I’ve been blogging for a few years now and I’ve seen and heard a few things along the way – I’m by no means saying I’m an expert or know all the “rules” but I thought I would start a bit of a series (maybe!) with some tips and lessons learned from a few of my blogger friends.
First off let’s discuss the use of photos. Every blogger has a different style. Some take their own photos either with a camera phone, point and shoot or top of the line DSLR. Some use stock images provided to them from a brand or PR company. There is no right or wrong way to format your posts. That’s the beauty of blogging – it’s your blog – YOU are the editor.
Do not take photos without permission – always ask the blogger if you can use their photos. 99.9% of the time they will say yes, and you’ll earn brownie points for being nice and asking. If however you failed to do this and did not ask permission at least have a credit link to the blog post (where the photo was taken from). The link should state the blog URL (ie. TorontoBeautyReviews.com) and should also be linked to the page you took it from. (…) don’t link to Google Images. That’s like citing “The Library” as the author of your favourite book.
True story. One of my collages was stolen by another blog. I am not going to call them out because I don’t want to send them any traffic. They did not credit me as the original source and I lost traffic because of this (since) Google had them ranked #1 for the search term “sneakers” (I was previously #1 in Google Images).
I started by asking them (the offending blog) to take down my image or at the very least list me as their source. They did not. So then I went to Google directly and reported them as infringing my copyright. I had some back and forth with Google about this but in the end the website was no longer ranked for my photo.
All of this could have been avoided if they had just credited me as their source.
Photo stealing can be some serious business people – don’t do it!
But…what if you stole a photo and didn’t realize it? Like I said – the rules of blogging aren’t written anywhere and it’s hard to look up “rules of the internet” too. So I personally give people the benefit of the doubt.
I love that Anna of Siciliana Beauty is open to admitting a mistake she learned from:
I stole a photo once! I was new to blogging. I searched Google images, came across one I could use and didn’t even realize I should be crediting. The photo was watermarked by the owner which is why I didn’t think to credit the image. Anyway, I was contacted by the…owner (of the photo) and was asked to take it down since I didn’t credit the image. I apologized and (asked) if I credit(ed) the image and link(ed) back to her blog could I keep it up – she agreed and the rest is history.
The whole crediting images was definitely a learning curve that I had to get around quickly.
I really appreciate Anna’s honesty. I’m sure we’ve all made mistakes – as long as we own up to them, learn from them and don’t repeat them all should be forgiven.
There are many topics to touch on which I will do in another post. But…if you are a blogger what are your thoughts on the subject of photos and blogging?
If you have any suggestions for topics on this potential series feel free to comment or send me an email. If you’d like to share your mistakes, tips or stories email me too! (firstname.lastname@example.org).
I hope this post was helpful! Again the point of this is not to make anyone feel bad or lay blame, just to start a conversation and make us all aware of some points of etiquette in the blogging world.