copy and paste image 1No, I’m not saying to plagiarize another blogger’s writings.

What I am saying is sometimes we write what could be a post and don’t even realize it.

Today’s Lesson

As I was reading the comments on The Battle Over Comments – Part 2, Davina’s reply reminded me of something I’ve done and wanted to share.

In part, Davina said,

…I once did a word count on my replies to a batch of comments and found I had written the equivalent of another post….

Lance of Jungle of Life echoed the same saying he’s thought of shortening his replies, as did Sara B. Healy of A Sharing Connection and Patricia of Patricia’s Wisdom

Cutting down on how much we write in a comment can save us time, but so can what we write.

And it’s not just on our own blog, but on the blogs we visit.

I don’t know about you, but there have been many times when a blogger has inspired me to the point I wrote a lengthy comment. It’s when I’m rereading my words I realize the material would be perfect for a topic on which I can expand.

So what I’ve done, is either copied or cut what I wrote, and pasted it into my “edit post” screen. From there, I continue to complete the thought.

As we all know, our muse can remain elusive at times, but if we take the time to reread what we’ve written in our comments, we often find our muse is alive and well.

Today’s Assignment

Other than “have you ever done this?”, I couldn’t think of other questions to ask on today’s lesson.

Therefore, what I am asking is for those who are reading this to go to Patricia’s blog on which she is offering a beautiful free ecookbook, and download it.

As Patricia mentioned in the comments of the The Battle Over Comments – Part 2 post,

I was offered matching funds for my eBook recipe book today (11/30/09) – if I can get 1000 people to open the eBook this week the company will give $1000 to UNICEF….so far the book has only had 137 opens…I am hoping I make it

Let’s help Patricia make it and raise an additional $1000 for UNICEF.

Just scroll down to near the bottom of her Harvest Potluck UNICEF Fundraiser post and find this link,

To download your free copy of the ebook, click here.

signature for blog post.

P.S. The recipes in the ebook were contributed by bloggers from all over the world. My contribution is the last recipe in the book – Rich and Tasty Scones. YUM!!!

P.S.S. By Tweeting, Stumbling, and/or blogging about Patricia’s ecookbook, we can help spread the word. :)

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  1. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Barbara,
    Well…I don’t think I have done this…and I really love the idea!! Even if it’s just to store the thought for a later time and to use it as a building block for a post – having it somewhere where it’s easily accessible sounds really, really good! Okay…headed over to visit Patricia…
    .-= Check out Lance´s awesome post: Sunday Thought For The Day =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lance,

      I hope this idea works well for you. Having done it myself, I do know it’s a real time saver.

  2. ElizaNo Gravatar says:

    I haven’t done this, but I have done something similar. When I respond to questions my business clients have, I tend to write little stories for them using analogies. Once I am done, I realize that if they have that question, then other people running businesses will too. So, I ‘cut & paste’ the email, and turn it into a post.
    .-= Check out Eliza´s awesome post: The (Mis)Adventures of Mike: Mapping out business processes =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Eliza,

      That’s another great idea. Like you said, in emails we often write tons of valuable information. Hence, why not share it with our readers, as well.

  3. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. I’ve done something similar; I keep a Word document and when one of the comments I’ve written inspires me, I copy it into that document. After I wrote that comment I made about shortening my replies to commenters, I was once again writing replies to my latest post and they are getting longer instead of shorter! :-) Need a new Plan A. I can vouch for Patricia’s ebook; I downloaded a copy and it is spectacular. Thanks for the link Barbara. Cheers.
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: Where Did that Crummy Paddle Go? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      I like your idea of keeping a Word document of your comment ideas. Since I use WordPress, I just start a new post and title it “ideas”. It’s great to have those to fall back on, isn’t it?

  4. HilaryNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara .. what a good idea. I am constantly thinking .. oh oh I could add that bit of information to one of my posts .. so I know I can do another later on .. but I have seen some brilliant comments from readers in this and other blogs and I’m sure it would help the creativity.

    Good idea to put a draft in the edit post section .. I have a word doc doing similar and a box of interesting articles, ideas around which to base my next post on .. I’ve started a research doc on the new post, and then written the post (2nd doc) and then there’s usually left overs (I know there’s a technical term (?out-takes) .. can’t think for now) .. which at some stage I’ll get to .. or they’ll be ditched. I have written up articles as I’ve listened to the radio or the tv – which I can adapt later on.

