1. What are the 'unwritten rules' about copying content that we bloggers should all abide by?
I think people need to link back. If the written content isn't original or the picture isn't yours then you should definitely give credit where credit is due. In terms of wearing a similar outfit or posing in a similar location I think it's best practice to make note that you were inspired by whatever blog or other publication. I try to do that if I am aware.
2. They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. But when is a post imitation and when is it copying?
I think when a post is practically lifted ver batim from that is without a doubt copying. This includes changing a few words to similar synonyms in an attempt change the content. I think imitation comes when you are inspired by what someone does and you try it out for yourself developing your own related content. I think in OOTD blogs it is harder (maybe I'm an idealist) to flat out copy the pictures or the content of your daily outfit post because it is you in the pictures not the supposed culprit. Unfortunately, I have seen it more often if you are putting up an advice section about what to wear to a certain type of event, organize your closet, cook something, make something, etc. it is easier to copy.
3. Taking another blogger's idea (perhaps for an outfit, or DIY tutorial) is pretty common in the blogging world. Do you think it is necessary to credit the original source?
As I said before, I think it is very necessary to give credit where credit is due. Alot of work goes into blogging, from the written word to the design to the page content, and there is little to no compensation for most of us.
4. How have you improved your blog by comparing it to other blogs? Have you made changes due to something you have seen others doing?
If I had to pinpoint one thing I think the photography has changed on my blog tremendously. I noticed that I like viewing outfits on other blogs that had larger pictures in outdoor spaces and figured I have a tripod/BF why not give that a try? I like the way it has turned out so far! Unfortunately the nights are coming earlier and it is getting so cold outside... Way to kill my new system seasons!
5. Have you ever had one of your posts copied by another blogger or publication? How did you handle the situation?
Actually no, I haven't. At least that I know of anyway. I kind of wish I had! If they gave me some credit, that is...
What are your best practices when it comes to inspiration from other sources? Check out everyone elses answers on ModlyChic!