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Fighting back against the scrapers

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I’ve caught one or two blogs scraping BloggingTips in the last week or so. Unfortunately, it’s something that is becoming more and more common. Truth be told, there is no foolproof way to stop someone taking your content, if someone is completely committed to ripping you off they will! However, scrapers are by their very nature very lazy people who would rather plagiarize someone elses work than get off their ass and write their own content.

Therefore, by implementing a few deterrents you can discourage the scrapers from ripping off your blog.

Use a partial feed

Only providing a summary of your blog posts in your feed will not please your readers but it will discourage scrapers from using your
content. Probably not the best solution but it’s certainly an option.

Place a copyright in your feed footer

By placing a copyright notice in the footer of your RSS feeder you are letting everyone know that if they are not reading the content through their newsreader, the content has been ripped off from your blog.

For example, I recently added Angsuman’s Feed Copyrighter for wordpress. Here’s an example of the copyright notice it adds to the end of your feed.

Copyright © 2007 Blogging Tips. This Feed is for personal non-commercial use only. If you are not reading this material in your news aggregator, the site you are looking at is guilty of copyright infringement. Please contact legal at bloggingtips.com so we can take legal action immediately.

The copyright notice just uses basic HTML so it would also be very easy to place an image in the copyright footer too if you wanted.

Link to your blog posts

Not only is linking internally a great way to distribute Pagerank and promote older posts, it will also hurt scrapers as there are more links back to the authors blog. It would be very timeconsuming for them to remove all references to your blog so most wouldn’t bother. If they leave the links in then at least you will get some traffic in return ie. it’s pretty obvious to readers they are reading a scraper blog if they see tons of references to the same site so they will be more likely to visit your blog instead of browsing through posts in the scrapers website.

Delete their pingbacks

One of the most common ways to find out someone is scraping your blog is through pingbacks. When they publish your post on their blog you will get a pingback to the original post. To be able to catch them using this method you need to make sure you are getting pingback updates via email and you need to make sure you are linking internally in your posts so that a pingback will generate.

When the pingback is generated they get a link to their blog from yours. Don’t let them get any traffic from you, spam (delete) their pingback so that their copycat blog gets nothing from you.

Stop people hotlinking images from your site

Hotlinking is when a webmaster links to images on someone elses website without their permission. This can be a big problem for some websites because it can take up so much bandwidth. Thankfully there are ways to reduce hotlinking and these methods can be used to discourage the scrapers from stealing your content.

To stop hotlinking you need to edit your htaccess file. You can stop every other site on the web using your images or you can specify what sites are not allowed to hotlink. You can also use an image to let everyone know the other person is hotlinking. For example, I could link to your blogs logo from here using the img tag. If you did not like me doing this you could edit your htaccess file to show a warning image instead of your logo.

This is very useful against scrapers because any images you use in your posts will automatically be copied to the scrapers blog. You can have some fun and make all your images appear as donkeys on their blog!!

Here are some hotlinking tutorials which will help you stop blog scrapers 🙂

Stop Hotlinking with htaccess
How To Stop Hotlinking and Bandwidth Leeching
Hot Link Checker

Respond Legally

From my experience scraper blogs don’t last too long. The blogs I caught scraping me two months ago are no longer doing so, I suspect that most scrapers get bored and move onto something else.

However, if you have one or two people scraping your blog on a consistent basis, it might be worthwhile going down the legal route. Legally, hosting companies need to remove websites from their server which have illegal or copied content.

Check out the 3 steps of a legal response by Advanced Business Blogging.

  1. Legal response 1.0: email and letter to offending party
  2. Legal response 2.0: direct your complaint to the offenders host/ISP
  3. Legal response 3.0: consult with a lawyer

You can read the complete guide for the above steps here.

Video blog more often

The Gypsy Bandito thinks the best way to stop scrapers is to do video blogs instead of writing posts.

Overview

Having your blog scraped can be really frustrating but a few easy steps can discourage content stealers from trying to rip off your blog.

I hope that blogging platforms will start to include features will stop or reduce blog scraping but until then, we will have to deal with these idiots ourselves.

Good luck 🙂

Kevin Muldoon is a professional blogger with a love of travel. He writes regularly about topics such as WordPress, Blogging, Productivity and Social Media on his personal blog and provides support to bloggers at Rise Forums. He can also be found on Twitter @KevinMuldoon and .