    I must go and stumble Patricia’s post .. I’ve downloaded the ebook .. I think .. as I too have a recipe in there … Cornish pasties, which I intend to make for us tomorrow .. my mouth is watering .. and there are yummy recipes in there ..

    Have a good week – Hilary Melton-Butcher
    Positive Letters Inspirational Stories
    .-= Check out Hilary´s awesome post: What Christmas memory comes back to you at the beginning of December? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Hilary,

      Writing those ideas down is so important for when we’re looking for a new post idea or our muse seems to be dormant. I lost count of how many drafts I have, but just keep adding to them.

      P.S. I LOVE Cornish pasties. My ancestors came from Finland and they made them quite frequently. When time permits, I make them too. Yummy!

  5. One important tip: Don’t copy/paste form Word. So if you happen to use Word before doing your posting/replying its best to put it into the HTML tab of your WP post. As Word copies a load of nonense formatting with your text that can end up ruining it.

    Thought I’d mention it as I’ve been hit by it a number of times.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Pink Boxing Gloves,

      Thank you for that tip. Fortunately I don’t post to Word, but I do see some of the other commenters said they did. Correcting the code could end up costing us precious time.

  6. Mike GoadNo Gravatar says:

    Great idea, though I’ve never done anything like it. I guess the closest I’ve come is using another blog post on one of my other blogs as a reference to develop a new post on my Exit78 blog.
    .-= Check out Mike Goad´s awesome post: Balcony House and more =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mike,

      That’s one good thing about having more than one blog. We can “cross post”, so to speak.

  7. Wendi KellyNo Gravatar says:

    I haven’t done it, but I probably should! It’s a good idea and god knows I can be long winded with a comment often! I like the idea of keeping file. Hmmm, I think I’s going to start one!.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Wendi,

      You’ll have to try it. I just start a new post and save it as a draft. Then when you need an idea, there it is.

  8. Patricia’s done an amazing thing, but not surprising as she is one of the most giving and thoughtful people I have ever known.

    And what a cool idea on how to potentially write a whole blog post, Barbara. Your fertile mind just never stops whirling, does it? Lucky for us!
    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: Getting To Know Him… Getting To Know All About A Wonderful Blogger. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Jannie,

      LOL. The mind doesn’t feel so fertile some days. But you know what they say, “if you don’t use it, you lose it”. Yikes! I can’t have that happening. :)

  9. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    Yes I have done this and I have seen other bloggers take inspiration from one of my posts to write a full post of their own.

    I think this is great thing to do. It is really nice to see a link to the original thought on the post as well.
    .-= Check out Chase March´s awesome post: Passing Fear onto Your Students =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chase,

      That’s true. Sometimes others will inspire us to expand on an idea. And like you said, it’s a great way to show link love, too.

  10. We think so much alike. Before I read this post I edited my comment in the previous post to suggest that sometimes comment replies turn into posts. Murray Newlands has published a couple of my posts, adding his own thoughts at the bottom the way he did for my Thankful MEME.

    I have also been experimenting with using Zemanta’s reblog post to make specific posts or even paragraphs within a post easier for others to republish. I will comment from the blog where I’m doing that so you and your readers can see how that works.
    .-= Check out Internet Strategist @GrowMap´s awesome post: How Guest Blogging Can Change Your Life =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Internet Strategist,

      I read your comment earlier and checked out your post and Zemanta. I’m not quite sure how it works, but it does look like a fascinating tool that could be a real time saver.

  11. ExecGiftsNo Gravatar says:

    Have you seen the reblog function of the free tool Zemanta? Zemanta is a browser add-on that works in WordPress and makes it easy to copy part or all of a post to be edited and republished.

    I have been adding the reblog function to each post in the Top 99 Best Selling Holiday Gifts posts I’m publishing. In the post featured in CommentLuv for this comment clicking on the “reblog” link at the end of the post explains what I’m doing and how reblogging works.

    Although some may be concerned that it would encourage plagiarism, scraped sites are the major cause of that and they are automated and hit us anyway.

