How Bloggers Can Avoid Plagiarism

As a blogger, you have some level of expertise to share with your readers. Many of your post topics might come from your own personal experiences. But sometimes, bloggers might want to write about something outside of their knowledge. Whether it’s information that you’ve studied or statistics that you couldn’t have come up with on your own, you might need to use someone else’s expertise to help fill out your entries.

There’s nothing wrong with using an outside source in your blog posts. In fact, that’s the reason why bloggers and writers share their knowledge in the first place – so that you, as the reader, can find something useful from it.

So go ahead and use other articles and posts in your blog post. Just be careful that you aren’t plagiarizing.

How Do Bloggers Plagiarize?

If you’ve been a student in the past few years, you’re already very aware of the dangers of plagiarism. Students who copy the work of another published source are severely punished. Plagiarism has become one of the biggest crimes a student can commit.

Plagiarism is generally defined as passing off another person’s ideas or work as your own. Copying and pasting text is absolutely plagiarism. For a blogger, using someone else’s recipes, crafts, parenting techniques, or opinion on news and current events and pretending that you came up with them is plagiarism.

Why is Plagiarizing Bad?

Plagiarizing is the height of poor netiquette for bloggers. If you are caught plagiarizing on your blog, it could ruin your reputation in the eyes of your audience and your fellow bloggers.

If you aren’t worried about the morality of stealing from another person, worry about this: Google looks for pages that are too similar to each other and only gives SEO credit to the page that was published first. Google wants to reward only original, valuable content – if you plagiarize, your posts will fit neither of those two criteria.

If you steal someone else’s work, you’re also robbing yourself of a networking opportunity. A well-cited link to another blog can create a relationship and SEO credibility for both of you.

Bottom line: plagiarizing is not worth it for bloggers.

How Do Bloggers Avoid Plagiarism?

The best way to not plagiarize is to cite someone else’s work. Reference the blog post and add a link to it. Create citations at the end of your entries to your sources.

Unfortunately, there is no uniform way that bloggers can cite their sources. For many bloggers, simply adding a link is enough. APA (American Psychological Association), MLA (Modern Language Association), and the Chicago Manual of Style all have formats for citing blog posts; these three citation styles are generally used by professionals or students. Bloggers can choose to follow those citations, but are not required to.

The most important part of citations, no matter how you decide to give credit to your sources, is consistency. Use the same format in each blog post. You can update how you source information every so often, but try to decide on a method now and stick to it.

Another idea to avoid plagiarizing is using guest posts. If you need another blogger’s expertise on your blog, invite them to write a post that you can publish. Search’s directories for guest posts by experts on every subject.


Bailey, Jonathan. “Why Plagiarizing On Your Blog is Always a Bad Idea.” (3 Dec. 2013).

What To Do When Someone Plagiarizes Your Content in 3 Easy Steps

A few months ago, I wrote about plagiarism in the blogging world. I concentrated on how bloggers can properly attribute sources so that they aren’t accidentally plagiarizing, as well as what constitutes plagiarism. I also discussed the consequences of plagiarism: it can ruin your reputation as a valuable website; it can burn bridges with other bloggers; and it can get you in serious trouble with Google.

What kind of trouble with Google? According to their webmaster page on duplicate content, “In the rare cases in which Google perceives that duplicate content may be shown with intent to manipulate our rankings and deceive our users, we’ll also make appropriate adjustments in the indexing and ranking of the sites involved. As a result, the ranking of the site may suffer, or the site might be removed entirely from the Google index, in which case it will no longer appear in search results.”

If your website no longer appears in the Google search results, you are missing out on 60% of online traffic. That is a huge hit to your ability to generate revenue.

Of course, if you read that post and you’re now reading this one, you’re already convinced that plagiarism is horrible and you should never ever do it. So instead, let’s talk about the people who aren’t convinced, the ones who have plagiarized your content, and what to do about it.

