Tuesday, October 30, 2012

I feel like a fraud (Transparent Tuesday)

Okay, I'm apologizing in advance to the non-blogging readers for this post because I'm about to throw around some blogging lingo that may not make any sense to you.

Transparent Topic: Fraud

Last December I was working hard on our TV niche built-in and hadn't put much thought into my post for the next day. I did a little searching and ran across a great tutorial on Save-on-crafts.com for iced branches. I literally copied and pasted the entire post! It's not as bad as it sounds...I didn't try to make this look like original content. I wrote in the post, "I ran across a great tutorial that was just screaming to be passed on." I even linked to the craft site 7 different times. You can read the original post here.

So here's where the transparency and fraud part come into play. This one post has single-handedly made my blog explode in terms of stats. I went from having 800 pageviews (on a good day) to consistently having closer to 7,000-8,000 pageviews/day. I know this is still relatively small but in terms of where I came from it was a huge jump.

So far this month, this one post has had over 33,000 views. 

I'm receiving lots of emails from people asking me specific questions about the craft but guess what?...I've NEVER even made them! A really large craft site even contacted me and asked if they could feature the craft. What in the world?!

So, I've had to reply to every email and to the big craft site and tell them the truth...it's not my original content! I feel kinda silly but honestly, I never tried to deceive anyone. My suspicion is that people see the pretty picture and jump straight to the tutorial, hence skipping over my disclaimer that I'm passing on a tutorial.

Since I've recently added Google Adsense, this nice little increase in traffic has literally paid off for me. I'm completely reaping the benefits from something I didn't do. Is that okay?

It's a hard one to swallow that I work my tail off creating huge projects like our Diamond Wallcreative shelving and even building an arbor in our daughter's bedroom and these don't solicit nearly the traffic/attention that this one post has!

What do you think? Should I feel bad about this or should I sit back and enjoy the benefits from a pin going viral?

8 comments:

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

our ideas have to come from somewhere and you didn't intend for this to be your biggest post.... not a fraud, my friend.

pam {simple details} said...

Oh, I have no idea what is ok, but I do know there isn't a more honest person out there and you would never intentionally do anything unethical! You might want to make them so you can answer all those emails! :)

STEPHANIE LEANN said...

After reading this post, and then checking out the original, I don't think you did anything wrong. If you think about it, a lot of bloggers are brand representatives and are sharing content and images for products they love, use daily, are inspired to try, etc. I would say that is the same case here! And especially since you linked to all your sources and gave photo credits in the original post. Thanks for your honesty!

Lisa @ Shine Your Light said...

Who would have known that that one post would bring in so many page views? You shared an idea you found interesting and didn't do anything wrong….but I totally get you on how annoying it is to have THAT bring in tons of page views while cool projects that you created bring in less traffic. Don't sweat it - lots of bloggers share other ideas from other blogs. As long as you link back to the original source that is the main thing.

Anonymous said...

Dana,
I appreciate your honesty and how you not only share your successes, but also the "real" bits of life...
thank you for that...
I'm curious about the monetary aspect of blogging-would you be willing to share how it works and how much can be made??? No one seems to discuss it, but I'd really like to know...
thanks
Kate

Amy E. Frost said...

I don't think you did anything wrong but I think if you feel so bad about it, and if it's still getting all that traffic that you're benefiting from monetarily, then maybe delete the copied text from that post and just leave the original link?

Katie @ Paisley Print Shoes said...

I agree with what Amy said - I don't think you did anything wrong...but maybe you could even delete half of the text and say, "to see the remainder of this tutorial please go here" or something? It might give you some peace of mind...and it would protect you of accidental plagiarism? (I'm not sure all the rules on that!).

Your honesty is extremely admirable, and obviously you have good taste for picking out a project that created such buzz! :-)

Hyphen Interiors said...

Not your fault it brought in such buzz. You said you were pasting it. People do that all the time - skip down and assume it's the blog owner's tutorial. I think Katie has great advice about deleting some and saying for the rest of the tutorial go here. That would clear it up and give you peace of mind. However, the traffic is nice. You'd still get the traffic, though. But, the author would be clear. Love the honesty.

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