Plagiarism is Easy to Identify and It’s just as Easy to Avoid
There are a lot of fashion bloggers out there. We all try to keep our content original but every once in awhile you’re going to end up stepping on one another’s content-related-toes. Posts like, “Tips for Newbie Bloggers,” “10 Ways to Boost Your Traffic, “How to Keep Your Content Fresh,” etc etc are the sort of posts that have been written and rewritten ten thousand times. It’s OK for you to look at previously written posts for ideas, but it is crucially important that you put your own personal spin on it and that you don’t, under any circumstances, plagiarize content directly from another source. You are responsible for anything you write and in these panoptical days, if you choose to plagiarize content, then you will more than likely get caught and you are responsible for the consequences. We all learned the rules of plagiarism way back in middle school and they’re easy enough to understand and abide by.
And the Same Goes for Photos…
There are plenty of Creative Commons Licensed photos out there: on Flickr, on Wikipedia, on Google. If you can’t take your own photos don’t take someone else’s. If you do take someone else’s photos be absolutely certain that you’ve credited both the source of the photo and the photographer who took the photo and do your best to link their names to their websites; also don’t bother trying to attach the photo to any commercial product and don’t, not ever, attempt to make any sort of profit by/from/through the use of the photo. Make your credits clear and obvious to your readers.
Be Respectful and Fair
If you do get wronged and someone does start poaching your content don’t just attack them on your blog or on Twitter. There’s no point in getting involved in a flame war on Twitter, Facebook, the IFB forums, or your blog’s comments; it’s puerile, petty, and totally unprofessional. Your colleagues and readers will lose respect for you. If you have an issue with another blogger taking your content, or if you are accused of it by a fellow blogger, keep it between yourselves; settle it by email, by phone, by anything other than bashing one another back and forth in a public forum. If you do choose to take this approach then be certain that you’re being fair: get in touch with the person, allow them to give you a quote explaining their side of the story, and give them their fair say in your post. Stick to the hard facts and let your readers make their decisions based on these facts.