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Every Blogger Walks a Different Path

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Neil Patel walks a different path than I. I walk a different blogging path than you. Just like no two snowflakes are alike, no two bloggers walk the same exact path. We take different routes. Different journeys require different strategies, detours, tactics and strategies. Neil walked an SEO-rich path. I do not. I chose a prolific, SEO-free path. No one mimics a fellow blogger perfectly because no two humans have the same experience. We succeed by differentiating. Never believe you need to walk the same path as some blogging pro to succeed. Of course, doing so proves fruitless because no two bloggers walk the same blogging journey. Never try to do the impossible. Stop believing you need to do the same things top bloggers do to succeed like top bloggers. I broke many traditional blogging rules to circle the globe as a pro blogger. Of course I created a blogging course, eBooks and audio books. Content? Check. Connections? Check. I honored fundamentals to succeed but never tried mimicking the same journey as any top blogger.

Walk your blogging path. Take your blogging journey. Your blogging path separates you from the herd. My travel stories and blogging lessons make me different from any blogger. Ditto for you. We all have different experiences to call upon for becoming a successful blogger. Respect your uniqueness. Find your blogging flow. I do not enjoy doing SEO to drive Google traffic. Why would I force a blogging journey trough some strategy I disliked working?  I should just work a job if I did something for money versus working for passion. Of course, I never took a path like Neil Patel because I do not enjoy SEO-optimizing posts. I succeeded through another strategy. Never believe you need to walk the same path as pros to become successful as pros. New bloggers swing and miss daily by believing success is writing 4,000 word, SEO-optimized posts dominating competitive keywords on Google. Are you nuts? Neil Patel dominates competitive keywords on Google after 10,000 plus hours of practice-work-creating-connecting. You have 5 or 10 hours or maybe 100 hours of practice-work-creating-connecting. Relax. Slow down. Calm down. You have another 10,000 hours of blogging work to do before being skilled, creative and connected enough to dominate page 1 of Google for 1 – let alone 20 – competitive keywords.

But you may dislike SEO all together. Take a different blogging path. Find tactics resonant with you. Perhaps building bonds with bloggers and creating helpful content feels fun to you. Take that route. But know your path differs from any blogging path because we each fly solo and learn different lessons for specific parts of our blogging journey. No two bloggers walk in the same blogging shoes. No two bloggers walk the same blogging path. Two bloggers may walk similar blogging journeys. Bloggers sometimes walk similar blogging paths. But nobody walks identical paths because bloggers have different experiences to learn from during our blogging journey.

Respect your path. Honor your progression. Accept how you blog in the perfect place, at the perfect time, now. Do not resist your blogging path. Everything brought you here to this point now. Accepting your present state of blogging growth reduces resistance to future growth. Surrender serves as a powerful concept. Be completely at peace with your blogging growth now. Hug your progress. Walk your blogging path. Of course, note wins. Celebrate success. Avoid comparing yourself to bloggers. Bloggers experience different situations to benefit from different circumstances. We all have different lessons to learn on our respective blogging journeys. Honor this truth. Cultivate peace of mind. Position yourself to succeed. Walk your one-of-a-kind blogging path to experience your greatest success.

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Hobbies Change for Habits to Change

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Over a decade ago, I woke up, watched TV, grabbed breakfast, hit the gym for bodybuilding and returned home to watch a DVD movie. At 2:30 PM I prepared for work. I drove to my security guard job. By 10:30 PM on most nights I drove home. Evening movie. Sleep. Rinse, wash and repeat the following day. I worked a security guard job. My hobbies consisted of lifting weights and watching TV. But my hobbies and habits changed the moment I became a blogger. Morning breakfast vanished. I stopped going to the time-consuming gym. Watching movies every day? Fat chance. My bodybuilding workout and movie hobbies had to change for me to begin the habits of meditating, doing yoga and expanding my awareness daily. Hobbies change before habits change.

