Special offer

Don't Be That Blogger Who...

Managing Real Estate Broker with Coldwell Banker Realty VA #0225181914

At some point you've probably heard "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery." It's supposed to make us feel good when someone copies or emulates us. The oft-quoted Oscar Wilde actually said, 

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery

that mediocrity can pay to greatness.”

Ouch! I guess there's a reason the rest of that sentence isn't part of our collective lexicon because it paints the imitator in a pretty negative light. 

When social media was in its infancy, I remember writing a few responses to the "What's on your mind" prompt that used to pop up on my profile. I had a friend who inevitably copied my words and reposted them as her own. Initially, I was flattered she found them amusing enough to share, but it soon grew to annoyance because she claimed my words as her own, and even let commenters believe the crazy story I shared about my day was hers. It may seem petty, but I blocked her from seeing my posts so she couldn't do it again. 

Blogs were born from personal web logs or journals and have evolved into different forms for different purposes. What makes them interesting to read is the perspective of the writer, their thoughts, opinions, and ideas in text form. When new to blogging, or when the occasional writer's block hits, it may be tempting to turn to others for inspiration or for research. Here are a few things NOT to do, so you don't become that blogger:

  • Inspiration is not plagiarism. Remember back in high school, being taught to annotate sources when writing research papers? Don't be that blogger who does a copy and paste job and claims it as their own. Always give credit where credit is due.
  • Research papers are boring. So are textbooks. People enjoy reading blogs because they have the personality of the author interwoven in words. They'll follow you because they want to know what you think. Don't be that blogger who taps out words for the sake of blogging. Say something!
  • Just like my "friend" on social media, make your writing authentic and draw upon your knowledge and experience. Don't be that blogger who catfishes their audience to sell a personality you don't have or an experience you can't deliver. 

Share yourself with your readers so they get to know the real you. Be that blogger the mediocre seek to imitate! 

Imitation is not flattery


Posted by

Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

Branch Vice President

Coldwell Banker Realty

Woodbridge, VA


You know that joke, "My mind is like my web browser. 19 tabs are open, 3 are frozen and I have no idea where the music is coming from"? - yeah, that's me. So many thoughts and ideas I need a place to write them down since no one will give me my own reality tv show. I am passionately addicted to helping others achieve success. I'm out to change the world one happy person at a time by sharing my knowledge, my heart, and my sense of humor each and every day.

Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

That woman must really envy you since she was sharing your life and pretending it was hers, haha.

Dec 30, 2022 06:04 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

HA!! She must have had an incredibly dull life!

Dec 30, 2022 07:35 AM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Chrissy - "Wilde-ness" lives among us.  You have captured its relevance to the blogosphere.  

Dec 30, 2022 07:16 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

Thank you, Sir!

Dec 30, 2022 07:35 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Chrissi,

What a fantastic post and so glad to see a well deserved featured post! I loved your last statement "Share yourself with your readers so they get to know the real you. Be that blogger the mediocre seek to imitate!" Wonderful advice!!!

Dec 30, 2022 09:38 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

Thank you so much! I love getting to know people through their writing. I think creativity is underrated! Appreciate the kind words!


Dec 30, 2022 10:27 AM
John Meussner
Mortgages in AZ, CA, CO, DE, FL, GA, IN, MD, MN, MT, NC, NJ, NV, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WI - Fair Oaks, CA
#MortgageMadeEasy Fair Oaks, CA 484-680-4852

Love this post - I'd never seen the full phrase/quote, and it makes a lot of sense!  The flattery is nice, but it does leave an unpleasant burn when someone just takes your stuff.  I often have people ask "can I share this", and when saying "you can share it but you can't copy/paste it as your own", it's funny how many simply go away and don't share.  Come up with your own ideas!

Dec 30, 2022 09:42 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

"Share" and "copy" are two very different concepts! I must admit, I had not ever seen the full quote either, and really love the shade the second half of it throws on the first! Thank you for taking time to comment.

Dec 30, 2022 10:29 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

This is such good advice, Chrissi, and a wonderful second Challenge entry. Unfortunately copying others (words, photos) seems to happen a lot and has for years. As Dorie also pointed out, I particularly liked your final statement - it is a strong message and a good one!


Dec 30, 2022 10:04 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

I appreciate it, and thank you for giving me the nudge I needed to write a second post!

Dec 30, 2022 10:30 AM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Good entry, and congrats on the feature.