    I would love to hear what others think about using reblog. Would you use it in your own blog? Would you assume that meant you could copy/paste entire blog posts? What do you think, Barbara?
    .-= Check out ExecGifts ´s awesome post: Top Selling Holiday Gift Ideas Countdown =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Exec Gifts,

      When I checked out Zemanta, I noticed how we can copy an excerpt from a post and use it that way. It’s too early to say whether I’ll use it or not, but I’m definitely open to new ideas and ways of saving time.

      I also noticed how Zemanta adds similar links. I’m guessing we can edit those. Is that correct?

      • Hi Barbara – Yes, Zemanta allows you to select the related posts, as well as refine its search. It’s been fun to see PassingThru appear within Zemanta’s search feature, which is a little perk that a blog will get after it utilizes the Zemanta feature for a while.

        A similar excerpt feature is available with the Apture plugin, which I’ve been using for quite some time. It allows you to embed a scrollable excerpt just as you might a video or photo. I used it this morning to embed an excerpt of Patricia’s E-book post.

        I can’t say enough good things about Apture – it has cut down my research for links and visual elements immensely. And it embeds videos so that they show up in Google’s RSS function – something the YouTube standard embed does not do. We’ve been fortunate to have been selected for a beta test of Apture’s new version, and it’s really awesome.

        See? Now I’ve digressed and written half a post in your comments section. You wouldn’t ever have thought I’d fall on the side of brevity, would you? ;-)
        .-= Check out Betsy Wuebker´s awesome post: A Potluck Full of Do and Feel Good =-.

        • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

          Hi Betsy,

          Thank you for the rave reviews of Zemanta and Apture. I’ve seen how you’ve been using Apture on your blog, but never took the time to look into it. After what you and ExecGifts said, I’ll definitely research both of them further and maybe put them to the test.

          Brevity? No, not you Betsy. :)

  12. Less is more.

    I’ve been finding lately that shorter but meatier posts work best with my visitors…so I’m generally more ruthless these days in hacking down my writings. What used to be one blog post from me now can be 2 or 3 (especially if I add in video!).

    And love the cookbook thingee – will tell my network about it too. Thanks for the headsup!
    .-= Check out Barbara Ling, Virtual Coach´s awesome post: The ULTIMATE Guide to Confident Writing – A Rousing Review =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Barbara,

      Like you, I find my readers respond better to shorter posts, too. Like you said, that works out perfect as we can turn one post into two or more.

      Enjoy the cookbook “thingee” and thank you for letting your network know about it. :)

  13. Yes, I’ve done it! Turned a comment into a post + linking to the blogger who has inspired the idea. I’ve seen others do it, too.
    .-= Check out vered | blogger for hire´s awesome post: Former Miss Argentina Dies After Cosmetic Surgery =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      That works pretty slick, doesn’t it? It not only saves us time, but shows our fellow blogger how they’ve inspired us.

  14. Chris EdgarNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara — that sounds like a great idea — and we can apply the same idea to our blog posts too, I think, since they can be turned into magazine articles, e-books, regular books (like I did) and so on.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chris,

      That’s right. Our blog posts make for great material for books and/or magazine articles. And the best part is, we already have most of the work done.

  15. Hey Barbara, Sean from http://www.psychotactics.com does this all the time and recommends it. I’ve started doing it as well. He writes answers to questions on his forum, full, complete, long answers. Then copies the answer, may change it up a bit, and uses it as a blog post.

    The questions he’s asked become posts, they’re directly from his target market. By answering the question on the forum he finds out what wasn’t included in his answer when people ask more questions. Then there’s more answers and more posts.

    It’s a very clever and effective way to leverage your efforts for more than one medium and audience.

    And has anyone mentioned that they can later all be bundled into an ebook?

    Leverage, second best thing since sliced bread. :-)
    .-= Check out Melinda | WAHM Biz Builder´s awesome post: Ketchup…. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Melinda,

      I checked out the link to Sean’s site and it looks to be a powerhouse of great stuff. Thank you.

      What you said is so true. One idea can spark so many more and they can snowball into tons of value.

      And that’s true. We love leverage. :)

  16. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara – That is a great idea. I’ve seen Mike Goad doing something similar when he was travelling and couldn’t reply to comments for a while. I think I’m going to give it a go.
    .-= Check out Cath Lawson´s awesome post: 5 Ways To Transform Ordinary Business Ideas =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Catherine,

      You’ll have to let me know how it worked for you. I find it’s a huge time saver and sparks new blog post ideas.

