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How to Properly Credit

After a lot of discussion among friends and colleagues over the last few weeks about image use, I had an especially disheartening day yesterday.

Incredible not-too-sweet Salted Caramel Sugar cookies

Someone commented looking for a tutorial I did years ago after seeing the image in a magazine’s newsletter with my watermark and doing a google search. She forwarded it along to me and I went through the linked slideshow and found that my image was merely given a photo credit without a link. {The magazine quickly and kindly updated it upon request}.

Another large magazine used one of my most popular images as clickbait on Facebook. It was credited somewhere closer to the 35th photo in the slideshow, but not on Facebook.

Thick, chewy oatmeal brickle cookies

The same popular photo? Used on a website that sells flowers online – copied and pasted with the full tutorial. When I kindly asked for my post to be removed from their site, the writer responded “Hello Julie, we apologize for upsetting you. We made sure to credit you in the post and on our social media platforms.” True, they did credit me, but used my work in it’s entirety. Really, they used my name and likeness to draw readers to their site for the tutorial.

I started my blog 10+ years ago because I love to create, and love even more sharing my ideas with you. I spend countless hours designing, executing, photographing, editing, writing and promoting the content I create. I’m still in awe that I get to share what my family and I are doing, our homes, recipes and ideas for a living. I’m overwhelmed with joy with each comment I receive, or an emailed photo sharing how one of my posts inspired a room in a reader’s home.

simple gallery wall with gold frames over stairs

Lately, I’ve been feeling a little disheartened finding my images being used to promote unrelated content like “how to rid your home of mice” or as clickbait, without any real attribution to my site. I’m feeling a bit bogged down by the business side. While I absolutely love what I do, it is a business that I dedicate a significant amount of time to that often draws my attention away from our girls.

A site is costly to run: from hosting, to an email subscription provider, online tools and classes, accounting software, the cost to create {sometimes I make a recipe several times before perfecting it}, and assistants to help me keep my head above water so that I have time to respond to reader questions.

Easy Thanksgiving entertaining ideas

While playing tennis last night, I was feeling frustrated and vented. It sparked a conversation of how my friend personally shares online. I realized there is likely no ill will, just a lack of understanding how to properly credit someone’s work, especially in the ever changing social media world, so I wanted to share with you today! Some of this applies to bloggers, others to individual users, but I hope it helps in some small way. Please know that we as bloggers love when you share our content! That old saying “sharing is caring” couldn’t be truer.

How to credit on Facebook:

  • Simply click share. This will transfer all credit and links without any effort. {I LOVE the share button. It should actually be called the “show me the love button” because I feel it every time I see my work has been shared!}
  • Include a link to the post as seen below. You can also type @ followed by the name of the source to credit their Facebook page. {image in example below via Dear Lillie Studio}

how to properly credit on social media

How to Credit on Pinterest:

  • Link to the original post. If you upload the photo, click the pencil and copy and paste the url.

how to properly credit on social media

Pinterest is not a source. Pinterest didn’t create the content, it shouldn’t be credited for the content. To properly credit, click through the Pinterest link {which is likely where you retrieved the image} and credit that source/link after verifying it’s not part of a roundup. Please, pin away. It’s one of the best things you can do to help your favorite website!

How to credit on Instagram:

  • Use an app that allows you to regram, thus transferring credit.
  • Or use the @ tag to credit the creator. {image in example below via So Much Better with Age}

how to properly credit on instagram

In a blog post:

  • Via is not a source. I see a lot of bloggers rounding up images in posts using “via”. Via didn’t create. 😉 Take the extra moment to credit the source. Both your site and the site you’re using an image from will benefit through SEO.
  • Always ask for permission to use an image, especially if affiliate links will be used to sell products.
  • Credit the image by using the creator’s name and linking with a call-to-action. i.e.: “get the tutorial here”

Free printable thankful for cards | Friendsgiving or Thanksgiving activity and placard

Sharing with proper credit is quick and easy and it supports our community of creators, thus inspiring us to create more! I hope this helps. Thank you for your years of continued support, kindness, inspiration and help along the way. I am so grateful for the opportunity.

entertaining expert and lifestyle blogger Julie Blanner



16 comments on “How to Properly Credit”

  1. Love this post Julie! I wish everyone would use this to make sure they are doing it the right way and play nice. I will most likely be using this to forward to people from now on if they aren’t 😉

  2. This is such a great post that EVERYONE needs to read! I will share this (properly, of course) as a reminder!

  3. I about snorted with laughter at “Via didn’t create”. Well written article, explained nicely.

  4. Julie,
    Great tutorial! I would add one more vital comment. “Crediting” a source is not equivalent to “permission” to use the photo. Just because someone cites a source properly does not mean she/he has permission to use the image and/or information. Many people do not understand this concept and mistakenly believe that citing a source gives permission to use. That sounds like the mistake the flower site made in using your photo and content. That writer does not know the difference between credit and permission.

    Therefore, I recommend every blogger request permission from the owner for any photos used in “round ups.” Yes, that takes time, the owner may very likely say, “Yes,” and be flattered you asked. As you point out, creating content and images is costly and time consuming. It is disheartening to have others use our content and photos to benefit themselves without having to do the CREATIVE work done by owner of the work.

    I am a much smaller blogger, but also have found my photos and content used by others without permission or credit. One travel site used one of my blog posts with photos in its entirety about bluebonnets in Texas.

    I wrote a post about Copyright that sheds more light on this subject.


    • Amen. Crediting is not the same as permission, and in fact can actually be breaking the law. Copyright law. As Julie points out, even though it’s easy to copy and paste, it’s not a victimless crime. Also, watermark everything. The Copyright penalties are very expensive if someone swipes your work and deliberately removes the copyright watermark.

  5. Great post Julie!! I can understand how non-bloggers might not know how to properly share and credit sources, but for bloggers it’s really inexcusable. Thanks so much for writing this!

  6. Love this post Julie! I’ve been feeling disheartened with blogging myself lately. While I’m sorry to hear the issues you’ve been facing lately, it’s a comfort to know that I’m not alone. Thanks for sharing this and keep doing all the good work your doing. 🙂

    • Sorry to hear that, Kristi! The good outweighs the bad. I’ve found focusing on my readers and projects I’m passionate about helps. Hope you have a beautiful weekend!

  7. Aw man, sorry that happened to you! I love your tips tho on how to credit.
    XO Ellen

  8. I’ll be sharing this on my FB page and personal page as well. We need to get the word out. Thanks Julie for taking the time to write it.

  9. Hello, Julie. I found you through Mary at The Boondocks. Your information has helped me, and I know it will benefit others. Whether beginning a blog or as a little more seasoned blogger, this is all good to know. Now I can be sure I’ve done things right 😀

  10. Question, regarding: How to Credit on Pinterest: Link to the original post. If you upload the photo, click the pencil and copy and paste the url.

    I used to be able to click the pencil and paste. But something has changed. After I click the pencil, it won’t allow me to paste. I’ve tried looking up the problem on Pinterest; but haven’t found anything. I’m very baffled. Please – anyone – help.

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