It's safe to say that in the world of content creation, a lot of what's floating around the internet isn't "original".
Think about it, whether it's your website and graphic design or your actual content, there was something that inspired you to the time out of your day to create something and put it out to the world.
A prime example of this is my own network, Black Bloggers United, Inc.. This network is a blogger network that stemmed from me being in other blogger networks and seeing the need for one that actually promotes/praises Black content creators.
I was inspired by seeing a flaw in other networks, so I created my own. I even shared how I appreciate pages like Black Girls Who Blog and Brown Girl Bloggers that existed at the time and how they contributed to my inspiration for a Black content creators' group that was also inclusive of men. That, my friends, is taking something, using it as inspiration and creating something unique.
Now I know you're like, that's all fine and dandy, but how does this apply to me?
Well I'm going to keep it candid when I say we've gotten away from being INSPIRED by others and actually CREATING things of our own. I say this because you may not even know you're borderline copying other's content, which is why we're here today.
I don't want you to go out into the entrepreneur as a "copy cat". I truly don't. You are so much better than that and have a unique voice that should be heard and I'm here today to help you tap into that voice.
So here's how to gain inspiration WITHOUT copying, because we don't want you out here looking like boo boo the fool.
For starters, ask yourself if you came up with this concept on your own. Is your idea original and the first ever to exist? That's totally awesome and I applaud you for wanting to share your original concept with the world.
If not, that's just fine too, seriously. Think about things like loop giveaways, blogiversary posts, blogmas challenges, Twitter chats, etc. that are going around on the internet year in and out. These are concepts that originated from somewhere, but have been recycled through blog world in so many different ways. Which brings me to my next point...
Okay, your concept isn't original, so what are you doing to make it different? Quite honestly, I think this is the part people fail to execute properly. Why is what you're doing different from what's been done? How are you putting your own creative twist on it?
I said it in my previous blog post that blog world is SATURATED and the only thing differentiating us to brands is our unique appeal/perspective on things. So if you're not inputting your own twist on your content, you are major key losing.
To dig just a bit deeper, let me address how to actually "do it differently". Changing the name of something does not make it completely "original". If you change your "31 Day Blogmas Challenge" to "Sandra's 31 Days of Blogmas" but all the material within is the same, you know good and well that's not original.
The BEST ways to tap into making a recycled concept original is by doing some or all of the following:
- Stop looking at your source of inspiration - You've taken the concept already, so now remove yourself from that website, social media channel or newsletter. Take the overarching concept of "Blogmas" and let it marinate in your mind for a few days to generate YOUR idea of what that means.
- Address a niche within your concept - It's safe to say this is what I did with Black Bloggers United, Inc.. There was a niche that was not being represented across so many blogger networks at the time, so I said I'm going to create something just for this select group of people since no one else was.
- Let your closest blogging friend read it through - There's nothing wrong with proofreading for the sake of grammar or for ensuring you're keeping your content all the way 100. Have someone read through it and link the source of inspiration, too. If people are telling you it's too similar to what's already been done, some additional tweaking may be needed on your end.
- By all means do not Control 'C' and Control 'V' - If you're in the market of content creation and copy and paste are your friends, you may be in the wrong market. Taking it back to high school English days, remember that thing called paraphrasing? If you like components of what's been done already, read through it and create a new post changing things up.
- At the end of the day, pay homage - If you just cannot find a way to make your concept original, you should just go ahead and credit whoever was the main source of inspiration. Paying homage to someone does not dim your shine, but instead can be flattering to other content creators. What will put your entire shine out and burn your bridges is taking from others.
In my three years of blogging, (I sound like a grandma), I've gained SO much inspiration from influential bloggers in my circle and I've shared with you who truly inspires me. I think having a source of inspiration is HUGE in staying active and diligent with growing your blog.
My hopes with this are just to make people aware that copying others work is NOT okay. Be inspired and be yourself, because that's ultimately what people want to see.
Still want more tea? Check back later this week to watch my latest video on this matter. Don't forget to subscribe to my channel so you never miss a thing!