  17. Hi Barbara,
    I love this idea. Its such a time saver when you actually are short of time..and have no clue where your next post is going to come from.
    I have done the writing notes on the edit screen…if an idea pops in my head…but never cope paste. Such a simple yet powerful tool.
    I have gotta give it a try.
    Thank you fro this awesome lesson Barbara.
    Lots of love
    Z
    .-= Check out Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s awesome post: Earning Goodwill while Dealing With People =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Zeenat,

      Your comments reminds me of how when we visit blogs in our niche, we often get long winded with our words as we’re so passionate about the topic. So yes, like you said, copy and paste can be a simple and powerful tool.

  18. Jason TippNo Gravatar says:

    Copy/paste makes things go faster but I wonder is your reply helping achieve higher position on google’s search results? I’m wondering because the content is so important right now and with many different replies maybe it is possible to increase blog’s position?

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jason,

      I don’t know if it would necessarily help our position with Google, but it would certainly give us something to build on. At that point, we could add keywords or keyword phrases and hopefully capture some of that search engine traffic.

  19. George AngusNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    I’m so bad about this. I’ll go, “Oh, that would make a great post.” I always think that I’ll remember it and I usually forget.

    I’ll try your method to see how it works.

    George
    .-= Check out George Angus´s awesome post: Flash Fiction Chapter – Orb =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi George,

      I hear you. Our memory often escapes us no matter how much we think it won’t. I like to write things down and they I don’t even have to worry about if I’ll remember it later or not.

  20. suzenNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara!
    Great idea! I have a notebook – my blog idea one – that I may scribble an idea down from a comment here and there that eventually I will write my own blog about. That idea needs time to marinate and also time to not be obviously “stolen”. I just ran across a blogger that used my comment in their very next post, no attribution either. Whenever I’ve used so much as a phrase from another, I always mention where the idea came from. I think it’s only fair, don’t you?
    .-= Check out suzen´s awesome post: Millie Wisdom – Fa-la-la Let’s Shop! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Suzen,

      It sounds like you’ve got this down pat with your blogging notebook.

      As for giving attribution for ideas, in a perfect world, others would link to the source, however, we know how that goes. In your case, the blog author’s readers would probably spot that, and know it was you who “said it first”.

      Another thing I also see a lot of is bloggers writing about the same topic around the same time. With only so many elements to a niche, that’s easy to do even though it looks like they are copying each other.

      • suzenNo Gravatar says:

        Hi Barbara – Yeah the notebook is probably “old fashioned” but since I didn’t pass the grade on cut and paste, it’s the bimbo’s way of staying non-techy I guess. Whatever works……….As for attribution, I let it go. If imitation is a form of flattery, my ego will hafta shut up!

        Glad you liked Millie – the best Millie story was July 23rd – hope you have time to look that one up! It’s a hoot!
        .-= Check out suzen´s awesome post: Millie Wisdom – Fa-la-la Let’s Shop! =-.

  21. Hi Barbara,
    I just left a lenghty comment at http://www.StaceyShipman.com. She blogged about exercising with family over the holidays.

    I told how we skated on our pond on Christmas Eve with my dad, siblings and neighbors, then I went into another story. I think I’ll take that right over and write an early post for Christmas Eve. I’ve been inspired by my own comments and comments that others leave. I’m doing more of this for sure. Yeah!
    .-= Check out Tess The Bold Life´s awesome post: 7 Steps for Climbing the Staircase to Joy =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tess,

      Isn’t that great how that happens. We never know where our inspiration will come from.

      Skating on a pond? Yep! We used to do that too – at my grandparents. Such fun and good memories. :)

  22. DotNo Gravatar says:

    Yes, I’ve done this, especially when the blog post has led inspired me to not only respond, but go far afield from the original idea. Great idea! However, I LOVE long comments from others on my blog! I do try to keep my replies to the comments shorter than the comment itself, which can lead me to another post.
    .-= Check out Dot´s awesome post: Comment on Full Disclosure by Dot =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Dot,

      Don’t you love when that happens? One idea can inspire more thoughts and before we know it, we’re onto a completely different topic which can become great material for our own blog post.

  23. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    A big time saver for me has been dumping my post ideas into a notebook, where they can brew over time. This way I don’t have to start from scratch and I keep my mind freed up, by having a place for things.

