Best Practices for Giving Attribution & Proper Credit

Best Practices for Giving Attribution & Proper Credit

As a creative and in general, a person who is extremely detail oriented, I noticed the smallest things all the time. This is especially true when it comes to design, especially web design. It’s really funny how some of the things I notice now, as a graphic and web designer, I never noticed as just someone who was browsing.

A while back, I wrote a post discussing authenticity and originality, because I kept seeing over and over many of my friends and counterparts dealing with people copying or stealing their material. I think its something that will continue to plague the creative community, unfortunately, because many people don’t even realize they’re doing it. The same goes for not giving proper attribution or credit when you have either used, modified, or customized someone’s idea or design.

Best Practices for Giving Attribution & Proper Credit | BlissandFaith.com

All too often I see individual’s who will think they are giving the proper credit to the original creator of an idea, but they’re not.

Sometime’s, however, I see a blatant disregard or complete stealing of credit. For example, back in the day, I was browsing through my Bloglovin’, only to land on a site that was using a theme from a very well known blog theme builder and designer, and when I got to the footer of the site, I saw no credit given to the original theme builder.  Instead, the site footer actually said “Site Design by [Said Owner of Site]”.

It didn’t help that this individual does custom site design and that visitors of their site would assume that they did the actual design, development, and customization of the site themselves. This is extremely misleading and untruthful and violates the copyright of the original theme developer.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with using a premade theme and customizing it.

For instance, my site runs on the Genesis Framework and I use one of Studiopress’ premade child themes which I have customized to fit the needs of my site, branding, and style. In this sense, I have designed my site, yet I did not develop it which is why I did not include the word “develop” or the phrase “site design” in my site footer as you can see below.Best Practices for Giving Attribution & Proper Credit | BlissandFaith.com

It may seem like semantics, but it really does matter, because when most people think of the term “site design” or “develop”, they have in mind the actual person who coded and developed the site, not the designer.

What exactly is a Developer?

A developer is someone who actually builds the theme, they code it from scratch or may even take a preexisting theme and build on to it (still doing extensive coding) and designs it.

The Solution

It’s something that can be so easily avoided, but I think that people want to make sure so bad that they’re included in the attribution for their site that they end up inadvertently (or purposely) comprising their integrity.

As with anything that you may modify or adapt from, whether it be a recipe or tutorial you should always give credit or note that it was adapted.  By not doing so, you risk copyright infringement and that’s not good at all.  This also goes for coding, for my fellow designers out there.  If you come across a code that someone is sharing, ensure you leave their attribution in the coding.  There’s absolutely no reason to remove it, even if you modified it..it’ss still an adaptation and their code.

There is a major difference between a web developer and a web designer, and in giving the benefit of the doubt, a lot of people use them (incorrectly) interchangeably.

We’ve already covered what a developer does, so I’ll clarify what a designer does so that you’ll be one less person using the term incorrectly. First things first, a web designer can actually be the person that does the site design, in the sense that they may be the ones to create a mockup of it in Photoshop or Illustrator and then take it to a developer to code.

On the other hand, a web designer can be someone who customizes the website with your brand colors, icons, and sometimes content. They will work within the realm of code, but it’s usually in the capacity of making here and there changes, not overhauling the entire theme. This means that the individual made little to no changes to the coding, with the exception of the hex codes for colors. You haven’t added to or taken away from the theme, but have made it match your branding perfectly, i.e. customized.  – Catch my drift here?

A web designer may be the one that has the creative aesthetic, while a web developer is less concerned with aesthetics and more with UX (user experience).

Alright now that we cleared that up, let’s get back on subject. As I digress…

If you’ve purchased a premade theme and customized it yourself or had someone to do it, you don’t necessarily have to keep a backlink to their site in your footer. Although, some designers and developers do have it as a part of their terms of use that you do. If they don’t, great, but if you’re going to take away their attribution, don’t add your own to make it appear as if you designed the site. If having a backlink doesn’t bother you, you can customize the footer to say whatever you want it to say, but still, include a link to the original designer.


