If you have a blog, whether you realize it or not, copyright is a subject that directly impacts your life.
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Not only are you constantly creating new copyrighted works while making your blog but, most likely, you are integrating other’s works into your site including your blogging application (IE: WordPress), your theme, images with your posts, quotes, etc.
However, there is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding on matters of copyright. Some of it is because the law is genuinely confusing, some of it is caused by misinformation that is being spread around the Web and much of it is the simple fact that most bloggers aren’t interested in these issues.
Unfortunately, those who are ignorant about the law often step into traps while wading through it and these pitfalls can both limit your rights to control your own work and cause you to be threatened or sued by others.
As a blogger, it is best to have at least some knowledge of copyright so you can protect yourself. With that in mind, here are five copyright facts every blogger should know.
1. If It’s Saved, It’s Copyrighted
There is no requirement to place a notice on your work for it to be considered copyrighted nor do you have to register your work with any third party. A creative work is considered copyrighted the moment it is “fixed in any tangible medium of expression“. Once you save your work to your hard drive (or server), doodle a sketch onto a napkin or put that painting on canvas, it is copyrighted.
Though you can’t copyright ideas, just their expression, and you do need to register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office if you are U.S. citizen and wish to be able to sue for copyright infringement and collect all potential damages. However, that has nothing to do with your rights in the work and your ability to demand removal of infringing copies.
On the counter side, unless you have some significant reason to believe otherwise, assume all works you encounter on the Web are copyrighted and threat them as such.
2. There is No Golden Rule for Fair Use
Though others like to talk about rules such as X number of words in a blog post or X number of seconds in a song, there is no magic “bright line” on matters of fair use.
In short, fair use is a defense against a copyright infringement lawsuit and it is determined on a case-by-case basis, not by any hard rules. Judges and juries weigh four factors when looking at fair use and those factors get weighed differently almost every time.
There are some uses that are clearly fair and others that are clearly not. In between there is a wide swatch of gray area that could, quite literally, go either way.
3. Attribution is No Substitute for Permission
Though attribution is a good thing to give, it doesn’t give a green light to use a work as you see fit.
Attributing a work simply prevents its use from being a plagiarism. However, plagiarism and copyright infringement are two separate ideas. Not all cases of plagiarism are infringements and not all infringements are plagiarism.
If you want to use someone’s work on your site, get permission to do so. You can do this either by asking the person directly or looking for works licensed under Creative Commons licenses and then completing the terms of the license.
Failure to get permission to use a work can result in a cease and desist letter, takedown notice being filed or, in extreme cases, a lawsuit. On the flip side, don’t assume just because others attribute your work that it isn’t infringing. If you don’t want your work used in that capacity, you have the right to stop it.
4. You Can’t Copyright Names or Ideas
Though you can copyright a wide variety of content including literary works, photographs, paintings, movies, sound recordings and even hull designs, you can not copyright a name or an idea.
Names fall under the realm of trademark law, which deals with names and marks used in business. Trademark is much more limited in scope of protection than copyright for many reasons but the crux of it is that it is designed to prevent confusion in the marketplace. Delta Airlines and Delta Faucets, for example, can have the same name because they are in two different markets.
Ideas fall under patent law. Patents must be applied for and approved through a lengthy and expensive process and not all ideas are patentable.
For more information on trademarks and patents, visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
5. Changing a Few Words Does Not Create a New Work
Finally, just because the copying isn’t verbatim does not mean that it isn’t an infringement. Copyright is not just a right to copy a work, but rather a set of exclusive rights including the right to make derivative works. A derivative work is a new work based upon the original and can include not only works with minor changes, such as moving a few words around, but also more substantial changes such as sequels and spin offs.
Though determining whether a work is a derivative work or not is a gray area problem similar to fair use, the test is whether an “ordinary observer” would notice that the new work is based on the original. Changing a few words or names around certainly fails that test.
Always remember that, just because a work is not identical to the original does not mean it is not an infringement.
This is, of course, just a basic overview of some of the most important pieces of information bloggers need to know when it comes to copyright. I tried to focus on areas where there is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation but, clearly, there is a lot more ground to cover.
The bottom line though is that, if you are a blogger, you owe it to yourself to have an understanding of how copyright works both so you can enforce your rights and you can avoid troubles of your own down the road.
You don’t have to be an expert on copyright, but it helps to at least understand the basics and how it can affect you.