New bloggers often struggle because newbies cling to old, worn out, failing hobbies like:

  • watching TV for hours nightly
  • mindlessly cruising the internet for hours nightly
  • mindlessly gossiping on the phone or with family for hours nightly

These low-energy hobbies need to change pronto for you to develop fun, freeing, higher energy habits like meditating, doing yoga, blogging generously and engaging in some form of exercise. Picture those 4 hours you waste on watching TV each evening. How do you find time to engage in different habits? Change your hobbies. Out goes TV, or, TV just consumes 45 minutes per evening. Enter 20 minutes of meditating. Release some hobbies. Fill the time with different, empowering, freeing, sometimes uncomfortable habits. Imagine watching the idiot box for 3 hours nightly. 3 hours pass. Nothing profitable, productive or empowered happens watching the television. But for you to be a pro blogger you need to spend those 3 hours meditating for perhaps 10 minutes and blogging for the remaining 2 hours and 50 minutes. Change your hobbies to create space for changing habits. Changing habits accelerates, colors and influences hobby changes too. My hobbies went from watching TV to circling the globe on meditating more deeply, doing more yoga and spending more time in serious introspection. Life became more uncomfortable but far more fun and freeing as my hobbies and habits changed. I preferred to wander around Ubud, Bali versus watching an episode of Curb Your Enthusiasm. My hobbies changed for the better. I respect how we all travel different paths but if your hobbies and habits never changed, you are either enlightened, and never needed to change your meditating and yoga habits, or you have been making fear-driven, comfortable, confining choices wasting your life.

I have yet to see a genuinely happy, peaceful, powerful, prospering person who watches more than 2-3 hours of TV every single night. People call TV the idiot box because television makes you an idiot. Mindless, bland, non-stimulating TV watching does nothing for your growth, happiness, fulfillment, peace of mind and overall abundance. Empowered bloggers cannot spend 5 seconds on idle, mindless, dingbat-style activities. Stop spending hours watching TV each evening. Start spending hours blogging and working on your abundance mindset. Buy a blogging eBook. Surround yourself with pro bloggers. Learn from these pros. Mimic their ways. Gain inspiration from their example. Fill time not with garbage but with goal-achieving, fun, freeing and sometimes scary blogging actions. First, the hobbies change. Gone goes watching TV, gossiping and wasting time on low energy actions. Habits change with the hobby vacuum being void. Begin meditating. Start doing yoga. Awareness-expanding activities unearth fears, nudge you toward love, amplify your generosity and accelerate your blogging success.

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Contact Page: Yes or No?

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Should you post a contact page on your blog?

In most cases, yes. In few cases, no. Let’s dive in.

Yes

For almost all bloggers, posting a contact page on your blog allows readers to contact you quickly and easily. Before traffic and business grows you need to connect with readers fast. Seamlessly connecting with you allows readers to grow your blogging traffic and profits. Picture a potential client with questions about your services. How quickly can the person ask questions and get answers to make an informed decision? Publish a clear, easy to see and easier to use contact page to give clients an easy way to get their questions answered. Clear clients who vibe with your services hire you. Making money online becomes easier if people connect with you quickly via contact pages.

No

But in a few cases, not posting a contact page actually grows your business. Incredibly busy bloggers with huge, engaged readerships need to cut down on spam and other non-relevant emails. Removing your contact page instantly cuts down on spammy submissions. Publish a contact page and you waste precious time sifting through emails littered with spam, unsolicited pitches and other time sucks. Even if you have not made millions yet, removing your contact page may be a springboard to greater success. Devote time and energy spent sifting through emails to guest posting, genuine blog commenting and promoting fellow bloggers on your blog. Leverage.  Spend time intelligently. Reach bigger, targeted audiences by releasing time-wasting activities. Removing contact pages works for incredibly busy bloggers slowly being overrun by spam submissions sent via contact pages. Spend this saved time growing your blogging business through leveraging.

Trust Your Intuition

Intuitively, my gut told me to remove my contact page months ago. I became busier but noted a high ratio of spam submissions through the page. Lazy, non-targeting, struggling entrepreneurs mindlessly click on contact pages and send generic emails, wasting my time and their time. Removing my contact page instantly lowered these spammy submissions by 70% to 80%. Most people who email me now seem to be serious entrepreneurs. These people want to work for me. Gone are lazy bloggers and outreach specialists who wish not to do the legwork of finding my email addy on my About page. I want people to work a little bit to contact me. Of course, working a little bit proves individuals genuinely want to connect with you to discuss business, to ask questions or to simply connect. Build posture. Do you want lazy, mindless people to contact you? Or do you prefer serious, genuine people to contact you?

Ultimately, trust your intuition. I suggest most bloggers to publish contact pages because the majority wants to be easily reachable for increasing your blogging presence. But being busier after building your blogging business makes you think twice about allowing people to connect with you easily.

I wanted to add how even though I publish no contact page, people reach me easily via Twitter and Facebook. I respond to DMs on Twitter, I scan @replies and also respond to Messages on Facebook, including my Message Requests.

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