Are food bloggers stealing your blogging ideas? Are you sick of coming up with fresh ideas for everyone else to jump on board? Then read my 7 resources that will help you protect your food blog.
If you have landed on this page, then the chances are, that you’re worried that either your food blogging content has been stolen, or that it will be in the future.
It is an awful thing to happen and it happens to me every day. Every day I come across yet another person that has stolen my idea and claimed it as their own.
I am one of those people that naturally comes up with my own ideas and I don’t have to go looking for them. It makes me an easy target for idea stealing. I can be in the kitchen cooking something and then think what a great new recipe idea it will make. Or I will be out at the supermarket and something new will pop into my head.
I am also naturally a big talker, so for me to write on a blog is very natural to me. Just like someone else might be a natural with taking photos.
#1 Ideas Vs Thieving
Firstly, let me say that it’s a fine line between ideas and thieving. When I think of stealing food blogging content, I think of when it is so bad that you place a DMCA on the site and ask for the content to be taken down immediately.
I have lost count of the amount of DMCA notices myself or Dominic have filed over the years. It feels like it is never ending and has become a big part of our job, just like answering emails and social media is.
With stealing, when someone copies one of your blog posts or claims your image as their own, you can do something about it.
But when they steal your idea you are screwed.
Because with an idea you have no copyright to it and then can claim it as their own.
I have had my ideas stolen the most.
I can think of thousands of times when this has happened but what stands out the most is:
Instant Pot Broccoli. This was published more than 2 years ago and was the start of my theme of basic vegetables cooked in the Instant Pot. Nobody else had run through the vegetable family in the pressure cooker at the time. Last year there was so many replicas and as well as this our famous fork shot started getting copied.
This was our famous fork shot:
We did this because many people will disagree with you over the cooking vegetables in the Instant Pot and we wanted to show on a fork tender vegetable. Vegetables that was not overcooked so that it would fall off a fork, or so raw that you couldn’t get your fork into it.
So, when you see someone copying your shot and your recipe (but re-writing it in their own words) and ranking above you on Google because they started their blog before you, then it can be very frustrating.
Unlike Pinterest where it feels like it gives the love to the original content owner a lot more.
Just think we don’t take great photos and get copied, so imagine what its like for those that take amazing photos.
Instant Pot Recipes For Beginners – The same can be said for our Instant Pot Recipes For Beginners. We we’re the first to put together a quality 100+ round up. A round up that included not just the recipes but call to action on affiliate products and our own products.
Now there are lots of them. Not just for the Instant Pot, but other styles too.
But the biggest problem I have is when a BIG traffic blogger copies me. You see people that don’t read my blog, will assume theirs was the original and all the people that want to be them, will copy it. Then before you know it my idea has been copied more than 200 times in one month.
I also find that unlike ourselves with a history in cooking, people have been blogging for too long and are out of ideas. It is easier for them to steal ideas instead.
#2 Pinterest Link Scam – Are You A Victim?
Back when Pinterest started out there was a HUGE link scam going on. There was many ebooks being sold on the KDP and on JVZoo teaching you how to do it. You were expected to repin to your boards popular Pinterest pins. Then simply change the url in the Pinterest pin info with your website, instead of the original content owners.
This was the biggest traffic source for many spammy blogs in 2013 and still happens sometimes now.
You can do something about this and report it to Pinterest and file a DMCA. Pinterest will then take them down for you.
We noticed this problem recently and we are still cleaning up the mess from it.
A low-quality blog took my infographic, cropped it into several graphics, removed our info and claimed it as their own. Then linked out to themselves and hosted the image on their site.
A DMCA was filed and the content was removed from their website.
The blog didn’t learn its lesson though, as I noticed when checking that they had done the same thing again, just this time with someone else’s content.
But it’s a big battle with Pinterest as a lot of people shared the cropped images and we are slowly removing them all.
If this happens to you, do report it to Pinterest and get a takedown notice put in.
#3 Get Off SEMRush
Now this is essential. You must get yourself off SEM Rush as not only is it increasing your chances of content being copied but it is also slowing down your site, not to mention they are using up the bandwith that you’re paying for via your hosting.
In other words, you’re paying SEM Rush to crawl your site and then this is giving your competition an unfair advantage over you.
But SEM Rush uses bots to crawl your site so its as simple as updating your robot.txt file on your blog to stop the excessive crawling.
You can see our robots file here:
You can see that we don’t allow SEM Rush along with other bots.
It doesn’t completely stop it, but it slows them down and doesn’t give them the most up to date information.
Talking about up to date information, I found that SEM Rush had bad information about us before we updated our robots file. It was saying that our top posts were completely different to what they were. Blog posts that were not even in the top 100 of our popular traffic posts, were listed as our best. A bit like the mis information that you see on Alexa.
It always made me wonder why our medium traffic posts got copied so much and not our top posts, then after removing the bots, it has reduced by a LOT.
SEM Rush is not alone as Ahref is just as bad, but each time you see a bot you don’t like crawling your site add it to the list.
