I won’t lie I’m tired. You might even say burnt out. But something compels me again and again to sit down on evening and weekends in a regular ritual bashing away on a keyboard crafting words together.
Does one do this for validation?
No, I would have given up years ago if that was the case.
Does one do this for profit?
That’s an amusing thought.
No matter how tough or busy life gets, something compels me to to share my thoughts and ideas, even if no one ever asked for it.
On Saturday night, I sat in my chair without aim. Intention was good, ideas were in my head or in incomprehensible note form, but the ability to translate this into anything meaningful failed.
As I tried to force myself into productivity, I felt my eyes fade, with a vexing sigh, I gave in on getting a post drafted and watched a few Pitch Meeting videos on YouTube instead to give me a much needed laugh.
My wife placed her hand on my shoulder, peeking over at my screen while telling me she was heading to bed. I didn’t follow far behind.
The next day my eldest daughter unashamedly was fiddling with my phone – I don’t know how she’d unlocked it, but there she was mashing away at buttons hoping it would bring up something fun.
I confiscated the phone from her grasp, noticing loads of notifications from WordPress telling me my posts had linked out to something – what had she done?
My heart sank when I realised what had really happened.
Six of my posts, great posts, posts about me, posts about my thoughts and ideas stolen – just like that.
A perfect crime, expect the blog using the bot to rip a persons hardwork off, hadn’t done a thorough enough job to remove all traces to the original site, so I got a backlink telling me my post had been linked to from another blog site – all words that were mine!.
My ideas, ideas I’d spent hours thinking over, researching, writing, rewriting, starting again, stripped within a matter of seconds.
These posts were more than mere seconds to me – they were many days sacrificed with my family, or doing something else with my life. Now it was just mass uploaded content, without a care about the human behind the screen who put his sweat into it’s conception.
Now it was mine, it was “Written by Jack”.
Well “Jack” here’s another post I dare you to steal.
Everyone asks how to make money blogging.
No one is asking how to make timeless content.
No one is interested in making something good anymore, they’re more bothered about tricking the algorithm – whether it’s getting to the top of search engines, or getting viral on social media.
They don’t get the process behind making art – and yes a blog post like many forms is art.
It’s made up of a person’s values, research ideas, reflection on a period in their life, that they will never have again.
As an author I can write it, and feel something.
As the consumer you can read it, and feel something completely different.
Interpretation – that is art!
People like Jack, don’t get that – they’re the ones who want the money, the attention, without ever earning it. They don’t know what it’s like to create, because they just take the work of others and stick their name to it.
It’s easy to forget, but behind the words of any blog is someone, someone with commitments, fighting to navigate this life, and for whatever reason they decided to write something and post it.
I’ll repeat it because I’m so angry right now…
Everyone wants to make money blogging.
No one wants to make a blog that is timeless.
That is why the Internet is awash with crap content, people trying to game the system, get the attention and make a quick buck –
When you create timeless content, you’re making something the reader can go back to again and again.
They’ll add it to their favourites, send it to loved ones or even print it out and put it on a wall.
Stop asking the wrong questions, focus on doing something right, and maybe one day you’ll make something people care about.
A final message
Appreciate this post is an uncoordinated rant – I write this in a difficult place, this year has been tough.
In a post pandemic world, my kids are at a challenging age, I’ve had illnesses, injuries, a new career, and struggled to find a way to balance my blog writing around the day to day challenges – it’s a bitter thing to take, as the outlet used to cope with this adversity gets pillaged.
Being plagiarised is such a blatant manner, made me question whether this was all worth it – if the Jack’s of the world can come along and potentially steal away years of the life, why bother?
There is a lot of mental battles writing a blog posts that those who don’t do this will realise. Having the confidence to put yourself out there is one – there is a reason most people in my real life don’t know I do this, because I’ve never got round that barrier!
The one saving grace to this is the lessons learnt:
Make sure to put in lots of backlinks to other posts
This makes it harder to edit out, and increase chance you’ll find out if you’re work has been copied.
Create unique images and put your domain in
It doesn’t link out, but it shows any reader where the content has come from, and will help them realise something isn’t right.
Use lots of personal anecdotes
Referencing myself by name makes it harder to steal without lots of edits.
Adding personal stories that happen to you are also harder to claim.
Add a copyright signature
I admit I never saw the point of this until today, but seeing a bot able to copy all my words and images in seconds helped emphasise the importance of being able to put as many digital footprints in place as possible.
With my struggles I don’t feel in a great place with my writing, the whole experience has killed my enthusiasm to blog.
I don’t think I’ll stay like this for long – I have a couple of copyright claims to make, then I’ve got some holiday coming up, so I hope to return in a better frame of mind.
If you want to support a real authentic blogger who writes his own stuff, doesn’t do this for money, and writes quality content out of sheer love, then check out these posts that were apparently good enough to steal!
Wishing you the best in your success James @Perfect Manifesto
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