20+ ways to prevent your blog posts from being copied!
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Last Updated on 6th May 2022 by Ajmer Singh
Blog posts can be copied by people – who copy and paste content from your blog posts and repost it somewhere else on the internet.
Copying is usually done for two reasons: to take credit for your work or to increase the SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and get more visitors (backlinks).
There are a lot of ways to prevent your blog posts from being copied without permission.
In this article, we’ll go over 20+ ways on how to prevent your blog posts from being copied… starting from simple tips and moving on to more advanced ones!
20+ ways: How to prevent your blog posts from being copied!
#1. Turn on the “nofollow” attribute for your images
Even if you post an image with a link, search engines will ignore it.
This is because, by default, the <img> tag doesn’t have any href so no matter how many links are inside – search engine bots can’t crawl it.
To turn on the “nofollow” attribute, add this line of code to the <img> tag:
<img src=”link-to-your-image.jpg” nofollow=”true”/>
It’s also possible to add the rel=”nofollow” attribute to ALL links on your blog (not just images).
Keep in mind that if the <img> tag already has an attribute called “rel”, you don’t need to add another one.
#2. Use shortened URLs in your posts
Especially when you’re posting links to an external webpage, shortening them with URL shorteners is a must!
It saves space and it looks much better than long links which are hard to copy by hand.
There are several URL shorteners you can choose from, but the most popular one is bitly.
#3. Put your posts on private or password-protect them
If you’re worried about people stealing your blog posts, you can simply protect them with a password.
There are several ways to do this, but the easiest is probably with a plugin like WordPress Password Protect Page – PPWP Plugin.
Another way to protect your blog posts is by turning them into private pages making them accessible ONLY when you have a password.
Unfortunately, this solution doesn’t protect your blog against mass copying – anyone can just create a bookmark to access your page and copy its content.
In order to prevent this, use plugins like “Client Portal – Private user pages and login” or any other plugin that adds passwords for certain posts.
The best way to make sure no one will copy your blog posts is to use the “nofollow” attribute which we wrote about earlier in this article.
#4. Add Google Authorship to your blog posts
Google Authorship helps search engine bots know who wrote what and adds a link between your blogger account and another website (like Wikipedia or The New York Times).
It also adds your profile picture to your blog posts.
If you add Google Authorship to your blog, other websites will no longer be able to use your blog content without getting a link to it!
If they don’t want to give credit to the author, search engines will no-follow these links so people won’t be able to see them… even if they copy your blog post.
If someone uses one of your images or text block from your webpage – there’s a good chance it will be visible in their source code.
If you add a “Powered by” branding somewhere on the bottom of your post, it will give away that the content was taken from another website.
You can choose how to brand your content – by putting a text saying “© PhotographerName.com”,
or by adding an image with a logo and a link back to this page… or even both!
There are plugins like “Custom Site Logo” that will help you add a logo and a link at the same time.
#6. Hide your content from people who don’t have a password to your blog
In case someone wants to copy your blog post but doesn’t want to give credit for it – they can open up your page in a private tab and copy anything they want without you noticing.
To prevent such behaviour, simply password protect your blog (it’s free on WordPress) and make sure no one but trusted people will be able to access it.
#7. Use plugins that automatically prevent copying
There are several plugins out there that will automatically prevent your content from being copied or downloaded.
If you don’t want to spend time checking if anyone is trying to copy your blog posts, get a plugin that does it for you!
In fact, get several of them – some plugins work better with certain types of posts.
#8. Use a plugin that stops bots from crawling your content
When you write a blog post and put it on the internet – someone somewhere will try to crawl it.
And we mean crawl in its original meaning… like a spider crawling all over your webpage and stealing your content!
Fortunately, there’s a way to stop these crawlers in their tracks: by using plugins that add an invisible link at the bottom of your page.
When a bot tries to copy the content, it will get redirected to this link and won’t be able to crawl your entire blog (if you have more than one post).
After you publish a blog post – don’t forget to add sharing buttons at the end!
If you have a plugin that adds buttons to your website, choose one that places the buttons at the bottom of your posts.
If someone wants to share a blog post on social media, they will have to copy it from the end of the article and not from any other part.
#10. Add an RSS Feed Widget
If someone has a feed reader (like Google Reader or Netvibes) and they like your blog posts – chances are that they will subscribe to your feed so they won’t miss anything!
To give them this option, add an RSS Feed widget to your blog.
You can then choose how many posts you want the feed reader to see without having to log in – and prevent anyone from taking anything more than what you allow!
On the top of each blog post, add a text link back to your website.
Customize it however you want (have an audio clip play when someone mouses over it, change colour and shape on hover etc)
But make sure it’s visible and that people who use your content will be able to find their way back to your website!
