are pulling it off, but they aren’t relying on a stack of 99-cent eBooks as their army of products.

Sure, they’re using some of their free and cheaper products as lead magnets and funnel books which have strategic purposes. Then they’re doing a mix of $4.99 guides. $9.99 eBooks. Some traditional publishing. Some freelancing. Some speaking and consulting fees. Lots of affiliates. Hundred-dollar-a-pop, hour-long webinars in front of two hundred eager people. And two, three, or four online courses at $499.00 each with upsells to $999.00 and even $2,500.00 if you want a couple hours of one-on-one with them.

What’s it take to get onto their train? Here’s some suggestions on how you can really make money blogging:

  • Be passionate!!!
  • Understand the system.
  • Network with other writers, bloggers, and influencers.
  • Write clean, concise, credible, consistent content in your posts.
  • Create multiple, quality-content products for sale online.
  • Build your mailing list.
  • Know your audience. Engage. Give them what they want and need.
  • Work your ass off.
  • Produce and sell lots of quality-content products.
  • Be highly professional. There’s no secrets on the net.
  • Never quit. It takes time.
  • Multiply your reach and develop multiple streams of income.
  • Never stop learning.
  • And—above all—consistently blog with your own unique voice.

I think I’ll give ‘er a try. 

BTW… please subscribe to DyingWords.net! Just Click Here

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This guest post is from Molly Greene who’s superb book ‘Blog It!‘ was instrumental to DyingWords success. I’m so pleased to have Molly’s permission to re-publish this serious advice on sharing blog content. She originally posted this on her blog-site www.Molly-Greene.com .

Molly1I’ve heard that imitation is the highest form of flattery, but that is definitely NOT true not when it comes to re-posting original content that is scraped (taken without permission) from someone else’s blog.

It’s happened to me, and eventually it will happen to you. I wish I could say I take it in stride, but that would be a stretch.

Yeah, it makes me mad.

Sadly, when I contact re-posters with a request that they take down my content, they always respond that they had no idea re-blogging complete posts was a no-no. Well, not only is it wrong to publish an entire article someone else has written – verbatim, in its entirety, without the originator’s explicit permission – it’s illegal. Even with an attribution crediting the original blogger and a link to the original post.

Copyright: know the law

Molly8All original works have a copyright the minute an individual creates it, and ownership does not require the © symbol or an official registration to be recognized. Copyright applies to all mediums, including print and digital, and protects the interests of the originator by preventing others from using their work without permission. Material posted on the Internet is also covered by copyright.

Under U.S. copyright law, a copyright owner can reproduce, distribute, sell, rent, lend, perform, display, communicate and/or adapt the work, and can authorize others to do the same. However, aside from specific circumstances, performing any of these acts without the copyright holder’s permission is an illegal infringement on their rights.

Molly9That means the verbiage in someone else’s site/handout/book/flyer/you name it belongs to them. It is THEIRS. Others cannot legally distribute, reproduce, or share it (that includes re-pasting into Google+) without the originator’s permission. If and when they do, it constitutes an act of plagiarism.


The doctrine of “fair use” allows restricted use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission under these established, specific circumstances: If the reproduction is used for comment, criticism, news reporting, scholarship, teaching, or research. So it’s okay to use a quote for educational purposes (as in your post is using the quote to teach readers something, and the other’s blog post helps explain it). Proper attribution and a link to the original article would still be nice. This publication explains the basics.

5 ways re-posting other bloggers’ content rips them off.

Molly10Bloggers who “borrow” content steal reputation, social authority, money, and time. And, if the perp gives attitude when contacted about it, they’re also stealing somebody’s zen. What else?

1. The blogger doesn’t get credit for their hard work. “Credit” equals reputation, website traffic, social media shares, and enhanced social authority.

2. The blogger doesn’t get the page views that can help draw potential advertisers and popular guest bloggers. Maybe even literary agents, if they’re interested in going traditional.

3. The blogger (often) doesn’t get the SEO-enhancing benefit of a back link from the blog that’s re-posting.

4.The blogger doesn’t get the siphoned-away readers’ eyes on their books or products or affiliate sale links.

5. The blogger wastes valuable time tracking the culprit down and communicating that they’ve essentially ripped them off.

Bottom line

Molly11Absolutely do not re-post someone else’s full blog post or other content without express permission from the creator. Re-posters should only proceed after they’ve been in contact with the originator, have asked for permission to run the entire piece, and have received the okay. Even then, it’s common courtesy to explain to readers that the article is a re-post, then link to the original blog. Clearly. Where it can be easily seen.

Note: Google no longer penalizes for duplicate content (in this situation); the search engine determines the post date and gives the originator credit by listing the original article in search results, and not the duplicator. In most instances, anyway.

The right way to link to someone’s post

Molly12When curating content, use only a couple of paragraphs from the original post. Below that, add the verbiage, “Link here to read the entire post,” or “link here to read Twitter Tips For Newbies.” When referring to a downloadable giveaway, direct people to the original blog to obtain the copy. The originator’s site gets the visitor traffic. They did the work, they deserve to reap the benefits.

Molly13When in doubt, ask. Message the blogger on Facebook, tweet them, cruise their blog and find an email address, or contact them/leave a comment on their blog. Some bloggers invite everyone to re-post content. Even then, give credit and a link to the post so they get the benefit of link-building.

Want to find out if people are re-posting your content?

Content Scrapers – How to Find Out Who is Stealing Your Content & What to Do About It. Quote: “Content scrapers are websites that steal your content for their own blogs without your permission.”

Approaching re-posters

My friend Tammy Salyer shared a generic letter she uses to contact re-posters. You can read it here.

Additional resources

Content Curation: Copyright, Ethics & Fair Use. Quote: “Best Practice #1:  Reproduce only those portions of the headline or article that are necessary to make your point or to identify the story. Do not reproduce the story in its entirety.”
How To Copyright A Blog in 3 Easy Steps

The Copyright Symbol, Misunderstood: 4 Common Myths That Hurt Your Blog


Molly7HeadshotMolly Greene is a writer, blogger, and author with over two decades experience in the marketing departments of high-profile national mortgage companies. She’s been published in local and national Association of Realtors® magazines, Scotsman Guide, and Reader’s Digest. Her nonfiction titles include Blog It!, The author’s guide to building a successful online brand, and Buy Your Own Roses and other essays (2015).

Molly2Molly’s Gen Delacourt Mystery series, Mark of the LoonThe Last FairytalePaint Me Goneand A Thousand Tombs are available as ebooks on Amazon.

Molly blogs about indie author issues, what she’s learned during the self-publishing process, and a bit about her life.

Molly3Thanks so much for the guest post, Molly. Your awesome book Blog It! was the turning point in making DyingWords a success. I’m forever grateful and I highly recommend Molly’s work!