[LET’S CHAT] The Fine Line Between Plagiarism and Inspiration

As bloggers, we all worry about plagiarism.

Whether we’ve accidentally plagiarized someone, whether taking this photo or that photo is stealing, whether someone’s blog design can be similar or stolen, whether having the same blog post ideas near the same time is weird, whether bloggers can truly be original. It’s very confusing, and I don’t think we talk about it often, so let’s talk about it: how fine a line is there between plagiarism and inspiration?
(Also, a brief hello to the 160+ blog followers I gained yesterday (and is still going steady)! I’m still a bit floored at how much my notifications were blowing up after getting featured on WordPress’s Discover page, and I feel slightly intimidated, but oh so thankful!)

I think we as bloggers are always a bit uneasy when it comes to plagiarism. Most of us have been taught outside of blogging that plagiarism is a bad thing and we should never do it, and we definitely don’t want to plagiarize people in the blogosphere since most people don’t stand people who plagiarize, and you really don’t want to get on the bad side of the blogosphere…or else.
I think it’s a good idea to just talk about what we think is the difference is between plagiarism and inspiration, especially since some people claim plagiarism or copying when it really isn’t! I remember reading in a comment section somewhere that a blogger had told another blogger they couldn’t use the phrase “Let’s Chat” because they used it and it was copying, which, clearly isn’t true. Lots of people use the phrases “Let’s Chat!” or “Let’s Talk!” or “Chat With Me!” to get people to comment, and those phrases don’t “belong” to any specific blogger. So, obviously, I feel like we need to sort this out!

I feel like with blog posts, we worry less about outright plagiarism and more about accidental copying and when do we have to credit people.

I know I personally get half of my ideas from other bloggers or being inspired by people’s discussion posts, and the other half of my ideas are just from me and my constantly thinking mind, so I assume that most people do the same thing. I remember I had a brief freak-out when I posted my first discussion because someone who commented on my posts once had written a discussion about the VERY SAME topic that was published the day before, and I was so worried that she’d think I had copied her, even though I wasn’t even following her! It sounds silly now, but it’s definitely a valid fear that we all have!

I know I have a certain process when it comes writing a post that’s inspired by another blogger’s post.

If I’m inspired by a certain post or if I get an idea reading a person’s post, I’ll usually write it down since I don’t immediately write posts for ideas I have at that moment. When I finally do write the post, I try to tackle it in a different manner, like doing it in a list format or looking at the pros and cons or examining a different subject under the general discussion topic that I don’t think the other blogger did. If it’s a more personal post, like if someone explains how to get physical ARCs or tips for reviewing books, I’ll just explain my way of doing things. Usually, if I’m heavily inspired by a post – like if the only reason I’m writing the post is because I’m inspired or the topic is super specific – then I’ll credit them in the beginning of the post by linking back to their post or blog, and then I’m all done! I personally have had no issues thus far, so I think it works!

If you’re really unsure, just ask!

If you feel super uneasy about what you’re posting or you’re just an anxious person in general, just shoot the blogger an e-mail! The book blogging community is genuinely kind, so don’t feel terrified. I’ve had people ask me if they could write posts that were inspired by my own (even though they weren’t even my original ideas) in comment sections, and it’s perfectly fine!

Link back to the person’s post!

I’d say this is for people who are less anxious about plagiarizing. Just link back to the person’s post or Tweet or Instagram picture or whatever, and continue in with your merry way! If you link to a person’s post, they’ll be notified about it and will probably check it out and give you a thumbs up or thumbs down (hopefully).

Check your post against theirs!

If you read their post and you read your post, and they don’t sound similar or repeat the same information in a different order or writing style, then you’re fine! If not, that might mean that the topic has been overdone or you should talk about a different subject regarding the discussion topic.

Don’t panic about publishing similar posts in a short amount of time!

Really, you shouldn’t. If there’s zero way the blogger and you can be connected regarding post ideas, then there’s no reason for you to worry! Sometimes, great minds think alike, and we all talk about the same subjects or something huge happens in the blogosphere or YA community, so everyone has chosen to talk about it or, who knows, maybe it’s just a crazy coincidence. If you know you didn’t plagiarize, don’t worry about plagiarizing.

I think we’ve all heard our fair share of blogging horror stories.

