Blogging is all about listening and joining the conversation. A large part of this requires citing other people and their thoughts. You should frequently quote people.

When you’re blogging and you’ve seen these sources and you’ve seen these subjects, what you want to be doing is referencing them, because that’s the only way you’re going to be heard in the conversation.

Technical standpoint

You hear a lot about duplicate content, but I would not worry about using portions of their content in a block quote. It’s done across the blogosphere and mainstream media.  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.

So if you’re sharing something interesting on your blog, go ahead and snag a noteworthy or thought-provoking paragraph or so and bring it over to your blog, providing the appropriate credit.


When you’re citing someone, 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. 

Everyone likes being told they’re smart. Everyone likes being told they’re doing a good job.

Letting them know

When you’re engaging with others, or trying to do so, be sure to do the legwork and actually let them know, one-to-one. There are a couple of ways to let the authority know that you referenced them.

  • Share the post on twitter and give them a hat tip. That can be as simple as adding a “h/t @username” when sharing.
  • 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.” It’s really as simple as that.  

Does it take some time to get used to this type of blogging? Yes, it totally does. It might take a year, but that’s okay. If you learn how to use the internet as a communications medium and engagement medium, you start to get comfortable doing it.

Plus, it makes blogging a whole lot easier when you’re not always coming up with your own post ideas.