Why I deleted over 300 blog posts

Bedroom-bedding

This blog post is for any blogger who just started out or has been writing and creating content for a little while already. I must admit that I’ve been thinking about this blog post for over a year now since it isn’t exactly a typical post from me. It’s one of these “should I or shouldn’t I write about this” posts. If you are one of my clients, please feel free to skip this one. I have some amazingly useful series for you coming up very shortly.

With the encouragement from a lawyer I met last week at one of the networking events I go to with my magazine, here it goes..

If you don’t know me or my story, I got into blogging almost 3 years ago. I wanted to write about my interior’s  inspiration, my style, projects and my business experiences from running 2 previous businesses. Because I didn’t know any better,  I took some of the formats of my blog posts from other bloggers out there, who have been doing it for much longer than me. I created, what I thought, inspirational digital moodboards, collages and wrote case studies. And to do that I used images which I found on the net. Over time my blog posts accumulated to over 500 posts, since I was blogging everyday. I wanted to get experienced in creating various content formats. To become faster and more creative. I was learning tons about the industry and particularly about myself.

Until one day, some 18 months later, I received an email. I was accused of copyright infringement on an image which I credited properly through a source I found online. Even though I got very suspicious of it, since they couldn’t and didn’t provide their UK trading details, I decided to remove every post with an image or images that didn’t belong to me. Yes, it was over 300 of them!! So much thought, work, time and energy went into them and they are gone. Off the website. Since then I’ve decided to only use my own images and photographs.

And so, if you ever receive such email, make sure that you check the legal aspect of the business. The things you should be looking for are: registered address, registered number, VAT number, business bank account in the UK, not abroad. Then go on the Companies House and verify that those details are correct and that they match up. Through this I found out that they didn’t match up at all. Plus, the only payment method they accepted was through a link, which was generated by Paypal. Red flags all over. Too many red flags actually.

After speaking to my accountant and a short telephone discussion with a lawyer I was advised not to respond. However, last week when I met the other lawyer who specialises specifically in copyrights and intellectual property, I was sharing my experience with her and found out that many people are so scared of the emails and letters that they pay out. I was told that there are many fraudsters using this aggressive method to get money out of bloggers and content creators knowing that they are not correctly informed. They target you specifically for this reason. They use website crawlers to identify images on their databases and identify them even if you screenprint, crop, alter or rename the image.

I see many blogs out there that use images credited as “source: Pinterest” or specific publication titles. As I’m now working on my own magazine I learnt this: The magazines don’t always necessarily own the images, the photographers are the main copyright holders. The images may have been used with permission from the photographer, but this doesn’t mean that they can be used with crediting the publication only. From this experience my advice to you is simple. Never use images which you don’t have copyrights on. If you really want to use a particular image, contact its owner and buy the copyrights, if necessary. Use it only on agreed platforms and in the correct format. Altering and renaming images may be prohibited by its owner, so have a clear understanding of what you can and can’t do with the images in question.

If you know that your blog has some images (lifestyle, editorials, situ and retail) which you don’t have copyrights to, remove them. Make it a priority and do it asap, so you avoid these emails landing in your inbox because they probably will catch up with you, even if you don’t have your email address or contact details publicly displayed on your website. From now on, create your own!

Hope you find this helpful. Please share this information, if you know someone who might benefit from it. xkb

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My office update

KB-office-old

I’ve been thinking about updating my office for some time now. Since the office needs to serve for my design work and editor’s work as well, I’m finding it hard to keep it organised. It seems that once I clear my desk, it gets cluttered pretty much the following day. I have boxes covering every inch of the floor space and have no efficient filling system at all.

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And so today when I was approached by one of my suppliers about a table lamp they have on offer, my mind went into overdrive. I want to change the rug, the colour scheme, create a proper noticeboard, new storage, lighting, paint the furniture and make it all very chic and elegant but quite relaxed at the same time. And to do all this I have literally zero, yes ZERO, budget!! Okay, maybe peanuts. I have enough for purchasing a paint and a new rug – probably from Ebay or heavily discounted. The rest has to be “shopped” from around the house.

Here is the plan, which I quickly put together..

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Luckily, I already have the wallpaper for the noticeboard so I don’t need that. The print art is from art.co.uk and isn’t that expensive at all. The rug is from Zara Home at the moment, which is on sale. I have to measure it properly though to see how much coverage it would give me under my desks. By the way, if I haven’t mentioned it, my office is in our conservatory which makes is quite hard to work with, considering that all 4 walls have either large windows or doors or both!!

This is the opposite wall..

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I want to have an artificial grass element on the back wall. I’ve seen it in interiors before, especially sunrooms and conservatories and I really like the idea of it. I’m not sure if I’m going to have enough budget for it though so we’ll have to see how it goes.

Stay tuned!

xkb

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Have you heard of eporta?

eporta-2

Side note: If you follow my blog and my journey you know how much I love sharing newly discovered things in interiors, and now with the High In Style magazine, in fashion, beauty and much more. Anything that I find creative, well designed and different makes my life much more exciting, and which I want to write about and share.  But there is so much creative noise out there that is so hard to compete with when it comes to content writing and creation. It’s something I always struggled with.

As the magazine is really taking off and is becoming the biggest success of my career so far.. on a bigger scale (when I compare it to my client’s projects – they are equally my big successes, but more on personal level, if you know what I mean) more on that some other time, I want to change the direction of this blog and only come here when I have something truly unique to share. No more trends, tips, how tos, guides, home tours and latest this and that. I’ve come to a place now where I realised that there are so many other great bloggers and designers writing about exactly that. I wanted to fit in and I tried hard to fit in but over the past 6 months I realised that I no longer want to play the SEO game anymore and be part of it.

I want to strip blogging back to what it was before when it was still in its infancy. This non-competitive space where one can express their creative side, not being influenced by what’s currently hot or trendy. And so from now on I’m saying goodbye to the (professional) blogging world and coming here only when I want to and I have something meaningful to say. Something which can be inspiring enough for you to take away and apply in your life. I think that’s when inspiration, and information, becomes effective.

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Okay, enough of this me-speech and now..have you heard of eporta? I only recently discovered it through the magazine. I’m actually interviewing its founder Aneeqa on Friday for our “open up & inspire” section of High In Style. It’s a marketplace for trade (sorry if you’re not but keep reading on) where you can specify, source and buy products for design projects all under one roof. When working on projects I spend around half of my time, maybe more, basically researching the market  to find the best pieces of furniture, lighting, accessories etc so I can bring the vision to reality. eporta makes life so much easier. I still have to find out more about it but at the moment it really solves one of the biggest problems designers face when it comes to design projects.

So if you are an interior designer, established or up-and-coming, go and check it out. And, if you’re a client let you designer know about it. Because it’s a platform for trade, products are sourced at discount prices which you can benefit from as well. Don’t go and buy directly from showrooms; they always have special rates for designers, architects and builders. It doesn’t make any sense to me sourcing products yourself when you can save money, time and hassle / worries with backorders and wrong deliveries. And if you think that this is completely out of your reach, you’ll be pleased to hear that there are tons of products within your budget as well. I quickly browsed through some of the suppliers and because they are up-and-coming or new to the market, they have really great prices for any budget. It’s amazing what you can find if you know where to look!!

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As you can see eporta is really hitting the nerve on unusual pieces, materials and styles from British and European designers. I haven’t even scratched the surfaces yet. Here’s is the link, if you want to check it out.

xkb

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