Step 1 – Politely ask the plagiarizing party to take it down. Yes, keeping your cool is the first step. It’s important to remember that many plagiarizers steal content on accident. They may not realize that their actions constitute stealing or they may not know how to properly attribute a source. This isn’t an excuse – plagiarizing is always unethical and illegal, even when done on accident. Some plagiarizers might be aware of what they are doing, but have never suffered any consequences for it in the past. Asking them to take it down with a brief but decisive note may be all you need to do to solve the problem.

Keep in mind that taking action against the thief will result in some serious consequences for them. They could lose their webhost, their advertisers, their ability to post on social media, and be penalized by search engines. All of that is extremely difficult to bounce back from. Someone who knowingly plagiarizes your work deserves all of the consequences of their actions, but someone with more innocent intentions may deserve a second chance.

Of course, in order to send them a message requesting that they take down your content from their website, you first have to find their contact information. Check for “About” and “Contact” pages within the website. If the website has an internal search function, search for “contact.” If an email address is not readily available on the website, you can find the owner of the domain name through If all else fails, try commenting on the blog post.

Step 2 – Start documenting. Take screenshots of the offending website and of your original work. Make sure to include the date in your picture. You will also need a screenshot of the messages you sent to the thief. Find a Google cached copy of your webpage as well. Print out carbon copies of your evidence as well as save them to your computer.

Find a Google cached webpage
Step 3 – Take action. Give the offender a few days to comply with your request. It’s a good idea to specify in your first message to them how much time you will give them, such as 3-5 days. If they have not responded or taken down the plagiarized content, then you will have a few options of recourse.

Do not seek to take revenge out on the thieving website. Trying to defame, spam, or otherwise hurt the plagiarizer will not help you in any way, and it could actually hurt your reputation and chances of getting help. Instead, keep all of your communication civil and polite.

After you’ve given the thief some time and your content is still on their website, then you need to start seeking some bigger fish. Contact their webhost, advertisers, blogging platform, any social media they are posting the content on, and finally, search engines. If you’ve done thorough documentation proving that the original content belongs to you and the other website stole it without permission, you should be ready to move ahead with this step without a problem. You can also report stolen content through Google and Bing Webmaster Tools.


“What Do You Do When Someone Steals Your Content.” (4 April 2014).

FGP Update: Copyscape will prevent plagiarism, build trust between writers and publishers

You may have noticed a few changes in Free Guest Post now that we’ve come out of beta mode. The biggest change is the implementation of Copyscape software into our usual guest posting system. Copyscape is a service that website owners can use to protect their content from being re-published on another website. Free Guest Post is using it to prevent writers from offering duplicate content to unsuspecting publishers.

What this means for writers:

Writers, submit your content as you normally do. With the update, your article will now be automatically scanned by Copyscape before it is allowed into the general pool of articles that publishers can pick from. If any of your content is copied from another source, the system will now keep the article in draft status until enough changes are made to the text to pass Copyscape and be marked “Certified Original.”

Although writers may feel they are under added scrutiny, having a guarantee that their work is not plagiarism is a benefit to them as well as publishers. Publishers can now trust all the articles available for publication, including yours, increasing the chances for each to get published. Your content will have greater circulation, a bonus for any writer trying to build up a portfolio of online articles or publicize their website using backlinks.

What this means for publishers:

Publishing duplicate content adds no value to your website, whereas publishing original, quality content can help boost your SEO and bring traffic to your website. Publishing plagiarized content can, however, hurt your reputation and destroy relationships you’ve created with other bloggers and writers.

Now using Free Guest Post to find guest articles is completely safe, thanks to Copyscape. You never have to entertain the possibility of accidentally publishing duplicate content. Free Guest Post can guarantee that none of the articles offered by writers contain plagiarism. Your website will continue to be a place where readers can find original, quality content created by guest posters.

For more information on guest posting without incurring Google’s wrath, visit our blog post “How to Guest Post Without Pissing Off Google.”