How to share blog posts so that everyone benefits…

how to share nicelyThese days, lots of people are creating websites for their businesses, and they want content to put up on their site to keep readers interested. In my case, it’s birth-related businesses, but what I’m about to say relates to blogs and websites on any topic.

When it comes to content that someone has written, for instance on their blog or website, there are friendly ways to share and less friendly ways to share. In my experience, people who share things the not-so-friendly way are genuinely lovely people who are doing so innocently as they get to grips with setting up their business and website, but there is sometimes a bit of a learning curve, so I’ve written this post in order to help people understand how we can all share nicely and help each other from the outset.


Sharing blog posts on social media…

Most of us are already used to sharing links and pictures and other content on social media, and it’s great to share blog posts that way. You see something on Facebook, and you click the link, and it takes you back to the original website or blog. You the reader can read what I have to say in full and, if you like my website, you can have a wander around and look at more stuff. I, the website owner, am happy because you’ve come to read my stuff. At the end of the day, most people who blog want people to read what they post on their website. So sharing posts on social media is great for that, and as long as you credit the original person or page and include the original link, then you can’t go too far wrong.


Sharing blog posts on websites…

The content of blog posts is covered under copyright law and many people – like me – will have a copyright notice on their website. You can see mine in the picture here, and it also lives in the right hand sidebar of every page on my site. As you can see from my notice, I’m very happy for people to share excerpts from my posts or to link to them, and that’s the point of making a website like mine. But that doesn’t mean that other people are allowed to come along and copy and paste the whole of one of my blog posts onto their website or into another format, such as a book. In fact, copyright law means they’re not allowed to do that, and such a practice is also seen as unfriendly because it means that the new website is potentially taking traffic away from the author of the content.

N.B. It is true that some people and organisations have a creative commons notice and are happy for people to share certain kinds of content. But you should always check and, if you’re not sure, assume that copyright applies.


It’s all about where the reader reads…

But you can still direct your readers to the blog post that you like, and there’s a really friendly way of doing so which will benefit everyone. Because it’s totally OK and very friendly to write your own brief blog post on your site that gives a quick summary and then links to the blog post that you like on the original blogger’s site.  Here’s an example:

I just love the post on The Human Microbiome that Rachel Reed and Jessie Johnson-Cash posted on MidwifeThinking! It gives the best overview of the area that I have read to date 😀

It’s even cool to quote a line or two of the original blog in your post (no more than 10% of the original), but you again need to give your readers the link so that they visit the original blogger’s site to read it in full rather than posting their content onto your site. In fact, it’s pretty much always about sharing the link (and, if you like, a brief summary) but not the entirety of the actual content. If you do that, you’ll keep your customers happy because you’re sending them to good information; you keep the original blogger happy because you’re sending them readers; you’ll be happy because you’re keeping your readers up-to-date, keeping your favourite content creators in business by sending them traffic AND you’re on the right side of copyright law 🙂


How to write a two-line blog post…

If you see a blog post that you like and you want to highlight it on your site, here’s a two-line template that you can fill out and use in under two minutes and that will make everyone happy.

“I’ve just read a great blog post by ***blogger’s name*** at ***blog website*** about ***topic/title of blog*** which has really made me pause for thought / feel hungry for more / think about what we’re currently doing / wonder what the alternatives might be [insert your own or delete as appropriate]. You can read it for yourself at ***link to original post in full***.”

I hope that helps. Those of us who write content need people to share it, but it needs to be shared in a way that will keep traffic coming back to the original site, as that’s what will help the blogger to keep going and keep generating great content for all to read 😀

Please feel free to share this post – nicely, and by providing a summary and a link back so people can read it on my site – thank you!

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