How To Help Stop Somebody Stealing Your Blog Posts

I recently stumbled upon a blog where the author had copied and was using my blog posts. No pingbacks or mention that I was the original author, just plain copy and pasting of some of my posts and images. It left me feeling angry, yet I also felt honoured that my work must be good enough if somebody wanted to copy it.

Photo by Lukas on

Unfortunately, with the internet being such a vast and open space used by billions of people worldwide, the chances of that happening to any one of us who publishes anything on the internet is a distinct possibility. Whether it be photos, fiction, reviews, poetry, recipes or gardening tips, everything faces the chance of being copied and somebody else taking full credit for your hard work.

Take action

In my case, I contacted the blogger concerned and asked them to remove all of my content from their blog. When that failed, I contacted the blogging platform hosting the blog and filed a copyright claim against the blogger. Within a few days, the blog and all of its content had been deleted.

Click here to find out what to do if a WordPress.Com user has infringed your copyright.

However, there is something we can all do to try and stop our hard work from being copied. What I am about to advise you to do may not stop somebody else from copying your work, but it acts as a warning to anyone thinking of copying or duplicating your work, without your permission, that they could face the possibility of prosecution, a fine, both, or having their blog deleted by their host.

Display a notice

I recommend that anybody who has their own blog or web page clearly display a ‘Copyright and/or Disclaimer’ notice. There are many places on the internet that offer ‘Copyright and Disclaimer’ notices free of charge, and that give instructions on how to copy and paste one of these notices to your blog or webpage.

WordPress offers some excellent advice and instructions on how to display a ‘Copyright and/or Disclaimer’ notice. Click here to view it.

Widgets and menus

If you use a theme on your blog which displays widgets, and ‘I’ll come to widgets later, I recommend you display your copyright and/or disclaimer notice as one of your widgets. I use the Tortuga theme on my blog, and the widgets I use are displayed on the sidebar to the right of my blog posts.

My ‘Copyright’ notice is the last widget at the bottom of my sidebar, while my disclaimer notice (Disclaimer & GDPR) can be found on the menu bar at the top of my blog.

You are welcome to use these as the copyright and disclaimer notices for your own blog. All you need to do is copy and paste them to your own blog and, where necessary, change some of the wording to reflect your own name and the name of your blog.

Click here to use the free copyright notice I use on my blog. Full instructions on how to copy and paste the warning onto your blog are included.

If you’re not sure what ‘widgets’ are or how to add them to your WordPress blog, click here for full details.

Copyright every blog post

I always add a copyright mark at the end of all my blog posts. All of my posts finish with Copyright © 2019 – All rights reserved. Doing this also helps as a deterrent against copying my posts. Remember to change the year when a new year begins.

Protect your photos and images

Many of us also include photos and images in a post, and while you may display copyright and/or disclaimer notice on your blog, I recommend that you also watermark any of your own photos that you use.

Most computers come with plenty of software that helps edit photos you have loaded onto your hard drive, but there are also other ways to watermark your photos.

I use an Apple iMac and use an app called ‘Photobulk’ to watermark all my photos. It’s a straightforward app to use and usually costs $9.99 to download, but can often be found either on offer or free of charge to download from the developer’s website. Click here to visit the website. (The link is not an affiliated link, so I do not receive any payment from it.)

I simply drag any photos I want to watermark to Photobulk, type in the text for the watermark I use (in my case I use ©, and press ‘start’, and my photos are then watermarked with my details.

There are also free watermarking apps for Apple products, too many to mention here, so check iTunes for more details.

What about Android users?

Click here for a free photo watermarking app for android. I’ve never used the app as I use an Apple iMac, but the reviews for this particular app are excellent.

Don’t forget you can also add copyright notices as a caption on photos. Your copyright details will then show under the photo.

Finally, always ensure you download the latest updates for any apps or software you use; otherwise, they may not work correctly.

If you have any questions about displaying copyright and/or disclaimer notices on your blog, please leave me a comment, and I will get back to you as quickly as possible.