If you have a lot of loyal readers – but you’re afraid that someone will copy one of your blog posts and attract their own audience – there’s something you can do about it.
Require people to share your post before they can read it. Of course, they won’t do this unless they like it – so chances are that you will still get all the attention!
Just be sure to choose a plugin that isn’t intrusive (the sharing buttons above are best).
#13. Copyright your work with Google
Since 2011, Google has been helping blog authors claim copyright for their material on Blogger.
When you put your blog on Blogger, you can add a piece of code to each page that will tell Google that the content belongs to you.
And when people copy it – they will be violating your copyright!
#14. Adobe EchoSign with AuthUser Password Protection
Adobe has online services called EchoSign and EchoSignPrint that you can use to show your customers an agreement and make sure they don’t copy it.
You can create a password-protected ‘PDF’ containing the agreement and require people to enter their name and email address before they can open it.
You will get an email when someone wants to access this document, allowing you to approve or deny access before they can see it!
#15. Create watermarks for your images
Most people know that when you add an image to a blog post, you can add ‘alt’ and ‘title’ tags which will add more information for search engines – but did you know that there’s also text in the actual image?
This is called a ‘watermark’ – and it stays on the image even if someone tries to do a ‘right click->save as’ copy.
By adding your name, website or social media links to your images – you can make sure no one will be able to use them without giving you credit!
#16. Delete anything suspicious
If you don’t want to add any type of prevention to your blog because you think it might be ‘intrusive’
or if you can’t find a suitable plugin for your website – the best thing you can do is delete anything suspicious!
It’s almost impossible for someone to copy and complete an article without leaving some trace behind.
If you notice any typos, formatting errors, gaps in posts etc – it’s a sign that someone copied the article and tried to make it their own.
You can delete anything suspicious from your website by using a DOM Inspector Plugin for Chrome or Firefox.
The plugin will keep an eye on your website while you browse through different pages, and if you find any element that shouldn’t be there – it will delete it for you!
Live chats allow you to speak with customers and clients directly.
And if someone copies your article and tries to advertise it as their own without giving you credit – they can’t!
Because they can’t open up a live chat window, the only thing they will be able to do is delete any evidence that links them back to your website.
#18. Publish with PressBooks
PressBooks is an open-source content management system that’s been created specifically for people writing articles as well as those blogging.
It allows you to create a copy of your blog that is password protected and can’t be edited or copied – making it impossible for anyone to use your content without giving you credit!
As well as being an effective anti-theft plugin, PressBooks gives you the ability to write in different formats (including epub, pdf etc) so that you can create custom eBooks to sell!
#19. Hide the content with CSS styling
If you want to keep your content hidden – but still display it, you can use ‘inline styles’ so that the user won’t be able to copy and paste it.
On most blogging platforms (such as Blogger), users are allowed to use the ‘CTRL’ and ‘A’ keys to select an entire article.
If you want to prevent anyone from selecting your text, all you need to do is add a ‘style=”display: none;”‘.
This will hide everything on your website – but still allow people to see it if they want!
You can make your hidden content appear by adding ‘style=” display: block;”‘ to any element you want to make visible.
(you will need to use your browser’s developer tools for this).
#20. Don’t publish images with EXIF data
EXIF data is hidden inside almost every kind of image – including screenshots, GIFs and other media types.
This can include information like the device you used to create the picture, your location (if GPS is enabled on your device), how long an image was displayed etc.
If you want to be 100% sure that no one will be able to use your images without giving you credit – make sure you delete anything that might contain EXIF data!
This includes the ‘image description’ and any extra files that might have been added to a screenshot.
#21. Include a disclaimer
Many people don’t know this – but it’s possible to include a legally binding statement on your website, which will require anyone who uses your content to give you credit!
This is called a ‘Terms and Conditions’ statement, and it’s really easy to add one to your website.
All you have to do is create a post entitled ‘Terms & Conditions’, then write something similar to the following:
“If you wish to use any content from this website, you must give credit! Linking back is not enough – you MUST mention the origin of the information in your article.”
#22. Create a DMCA takedown request
If you follow the steps above but your content is still being used without giving you credit – there’s one last thing you can do!
The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) was created to help stop people from using articles that have been produced by other members of the public.
By creating a DMCA takedown request, you can force a website to remove any stolen content from their website – or face legal action.
This is by far the most powerful step you can take – but it’s also the one that will be used against you if someone ever publishes your work without giving you credit!
So there you have it, over 20 ways to prevent your blog posts from being copied and pasted.
While some of these methods may seem a little more labour intensive than others, they’re all worth the effort in order to protect your hard work.
Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below!
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