You know, the ones where a blogger gets sued because the use a picture in one of their blog posts and the photographer decides to take them to court over it. Obviously, we don’t want that to happen to us, but it’s always a tricky subject! I know I leaned to error of my ways when my first ever borders were stolen right off of Google. If you don’t know, it’s not a good idea to just take things off Google, even if you credit it, since the person didn’t give you permission to use it. Fortunately, no one cared, I learned what I was doing was wrong, and I replaced those borders with ones I created myself!
I know I personally use my own bookish photography in my posts just for the fact that I get antsy about using pictures of book covers. I usually take them from Goodreads since they’re just out in the open and I haven’t heard a story of anyone getting in trouble for using their covers, but if I have the book, I’m more likely to just take a picture of it instead! This also applies to my graphics – my featured images are created using Canva and most of my graphics are from Freepik.

Take your own pictures!

I just mentioned above that I take my own photos, and I highly suggest doing that! It’s a fun hobby, in my opinion, and I just love taking and looking at gorgeous pictures of books! For those out there who are already panicking because they don’t think they’re good enough at taking pictures, here’s a link to a tutorial I wrote a couple months back!

Use stock photo images!

It is possible to use free stock photo images! I don’t use them at all and I’m not well-versed in it, but Molly @ Molly’s Book Nook talks about it in her post about her essential blog resources, and she has such gorgeous featured images, so don’t worry that it won’t look as good as your own photography!

Use Freepik!

Freepik is honestly my best and most useful resource! Basically, people upload gorgeous graphics on the site, you can search through them according to what you’re looking for, download and manipulate them in whatever way you please, and as long as you credit the artist, it’s free and easy to use! All of my graphics are taken from Freepik, so I highly recommend the site, obviously.

Search up blogs that have free downloads!

When I first got an arrow, it was actually from a blog that supplied free downloads, and though I don’t use it anymore, it was a great resource! There are blogs out there dedicated to designing graphics and templates and social media icons and you can just download them and use them to your fancy! Bridget @ Bridget & Books post has some websites, and I’ve heard that Pinterest is good as well!

What do you think is the difference between plagiarism and inspiration for you or when it comes to blogging in general? What are some ways you avoid it? 

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69 thoughts on “[LET’S CHAT] The Fine Line Between Plagiarism and Inspiration

  1. Oh my god. When I’ve done book reviews in the past I’ve used the book cover pictures off of google because it’s quicker than taking a picture of my books because you need the correct lighting etc. I didn’t even think about it being plagiarism. Because in everyday life you take pictures off google all the time for different things 😭 Slightly worried now

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, no, don’t fret! I usually use Goodreads book covers specifically, as I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that, since a picture of a cover can’t be anyone’s property, if that makes sense? Like, it’s not Goodreads or Amazon’s pictures, so you’re totally fine! As long as you’re not just taking an Instagram post of a book cover and claiming it as your own! πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

  2. First of all congratulations on being featured by WordPress. You have a great blog with interesting posts and you be very proud of what you have achieved.
    As for copying ideas from other bloggers, I think it is hard to avoid, with so many bloggers out there, but as long as you aren’t copy and pasting their post word for word and claiming it as your own, then, who’s to say it was their exclusive idea in the first place, they may have ‘borrowed’ it too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you so much, Rosie! ❀️ I appreciate he compliments! πŸ˜„

      Yeah, it’s definitely hard to avoid since there’s not much in the way of something being “brand new,” so we’ve all probably borrowed from someone else (unless it’s a book review; it’s hard to copy those). πŸ˜„

      Like

  3. Congrats on the feature! ❀
    I know plagiarism is something I worry about all the time! In order to avoid being accused of it, if I’ve been inspired by another blogger’s post, I always make sure anything I post that is similar to it has some key elements changed, and that it isn’t published until some time after the other blogger’s post. I also think using your own photography is great- it makes sure you can’t be accused of borrowing photos inappropriately, and as an added bonus it lets people see the exact copies you’ve been reading ☺

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you! ❀️

      So true; if I’m inspired, I try to not talk about the same things said blogger has already discussed! At that point, there’s no reason for me to basically re-write their discussion in my words, if that makes sense! Yeah, it’s a stress-free way of never being accused of stealing (and I also like looking at pretty pictures)! πŸ˜‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Definitely- I don’t want to just retell a post that’s already been written! And yeah, I think pictures can really brighten up a blog post ☺

