At first when I learnt about #LindaIkeji blog being terminated by search engine giant and Blogger.com ‘CEO’ Google, I had to just type lindaikeji.blogspot.com carefully to see for myself – lo and behold when I saw the white and orange Blogger icon with the following text on the top of my tab ‘Blog not found’ I was left picking up my jaw from my keyboard. Whilst I’m not going to go into any detail about the plagiarism allegations against one of Nigeria’s top earning blogs which spurred the eventual action taken by Google, I will focus more on what both aspiring and current bloggers should take note of in this crazy Blogosphere:
Do domain hosting – Once upon a time back in 2009 I was running this blog at crazynigerian.wordpress.com. This site was and still is completely free but I ran the risk of losing all my content if suddenly the host, WordPress, decided to do away with all its subdomains. Paying a token for my blog domain to be hosted meant that I could own thecrazynigerian.com and transfer my files to another web host without having to create a new web address (which by then may no longer be available). You can read more about this from a helpful article by Christopher Heng: Is it Possible to Create a Website Without Buying a Domain Name? The High Price of “Free”.
Do give credit when it’s due – I can’t emphasize this point enough. If you’re making any reference to published work then include a link or some form of accreditation. It’s the ethical thing to do as a professional blogger. Images or pictures from external sources are no exception. At the very least if your images are from Google images then say so i.e. ‘Source – Google images’. You never know whose gonna come round to visit this Christmas with a lawsuit.
“Give cred or you could lose cred”
Do scrutinize your work – Whether you’re a sole blogger or you’re part of a team of bloggers, make sure your blog content is reviewed regularly. It sounds like a pain but just imagine what Chatroom moderators have to go through every time a guest types profanity or uses prohibited language or uploads prohibited images. If someone in your team is getting away with adding content that is not being referenced then the blog runs the risk of being terminated and worse yet, sued. Bottom line, give cred or you could lose cred.
Do have a plan B – If you decide not to heed the lessons mentioned so far then I suspect you have a foolproof back up plan in the offing. You need to consider where your loyal fans and new visitors will find you. You also need to consider if the they will appreciate the new format of your blog as I doubt you will be able to retain even 90 per cent of its overall original look. See Exhibit A – Linda Ikeji’s blog is currently on another platform lindaikeji.mobi … a far cry from the blogspot.com format.
Doing nothing is not always the best option – If you suddenly start to get wild allegations thrown at you by sheer virtue of your blog posts then you need to take them seriously. Find out if the allegations are founded and if so, make the necessary corrections and apologies…fast! Sitting back and hoping the dust will eventually settle is like a man watching his house catch fire and hoping things will settle – the ashes will settle, that’s for sure. Being proactive is a good way to go. It’s your blog, your virtual baby you nurtured from zero posts to hundreds of ‘liked’ posts so guard it with your life 🙂