It only takes a minute and can help with your battle against the competition.
#4 Have A Blogger Thief List
I have a bookmark folder on Chrome. It contains 35 food bloggers that steal my content nearly every week. I like to monitor them to see what content they are bringing out and how similar it is to my own and how they are going about it.
They are nearly ALL food bloggers focused in the Instant Pot healthy eating niche. Some do Paleo, some vegan, some meal prep, some Keto, but what they all have in common is the Instant Pot.
It makes me want to do more Instant Pot unhealthy recipes as I know they won’t copy those!
Or now there is a new trend of air fryer and instant pot bloggers copying my content.
The problem is they have never got to know these kitchen gadgets that they are blogging about, and this leads them to stealing my ideas more than usual.
This is because they are not confident in using these kitchen gadgets, so they need to follow me to get their head around it.
You will always be able to tell this, because when people ask them questions about the kitchen gadget, they have no idea and their answers are very vague.
#5 Sometimes It Could Be Coincidence
I get it sometimes people can have similar ideas. This of course will happen from time to time especially with gadgets like the Air Fryer or Instant Pots. This is because they will be learning how to use them and go with what is common for the gadgets.
- Air Fryer French Fries
- Air Fryer Sweet Potato Fries
- Air Fryer Chicken Wings
- Instant Pot Baked Potatoes
- Instant Pot Meatloaf
- Instant Pot Rotisserie Chicken
But I was told by one of my subscribers that a fellow food blogger was stealing my ideas. They had been blogging much longer than me but became an Air Fryer and Instant Pot blogger 9 months after me.
BUT looking through their archives 90% of their Air Fryer & Instant Pot recipes we had published 3 months before them. I even saw their latest recipe and it was a recipe for the Air Fryer that we had published 2 months ago.
As they had taken brand new photos and changed the recipe slightly, then there was nothing I could do about it. I just had to accept it.
It’s like the saying you can’t copyright Shepherd’s Pie!
I saw a worse case recently from the same person with another fellow blogger. She had taken the photos at the exact same angle, used the same format and you honestly looked at it and thought it was the same person. I would have put in a DMCA if my pictures had been copied so similarly.
Dominic was reading a discussion on Twitter last week when this was discussed. It talked about the idea that someone could like your content and decide that they are going to stalk out your content.
They will try and rank above you once. Then when it works, they will do it over and over again and copy all your content.
The guy had no solution other than to play the long game and try not to let it get to you. That eventually you would be known as the original. And that they might get bored and move onto the next person they want to copy.
#6 Should You Remove Share Counts?
You could consider removing share counts from your blog posts, but its still easy to get a general idea of what is successful or not.
You also have Buzz Sumo which a lot of content marketing managers use. You can put a website in, or a keyword and it will bring up the highest social shared posts.
There is one pin that is always in my feed on Pinterest. I know it is super successful without looking at the share count. Visit the blog and it confirms 1 million+ shares.
The lady in question could remove the share counts but people would still know.
I keep my own share counts on, because I use it to monitor my Tailwind account and to make sure it is working. It’s a good way to check that the pins have been done and have gone through the system. It then raises a red flag if a recipe has not had 300 shares after 60 days of pinning.
I am also a member of group boards on Pinterest that sharing is based on 1,000+ shares so I want to see when pins hit this so that I can share them.
If you remove the share counts people can base it on how trendy a pin is on Pinterest or how many comments you have on a post. A popular post is bound to have more comments than an unpopular one.
But when it comes to SEO, I find some of my best SEO content has low share counts. Without being inside someone’s Google Analytics you can never really know for real.
#7 NEVER Publicly Share A Blog Post Success
I know of a lady that did this. She wanted to learn how to use Google Webmaster Tools, which is the area you go to in order to see what you’re ranking for in Google.
She innocently shared it in a Facebook Group that was full of food bloggers. You could see that she was front page of Google for about 20 different good keywords. She also had about 125,000 visits a month from Google for these keywords.
Other food bloggers discovered this and now she has not got any of her SEO traffic and she has since quit blogging.
All from an innocent Facebook Group share.
She just didn’t realise in her innocence the damage she was causing to her blog.
You see people can always guess what traffic you are getting, but they never truly know unless you tell them.
You MUST Take Action
If you don’t take action, what happens if Google considers their content to be the original content and not yours?
I watched as one of my fellow bloggers didn’t take action. Then she had an SEO drop of 80% of her traffic, because Google didn’t think she was the original content owner.
How awful is that? Since then she has been on her toes and had a lot of content taken down and filed a lot of DMCA notices. Now she monitors it regularly and takes action straight away.
If someone is stealing your content and it goes beyond your ideas and you can legally do something about it then DO.
Here are a few resources that can help you:
- Google DMCA Takedown
- Pinterest DMCA Takedown
- Find Their Host (and issue their host with a takedown notice)
- Google Alerts (use it to monitor the use of your content)
- Official DMCA Takedown