Landing Page Optimization Tips for Better Conversion
Properly designed and optimized landing pages often generate more leads than those that are poorly built. Overall layout and design of a landing page should support your compelling copy and also work great with other elements to persuade landing users to take an action you want. Whether you want to build a landing page for your next digital marketing campaign or simply want to optimize an existing one for better conversion, you can make use of the following landing page optimization tips to generate more leads.
Be Sure to Craft Convincing & Catchy Headlines
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A perfect landing page always has a headline that describes an offer or product clearly. You can make a headline compelling and catchy too by adding some strong and convincing words in it. By doing so, you will successfully be able to persuade your audience to read the full copy. You can also test different headlines to find out which one works well for you.
Design Makes the Difference
A landing page sounds like a virtual shopping window for each your visitors, and if it is appealing enough to grab the attention, it will make your service, product or offer look great too for them. Simple yet creative and pleasing to eye design and a well-written copy are the most important elements of a winning landing page. These both should work together in order to encourage visitors to take action. After choosing a perfect design, you need to make sure that content is also placed in the right order to make sense. You can also visit https://landingi.com/blog/create-landing-pages-that-convert to create landing pages for better conversions.
Choose Typography Prudently
Typography can make a huge difference between an appealing and ugly landing page. That is the reason you should choose the typography for your landing pages carefully to make the content more logical to the visitors. A well formatted and easy to read copy keeps the visitors focused and also reduce the efforts required to read.
Compelling & Scannable Copy
Clean and crisp tone should be used to create a compelling copy for a landing page, in order to convey the value of your offer or product. Majority of the web users usually scan the web content to find exactly what they need to know. That’s why the copy create for a landing page should also be scannable for the visitors. Use of the different font sizes is a superb idea to differentiate between the more and less important contents of a landing page.
Optimize for Search Engines
Make your landing page appear in top search engine results by using different on-page SEO tactics. Optimizing your landing page for search engines is the best way to get a huge amount of organic visits. Creative use of target keywords in the content, personalized URL, meta tags, meta description and image alt tags are some best-known SEO practices to increase the visibility of your landing page in search engines.
An attention-grabbing CTA
You have to be careful while making and placing CTA (call to action) on your landing page because the design and location of the CTA matters a lot. The core purpose of a call to action is to get visitors excited about the offer by letting them know what they are going to get. Adding it on the page too early can irritate and even scare your visitors. So, find out the best time and location to add CTA ingeniously into the page.
A/B testing is the way to compare two different designs or pages in order to find out which one is more effective and fertile as well. After getting the test results, optimize each and every element of your landing page to make it work the best for you.
If you want to improve your blogging or affiliate marketing earnings and conversions, be sure to start implementing each of these methods above into your content creation and marketing strategies.
How to Do Blogger Outreach Right
Blogger outreach confuses most bloggers.
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People reach out in desperation.
Or bloggers reach out trying to get something from influential bloggers.
I either block or ignore most blogger outreach emails because people want to use me for my blogging platform. Sure I am promised a rich link, a valuable post or some other enticement, but most bloggers using crappy outreach tactics:
- are unknown
- offer little value
- want to use me and my blog for their gain
- are not connected
- are not influential
- have no clout
- have not paid their dues
- have not helped people freely
- have not earned the right to appear on my blog
Observe Bubbie Gunter. Follow him. He does outreach right.
He reaches out to me by helping me. He is generous. He focuses on me. What does this prove? He wanted to befriend me because he was interested in me, NOT in what I could do for him. Naturally, I happily promoted him, we became friends and one neat benefit is we keep helping each other. Bubbie also purchased some of my stuff; bonus points, my Young Blogging Padawans, if you want to stand out in my mind.
I get emails from bloggers all the time who want to appear on my blog but who complain about spending money for sponsored posts. Other bloggers complain about spending money for a freaking 4 dollar eBook. Other bloggers complain about spending money on my 350 dollar blogger course. How in God’s name do you expect to impress me if you complain about what I offer? Thousands of people complain. I ignore these thousands of people. A handful of generous, kind bloggers like Bubbie promote me and buy my stuff. Can you see why he gets a link on Blogging Tips?
I trust him because he did blogger outreach right. He helped me. He did not reach out, to manipulate me to help him. He did not reach out cold. He did not reach out as a stranger. He reached out generously, warmly and genuinely. He did blogger outreach right.
