If you have a blog, whether you realize it or not, copyright is a subject that directly impacts your life.
Not only are you constantly creating new copyrighted works while making your blog but, most likely, you are integrating other’s works into your site including your blogging application (IE: WordPress), your theme, images with your posts, quotes, etc.
However, there is a lot of confusion and misunderstanding on matters of copyright. Some of it is because the law is genuinely confusing, some of it is caused by misinformation that is being spread around the Web and much of it is the simple fact that most bloggers aren’t interested in these issues.
Unfortunately, those who are ignorant about the law often step into traps while wading through it and these pitfalls can both limit your rights to control your own work and cause you to be threatened or sued by others.
As a blogger, it is best to have at least some knowledge of copyright so you can protect yourself. With that in mind, here are five copyright facts every blogger should know.
1. If It’s Saved, It’s Copyrighted
There is no requirement to place a notice on your work for it to be considered copyrighted nor do you have to register your work with any third party. A creative work is considered copyrighted the moment it is “fixed in any tangible medium of expression“. Once you save your work to your hard drive (or server), doodle a sketch onto a napkin or put that painting on canvas, it is copyrighted.
Though you can’t copyright ideas, just their expression, and you do need to register your work with the U.S. Copyright Office if you are U.S. citizen and wish to be able to sue for copyright infringement and collect all potential damages. However, that has nothing to do with your rights in the work and your ability to demand removal of infringing copies.
On the counter side, unless you have some significant reason to believe otherwise, assume all works you encounter on the Web are copyrighted and threat them as such.
2. There is No Golden Rule for Fair Use
Though others like to talk about rules such as X number of words in a blog post or X number of seconds in a song, there is no magic “bright line” on matters of fair use.
In short, fair use is a defense against a copyright infringement lawsuit and it is determined on a case-by-case basis, not by any hard rules. Judges and juries weigh four factors when looking at fair use and those factors get weighed differently almost every time.
There are some uses that are clearly fair and others that are clearly not. In between there is a wide swatch of gray area that could, quite literally, go either way.
3. Attribution is No Substitute for Permission
Though attribution is a good thing to give, it doesn’t give a green light to use a work as you see fit.
Attributing a work simply prevents its use from being a plagiarism. However, plagiarism and copyright infringement are two separate ideas. Not all cases of plagiarism are infringements and not all infringements are plagiarism.
If you want to use someone’s work on your site, get permission to do so. You can do this either by asking the person directly or looking for works licensed under Creative Commons licenses and then completing the terms of the license.
Failure to get permission to use a work can result in a cease and desist letter, takedown notice being filed or, in extreme cases, a lawsuit. On the flip side, don’t assume just because others attribute your work that it isn’t infringing. If you don’t want your work used in that capacity, you have the right to stop it.
4. You Can’t Copyright Names or Ideas
Though you can copyright a wide variety of content including literary works, photographs, paintings, movies, sound recordings and even hull designs, you can not copyright a name or an idea.
Names fall under the realm of trademark law, which deals with names and marks used in business. Trademark is much more limited in scope of protection than copyright for many reasons but the crux of it is that it is designed to prevent confusion in the marketplace. Delta Airlines and Delta Faucets, for example, can have the same name because they are in two different markets.
Ideas fall under patent law. Patents must be applied for and approved through a lengthy and expensive process and not all ideas are patentable.
For more information on trademarks and patents, visit the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
5. Changing a Few Words Does Not Create a New Work
Finally, just because the copying isn’t verbatim does not mean that it isn’t an infringement. Copyright is not just a right to copy a work, but rather a set of exclusive rights including the right to make derivative works. A derivative work is a new work based upon the original and can include not only works with minor changes, such as moving a few words around, but also more substantial changes such as sequels and spin offs.
Though determining whether a work is a derivative work or not is a gray area problem similar to fair use, the test is whether an “ordinary observer” would notice that the new work is based on the original. Changing a few words or names around certainly fails that test.
Always remember that, just because a work is not identical to the original does not mean it is not an infringement.
This is, of course, just a basic overview of some of the most important pieces of information bloggers need to know when it comes to copyright. I tried to focus on areas where there is a lot of misunderstanding and misinformation but, clearly, there is a lot more ground to cover.
The bottom line though is that, if you are a blogger, you owe it to yourself to have an understanding of how copyright works both so you can enforce your rights and you can avoid troubles of your own down the road.
You don’t have to be an expert on copyright, but it helps to at least understand the basics and how it can affect you.
4 Effective Tips for Boosting Reader Engagement on Your Blog
If you want your blog to be successful and bring good profits, you need to ensure that your posts not only attract traffic but engage the readers. To do this you’ll need to experiment with content formats, open dialog with the audience, involve influencers, and above all, understand your audience’s exact wishes.
