Originality Lesson 101: Stop Copying Content
Remember the time when you used to copy your classmate’s homework at the very last minute?
Remember how almost always the teacher found out that the work isn’t yours?
Remember the 10-time homework imposition you had to write “ in your own words”?
Lesson Learnt: Always do your homework on your own. Period.
The same lesson applies to the world of content writing and content creation. DO YOUR HOMEWORK. Don’t copy content.
No turnoff is bigger for target audiences than plagiarised or repetitive content. When audiences come looking for content, it is either because they want to learn something new, or maybe gain a fresh perspective regarding the topic in question. Some forms of content are popular merely because of the dose of entertainment that they provide.
You might be wondering if there is any commonality in desirable content irrespective of format. Yes, there is. Each piece of such content throws light on a novel aspect. The content is unconventional, valuable, and thought-provoking.
Churning out new ideas by the minute might not be an optimal solution to the problem of recurring content. Creativity comes with its own limitations. The emphasis here is more on the context. You can repurpose old content and provide additional insights into it. You can add your inputs to an already published piece of content. What’s not acceptable is blatantly copying content curated by your competitors and contemporaries.
There are several reasons why copying content isn’t the best of ideas:
- It shows you in poor light. It can be harmful to your personal brand.
- Google Bots absolutely hate plagiarised content. It harms your site ranking on the Search Engine Result Pages (SERPs).
- Consumers start losing faith in your cause and doubt your expertise.
- If you’re a freelancer, the chances of landing gigs without original content are pretty slim.
- Your competitors may have a different target audience than yours. What’s the point of copied content when it doesn’t even cater to your audience?
- Copied content is penalized through flagging, reporting, etc.
There are several other implications of copying content. It might initially seem like a good idea but is bound to create problems in the longer run. The better alternative is to analyze your competitors’ content, take cues from it, and work on growing in your niche.