We do a lot of great things at Bad Boy Blog. We break stories, we do interviews, we get the truth out. The site is a blast for me. I’m a huge Bad Boy fan and I love writing about the subject. I’ve developed a bunch of contacts and sources and I’ve really embraced the whole journalism thing and working on Bad Boy Blog has been and is a great experience. It’s reminded me that I should make sites that are fun for me because it shows.
But, one thing I have noticed is that… I can’t just write stories. I really need to keep an eye on content thieves. It doesn’t matter how many hours I bust my butt on a major feature or interview (and I have a major, major feature coming up that I’ve spent 15-20 hours on, at least, already and I haven’t even written it!) if I don’t get that traffic. If I don’t get that traffic, I don’t get that money and if I don’t get that money, I can’t spend my life doing this. The same goes for breaking news. Same deal. I’ve noticed trends with certain artists and certain sites. Like, when I do a piece of Jordan McCoy, it gets ripped and posted on idolforums.com. Or if I do a piece on B5, it gets ripped and posted on their official forums. To the credit of their moderators, when I report it, it gets taken care of. But, I’m already hurt – I missed that initial traffic surge that comes from people seeing it first.
I get all the traffic I can by reporting it as early as possible (and hoping a moderator gets to it quickly and knows what they are looking at), but I’m still not as good as I should have been. What’s scary is that if I don’t report it – I doubt it would be addressed at all. No one looks out for you but you. That’s not how I run my communities (we actively remove anyone we suspect is violating someone’s copyright), but it’s how a ton of communities are run these days. It’s amazing how many people just rip content and copy and paste an entire article. Even without a source link. I’m a veteran. I’ve been doing this for a long time and I’m used to it. But, still, it kills me because I spend so much time on these features sometimes so that I can offer my visitors something interesting and unique and get more traffic and it gets ripped without me seeing anything. A lot of people don’t understand (or care) that if they like my writing and they want me to keep writing, I need to get that traffic.
It’s not all bad, of course. The more people quote you, the more people become familiar with you and the more you are looked at as an authority. I want people to quote me. I just don’t want people to post the entire article or post a quote of it without a link to the entry. Big sites can overcome this nonsense because they have their own developed audience. With smaller sites, I think, they are more susceptible to simply being cut off period because if they don’t get the link on that big site, if they instead just get ripped by some random poster, they never see a thing. They don’t have a huge audience. And that makes them quit or puts them out of business because they simply can’t invest the time. I’ve trained myself, now, to check out key forums related to the artists that I cover after I post a big story to wait for someone to rip it because it’s going to happen. It’s only a matter of when.