When I wrote my first blog, I was completely oblivious to the world of blogging. It was just my online diary. Having written so much prior to getting pregnant, I then started inviting people to read my pregnant blog and then after getting hooked on blogging I ventured into the big wide blogging world.
I didn’t know it was such a big thing but when I discovered it, I quite liked it. I met bloggers with similar outlooks on life. I met a few trolls that taught me more than I thought they ever could, to sum up… How not to be a mother/ human.
I experienced a darker side to blogging quite early on and often considered going private again and just carrying on as I started. Then I started to receive nice messages. People calling me inspirational and brave, telling me they’d like to write like I do or like to be as strong as I am. I decided to carry on writing publicly because if any of my posts help, inspire or make somebody laugh, just one person, then it’s worth writing. And of course my original intent behind blogging, to tell Ollie all about his life and for him to see what his Mommy was/is like!
Every now and again I get sucked into the dark side of blogging again and there seem to be a lot of bitchy posts going around lately and a popular topic that comes up is copying. Do bloggers copy each other?
This was a concern I had when I joined the blogging world because I’d often write something, publish it and then be scrolling down social media and see a very similar post and think, “Crap! I hope they don’t think I’ve copied!” Equally, I have often written something, published it and a few days later seen something virtually identical and thought, “Hmmm is that a coincidence?”
The thing is… We don’t copy each other.
- Don’t be so self-absorbed. This is something I’ve come to realise. There are close to 3000 bloggers in just one Facebook group that I’m part of. I do not read all of their blogs, they do not all read mine. In fact, I have about 10 bloggers whose work I actually connect with. If somebody writes something similar to you, what on earth makes you think they’ve been stalking your blog and simply must write your work because of all the hundreds of posts they’ve written… None of them compare to your one post that’s a bit similar. It’s not all about you.
- We’re all writing on the same topic. Mommy bloggers can cover hundreds of topics but ultimately, we’re all writing about motherhood and kids. We are going to cross over regularly. If I write a humorous potty training post when that time comes or top ten tips for easy training, I haven’t copied you unless you call reaching that stage in my child’s development copying?
- There are only really two sides. Most of us write about subjects we feel very strongly about. Nobody really writes mediocre, sitting on the fence posts. Great writing comes from great passion so if we’re passionate about either side of a debate we’ll write about it. Take breastfeeding for example, you’re either pro public feeding or against it. (I don’t think anybody is against breastfeeding so I have to be more precise.) You wouldn’t write a post along the lines of, I don’t mind but ermm I dunno each to their own. It’s generally ‘my kid, my boobs, they’re hungry, piss off’ or ‘I love feeding but I’m just not into the public display and don’t see why it has to involve anyone else.’ They tend to be passionate either way so there are only two options. There is a 50/50 chance that any given mother will agree with you. Having the same opinion or passions does not equate to plagiarism.
But even if after all that, you’re not sold and you’re utterly convinced another blogger has copied you… Take it as a massive compliment. Yes it would be nice if they were inspired by your post, they linked back to you but why not just comment, “Great post, I’ve written very similar! (LINK!) We share the same opinions, what’s your Twitter we should connect?” That way if they have copied you, they’re thinking, “Oopps she knows!” And if (more than likely) they didn’t copy you, they’ll be thinking, “Cool, I’ve found a blogger mom friend!”
In my early blogging days, I had a feeling a blogger copied one of my posts, mainly because she commented on mine and then a couple of days later published a virtually identical post. I now realise it is highly likely that it was just a coincidence because after blogging for a while I know how many drafts I have and I often read a post and think oh I’ve got something on that subject, I forgot to publish. Hey, if she did copy, I’m happy to inspire somebody that has been blogging a lot longer than I have and if she didn’t, woah two moms have a similar opinion. Mind. Blown.
Isn’t sharing opinions, passions and experiences part of the point of blogging?
Finally, one little detail some people fail to comprehend, if we’re blogging that suggests that we have many similar personality traits. We’re going to be similar by the very fact that we’re bloggers. Here’s my psychic read for you:
You often feel that you have much more to offer the world, you’re ambitious and want to climb the career ladder. You’ve toyed with the idea of writing a book or travelling the world but are torn between your inner passions and your practical responsibilities and as much as you’d love to just go for it and take the chance on a crazy idea, you enjoy the comfort and security of a stable life.