How to Give Proper Attribution & Credit

Here’s an example of good ways to do both of the aforementioned:

Without attribution:

“Copyright © 2015 Your Site Name

With attribution:

“Copyright © 2015 Your Site Name” “Site Design by Original Theme Developer” “Customized by You (or Whoever Did The Customization)


It’s as easy and simple as that. With the examples above, there’s no misleading as to who designed the site and both ways still protect your content on the site. I honestly don’t understand why someone would take credit for something that they didn’t create. Customizing is one thing, but development is another.

As a previous theme developer (don’t develop anymore, but I do still design), I can tell you that to build a theme from scratch or even do heavy customization of a premade theme takes a lot of work.

For instance, with the Genesis Framework, the themes that Studiopress builds and sells are meant to be heavily customized and built upon. This is one reason why their themes have such awesome clean coding and aren’t bloated with unnecessary code. The themes being coded that way also protect the security of them, so sites that run

The themes being coded that way also protect the security of them, so sites that run Genesis themes have a little extra security than sites built by other developers. Additionally, Studiopress themes come with a license to develop, so this means that once you do purchase a theme from them directly (not a third party one, whether sold through them or not), you can make it your own and claim attribution. This is perfectly okay in most circumstances.

However, what is not okay is to purchase a theme from a third party developer of Genesis Framework themes, customize it, meaning change some colors and add your header (to be surface level about it) and claim that you designed that theme. Unless you’ve purchased a developer license from that third party developer, it is wrong to add your name to the attribution using the term “site design”, because you did not design the site.

So whether you’ve done this or not, or didn’t realize it was wrong, it is definitely something that must be kept in mind.  It’s especially important if you’re a fellow designer and happen to do custom site design for others.  Even more so, it’s important for them to know whether you are a developer/designer/builder,  or just someone that does theme customization.  There is a huge difference, and I think a lot of people don’t realize it.


I hope this gives you a bit more insight on the topic of attribution and how to properly give it.  It’s one of those things that’s so simple to mess up, but so simple to do or fix.  Think of it like when you didn’t cite your sources properly or at all in school, and your teacher took off for it.  People deserve to know the true source of where you got something and it’s also giving respect to the individual that created it.

Designers, developers, and those alike work hard, and to have someone claim my work as their own is not only hurtful but disrespectful.  Make sure you’re never in this position by crossing your “T’s” and dotting your “I‘s” when it comes to attribution.

Also, if you don’t know whether a designer requires attribution, ask!  Better safe than sorry and they will appreciate you for it.  Many won’t care if you don’t attribute as long as you don’t claim their work as your own, but of course, it’s always nice to attribute and link back as a courtesy.

What I Wish I Knew When I First Started Creating Content for My Brand

What I Wish I Knew When I First Started Creating Content for My Brand

Whether you’re just getting started in blogging or content creation, or you’re a veteran old bird like me who’s been doing it for over 8 years, you want to ensure you’re creating content for an audience that can actually find it useful and will find value in it.

The last thing any content creator wants to do is create content for air, i.e. content that not a single soul is interested in. Nonetheless, when we first start out oftentimes this is the main thing we do, and it’s through no fault of our own, so to say, we simply don’t know any better and lack direction.

What I Wish I Knew When I First Started Creating Content for My Brand | BlissandFaith.com

We get excited about a particular topic and want to jump in head first, without a strategy, and without knowing if it’s what our audience wants or needs. :::raises hand::: See the thing is that when we start out creating content, we most of the time know who we want to create it for. Like, we have a general idea of who we want to serve with it and who we think will learn most from it.

However, a general idea isn’t good enough, at least not in today’s online world where there are millions, really billions of pieces of content out there ready to flood our brains with information. This is what you’re going up against every time you publish a piece of content online, and we definitely know this to be true when it comes to social media.