From online videos to content creation and social media, there seems to be an endless supply of new traffic out there and different ways to pull users back to your site. With all of this in focus and on the minds of bloggers everywhere, we wanted to highlight some of the best ways to boost content engagement, using many of the preferred mentions we’ve already highlighted.
4 Ways to Boost Your Blog Content Engagement Rate Fast
Even if you don’t run a vlog, you need to post an occasional video because that’s the ‘hottest’ type of content today. Check out an aggregation of video marketing statistics offered by Forbes to see why exactly your blog needs more video content. Note that social videos generate more shares.
Live video streaming is also greatly popular today, so be sure to launch an occasional Facebook Live session to share something interesting with your followers. Then post a recording of the stream on your blog so those who missed the airing will be able to enjoy it anyway.
Research your audience in great detail
To boost reader engagement on your blog you need to understand what motivates your targeted audience to actually get into your content. You’ll need to not only consider the analytics data that will show you which of your posts are most popular. You also need to search for information on your targeted audience, such as what kind of posts are generally more popular with them.
The more precise you are in developing targeted content, the higher the reader engagement rate will be. This means that if you seek to create a diverse readership base, you might need to consider launching several websites. In that case, you’ll need to use specialized software and a hosting service that allows you to run multiple blogs. This will make managing them easier, so you’ll be able to focus on creating several posts. Bear in mind that you might be able to apply the same basic content strategy to all your blogs, even if they differ in subjects.
The differences in those strategies and individual posts will be dictated by the data you get from a detailed study of targeted audiences.
Get more influential persons involved
Influencers of any kind can help you boost reader engagement on your blog because if they promote your content, their loyal readers will want to read it themselves. You can also generate more traffic and engagement by mentioning various celebrities and popular bloggers.
A perfect example of this can be seen in one of our expert roundup posts, where 73 different online marketers and bloggers took the time to share their expertise on social media. The benefit here wasn’t also just for our site. Each of the experts got a lot of exposure out of this, and the audience loved the content as well.
However, you’ll need to be careful if you choose to use mentions. For celebrities, you should research laws and regulations surrounding the issue. You need to be 100% sure that you won’t be sued for mentioning someone’s name or other information in your post. When you mention bloggers, you’ll need to consider those rules too as well as give them a heads up about doing this.
Having various opinion influencers popular with your target audience is a great boost to your blog and personal brand. This will also increase your reach as you’ll get an indirect contact with the influencer’s audience.
However, attracting influencers is a big challenge, especially for a blogger. You can use the tips from Neil Patel, a true marketing guru. Think carefully about how to adapt them to your situation.
Post engaging graphics
Much like with videos, you should post relevant graphics to boost reader engagement because this type of content is popular and shareable. Infographics are particularly effective for this, so be sure to create some. It will be best if your infographics have some original data on relevant topics. But, even simple step-by-step instructions can generate decent shares and likes.
Your every post should contain several images by default as they promote reader engagement and memorization. Be sure to add .GIFs as well, because these graphics are in trend now.
Best Search Engine Marketing and SEO Practices to Follow in 2018
Marketing often requires four basic factors: first, there should be people with unsatisfied needs; second, these people should have the desire to be satisfied; third, there should be opportunities for communication; and fourth, there should be an exchange of goods or services. A businessman with keen acumen for business opportunities would readily recognize these unsatisfied needs, build opportunities for communication with these people, and relay the service or product that could satisfy their needs. The important thing is that the prospective businessman is able to reach his target audience via good marketing strategies and tactics.
Understanding Search Engine Marketing
Marketing strategies have greatly changed since the introduction of the World Wide Web. As the Internet expands, it also provides good avenues for new marketing strategies and tactics. It also engenders new buying behavior among consumers, as contemporary consumers first search online for a product or service that they need before purchasing it. On the other hand, business owners are now required to create their own websites to be relevant online.
As highlighted in this article, writing for humans is always going to be the example to follow. It also means keeping the following SEO guidelines in mind when creating content:
- Keep it unique. Avoid duplicating content that’s already out there. Ask yourself: what can I add to this ongoing conversation?
- Do more research than competitor sites have done.
- Consider all options: infographics, videos, podcasts, an interview, a step-by-step guide or even a new tool or template.
- Remember that longer content gets more links. If your page is supported by high-quality links, it will move up in the ranks. Although Google has stated that even a few sentences can rank, in general, you’re better off creating content that is at least 300 words or more.
One form of effective online marketing is search engine marketing. It involves website promotion aimed at increasing the visibility of your business site online. It is also designed to make your site rank higher on the search engine page results (SERP). However, this marketing form is wrought primarily through paid advertisement.