        Liked by 1 person

  4. omg that’s so cool!! congrats on the feature, mikaela! πŸ˜„ im so proud of you! *hugss* you definitely deserved it 😊 your posts are always fabπŸ’•

    anyway, this post is quite funny considering we just discussed about plagiarism earlier on class πŸ˜‚ in my book, plagiarism, as defined by standler, “occurs when small parts of a passage are used without enclosing them in quotation marks and citing the author. […] in these instances, big chunks of the original text are used. there are changes in format, but the original author is not attributed to and the work is claimed as the plagiarist’s own[…]”

    with this, i think the difference is:

    β€’ PLAGIARISM – copying verbatim or bits and pieces of the text and not crediting the creator, paraphrasing to make it sound your own, not adding anything helpful to existing point(s) discussed. it’s obvious if you’re plagiarizing if your blogging voice is indistinguishable or different or varies from post to post

    β€’ INSPIRATION – adding your own comments, ideas, styles, facts found, examples, evidences, etc. to the existing point(s). it’s obvious if you’re inspired by a post because your blogging voice is distinctive than existing ones.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, thank you so much, Angelie! I appreciate your kind words! 😘

      Haha, we had an “Honor Code” thing at my school a couple weeks back! πŸ˜‚

      I like those definitions! I think “not adding anything helpful to existing points” is a big thing! I know there are discussion posts that cover the same points for a topic that pretty much everyone else has covered, so I don’t feel the need for it to be said again!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, Mikaela! Im so happy for you. You literally deserve all those follows and exposure! Youre doing a great job! ❀

    Plagiarism is annoying and I know how stressful it can be when youve written a really great post and a blogger who doesnt even like or comment the post he/she copied copied the concept and claim it as their own! What is more annoying is when people that read the plagiarist’s blog post think you are the plagiarist once theyve encountered you too, right? Ugh!

    I havent experienced being copied on line and i dont want to but I can definitely imagine the feeling and its not something I want for anyone to experience no matter how small the issue is viewed by others. 😟

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much, Mika! ❀️

      Ooh, I’ve never had that happen to me before (at least, with my knowledge. How does one even find out someone is plagiarizing them?) but that would totally suck! I’ve seen people steal others’ Goodread reviews, and just…why? Yeah, if sounds like a horrible experience! And I hate confrontation, so it’d be a nightmare! πŸ™ˆ

      Liked by 1 person

      • True! I hate confrontation too! It takes so much of our time and energy! Ugh.

        Ive read in an article online before about a book blogger Googling her content (literally copying a paragraph of her review and pasting it on the search bar) and she found out another blogger copied her review and claimed it as her own. Like that bloger copied her conent word per word! IMAGINE THE HORROR. 😨

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Well, I mean, plagiarism is actually quite clear. I also think that if an individual is actually plagiarizing, they are well aware of it. I think the first sign that someone isn’t plagiarizing, is worrying about whether or not they are. Obviously there can be coincidences when bloggers post about the same thing, but if I am drawing inspiration from another blogger I am taking into consideration the entire time to make it different, unique, so I don’t end up copying the post I just read.
    It also really irks me when people call others out publicly for something as silly as a chat prompt, when they could just as well solve any issues through private messages. Especially if it is a nonissue to begin with.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Agreed! There’s definitely real plagiarism in the blogosphere, but some overlap will just naturally happen. Like, I can’t “claim” a discussion prompt like “What is your favorite book from your childhood?” It’s 100% possible someone else (or several people) will come up with exactly that idea all on their own.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’ve taught for a couple years now, and–though I hate to sound cynical–my impression is that most people do know exactly what they’re doing. They may say they didn’t because they hope claiming ignorance will keep them from trouble, but most really do know. And many will keep on doing it if they think they can get away with it, sadly. 😦

        Liked by 2 people

    • That’s true! I think that if someone is freaking out about something, they’re probably not the ones that did it/are doing it! I do think that if someone took a picture from Google though, without crediting anyone, that that blogger probably wasn’t doing it on purpose (I’ve seen bloggers sued who said they didn’t know better, and I know I didn’t know better when I did it myself). Image copyright laws seem complicated and I don’t think we look into them as often as we should! πŸ˜…

      Yeah, I wouldn’t see the point in that? I get it if a designer confronts someone publicly about stealing their designs (which I’ve seen happen on Twitter) because that person has probably done it multiple times, but chat prompts are free-for-all! 😝

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I have luckily never had that problem because I have always taken my own photos for my blog. So in that respect I’m glad I’ve never had to think about it!

