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One Rule of Small Business Blogging: Don't Cheat!

Scott Yates
April 19, 2011

Running a small or niche business is hard, really hard. All the responsibilities of the business fall to a small team, sometimes just you.

And now, according to what we read, small businesses are the last best hope for saving the whole economy. So, no pressure, but...

One of the things on the list of just about everybody in business these days is blogging. It’s crucial to get blog posts written and get them on your site so the whole world can see what you do, and Google can find you so that the whole world can find you in the search engines. Blogging is absolutely crucial. But who has time?

That’s why many are tempted to cheat. This excellent blog post illustrates one of the ways that it’s possible to cheat, and that’s by copying content from someone else. There are a variety of ways to do it. That post points out two of them: “scraping” and “autoblogging.” Here’s the definition from that writer:

  • Scraping refers to automatically copying full articles from other blogs (or RSS feeds) for publishing on your own site.
  • Autoblogging just snatches the headline and excerpt for your site, and supposedly links back to the original article.

Now, we just copied those two descriptions, isn’t that cheating? No, it’s not. It’s covered by the law under the concept of Fair Use, and more importantly it’s within the spirit of blogging. Much of the blogosphere is about highlighting the best parts and then adding some commentary. Much like this post right here.

So, blogging: Yes. Cheating: No.

We know blogging is hard, but just because it’s hard is no excuse to cheat. Besides, if you do cheat there’s a pretty good chance that Google will figure it out anyway and then you’ll be worse off than if you had never blogged at all.

We are still in "stealth" mode here at BlogMutt, but we'll be opening up some small tests, soon. If you are interested please sign up for the beta test on our home page. Thanks!

Scott Yates

Scott Yates



I spent years as a writer and editor, and wrote a nonfiction book before starting BlogMutt with Wade back in 2011. I love words, and I love working with the amazing staff and dedicated writers of BlogMutt who also love words, and know the power that they have. Also, this quote: "I love deadlines," Douglas Adams said. "I love the whooshing noise they make as they go by."

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