I am proud of our website. I have invested countless hours into making it good great. Everything we do at Warline is to raise the bar in our industry. I am not alone either. I am seeing great things coming from like-minded companies that also want our industry to rid itself of the “typical painter” stereotype.
But we have a long way to go. Bad Painters out number good ones by a long shot. And the internet has created a whole new breed of Bad Painters. Painters that promise the moon and don’t deliver. Painters that claim they care but don’t really care about providing decent service or a quality job. Painters that have no problems with doing and saying whatever it takes to get a job. That includes stealing the text and pictures from other painter’s websites to use on their own.
I can’t tell you how many times the text and the photos from my website have been copied by other painters to use on their own site. It happens so often I have a standard email template on file that I keep on hand to email them.
Developing a good website is not easy. Writing good copy is tough work. It takes time and talent. I spend a lot of money to professionally photograph our work. That’s why our photos look so good. I work very hard and invest a lot of time, effort and money to make our website as good as it is.
News flash. I am not doing it to make life easier for the hack painters out there. I am not writing quality content for someone else to re-massage as their own. I am not for sale and my content is not free for the taking because someone likes it.
So, I am fighting back.
Much like I am calling out bad paint jobs and bad practices when I see them, I am calling out the painters that steal my writing and photos from my website. If you steal my photos; if you copy my text and only replace my name for yours; if you use my website as a template for yours and don’t bother to create your own, I will come after you. I will shame you on Facebook. I will tweet to the world that you stole my stuff. I will ask your customers the question “If they would steal photos and content from a website, what would they be willing to steal from your home?” Just like I did to this guy.
Not only did Eldwick copy the text from my site, but they also copied photos of Warline’s work.
I think if you have a painting company website and the photos you are posting are not of your own work (including stock images) you are misrepresenting yourself, but that is your business. However, if you are using photos of my work, that is literally MY business.
I will go after you with full force. If you steal my stuff, I will call you a thief.
Sound harsh? Good.
What you are doing is theft. It lacks integrity. It’s lazy. It’s dishonest. It’s wrong.
It’s a direct reflection of how you conduct your business, and your customers deserve to be warned.
Exactly how sincere and how legitimate can CW Coatings code of conduct be when they stole it directly from my site?
No one at CW Coatings wrote this code of conduct. I did. They didn’t sit down and spend hours developing a protocol that every member of their team adheres to. They didn’t spend time thinking about what a customer should expect from CW’s employees. They saw Warline’s code of conduct, liked it, copied it and pasted it onto their site thinking it might impress someone into hiring their company. A code of conduct is a really important thing to have. Write your own.
And I don’t care anymore if your website designer or employee stole my content and used it for your site and you didn’t know. It’s your site, your company and your reputation. If someone else is writing your content, it is your job to make sure they aren’t stealing it.
I will notify your web hosting company. If they have social media, I will use it to shame you more. I will push them to take down your entire site. I’ve done it many times. The difference is now I will do it publicly.
I will add your company to my list on this site. I will repost this article. For good measure I will include a screen shot of your plagiarism and laziness. One of the benefits of having such a great website is I get lots and lots of traffic.
Enjoy my site. Appreciate the hard work and thousands of hours and dollars that have gone into it. Visit me often. Gets some great ideas on how to make your painting company better. Just don’t steal my stuff.