        I feel like people confronting others publicly greatly diminishes my respect for them…

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Congrats on being featured.

    For me plagiarism is more of a direct copy rather than using the same idea as someone else. Even if you have similar points, it’s not plagiarism in my view. What really bothers me is when people reblog your post or copy it word for word and pass it off as their own. You can’t claim ownership of an idea or a discussion topic as you can guarantee someone has done it before.

    I have on occasion decided not to post something because it’s too similar to someone else’s but that’s usually because I think readers get fed up with the same discussions rather than because I think I’ll be accused of copying.

    Unsplash is good for pics too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much! πŸ˜„

      Yeah, that makes sense! I think there are some discussions that have the same points (like, I’ve yet to see anything new added to the ebooks vs paper copy vs audiobook debate) or how-to posts (most “How To Request Physical ARCs” posts sound similar, but they aren’t copying each other). And, yeah, people copying stuff is so wrong. I honestly don’t know why people would do that when it comes to blogging (though it has happened; apparently a huge, well-liked book blog that was popular when book blogging was starting out was found out to be plagiarizing others, so it happens).

      Yeah, I feel that! I feel like there are som discussion topics that get stale, I guess! And I’ve never heard of Unsplash, but good to know there are other resources! πŸ˜„

      Like

  8. Congrats on the feature! You’re one of my faves!

    Honestly, sometimes it’s hard not to have your post be similar to another in one way or another. Some bloggers even have very similar writing styles. I remember once seeing someone post a topic similar to what I had drafted. Thinking that they might accuse me of copying, I scrapped the entire thing! Looking back, it was a silly response from my end.

    Since I’ve become a bit more involved with Bookstagram, I’m slowly beginning to use my own photos in my posts.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, thank you so much; you’re too kind! 😍

      So true! I’ve seen some bloggers that sound similar in terms of voice to other bloggers, and I don’t know how to feel about that! Yeah, I think we all make newbie blogger mistakes at times! I would probably panic like you! πŸ˜‚

      Oh, yeah, when I was on bookstagram, I began to use my own photos for featured images and such!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I actually asked another blogger to remove something of mine from their blog because it appeared as if the other blogger had written the content that was really mine. Like it wasn’t even pingbacked on their blog, it’s like they just copied and pasted everything.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, gosh, I’ve heard of people doing that! I know I saw a couple months back that one of my commenters said she was plagiarized, and I was shocked! I usually assume that only big bloggers get plagiarized, but I guess smaller bloggers are an easier target, which sucks. 😩

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  10. I’m always a bit worried about this topic, it’s such a fine line I do try to give credit whenever possible and try to carefully approach any subject that might have been inspired by a previous post I had seen..But it’s really hard and it can be paralyzing if you let the fear get the best of you… Images are a bit easier to sort out, but content is something else…
    Congrats on you new followers, you deserve them ..

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true! If I’m inspired by someone else, I try my hardest to cover the topic in a different manner so as not to be copying all their information in different words (even if I’m jealous because they handled the topic so well)! 😭 It can be scary; I know it’s my worst nightmare because I hate confrontation. πŸ™ˆ Thank you, Chelle! 😘

      Liked by 1 person

  11. I was definitely concerned when I first did my blog design when I just started out. I saw that pretty much everyone was using watercolor splotches and calligraphy-esque fonts as their theme so I based mine off of that. But I was always really concerned by it because I felt I was copying. Eventually I thought a little bit more about my design and completely changed it to my cats theme and now I love it because I know it is 100% ME! πŸ˜€

    As for blog posts, I also look for discussion topics from other blogs, but since it’s all about talking about my own opinion and experience on things I’ve never been concerned that I’m plagiarizing from someone’s else’s content. Like you said though, if I have an idea for a blog post that was 100% sparked by someone else’s input (actually have a post going up tomorrow that is like that – you’ll see! πŸ˜› ) then I will link back to that person’s post and credit them for being able to give me an idea for a post – which I think is fair πŸ™‚

    Good post! I definitely think this is something that needs to be talked about. It’s not fun when you’ve worked really hard to make a graphic or write a post and then have someone copy it without asking for your permission so we should always make sure we don’t do it to someone else!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh, same! I’ve never thought about blog design, because you usually never hear about blogger disputes where a blogger thinks another blogger is copying their blog design (I have seen fights over designers getting their designs stolen by other people, which ugh)! But it’s true; I think the fact that I now just look at Freepik for guidance is best for me (though I do look at my fave pretty blogs when it comes to getting a new blog theme lol).