Not only is content being created at an exponential rate, but it’s also being shared at the same rate, and it’s also becoming less relevant the older it gets faster than ever before.

Creating relevant content for your audience is one of the main ways to get around this, and its the one thing I wish I knew when I first started creating content for my brand.

When I say specific, yes I’m absolutely referring to creating content for those in a particular niche or if you already are niching down even more. The more specific the individual is that you target, the more certain you can be that they are finding value in your content. In addition, these individuals often tend to be more engaged and supportive — which is especially important when you want to start marketing and selling to them.

Honestly speaking, the transition from personal/lifestyle/mommy blogger to a business blogger was not one that was as easy as I anticipated it to be.

It also didn’t help that I did it at a time when it was pretty much the on-trend thing to do. Despite this, I was uber passionate about blogging about business and was eager to jump into the world of content marketing. Everyone who was already doing it made it look so easy, and they were booked solid or selling products out of the yin-yang.

So naturally, I followed suit thinking that everything everyone else was doing would work for me. Writing blog posts on similar topics, offering similar types of products and services, and employing similar methods for audience education and outreach, like webinars and online trainings, I thought would either all work for me or that I would be able to easily incorporate into my content marketing/marketing strategy with no problem. This wasn’t the case…at all!

It took me longer than I would like to admit, to learn that you can’t do what everyone else is doing and think that it will automatically work for you and result in instant success — even with hard work.

We all know that there is nothing new is under the sun, but the way in which we approach and carry out things should be because we are all different. It’s all the more reason why copying someone will never get you far.

To be honest, yes I totally took inspiration from those around me in my niche and there’s never anything wrong with being genuinely inspired. Nonetheless, my issue was far from copying, but thinking that the same methods others used to grow their businesses and achieve success would work for me.

Sidenote: there is a difference in being inspired or using something as a model to go off of, but to do exactly what someone else is doing, and seemingly, in the same way, will always leave you steps behind not only them but everyone else in your field. This isn’t in relation so much to the methods that people use, because that’s typically what they teach when offering coaching or a course. It’s more of replicating someone’s content attempting to use their same voice, structure, and tone — or literally copying verbatim the content they produce.

Okay, so now that I cleared that up, let’s dive back into why me trying to apply these same “methods for success” that others in my niche were utilizing and how they didn’t work for me.

Now, I’ll be the first to admit that I’m not one to invest in a lot of online courses or subscribe to a lot of people’s email list. I invest intelligently, which is always what I recommend you do, meaning that I invest in things that I genuinely feel will benefit my business, and most importantly from a long-term standpoint.

When I consider investing in an online course, I think first about the practicality of it, and how I’ll be able to apply the education to get results. It works relatively the same way with joining others’ email lists because the last thing I need is someone filling up my inbox with a bunch of content that I won’t take anything away from.

It’s not personal, I promise, it’s simply business. There are a ton of creatives that I follow who have awesome programs, but I know that the odds of me purchasing it are slim to none, because they don’t align with my personal goals or my business’.

So, fortunately, I can say that I haven’t broken the bank investing in a lot of courses or programs that ended up being a bust for me — and that’s all because of my pickiness. However, when it comes to the free content, that’s where I get in trouble. I’m less picky because when things are free you can consume them indefinitely because there is no limit on it ending like that of which would be in a course or program. It’s the free online trainings, webinars, blog posts, and podcasts that get me.

It’s the free online trainings, webinars, blog posts, and podcasts that get me. If you think about it, they all have something in common: interactivity. Yep, even those podcasts that you listen to are interactive, because many of them ask/require that you take some type of action upon listening to them. In addition, while all of these things are interactive they are also very accessible, entertaining, and can be revisited multiple times oftentimes.

Bet you hadn’t thought it from that perspective, or maybe you have. Either way, the inspiration can really sneak up on you, especially when you’re ambitious.