Have you ever had your blog posts and/or photos/images copied and used without your permission? What do you do to help stop your blog posts, photos and images from being used illegally?

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Copyright © 2019 – All rights reserved.

187 thoughts on “How To Help Stop Somebody Stealing Your Blog Posts

  1. This was very helpful. I have several blogs. I’m wondering how you can keep up to date on whether someone has copied blog posts or photos from your site. I have about a thousand posts from several different blogs. How would I know if someone copied something?

    1. Thank you, Barbara. And thank you for sharing the post over on Twitter.

      I have set up Google alerts, especially for my most popular blog posts. I’ve been alerted to some copying of my blog posts that way. I also have my blogging community to thank, as some of them will alert me if they come across one of my posts that has been copied and published elsewhere. I don’t mind anybody reblogging or linking to my blog posts. It’s when they copy them and add their own name as the author that I get upset about. Some even go as far as to add their own copyright. So far, I’d had a 100% success in getting infringements removed from the web. However, I’m also aware that it can be a constant battle. As soon as one is taken down, another one will pop up somewhere. Fortunately, many of the blogs where these infringements take place, either get abandoned or are deleted.

      I hope that helps, but feel free to ask any further questions.

  2. This was a wake up call for me – thanks Hugh for giving me the nudge I needed. I love the idea of adding a copyright notice to the end of each post. The WordPress block editor makes this so easy – I just have the copyright text set up as a re-usuable block so I can simply add to the post without having to re-type.

  3. Thank you, Hugh, for the great tips. I have a copyright notice widget and copyright statement at the end of each of my blog post (Reusable block). I’m off to explore free app for watermarking my photos. #senisal

    1. You’re welcome, Natalie. It looks like you’ve got everything covered on your blog, although I do recommend watermarking your photos. It won’t stop everybody, but it will put off most of those who steal other people’s work.

  4. Great post, really helpful. Guess what I will be doing over the next few days!! Thanks so much for this advice. Have shared on Pinterest too. Justine via #60 Senior Senisal.

  5. Hi, Hugh – I enjoyed this post last May, but also greatly appreciated the reminder. It’s amazing that with all of the juggling bloggers do, they also need to be concerned about their posts being stolen! :C

  6. Very good post! I never thought about the fact that somebody would ‘steal’ my content but as you say, it can happen. How did you discover it? Just on accident?
    On the matter of copyright, I was under the impression that every thing I put on my blog is my ‘intellectual property’. Do I need to display the copyright wedge? Or is it just as an ‘extra warning sign?’

    1. Thank you. In most cases, I found out through another blogger (or reader) that my content had been stolen. I’ve also come across stolen content by merely googling some of the titles of my blog posts.

      I’d recommend you put copyright notices on your blog. They act as an extra blanket of security for your work and will put some off from stealing your content. Given a choice, those who steal content are more likely to steal content from a blog that does not display notices, than one that does.

  7. I’d heard of posts being stolen but not previously come across someone who had suffered it. I’m pleased that the action you took was effective. This is unlikely to be a problem for me: no one in their right mind would steal my ramblings!

    1. I thought the same thing, Clive, but it’s now hapened to me three times. I’m glad that WordPress has a good process in place, even though most of the work has to be done by the person who is the victim of copyright infringement. Still, it’s worked well each time I’ve had to go through the process.

  8. Thanks Hugh. I “have” know about this but got slack I guess. I found your post via Deb’s World. Will use the copyright. I have a wordpress blog but it’s independently hosted so will add the bits myself. Cheers, Denyse

  9. I had this very thing happen to me years ago. I contacted Google and the blog disappeared as well. I wonder how people sleep at night. Thanks for sharing your story.

  10. Reblogged this on Waterstone Way and commented:
    If you aren’t already copyrighting your content then you should check this out. I hope I learned this in time to prevent potential issues. I’m going through these steps ASAP and you should consider it too.

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