      Yep, exactly! I think it’s fair to give credit if the only reason I’m writing the blog post is because of that other blogger! πŸ˜„

      Ugh, it isn’t! I remember on Books Amino, I made a cute graphic for a post that got popular, so everyone started doing it (it was a tag thing) on the app, and I remember being so annoyed when people just copied and pasted my featured image. Like, it’s mine??? You can’t just take it??? πŸ™ƒ

      Liked by 1 person

  12. This post! AMAZING AMAzING AMAZING (as per usual)

    Sometimes I see a post and it looks scarily similar to mine and I know the blogger has read it but I honestly think that’s just me. Usually, I link back to the blogger or quickly ask them in a DM or something and I always credit. I think this is really good for newbie bloggers to NOT USE IMAGES OFF GOOGLE because I did that first and omg, I’m glad I didn’t like get sued and murdered with words XD

    (ALSO YES! I saw that WP discover thing and CONgRATS GURL. You’re like semi-famous now? WHOOP WHOOP)

    Liked by 1 person

    • THANK YOU SO MUCH ILSA! 😘

      Oh, yeah, I remember my first discussion topic had literally been done by another blogger the day before mine, and I panicked because they had commented on my blog once, and I was worried they’d think I copied them, even though it was unreasonable. πŸ˜‚ Oh, yeah, I’m glad I learned early on that it was bad or I probably would have continued, which wouldn’t have ended well. πŸ˜…

      I CAN’T HANDLE THE FAME. 😡 It’s so crazy on my end. πŸ˜‚

      Like

  13. I used to really worry about plagiarising other bloggers to the point that I got worried that if I structured a sentence in a certain way I would be called out for copying another blogger. Now if I end up writing a similar post to another person I just consider it a coincidence but if I am directly inspired by another person I will try to remember to mention them in the post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, yeah, I’m paranoid as well! πŸ˜‚ That “structuring a sentence in a certain way” is actually an interesting point, since I feel like there are some bloggers who sound/act much like another blogger’s voice, and I’ve always wondered if that’s considered “plagiarizing.” But, yes, I think it’s usually a coincidence, but if I’m inspired, I link! πŸ˜„

      Like

  14. I’ve seen some bloggers get touchy that someone wrote about the same topic they did, but the reality is that that is not plagiarism. In fact, in most fields, writing about the same topics as other people have, *responding* to things other people have written, is literally how discourse works. Like, I am perfectly free to publish a professional article about gender relations in the “Wife of Bath’s Tale.” That topic isn’t “reserved” by scholars who have already written about it. I just have to cite their work and add something new to the conversation.

    So, yeah, direct copying is a problem. Being “too similar” is a problem (but harder to judge), but writing on the same topic is not.

    Pictures are the worst. I think some people, somehow, seriously do not understand that images are not fair game online. Even “professional” sites like Buzzfeed steal pictures because apparently their college-educated staff don’t understand copyright. And now they’ve moved to stealing images and giving a tiny credit in six 3 font underneath. That’s still not how it works. You can’t use an image even with credit without permission. But not enough people complain to make Buzzfeed stop, and then they just perpetuate the idea online that this is okay and professional.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, definitely! I don’t think there are any discussion topics that are really “hands off,” and I know as a newer blogger, I’m sure most of the stuff I’m talking about has already been discussed before since book blogging isn’t new!

      That’s true; being similar is hard to judge, since there are certain posts that always sound similar, but aren’t copying (for example, I’ve read A LOT of blog posts about “How To Request For Physical ARCs” and a lot of them list the same tips, but I can tell they’re not copying off each other, if that makes sense).

      Oh, yeah, I remember seeing someone say, “Oh look, Buzzfeed stole my Tweet for their monetary gain” on Twitter with a picture of their tweet with a screenshot, and it makes sense, since it’d make me angry, too (and compiling tweets isn’t really an “article,” in my opinion anyway). I’ve felt the same way about people who google books and take people’s pretty Instagram pictures and just copy and paste with their username in their post. Like, I’d be so annoyed if someone just randomly took a picture I worked hard on. πŸ™ƒ