I like this statement you posted:

 ''Share yourself with your readers so they get to know the real you. Be that blogger the mediocre seek to imitate! ''

Dec 30, 2022 12:37 PM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

Thank you so much. We do not want to be among the mediocre

Dec 30, 2022 02:41 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Chrissi- what an excellent post and very feature-worthy!!!!  We've all been inspired by a comment or post but it's important to acknowledge it and write our thoughts in our own words!!! Well done!!!!!

Dec 30, 2022 07:11 PM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

Thank you so much- putting the thoughts into our own words is key!

Jan 02, 2023 05:40 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

Blog fodder is all around us and it only takes an open eye to create something that is unique and brings attention. A lot of good advice here

Dec 31, 2022 11:56 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

I appreciate it.. using your own voice is what sets you apart and makes you unique!

Jan 02, 2023 05:41 AM
George Souto
George Souto NMLS #65149 FHA, CHFA, VA Mortgages - Middletown, CT
Your Connecticut Mortgage Expert

Chrissi Chapman Topoleski a friend does not do what this supposed to be friend did, but it does serve as an excellent example of what not to do, and how quickly to lose a friend.

Dec 31, 2022 02:59 PM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

Lots of truth here.

Jan 02, 2023 05:41 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Dec 31, 2022 07:14 PM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

A great way to end the year! I appreciate it!

Jan 02, 2023 05:42 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

Congratulations on the feature and one must be open to inspiration.  Being inspired is a journey though it may seem like a single event.

Jan 01, 2023 07:26 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

So much inspiration everywhere! I appreciate it.

Jan 02, 2023 05:42 AM
Aura Alex
Seattle, WA
Retired Real Estate Pro

Hello, Chrissi.

Congratulations on your featured post. I enjoyed your post and hope to see more from you.


Jan 01, 2023 09:43 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

Thank you so much!

Jan 02, 2023 05:42 AM
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Realty - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

Hi Chrissi Chapman Topoleski  - Copy and paste can ruin a reputation if you do not give credit.  

Jan 01, 2023 04:45 PM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

With the Internet, a quick copy and paste gets you right to the source.. very easy to find out!

Jan 02, 2023 05:43 AM
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate (435) 632-9374 - St. George, UT
St. George Utah Area Residential Sales Agent

Fantastic post and congrats on the feature!

Plagiarism has no place here, there or anywhere in business, Chrissi. Some people think that if it is on the internet, it's free game, not so! More than once, I have caught people using my material without asking or getting permission.

Jan 01, 2023 07:08 PM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

Very true- it's too easy as there is a ton of information and most will not take time to see if it's original. Frustrating to do the work and have someone claim it as their own.

Jan 02, 2023 05:44 AM
Peter Mohylsky, Destin BeachPro
PMI. Destin - Miramar Beach, FL
Call me at 850-517-7098

I love your post.  hits the mark in a refreshing manner.  I do agree 

Jan 02, 2023 07:47 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

Thank you for reading and commenting

Jan 02, 2023 07:01 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and pointers about writing a blog that can be entertaining and original.

Jan 02, 2023 10:48 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

Thank you so much

Jan 02, 2023 07:01 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Congratulations on your feature - well deserved.  Don't be the catfish!  Great advice we all need to remember. 

Jan 03, 2023 05:18 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

I appreciate it- thank you!

Jan 03, 2023 11:03 AM
Roy Kelley
Retired - Gaithersburg, MD

Thank you very much, for sharing your blogging experience and advice.

Jan 04, 2023 08:45 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

I appreciate the reblog, Roy!

Jan 22, 2023 04:58 PM
Charita Cadenhead
eXp Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Chrissi Chapman Topoleski it really bothers me when I see that people hijack posts, quotes, etc word for word without any acknowledgement of the source.  Depending on the kind of the day I'm having, I'll call them out in the most acknowledging the source (where possible). A simple Google search can sometimes reveal the source.  But plagarists never learn and they don't care.

Jan 17, 2023 05:02 PM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

So true! You see it when you Google for information and the same blurb comes up over and over again on multiple sites. 

Jan 19, 2023 11:38 AM
Craig Daniels
Tech Training for You! - Staten Island, NY
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant

I had to come back and bookmark this post. Thank you for sharing the rest of the Wilde quote. I like the completed version of the quote much better. When can get ideas from other people, that's great (inspiration) but copying them outright (imitation) is truly mediocrity. thanks for this post :)

Jan 20, 2023 08:56 AM
Chrissi Chapman Topoleski

Thank you so much for the comment. I think the full quote taken out of context appears flattering, but when complete- not so much! 

Jan 22, 2023 04:58 PM