Picture break; check out my current street in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Blogger Outreach Is Helping and Hugging Not Asking for Hand Outs
Most bloggers reach out to bloggers, asking for a hand out. Hey, can you help me out? Hey, I need a link on your blog. Hey, I need a link to my business but even though I love your blog SO much, your rate does not fit into my budget. Lame.
A few bloggers reach out to help me and hug me. Warm and generous, these wise bloggers retweet my post, buy an eBook and email me to connect deeper. Help and a hug. Meanwhile, all other bloggers find my spam folder or simply give up after I ignore their 3 follow up emails.
Strangers fade away. Friends thrive.
Strangers vanish. Friends prosper.
Self-serving, greedy or desperate bloggers fail. Generous, connected bloggers succeed.
Watch my recent live video from Thailand:
Alonzo Pichardo, Jan Verhoeff and Monna Ellithorpe watched my video and chatted with me. No agendas. Not trying to GET anything. Doing what friends do. I take care of my friends. I love giving my friends oodles of links on my blog and via my guest posts. I love helping them. Organic, pure, powerful blogger outreach in action. Help people, make friends, have fun, prosper.
The alternative; try blog on your own, as a stranger. Reach out cold. Get pissed off when you only deal with strangers pitching you, said strangers not respecting you because they do not know you.
You can be on the outside looking in. Or you can do blogger outreach right and be connected.
Before we go, you can grab my blogger outreach eBook here:
1 Uncomfortable But Necessary Step to Making More Money through Your Blog
10 years ago I relied on 1 prospering stream.
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Today I rely on no income streams.
I figured out; helping people for free and being detached about 5 to 10 to 15 income streams helped me make more money through my blog.
Making this journey from attachment to one stream, to detachment from many streams, felt incredibly uncomfortable. I felt terrified to gradually release different income streams on the journey too. I loved freelance writing. Made some nice coin through the income channel. But intuitively, I knew I had to let it go to move toward eBooks, courses and a 100% passive income model because going passive helps me focus exclusively on creating content and earning money around the clock as I traveled the globe.
Heck yeah I enjoyed trading time for money many years ago because doing so felt comfortable and familiar. Heck yeah I feared trusting that my passive income would grow if I added many passive streams to my blogging portfolio and if I focused on creating content.
But here I am. Living in Thailand for months.
Eventually, to make more money through your blog, you need to add a passive or semi-passive income model and get incredibly busy helping people for free, because few folks on earth charge $50,000 or more per hour. I have no idea about Tony Robbin’s hourly coaching rates. But I know he ain’t charging only $1000 per hour. He is the most famous coach on earth. He coaches former presidents and the best athletes on earth. Outside of being the most famous or most skilled human on earth in your niche, you WILL hit an earnings ceiling trading time for money solely via an active income model.
But if you add 1, 2 then 10 passive income elements to your blog, earnings potential has no ceiling. Someone can buy my blogging course in the next hour. $350. 10 people can buy my eBooks, priced at about 4 smackers. Someone may advertise on my blog. Another blogger buys 3 of my audio books. All buys occur while I write this post or perhaps fall within a window where I write 3 posts for my blog.
Passive income can increase exponentially through as many channels as you open, at any time, from all over the globe.
Photo break; me by the roof top pool here in Chiang Mai, Thailand.
Owners do not trade time for money. Owners invest money and energy, and build a fortune passively. Why? Owners know passive income potential has no limits, with exponential growth over time. Every one of the top 1,000 wealthiest people on earth worked for FREE for many years to set up passive income that made them the wealthiest people on earth. Although some of these icons may make coin through sky high hourly consulting rates, the billions of their net worth flowed in passively, due to their free service, free help and generous value shared.
Leave the employee mindset of trading time for money behind.
Embrace the owner mindset of opening 1, 2 or 15 passive income streams. Give 99% of your time and energy to creating helpful content and building bonds with top bloggers like Kulwant Nagi. He teaches you how to make money blogging through passive income models and is a fabulous dude too. Follow him.
Feel free to keep an active income model open. Coaching, freelance writing or consulting can be lucrative streams, for sure. But every hour you spend trading time for money, I am creating free content that expands my reach and helps me earn money through 15 passive income streams.
I learned from the great Bob Proctor that multiple sources of passive income can help you live a life of freedom. Years ago, Bob had already opened and earned through 220 passive income streams. No; that is not a typo.
Are you trading time for money, solely?
You better open passive streams and get busy helping people for free.
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