      Like

  15. This can be such a hard thing to balance – taking inspiration from people vs. “copying” their posts – whether it’s intentional or not. This is such a great post though and you did a great job of breaking the issue down as well as giving some advice on what to do if you’re unsure! This was definitely something that I started to worry about soon after I started blogging. I mean, there are only so many things that you can discuss re: books/the book community, so we’re bound to have similar posts from time to time. I think as long as your post adds something new or thinks about the topic in a different way, there’s no need to be concerned!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah, thank you so much for the kind words, Kourtni! ❀️ Same! I think I feel that way in general; I’m always that one person who overworries that I’ll “accidentally” plagiarize in school or something and my life will be ruined (even though it’s unreasonable lol). So I feel the same way when it comes to blogging even though it’s not like I talk to other bloggers about their post ideas or whatnot. Yeah, I think there are many variations under one topic for most of them out there, so it’s definitely not like you can easily plagiarize! πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

  16. AH THIS IS SUCH A GOOD POST! I always worry about this type of thing. For me it’s mainly to do with writing similar blog posts to someone else. More than once I’ve had a post scheduled and then someone else has posted a really similar post the day before or something, and I always end up cancelling it because I don’t want them to feel like I’ve copied them!

    It actually just happened to me today, on my latest blog post someone commented and told me they’d done a similar post yesterday! I think now I just try and remember that there’s so many bloggers, the likelihood is that someone else is going to have had the same idea as you for a post!πŸ’•

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooh, I don’t feel like I follow enough blogs to feel that way, but I’d feel terrible if I did it! 😝 I’ve had that happen to me before! This blogger – Kourtni Reads – that I follow and I have posted about the same subject on our blogs on the same day twice now. πŸ˜‚ It’s true; there are so many bloggers and so many topics out there, so it’s hard to be really original, I guess! πŸ˜„

      Liked by 1 person

  17. OMG CONGRATS ON GETTING FEATURED ON DISCOVER!!! That is AMAZING and you totally deserve it. πŸ’•πŸ’•

    Also YES to this post! Besides worrying about plagiarism, I also worry that a topic has been talked about so much that I feel like no one wants to know what I think ahhaha. But I also agree that just linking to people’s posts is a great way to credit them without worrying too much!

    It’s also great because some people get inspired by my own posts and link back to me. Then I get really excited because WOW SOMEONE WAS INSPIRED BY ME! :’) Great post!! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • THANK YOU SO MUCH, MAY! ❀️ My notifications are still blowing up, and I’m overwhelmed. πŸ™ˆ

      Ah, so true! There are discussion topics that I tackle that everyone else has, and some have done really well while others have fallen below my standards, I guess you could say? It’s interesting to see which ones attract people, though! Yeah, I think linking to people’s posts is the best way to give credit!

      SAME! When someone says I inspired them to do something, it makes me so happy, because ME A ROLE MODEL NO! Thank you! ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

  18. Congrats!

    One bit of advice as far as checking for actual “plagiarism” is to make an account on Viper’s scanmyessay.com and running your content through that. It isn’t one of those checkers that will give you 30% for all off the instances of “I, it, a, and, the” and other words that people regularly use. I’ve seen sites that do that.

    Second, you are absolutely right about the rest of it, especially the link! 99.999% of bloggers (such a real statistic there lol) or close to it, would appreciate the backlink, because honestly, it helps their SEO.

    Keep it up! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, yes, a school I went to actually used a program where they would run kid’s essays through to make sure they weren’t plagiarizing! It’d show a certain percentage of what was from other sites!

      I feel like all of my posts use inaccurate statistics. πŸ˜‚ But, yes, it does help with getting people to their blog, so it’s always best to link! πŸ˜„

      Like

  19. When I first started blogging I was super nervous about using pictures off of the web — even pictures of book covers. πŸ“š Now, I use book covers off of Goodreads, but I always add a link at the end of my post for which website I got the book cover from. The thing I find to be most annoying for blog posts is adding GIFs, because more often than not the site I find a GIF from online isn’t even the source of the original GIF, and trying to track down the original creator to give credit to is an absolute NIGHTMARE. 😱 Sooooo I mostly just take my own photos for my blog, but occasionally use GIFS and book covers from Goodreads.

    I think this is a really important topic to talk about, especially for people who are just starting to blog — it’s really easy to get so much inspiration from other people’s blogs that it overshadows any creative ideas that you might have for your own blog. I found that taking time off of blog hopping during the beginning stages of making my blog really really helped me in my creativity and brainstorming of unique topics to write about 😊

    I enjoyed reading your post! πŸ˜‹ πŸ˜„

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hm, I don’t think using gifs is taking from anyone, since they’re basically taken from other videos/movies/shows. They aren’t really owned by anybody, and I’ve seen companies/movies/shows have an entire account on Giphy dedicated to making gifs and sharing them, so I don’t think it matters!

