Can I Mention You? Can I Link to You?

Continuing the theme of better blog posts, this post is for artists who are new to the blogosphere or just having an online presence. Jackie Davidson was curious about the etiquette of linking to people. She wrote:

I have mentioned you on my website as being one of the workshops I most recently attended. Is this okay? Would you want a link from that paragraph to your website?

Yes, it’s perfectly okay to mention me. In fact, mention me often. And link to me. Link big and link often! But only if it’s nice. 😉

Seriously, mentioning someone on your site or blog is a generous gesture for which you really don’t need permission.
You’ll get bonus points if you also provide a good text link. That means that you link to searchable text words (art marketing, artist newsletter, Alyson Stanfield, greatest artist coach in the world) rather than just the URL (

You DO need permission if you are copying an entire text from someone’s copyrighted material. My newsletter gives permission to do this, but also gives specific wording that should be used when doing so. (See the bottom of this page.) And I use a Creative Commons license on this blog (see the bottom of the left column). Check the fine print of anyone’s newsletter, Web site, or blog to find this information.

What I don’t appreciate seeing is my content under someone else’s name or my newsletter forwarded without any credit. I think I can safely speak for most people out there who are trying to build a business online: If you’re prepared to give me credit and a link, go for it!

Image ©Jackie Davidson, My Blue Heaven.

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7 thoughts on “Can I Mention You? Can I Link to You?”

  1. I hope it’s okay because I link to you all the time. 😉 But in all (or some) seriousness, I consider bloggers to be the new press. And press don’t need permission to do a review. Obviously when you’re dealing with re-publishing images you should get permission. Personally I don’t even mind that as long as I get a credit. (I have my Google feeds set up to alert me when someone uses my name, Etsy name, blog and shop links, etc. so I’ll see it.) A handy tool for bloggers is the new Zemanta sort of ‘plug-in’ for blogs. ( As well as helping find related keywords, links and allowed-use images (through Flickr creative-commons mainly) it also lets you put a “re-blog this” button right on each post! I’d love for people to reblog because I blog the info I have to help other artists, and I can’t possibly reach everyone one my own.

  2. Alyson B. Stanfield

    Beadedlily: I agree! How nice to have your images on other sites along with your name and a link! I wish all artists felt this way. Tina: You’re my role model for an “early adapter.” I can always count on you to have god techy resources. Thanks!

  3. I mention other people on my blog a lot and my aim is always to follow best practice in relation to links and accreditation. My routine is as follows: – highlight their name in bold (that counts I understand in Google search terms) – include a link to their relevant blog or website ie name of site and embedded URL – highlight (usually) the specific title of the blog post (and embed the specific post URL). Those people who take a little time selecting good words for a title will be especially appreciative if you use the exact title! – never use more than a brief excerpt from text without permission from the author – never use an image without permission from the artist/photographer. IMO it’s exactly the same as extracting all the text of a post – and copyright restrictions vary from person to person. Don’t assume because one person allows it that others do also. I slapped an ‘all rights reserved’ on my blog after I found people using my images as ‘decoration’ with no hyperlinked credit on their blog posts. It’s not a good idea to assume that any publication on another blog will be welcomed. – There is an exception. I’ve found that where I’ve built up a relationship with an individual over time, through having asked and got repeated written permission for use of their images that I get to the point where know what I can and cannot do. I find people are happy with me using their images because they know they always get proper accreditation – and traffic! However I still don’t presume and think it’s essential to be courteous, let them know by sending a link and offer to take down anything they don’t like. – I try to remember to use a credit which indicates permission has been received. It’s a useful reminder to others that there is a permission process involved. For people who are protective of their images and text I suggest Google Alerts are a good way of finding people who think that a simple mention of your name with no link back is enough! One final pointer – and it’s the one I’m awful at – is that if you reference somebody by name do make sure you spell a person’s name correctly! I somehow manage to triple check and still miss incorrect spellings – until I get the email asking for a correction!!!

  4. Alyson B. Stanfield

    Katherine: Great list! And I love the reminder to spell the name correctly. As someone whose name is constantly misspelled, I do wish that people would be more considerate.

  5. THANK YOU, Alyson, I just had to say that this blog post of yours really truly hit home, as it’s a matter I’ve been dealing with all year long. Some time back in March someone visited my site, and without asking or acknowledging, took 19 images from my site and emailed them out to friends. No name was used, no link back. I’ve mentioned this one to you before, as it has resulted in tremendous webhits from literally all over the world and has been tremendous for business and publicity- but those came from people who diligently Googled until they found me. Some told me they spent an hour or more in searching before they found the origins of those painted feathers. Most did not research at all. This perpetuated in blogs. Many did seek out the origins so that they could credit the right person, but many others blogged those images without any name at all – or worse, the wrong name. I’ve seen credit go to Ispeshul, Charles of Sooke, Fropki, etc. and I’ve seen others attest that these images were fraudulent, that they were created digitally. The fraud rumour has been widespread enough that investigated and found my site. My gratitude goes to the webmaster, for he contacted me recently and alerted me to an article that he just posted, which dispels the hoax-rumours: Yes, this random email has done a lot. But what more would have occurred with the simple inclusion of a name or a url? So to all those who do enjoy forwarding emails and listing images in blogs, please do include your source! No one likes to see their hard work get credited to someone else or labeled as a hoax, and recipients really do like to click on the link to see the origins or do further reading. I know I sure do. Kindest regards, ~Julie~ Featherlady Studio

  6. Pingback: Blog class “patients” check out with improved blogs — Art Biz Blog

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