In 2007, for example, advertisers in the U.S. had spent 24.6 billion dollars on this type of marketing. Google, on the other hand, leads the pack of search engines that profited from search engine marketing. Furthermore, in the second quarter of 2015, Google got a sizeable 73.7% share of profits from search engine marketing as compared to 26.3% of Yahoo/Bing. Based on these data, search engine marketing appears to be a very profitable business that rakes billions of dollars of profit for search engines.
Social Media Marketing
Your online marketing strategies and tactics would never be complete without tapping into social media. Services like Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Baidu Tieba, and LinkedIn have also been used for marketing. LinkedIn, for example, as an employment-oriented service can be used to promote your services and get more mileage for your online marketing efforts, but keep in mind that it is primarily used to establish professional networks.
Just take a look at the screenshot below and how LinkedIn can provide such great information for anyone looking for earnings and jobs reports within any specific niche market. Not only will these same results rank and appear within the search results, they are also heavily shared through social media as well.
Search Engine Optimization
Aside from search engine marketing which makes use of paid advertising, you can also make use of search engine optimization (SEO). Search engine optimization is another way of expanding the online visibility of your site without necessarily paying for online advertisements. Search engines have organic or natural page results, known as SERP, and you can influence these organic results through SEO.
Not many, however, are experts in SEO. Hence, if you are a businessman who doesn’t have the know-how on SEO, you should visit BestSEOCompanies.com and search for the expert that fits your needs. If you want a reliable and trustworthy SEO specialist, this website can really help you with its list of the top 50 SEO services that you can immediately hire.
Business websites that are ranking high in the SERP usually gets two-pronged benefits. First, if your site ranks high in the SERP, chances are casual searchers will click on your website, and you can turn them immediately into actual clients. Additionally, if you get more clicks and visits from casual searchers, the search engine will further rank your website higher.
What Is the Chief Benefit of Going the Extra Blogging Mile?
10:15 PM on a Sunday night.
After waking at 7 AM I did an hour of yoga.
I followed up with 4 hours of blogging work.
Toss in another 4 hours of blogging work plus a 1 hour walk and some R and R, and where I am late on a Sunday night. Going the extra blogging mile.
I love blogging. Working late on a Sunday does not feel like going the extra mile because blogging feels fun to me. But putting in a bit more effort when I feel tired helps me to help more people. Going the extra blogging mile also makes me memorable in the eyes of readers.
I know other bloggers who go the extra mile.
My friend Ronald at Web SEO Marketers runs a first rate blog.
Beyond his super content though, he goes the extra blogging mile in the relationship-building department.
A few moments ago I saw this update in my stream when I logged in to Facebook:
Buying the paperback version of my blogging eBook would have been awesome in and of itself. But Ronald snapped a selfie holding the paperback, noted how he just received my book in the email and tagged me to let me know he bought my book and he’d see me in paradise.
He perfectly embodies how you go the extra mile relationship building wise. Compassionate, heart-centered bloggers think of how they can help folks out. Generous folks always stick out in your mind because we resonate with people who are kind, helpful and genuine in all they do.
Being Memorable Helps Expand Your Presence
I noted Ronald’s rocking blog in this post because he is a skilled blogger, because he shouted out buying my book on Facebook and because both factors make him memorable. I could not fall asleep until I wrote this post and shouted him out because it feels fun to spread the love and to help you guys understand the chief benefit of going the extra blogging mile; people will remember you.
If people remember you they will feature you, interview you, invite you to guest post on their blog, or they will hire you or buy your stuff. As your features, interviews and guest posts increase you will appear to be all over the place in your niche, growing your business slowly and steadily until your generosity and willingness to go above and beyond results in exponential growth of your online presence.
Alonzo Pichardo embodies this type of massive growth over the long haul by going the extra mile.
Check out his Instagram account.
His follower growth and overall engagement levels are staggering, with 55,000 followers receiving Alonzo’s update on the platform.
Alonzo continues to get so many followers because he gave so much of his time, skills and expertise over the past decade. He did not attract 55,000 followers after a week of going the extra blogging mile. He generously served folks for a decade and continues to help folks even if doing so takes him late into the night, becoming more memorable to more folks around the world.
Be patient and persistent in creating value and building bonds. Good things take time.
You may not make a penny through your blog for 6 months after doing the right things with the right energy but you will succeed over the long haul. Every kind act is rewarded over time.
Keep helping people. Focus on the process, not on outcomes. Stay up late to write the guest post, linking in to your blogging buddies to increase their exposure. After you purchase a book, take a selfie and tag the author on social media. Think of how you can impact humanity in a generous, significant way, one friendship and one generous act at a time.
Go the extra blogging mile.
Accelerate your blogging success over the long haul.
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