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Ask the ExpertBlog Tips

5 Things You Must Do When Your Blog Content Is Stolen

By Oct 21, 2016 14 Comments

Do you know how to protect your blog, or what to do when your blog content gets stolen? It’s happened to several of my blogging friends, and unfortunately, it’s not all that uncommon. It could be some kind of online stalker that is pretending to be you (it sounds crazy, but I’ve seen it happen), or a website that scrapes and steals content from blogs instead of curating and sharing posts in an ethical way.

Have you ever had someone steal your blog content? We have the five things you must do when your content gets stolen online.

What To Do When Your Blog Content Gets Stolen

You may have found out about it because a friend or reader tweeted you that they saw something fishy with what looked like your pictures. Or maybe you got an alert in your email from a site that you’ve set up to look for your name or content. However you found out, there are steps to take if someone steals from your blog to make sure that your content is removed from the offending site.

1) Don’t panic

It happens to bloggers all the time. As much as it sucks and will inevitably upset you to see your hard work on a different site with credit given to someone else, you CAN get it taken care of.

2) Screenshot everything

Take screenshots of everything you see on their page that is yours. If you see weird things coming up on your stats (in Google Analytics, Statcounter, etc), screenshot it. Even if it might not be related, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Any IP address that has hit your blog an unusual number of times, or has stayed on it longer than usual could be a red flag. Then, send those screenshots to a friend so you’re not the only one that has them, and ask her to take her own screenshots if she’s able to (and especially if there’s something that she sees that you don’t).

3) Contact the offending website owner(s) and their host company

Ask them to remove your content. If it is one post that was stolen, refer to it specifically. If it’s pictures, send a link to which ones are yours. Again, document EVERYTHING. Save a document with links (and dates) to your original content and the links to the stolen content. The more information you have, the better it is if the situation goes south.

4) Send a DMCA Takedown Notice

DMCA stands for Digital Millennium Copyright Act. It is a group of laws that protect copyrighted content on digital mediums. Many ISPs and hosting companies have their own DMCA forms that you can fill out on their site. If your content gets stolen regularly, you can set up a free or paid account with a service like DMCA.com.

5) Ask your blogging friends/tribe to flood their social media accounts with negative tweets, statuses, etc, until action is taken

You can do this for the website and the host company. Often, they will take immediate action if their walls are full of negativity about a situation. Do not let up until you get a response.

If you haven’t set up alerts for your blog, do so now. You can set them up through Google or Talkwalker (to name a couple). And if you don’t yet have a “tribe,” find one. They can be absolute lifesavers (and sanity savers) in these types of situations.

Have you ever had your content stolen? Do you have any other tips?

KEEP READING

Looking for more info? Here are a few posts about protecting your blog content that you’ll find helpful:

About gfunkified

I'm a stay at home mom on four, living in the Kansas countryside. I run a gluten free home, and do my best to contain the chaos (or let it out into the surrounding cornfields). I blog at www.gfunkified.com and you can find me on Twitter @gfunkified.

14 Comments

  • cbetter says:

    Really useful information as people get panicked, but you shared really awesome tips loved your work.

  • Alina says:

    Useful information. it is very useful for people like me once my website was hacked by some people that time i lost all my blog data and i was unable to recover it. but after reading this blog post i can recover in my future.
    Lucky me I found your web site by chance, and I’m surprised why this coincidence did not took place in advance! I bookmarked it.

  • Curtez says:

    Great post, I would also recommend reaching out to directly to the web hosting provider. In most cases they will terminate the account or provide a warning directly to the owner.

  • Min Yon says:

    Thanks for sharing good tips! but i think that most spammers use software and stole content by RSS so i realize that the easy way to prevent spammers to stole content is change RSS or if you have a technique of writing code. It is really best for you

  • Nice post.

    It’s really frustraiting when your content have been posted without citation and even if google indexes it first.

    It’s nice to know there are options for it.

    Thanks for the post!

  • BlogMat says:

    Very nice post. Thanks for sharing with us 🙂

  • lalitha says:

    Hi

    Good tips , thank you for sharing .

  • What excellent tips! So useful! Thanks for sharing.

  • I am so glad I found this! It’s something I have always been a bit paranoid about as a writer, but told myself I would deal with it if/when it happened as not to freak myself out more. Hopefully it never does, but reading this article makes me feel more calm. Also — now I know there’s a DMCA, so, whew… because I can imagine some “bloggers” once accused of stealing content will deny any wrongdoing.

    Great post and community. Glad I found you guys

  • Lisa Newton says:

    Really helpful post. Bookmarking it, but hopefully I’ll never have to use it!

  • Ginny says:

    This is so good! I have often wondered how often this happens – and now I know what to do! Thanks.

  • Virginia says:

    Thanks for the tips! I went to the link for setting up alerts and it asks for a Search Query. What should I put there? Thanks again!

  • Oh wow! Thanks for the tips! I have not had this happen to me but never realized you could do something about it!

  • I’ve had content fed into other blogs but they link back to my blog. I didn’t know there was so much one could do about it.

    My current problem is numerous spammy track backs. I’m still figuring out whether I should turn off track backs completely.

    Thanks for the tips.