Copycat

12.4.11

Image taken from weheartit
We bloggers all share a common interest; be it fashion or beauty, it's near on impossible for featured/reviewed products not to be duplicated.  Liz Earle's PR team have obviously been busy sending out samples lately, and my subscriptions list has had an influx of Liz Earle reviews.  I'm not bothered by this, but bloggers bear in mind, I probably will only read the first review that pops up in my reading list.

Actual copycats are a different kettle of fish.  I'm aware that there are only a certain amount of fonts available on blogger, or a limited number of backgrounds available unless you're a whizz with html, but modelling your blog on someone else's just cheapens all of your work.  I never look at a blog which is a wannabe LLYMLRS and think, wow, instead I invariably think that they just ripped the original off and often wonder how more people can't see it.  I mention Lily because she's the one I notice this happening to the most.  I don't want to turn this into an "all hail Lily" post, but she is no doubt an inspiration to many (as evidenced by her following and the sheer amount of people who do rip her off) but it's just not fair to copy her layout, features, style of writing ("001, 002, 003..." I'm looking at you) and pass it off as your own.

So what do you do when you spot a fantastic blog and wish yours was more like it?  Simple, DON'T COPY!  If you get a reputation as a copycat you won't attract the right sort of attention.  Come up with a way you can incorporate one or two of the aspects you like (Golden Rule: don't copy another blog in its entirety) and make them into your own.  Contact the original blogger and see if they would mind you developing their idea and using it on your own blog.  A lot of the time they'll be happy to share, as long as you respectfully include a little link back to them to pay them their dues.  See my buttons on the right hand side?  Inspired by Sofia, as clearly stated underneath.  It's just polite!

And what if you are the blogger being ripped off?  Tricky, but try to remember imitation is the highest form of flattery.  Be it features,style of photography, outfit choices or hairstyles.....it only means you're doing something right.  As I said before, I'll spot the copycat blogs and only respect your work more.  And let me pose this question to you...
Are you nobody until somebody copies you?
I'm not openly inviting copycats, but I can't help but feel the reason I haven't been copied is because I'm not a big enough blogger.  Looks like that's just one of the downsides that having such a huge following attracts.

On a final note, Jen summed it up far more neatly than I, on Twitter last night: "If you think someone's stealing your style (of writing, photography, design, whatever) don't get mad.  Adapt, so you're always unique.  People will always follow.  You have to be the one to lead."  ....quite good, eh?

So let's end this negative post with a little bit of love.  If you're looking for some interesting, original content, stylish outfis or beautiful blogs then check out these ladies below.  But remember, it's ok to be inspired....not cool to copy.  In no particular order.....
Milly, Lily, Morven, Jen, Emma, Claire, Beth, Victoria, Kelly, Victoria (again!), Michelle, Mariannan, Lauren, Chloe and Sofia.

What are your thoughts on this touchy issue?  Have you ever been copied?

22 comments

  1. Great post. I guess there's a balance between imitation being the sincerest form of flattery and just plain annoyance at people ripping off other's ideas. I've noticed a few things in the past that I've thought have been obvious copying but when we're all in the fashion/beauty arena we are likely to be inspired by the same things and sometimes it really could be coincidence. I'd like to think that people are decent enough to give others credit for ideas but sometimes that little "x" at the top right hand corner of the screen really comes into its own when you come across blogs that are clearly unoriginal - I don't think those bloggers really do themselves any favours in the end. x

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  2. Such a great post. I honestly just skim over multiple beauty reviews and 'Sunday Summary/Roundup' posts now, I look at the summary posts and just see them as a bland version of Lily's, especially because I've been reading Lily's blog for almost a year. Great point about imitation as flattery, and adapting so you're always unique, Tabitha (: I always look at ways to improve my posts and features. This post comes at a great time too as I've seen bloggers ripping off my Ways to Wear feature over the last two weeks (: And wow, to be mentioned in the same post as so many amazing bloggers :O Will be linking to this post in mine today! xxx

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  3. I love this post, and have linked to it today.
    I agree with everything you say, and not to bring specific bloggers into it, but I agree that sometimes I'll click to a new blog and literally do a double take at how similar it is to another I follow already.
    It's a shame, but like you say I guess in some way it must be flattering to those it happens to, as well as very frustrating.
    Speaking from a personal point of view, I know I'm a bit of a parrot sometimes in the way I absorb details/ styles and get inspired by them- in my GCSE's etc you could really tell what style of books I'd been reading as that was the writing style I then subconciously adopted! *Cringe*
    Anyway, my point is, I wonder if to a larger extent this is what is happening with the copycat blogs?
    I'm just happysomeone had the balls to come out and put finger to keyboard about it, as we;ve all been thinking the same, no doubt!

    xxxx Maddie

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  4. This is such a true topic. I think as ever blogger starts out they never know what direction to take, especially when seeing some of the bigger bloggers and start with the '001' for example. I have to admit, that some things caught my eye, but as you rightfully said, adapt. I do think its flattering though. As for everyone doing the same posts, though..in a blogging community with only so many new products a week, things are enviably going to be said time and time again, until someone disagrees and puts a curve on it. I get so fed up of always reading the same posts, but i guess in a way, i must also fall in that category. Who knows. We all blog for the same reason, i just hope the people that do deem it necessary to copy, find their individuality.

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  5. I love this post, I think I'm a bit slow tho & don't really notice copying unless it's totally obvious! & don't think I've ever seen anyone copy me either haha, should I be insulted?! Lol you're definitely unique T! One of my faves from the beginning of my blogging life xo.