      So true! I know there are beginner bloggers out there who seem to just act and write and do things like a blogger they admire, just because they’re sort of lost, so it’s nice to just remind people that it’s okay to be inspired, but you need to credit people!

      Liked by 1 person

  20. There is a very fine line between these two subjects. I always associate the word “Plagiarism” as “Copying”. Teachers who thought me used to be strict, nosey people who used to always find out, who was involved in the act. It’s a very vague memory. After reading this blog, I began recollecting trails of plagiarism in various point of my life. I believe that everyone uses another idea to write something great on their own. Honestly, I don’t recommend anyone to openly copy from word to word, but try to use their story/content/blog as your motivation for something on the same line. Be true and give the guy/girl a credit for the inspiring you, because it’s a win-win for both.

    And, Congrats on being featured and keep it rolling.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. I think it’s hard to actually avoid posting similar topics as other bloggers. Everything has been discussed at this point. BUT If I noticed that I want to talk about something that someone else recently talked about, I usually link back to theirs – or if I even directly was inspired by their post, then I 100% link back to it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yep, that’s definitely true! I think it’s hard to genuinely discuss something that’s brand new, so I don’t feel like we need to link back to every single post with that topic of ever. And, yes, if I’m inspired by someone else, I definitely link them, since I want to give them credit for giving me the idea! πŸ˜„

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  22. This is definitely a topic that needs discussing more often! I think we’ve all experienced that horrible feeling when you’ve posted a blog post and then you realise that someone else posted on the same topic just before you, and you worry they think you’ve copied.
    Most of the time I think this worry is all in our head – after all, there’s only so many book related blog topics out there – but one time I did have a blogger comment on one of my posts implying I had copied the idea from her, even though I had never actually heard of or visited her blog before. I think we just all need to accept that it is entirely possible to have the same idea at the same time as someone else, and not worry so much about it, or throw around accusations unless it is word-by-word copied and pasted. Great post! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s so true! It’s very limiting, the topics we come up with, so at some point, we might have talked about the same thing or covered the same topic, even if we didn’t mean to! Yeah, I’ve always wondered about “accidental copying,” especially when it comes to you never actually seeing their blog before, but I hope that most bloggers don’t really mind! πŸ˜„ Thank you! ❀️

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  23. Ironically, I JUST emailed a blogger friend today about the fact that she was using a watermarked image in her post—she obviously didn’t know about the rules regarding photo usage, and I didn’t want it to get her in trouble! I even considered writing a post on it because I realized it’s been a while since I’d seen one (sometimes those of us who have been around for a while forget that there are newbie bloggers coming onto the scene all the time who haven’t SEEN those posts from three years ago about photo copyrights!). I think you have a great perspective here on inspiration vs. copyright—I wrote a similar post a few years ago, when I felt like maybe I had stepped over the line and hadn’t credited someone I should have. I always think that crediting for inspiration is the best policy!

    Liked by 1 person

    • So true! I thought this would be a post that not many people who’ve been here a long time ago would feel, but the comments proved me wrong! It’s true; I learned from another post that using random images was wrong, so newbie bloggers always need to be reminded of these things, since I think most of us assume that if we just link back, no one will mind (that’s what I thought before I started blogging). Yep, it’s definitely the best policy! πŸ˜„

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  24. Great post thank you for the resources! I think there is definitely a fine line between plagiarism and inspiration and I think I’m the blogging community of people were more honest and upfront of where they got the inspiration from their posts it would kind of settle the confusion !

    Liked by 1 person

  25. […] Mikaela talked about the difference between being inspired by someone’s post vs. plagiarizing.…This can definitely be a source of anxiety or frustration for bloggers, but Mikaela did a great job of breaking it down and giving some advice on what to do if you’re not sure if you’re taking too much from someone else’s posts. Mikaela often has really great posts and this was no exception! […]

    Liked by 1 person

  26. I just found your blog and my goodness, I’m glad I did! I’m a newbie so everything is new. Your topic of plagiarism really caught my eye. I, too, worry about it all the time and try my best to link images but like you’ve said, we all worry. I’ll definitely use your tips now. Thanks so much for this post!

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