Why You Should NOT Steal Content

thiefI came across a blog post the other day titled Why You Should Steal Content, and, I must admit, as a content provider I found that a little insulting.

Ain’t nobody gonna take my original work!?!?

Alright, yes, I see that he’s going is more of a get inspiration for your content from other people’s ideas direction. But even that doesn’t really work for me. Especially when he compares it to a seven-year-old copying a superhero during playtime and not worrying about plagiarism. Uh, that’s not the same.

Because, frankly, your stuff won’t get read if you’re just recycling what someone else already published. Picasso may have said “Good artists borrow, great artists steal,” but that doesn’t mean he was right. Someone can copy Picasso’s style but she’s not Picasso – she will never have the same recognition or following as Picasso. She’ll never be considered an expert because she’s a copy. No one wants to be second rate.

And nobody wants to read the same old stuff over and over again. In a world where content is on the verge of becoming supreme ruler of the universe (king-sming), saturating the Internet with duplication is not the answer. Being an original is key to being read, plain and simple.

So, then, how do you penetrate that sticky film of the been-there-read-that variety?

Life Application
Take from your own experiences and tell the world what you learned; no one knows better than you. It can be something as simple as finding a new stimulant to stay on task when coffee stopped working, to finding new inspiration in a tech-less world, or sharing how you managed to startproducing work like a super computer. Or, like me, read a blog post by somewhere else, disagree with it, and put your thoughts down for everyone else to read and disagree with.

Forget the Box
Copying someone else’s work is, essentially, staying inside the safety of the box. Then there’s the whole “think outside the box” approach. Well, I sayforget the box entirely! Stop confining yourself at all, because even going outside the box is still staying on a straight line. Be crooked. Look at things sideways and upside down.

All that gobbledygook simply means, be innovative. Be new. One of the best ways to do that is to answer the questions no one else is answering. Great, 20 people wrote about how to make a PB&J. So you go out there and write about how to forge the knife that spreads on the peanut butter!

Find Your Muse(s)
Get inspired. And you know what, that often means looking at the work of someone you admire. So, go find your Picasso and study his work for pleasure, not for gain. Read a great novel that takes you far away from reality for awhile. Sway to the tunes that get your heart pumping and set your mind at ease. Or go skydiving. Whatever it takes for you to check-out for a little while. Bask in some beauty – whatever that is to you – and you’ll find yourself cranking out your own original masterpieces.

Whatever you do, make it yours. Don’t steal content. This isn’t about intellectual property or morality (that’s a whole other soapbox of its own); this is about standing out in a world saturated with soggy, overused and outdated words. Create something crisp, fresh and new that is totally and completelyyou (and way less cheesy than my cute little rhyme).

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