    I did a quick count, and stopped after my C’s … it’s more than 70 (and it goes through Z.)

    I also keep two separate notebooks (in the form of Word docs):
    1. Mostly done drafts
    2. Ideas (this is the bulk and I don’t feel compelled to publish them all)
    .-= Check out J.D. Meier´s awesome post: How To Think Like Bill Gates =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi J.D.

      WOW! That sounds like a HUGE collection of ideas you’ve got going.

      I do agree. When we download ideas out our heads, it opens our mind up to that which needs our immediate attention and often leads to greater creativity.

  24. Great idea, Barbara! I just commented on a topic that is near and dear to my heart, and boy was I wordy. So I did as you advised, copied and pasted into a draft post on WP, and lo and behold it’s 400 words. Yikes. I had no idea. Thanks.
    .-= Check out Patty – Why Not Start Now?´s awesome post: Retracing My Steps =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Patty,

      Isn’t amazing how fast those words add up? Look at you, before you knew it, you had 400 words which you can build on, edit and then publish as a post. WooHoo! :)

  25. Barbara — As I tend to leave long winded comments, I’m sure I could find lots of material:~) As I think back to recent comments,I remembered a comment I left on someone’s site that could be made into a post.

    I really appreciate you bringing up this idea. I will pay more attention to this now and see if there are seeds of a potential post in my comments. I keep an on-going “works in progress” folder and now I think I’ll add an “idea” folder.

    Thanks for this nudge! Oh….I did download Patricia’s book. She did a great job with this. As I don’t cook, I’m emailing it my special someone who loves to cook. I’m sure he’ll have a great time with it:~)
    .-= Check out Sara B. Healy´s awesome post: 2010 Calendar Giveaway =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Sara,

      You know what else is good about this? We could even go back to old comments we left (on our own blog or others) and build off of those.

      Yes. Patricia did a fabulous job on the cookbook. That’s a great idea to pass it onto others, too.

  26. PatriciaNo Gravatar says:

    Thank you Barbara for the shout out….the ecookbook reached 400 reads at about 5pm PST today…I think we may just make it …and someone pointed out to me this is just for READS….that means other than my IT and myself , others can double and triple dip reads….Thank you to all who came over from this post and shout out to take a look and read the book..
    the book is truly a gift from everyone who participated…a very dry, sublime stone soup!

    Barbara I have now done the comments to post thing two times…and given credit back to the inspiring blogger. It is really fun and I feel as though I have “made a point” even better and that is always a load off my chest.

    thank you again and again…and I made the Tasty Scones and they are a WOW
    .-= Check out Patricia´s awesome post: Tripping and Reading the Light Fantastic =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Patricia,

      I’ve had fun promoting your work. And it’s for such a good cause. I commend you for that and all you do. 400 reads and climbing. Yipeeee! :)

      That’s true what you said. When we take our ideas from a comment and expand on them, we can make the point on a larger scale.

      P.S. Glad you like the scone recipe. It’s a favorite of mine which I got from a neighbor. Yummmmy!

  27. Hi Barbara,

    Inspiration can strike anytime and anywhere. So I totally understand what you mean by getting inspired by a response to a comment or by a comment. That is the beauty of the creative process, we are constantly surrounded by inspiration. We just need to open our eyes and be aware of what is around us at all times.

    And cool on the ecookbook that Patricia did! Awesome! :)
    .-= Check out Nadia – Happy Lotus´s awesome post: When in Doubt: To Be Like John or Jesus? Part One =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Nadia,

      You said that so well. Inspiration does surround us and “We just need to open our eyes and be aware of what is around us at all times. “.

  28. [...] of Erasing The Board brought up a good point in the comment section of the Save Time – Copy and Paste A Post article. She said, in part, I just ran across a blogger that used my comment in their very next [...]

  29. TimNo Gravatar says:

    Well, I have written more than one post based on other people’s comments, but never on my own. Interesting idea… Also good idea to leave a disclaimer for us commentors!
    .-= Check out Tim´s awesome post: Twilight and the Bestiality vs. Necrophilia Debate =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Tim,

      You’ll have to try it. Any time we leave a lengthy comment it’s potentially inspiration for a post. Of course it does depend on the topic of our blog, but it is amazing how another blog author can inspire us to dig deep and share our experiences and/or thoughts.