6 Weeks: Being a little too inspired by other bloggers

six-weeks-logo-sarah
Guys, we need to talk about something. I prefer to keep things positive and upbeat around here,  but I’ve come across something over the past couple weeks that really bummed me out. I wasn’t planning to post this as part of the 6 Weeks series, but I think it fits in with the theme, so here ya go…

In the past two weeks I’ve stumbled upon two blogs that were almost exact copies of other blogs I read regularly. Same colors, same borders, same sidebars laid out in the exact same order with almost the same photos and the same fonts. One of the blogs also had content that was mostly re-posts of content from other sites.

My point in writing this is not to call people out or make them feel bad, I realize that copying has been happening all over the creative world since the beginning of time. I’m writing this because those two bloggers who have copied designs and content are selling themselves and their readers extremely short.

I know chevron, arrows, and handwriting fonts are all design trends right now. Lots of bloggers email me looking for these exact details all the time, but every time I put a design together I try to add those elements in a different way. It’s one thing to be inspired , but it’s a whole other thing to steal an entire design and pretend it’s your own work.

Be confident in yourself and the things you love. You don’t have to wear vintage and make crafts to have a popular blog, but if that’s your thing, then put it online in your own way. It’s much more fun to work on your own individual style than just copying what you see off of other blogs. If you just do what everyone else is doing then how will you grow?

Why not be the best version of yourself instead of a crappy version of someone else?

6weeks-interact-no-copying

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Comments

  1. says

    It’s especially disturbing when bloggers like this are making lots of money by selling sponsorship spots and their “unique” crafts that aren’t even their own ideas. Shame shame!

  2. Angie says

    Oh, Sarah! I love ya! I feel 100% THE SAME WAY. I see so many similarities in the blog world and, of course, many of them may be because it’s two or more bloggers who are a LOT alike and they’ve found each other on the interwebs, so of course you’ll see similarities. But when everything is so matchy-matchy… Meh. I like the unique people, who make everything their own and that is what I aim for.

    As for your question: I am different from the crowd because I like but can’t really “wear” skirts and dresses, give me jeans any day! I post about issues not many people talk about. I’m Wiccan and I don’t hide that, but I don’t flaunt and hope people follow my path either. I’m silly and I type how I speak… etc.

    I think it’s so important to be yourself in the online world and of course, offline too!

  3. says

    I understand loving a blog design so much that you want it as your own but these thoughts should be kept as just thoughts and a collection of images hidden on your computer.

    What I tend to do if I love a site design or an element of it is to take a screen shot and keep it in a folder to inspire me for greater things later so I can take an idea but make it my own or attempt then trash the idea.

    I mean I hardly see the point in making a replica if your aim is to be seen and heard when all your readers are seeing is something that has already been done.

    Also I am 100% behind what gingermandy has said its terrible that some are making money off someone elses creative idea.

  4. says

    Agreed, seeing this is such a bummer. I can’t understand why someone would want to copy rather than be themself! That’s the point of blogging, right?

  5. says

    “Why not be the best version of yourself instead of a crappy version of someone else?”

    What beautiful advice!

    You should talk to the millions of teenage girls out there that are determined to be the same as each other!

    xx

  6. says

    I only found your blog 5 minutes ago and I am loving it so much. I just read this and as a newcomer to Typepad just starting to design my blog and make it what I want {currently doing Elise Blaha’s blog course about making it unique and cohesive} this advice was great. I think it is easy to fall into the trap of copying others. I like having my own writing on my blog/buttons etc as you truly know that makes your button unique. However, blatently copying posts is a bit silly.

    Like many other bloggers, I am starting to share my lifestyle, thrifts [in a bid to convert my modern flat to a more vintage inspired pad], scrapbooking and home crafts. It seems to be a very popular trend but luckily for me I am in the UK and there does not seem to be such a huge trend here so am hoping to gain some UK followers.

    I am really looking forward to reading more on your blog. This series is great for someone like me just starting to branch out her topics. [My old Blogger blog was just scrapbooking].

    One assumes you do not mind us linking our blogs? If you have posted or requested we don’t somewhere, I am really sorry.

    Sam xo
    http://liveandlove.typepad.com

  7. says

    I totally agree with this post. I also feel like even if you aren’t directly copying an idea or design feature, there is way too much of a “fit in with the ‘cool kids’” kind of attitude with bloggers in general. Its hard to not want to be popular and cool, but really I think its time for people to get their originality back, that is what makes blog-land so special.

    x, C

  8. says

    Gah! Glad I’m not the only one that’s been noticing blogs that are similar in a few to many ways. I can handle design ripoffs but when people post a DIY only changing one thing and call it their own I lose all respect. Is their a polite way to call people out on that?

  9. says

    This is a totally great post–Loving this series you’re doing! There’s a blog i’ve been reading for awhile but I recently stopped because it was redesigned to look almost exactly like another blog that i’m a big fan of. It made my heart sink that this person felt like they had to copy just to be successful–even though they have a lot of readers. I feel like these trends are everywhere lately in the blog world, so sad.

  10. says

    Totally on board with this one. I’m an art teacher, so I’m constantly trying to show my students the difference between being “inspired” by something and “copying” something. It’s something all creatives/artists have to check themselves on though, constantly, don’t you think?

  11. says

    This is a great point. Whenever I’m inspired by a blog’s design, I try to not change my own until I somewhat forget the details of the blog I was inspired by. That way I retain the essence of my inspiration but not the exactness.

  12. says

    I love this post a lot! When I first started designing my blog, I found that I was falling into this same trap. There are a lot of bloggers out there who have amazing blog designs and layouts and color pallets and fonts and I too was getting a little too inspired. Sometimes you don’t even notice you’re doing it!
    Thanks for this post!

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