You hear a great tip here, and read one there, and think to yourself — I can do that, too! And you can but in your own special way. I know it sounds cliche’, but its true.

In business, you have to do things your way, through trial and error and create your own story (brand) that tells other about your business in the most genuine way possible. There is no other way to achieve success in business — no shortcuts — than through hardwork, consistency and diligence. I know we all wish there were, because trust I’ve been trying to find them, and to no avail, I know there’s not.

If there’s anything I’ve learned on my journey of growing a business it’s that I have to tell my story, in my way, and without the safety net of depending on others’ experience (good or bad) to become successful.

Everyone has a different journey, some appear easy, quicker, and as if they require less effort, but that usually means that those people are/have done something right.

I’m sure if it that they’ve worked hard, struggled, and had set-backs like the rest of us, and if they haven’t then I guess we’ll just call that luck. Highly unlikely, but still it could be possible, but that’s something I’ve taught myself not to focus on. It’s not how blessed or lucky someone else is in their business or life because while I’m focused on them, I could be focused on myself and achieving and getting my own.

So, as I wrap up here, the main thing I wish I’d known when I started creating content for my brand, and even before that is to keep my head down, put blinders on focus on myself. It’s nothing wrong with seeking education or information when you absolutely need to — say you’re looking for a specific answer to a problem — but you have to draw the line somewhere, and that’s when you are working in your business instead of on it. I found myself not having drawn that line, and because I didn’t I found myself trying to do a million and one things for my business without a clearly defined focus.

In business, all of your efforts must be focused. They must have a clearly defined reason and dedicated focus, because believe it or not your most successful business owners know this.

It’s the reason why they are ultra intentional about the decisions they in their business, even though it may not look like it. Trust that they are because they know that fly by night, by the seat of your pants decisions oftentimes don’t pay off in the best ways. They usually result in time and money lost, and unfortunately sometimes a lot of it :::raises hand to the time part:::: – fortunately not the money part, or at least too much of it. Either way, they’re both kind of the same thing, so it sucks to miss out on both.

My content should have been strategically thought through, planned out, and been able to funnel my audience into my products and services. It should have been able to build the type of trust to create a thriving community full of raving members ready to support me in my business endeavors, resulting in wondrous biz besties.

These are many of the key things that a successful business owner needs, especially one operating a business online these days. They are majorly what I wish I knew when I started creating content for my brand — thankfully, I know them now, so better late than never, right?


What’s the one thing you’d wish you knew in your content creation endeavors when you first started out?

Let me know on a free 20-min 1:1 Content Audit call + get instant feedback on your current content and actionable tips that you can implement immediately to level up your content and ensure it’s in direct align with your brand’s mission, vision, and values.

Bliss & Faith Free Content Audit | BlissandFaith.com

<span class=Give Your Blog a Spring Cleaning: How to Effectively Conduct a Content Audit + A free content audit checklist to help you do it " />

Give Your Blog a Spring Cleaning: How to Effectively Conduct a Content Audit + A free content audit checklist to help you do it

Spring is here, live and in effect in Georgia and that means I’m beyond stoked to experience some wonderful 80-degree weather. Seriously though, I really ready for the 90-degree summer days, but Spring’s a lovely time of the year, I mean heck I’m a spring baby so naturally, I have an innate love for it.

With that being said, it’s also a great time to hit the reset button on well everything in life because this time of the year every is anew. Even better, spring is an excellent time to get your business in order now that the holidays have passed, tax season is over (yesterday was the deadline by the way), and Q1 is over. More specifically, it’s an awesome time to get your blog and content creation and marketing strategy in order for the rest of the year.

How to Effectively Spring Clean Your Blog and Conduct a Content Audit | BlissandFaith.com

It seems like a lot of people sleep on this time of the year because things tend to slow down and people want to slow down with it.

