Quoting and Linking to Others’ Writings and Work On Your Law Blog

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Over on Reddit, an authority asked about linking to books, other blogs and transcripts of podcasts on a blog they were starting.

They wanted to put their spin on what others were saying and writing. Their intent was to link to the authority as part of their commentary.

Like the law, the subject of the blog was on a “heavy subject.”

I thought some of you may find my answer over on Reddit of help –

You are okay doing doing as a describe.

In fact, blogging as you describe how you’ll be blogging is how blogging began. Blogging in that fashion also works extraordinarily well in growing readership and subscribers of your blog.

Blogging started fifteen plus years ago as a conversation. I saw what you wrote and then referenced what you wrote, often inserting a portion of what you wrote as a block quote in my blog. I then provided my take or why I shared what you had to say. The technology then enabled bloggers to see if another blogger or reporter wrote about us or what we wrote.

So yes, do quote people. I would not worry about using portions of their content in a block quote. It’s done across the blogosphere and mainstream media. The issue of duplicate content is not going to cause you a problem.

Also know that the doctrine of Fair Use in the United States allows you to reference and quote fairly liberally for teaching, commentary, research and reporting without having to seek permission or pay the copyright holder.

Best practice dictates naming and linking to the source as well as the author. By citing them and why they are an authority the source will appreciate that you did cite them and aptly described them as an authority.

Far too many people today blog based on their own knowledge as an expert on a subject without referencing anyone. It’s a breath of fresh air, as an authority and long time blogger in a niche, for someone to cite what I said and why. I remember those people as they stick out like shining stars.

Couple ways to let the authority know that you referenced them. Share your post on Twitter and give them a hat tip, h/t @kevinokeefe. Alternatively, drop them an email saying “as a courtesy, I wanted to let you know that I referenced what you wrote/said in a recent blog post of mine etc, keep up the good work.”

Either way the influencers you cite will take notice, may follow you, and may even cite you so that all their readers learn of you.

You’ll also be penning a more interesting blog by bringing in others’ commentary and learning from the commentary at the same time.

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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