When people first start out blogging, often times they will read some blogs they like and begin designing their space. Some of these people decide they don’t want to do the hard work for themselves and copy your site verbatim.
Possibly even taking your content and putting on their site. That is just wrong on so many levels. Even if your content doesn’t wind up on their site, the rest of the site is eerily similar exactly what you have created.
The structure is the same, wording is the same, ads are exactly as yours. The products you advertise..all the same. Copycats suck! This is a mirror site to yours and it’s unfair to you.
Modeling Your Behavior
Now, the flip side. You come upon a site that is “somewhat” similar to yours. The structure is relatively the same, but there are distinct hints of individuality.
There is a clear difference between the sites, but you can tell they are enamored by your style. The content is unique, maybe they have modeled your posting style. Descriptions of the site are their own. They have chosen their own particular products to promote.
But all in all, the general design and format are similar to yours.
Imitation is Sincerest Form of Flattery
At this point you need to ask yourself, “am I flattered by this?” In my honest opinion, your answer should be an emphatic YES! If you are succeeding as a blogger, and you are teaching people the ropes, then you must know you will be seen as a mentor.
When newbies come to your site, see your achievements and read every word you have to say, they will mimic you. They should be modeling your behavior, after all, isn’t that what you are teaching them? You are also showing them how to find their own voice, which is where the differences in the sites are seen.
If you give someone advice, you should hope they actually listen and implement your suggestions. This is what has helped you retain loyal readers..your expertise…..you willingness to help a fellow blogger.
Copying another blogger’s site, verbatim is not good business. It’s unfair and shows a complete lack of respect and uniqueness. The blogosphere needs diversity to thrive. Modeling the behavior of your favorite bloggers is the right way to proceed.
Create your site, create your content, create your monetization methods, but YOU create. Don’t try and take the easy road and scrape someone’s creations.
Those of you that are successful, how do you feel about the issue? If you see a website that appears to be modeling you, does that flatter you? How do you deal with it if you are a victim of copycats?