The lack of action is super counterproductive because when things slow down, it’s actually the perfect time to get ahead of the game. The reason being is because when things pick back up; school starts back up, the holidays roll back around, etc. the time to get things done becomes extremely limited. When you working in this space of busyness and hustle, you’re bound to miss things or not put your work out there because something has to give, and it always does — and many times it does so unintentionally.

As I digress, when I say to get ahead of the game I mean in terms of business, and setting up and following processes and systems to ensure that you get things done, i.e. content creation. Not to get too deep into it in this post, but in order to set up process and systems, you need a strategy to base them off of first.

Recommended reading4 Systems to Help You Simplify and Create Content Consistently

When you have a solid strategy for your business (or blog), you know exactly the type of content you want to produce and for who. Many of us don’t start off with one when we first start out blogging, and sometimes even in our business especially if we start it on an unintentional whim. This means that over time we will have inevitably created a lot of content (and products, too) that don’t necessarily serve our audience and/or customers in a valuable way.

You’ll know if your content is being deemed as valuable by how it performs, which is the first step I lay out and go into detail about in my content audit checklist which I’ve created as a free resource to help you clean house on your blog by taking a deeper look at the content you’ve already created.

When it comes to content you’ve already created, and knowing whether or not to get rid of it, you need to ask yourself a series of questions:

1. How is my content performing from a traffic standpoint?

2. Is my content organized – can it be easily navigated, read, and digested?

3. How is my content converting across platforms (on your site, email, social media)?

4. Does my content accurately reflect my voice?

5. Is my content error-free (grammatically speaking) with good readability?

6. Does my content contain broken links or inaccurate references?

7. Is my content optimized for search engines (SEO)?

On a basic level, these are the questions you want to ask yourself because they will give you a good overall idea of the quality of your content, and we all know that high-quality content performs best. I included a slew of considerations and tips to help examine your content in my content audit checklist, download it below ??.


How to Effectively Spring Clean Your Blog and Conduct a Content Audit | BlissandFaith.com

The checklist is based on the exact thought process that I’ve been using for months to clean up my blog. It’s seriously a resource that will help you strategically create content for your audience going forward.

I seriously wish I had started off with a checklist like it or came across one before I got over two years into trying to grow a business. For the longest, literally up until this year I was still creating content that was all over the place. I thought that producing content about everything under the sun in the female creative entrepreneur niche was the way to go. Well, it wasn’t because although I know a lot about a lot in my niche, I was still way too broad in the type of content and products and services I was creating and offering.

For the longest, literally up until this year I was still creating content that was all over the place. I thought that producing content about everything under the sun in the female creative entrepreneur niche was the way to go. Well, it wasn’t because although I know a lot about a lot in my niche, I was still way too broad in the type of content and products and services I was creating and offering.

I will say that before you jump into getting rid of content, you need to have a clear idea of who you want to serve and why. When I became solid on that earlier this year, it made content creation a lot easier and getting rid of old content even more so. There are many ways to become clear on who you want to serve, whether that be doing some introspection and realizing what you’re most passionate about when it comes to creating content, as well as who your most passionate about serving. You can also look at your highest performing content and see if there are any trends within (does it get shared or commented on most?

There are many ways to become clear on who you want to serve, whether that be doing some introspection and realizing what you’re most passionate about when it comes to creating content, as well as who your most passionate about serving.

Look at your highest performing content and see if there are any trends within (does it get shared or commented on most?

You can also look at your highest performing content and see if there are any trends within (does it get shared or commented on most? does it garner a lot of support or feedback?).

This content is the content that is best serving your audience, so it would definitely behoove you to create more of it (as long as you’re passionate about it, otherwise you will get burnt out on creating it). ?

How to Effectively Spring Clean Your Blog and Conduct a Content Audit | BlissandFaith.com


Schedule a free 20-min 1:1 Content Audit call + get instant feedback on your current content and actionable tips that you can implement immediately to level up your content and ensure it’s in direct align with your brand’s mission, vision, and values.Bliss & Faith Free Content Audit | BlissandFaith.com