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  6. Thanks for the mention honey. Copycats suck, it hasnt happened to me yet..thank goodness!
    Great post,
    hugs xx

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  7. Wow, so nice of you to mention me amongst all those wonderful blogs. Seriously flattering!

    The only time I've been pissed off about it (and genuinely concerned) was when someone lifted entire paragraphs from various posts and passed it off as their own writing. They also copied the exact wording on the pages/tabs shown beneath my header; plus used the piece of writing I include as a welcome note at the top of my left sidebar. But...It was a young girl and she didn't know better.

    With regards to being 'inspired by' I'm not really fussed I just don't understand why people don't credit. It's so simple. Just say 'oh I saw this on.... and fancied discussing the same thing here'.

    Oh, so much to say! I might have to write my thoughts down and link to your post :)

    x

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  8. I really love this post. Its so true as well. Sometimes certain blogs look so similar that i can't remember which one is which!
    I think its really hard to find your own identity in the blogging world but i think if you try and make your blog unique enough then it should all come natural!
    Your blog is fab btw!

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  9. I don't really agree with this post. Well I understand the parts about people just copying and pasting articles bloggers have written as if someone did that to me, I would be maaad.

    I just think the trival things like writing styles and whatnot are silly. Who's to say that person didn't think that up themselves and what's wrong with doing "001". Unless the person who so called made it up has copyrighted it or something then there is just no point getting angry about it.

    It's just silly to even think that because if we're going to do that what about Wednesday Wants and Friday Faces and Sunday Summaries? What do you expect bloggers to write about?

    There's probably about a handful of inspirational, orignal blogs and then the rest are just different versions of those same ones. As a new blogger, you want to entice your readers and there are certain ways of doing so and I don't think there's anything wrong with that. Why not? I mean if someone used my ideas, sure I'd like a bit of a heads up but that's fashion. Primark copies Topshop all the time and I don't think I've seen Phillip Green (if that's his name) go into a frenzy.

    I think it is better to be flattered than annoyed and frustrated because bloggers copy all the time. I used to see only a few blogs do colour palettes and now everyone does it, should bloggers who started this up be annoyed? Should we not be doing it?

    It's all about appealing to your readers because if anything, fashion blogs are just like mini free daily magazines online.

    I hope I didn't come off argumentitive(sp?) in anyway but I just wanted to give you a different side of this touchy subject.

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  10. Thanks for all the comments girls!

    @Stacey - nope, you didn't come off as argumentative and I can totally see your point. Fashion is about mixing it up and taking influences from all over, but as you pointed out, a blogasphere full of Sunday Summaries (in my opinion) would get boring. Like I said, I've yet to be copied so this isn't an issue that affects me personally, but as a reader it does get a little irritating to see obvious copycat blogs. Thanks for sharing your opinion though :)

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  11. I guess until you have your stuff copied you'll never understand how infuriating it really is!

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  12. Great post. I think you hit the nail on the head here. Copycats are taking all of the fun and enjoyment out of blogging.
    I dont really agree with what Stacy has said about being flattered. I dont think I would be flattered if people were copying all my ideas. Fair enough taking inspiration and then turning it in to your own post is one thing I do that, but blantent copying is completely not on x

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  13. I have to say I was thinking the same thing about all the liz earle reviews, starts off with someone doing one then all of a sudden they have the whole range to review and spreads across the beauty blogs, I've been using liz earle for about 10 years, they never sent me anything??? just joking haha!

    Copying layout etc doesnt bother me as it has happened to me, unless its whole posts and content being copied and pasted! We should just move on and think of something even better and be unique like you said!

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  14. Laaav this post . The other day I realised I had a new follower so I clicked on thier blog to have a looksies and realised they had literally copied and pasted a paragraph from my blog and claimed it as thier own opinion . I felt ever so wierd and just thought , if you want to blog , write about something you thought of and the words you thought of . xxx

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  15. Copying's a bit of a grey area. I don't think the 001, 002 thing is copyrighted, I mean they're just a numbering system. I'm learning French/Japanese and I like to use to use the numbers on my blog sometimes, but someone might assume I'm copying another well established blogger who happens to have french numbers or whatever on their latest post. It's kind of easy because I know how to distiniguish my blog from a lot of those out there, and those that have that ability to be unique instead of the standard 'i love tea' 'that's so lovely' skinny minny style, will progress and inspire others :)

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  16. Of course copying is infuriating, surly everyones had that anger but...rise above and keep doing what you do best.

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  17. **surely. Sorry about the multiple post, I don't want to be hunted by the Typo police...

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  18. Thanks for the mention sweetpea :) xx

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  19. I agree completely with this post, I see many bloggers today who model their blogs after those who they admire. It's alright if someone inspires you but you shouldn't copy them, you should derive your own interpretation of it. It's never made sense to me because people are always on the lookout for fresh and original ideas anyway. I have just started a blog myself and promised myself to never copy another blog just to get more viewers.

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  20. fantastic post! the biggest thing ive noticed is the numbers (001...) and also sunday portraits too, i mean it cant be that hard to find something new that you can do, which could potentially grow into something as big as something like a sunday portrait! xxx

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  21. I couldn't comment properly when I first read this as I was on my phone, so I just wanted to say thank you for including my link at the end :)
    xx

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  22. What a great post! I am new to blogging and so have never had anyone copy my content, but it must be frustrating. Thanks for sharing! x

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