Wednesday, July 14, 2010

How Do You Get Ideas from Other People's Content Without Plagiarizing?

by Stephanie Foster

Some days one of the hardest things to get is an idea. It doesn't matter how much you love your site, your topic or anything, sometimes that first idea is just really hard to get.

A favorite way of mine to get ideas is to read what others have written. But there's something you have to be careful of. You do not want to plagiarize anyone. But there are a few simple ways you can avoid this problem.

Discuss Their Article and Link to Them

If you really like what someone else has written, there's nothing stopping you in most cases from linking to the article, crediting a few key points and adding in your own thoughts. It's a great way to share quality information.

You may get some attention from the original author when they note the link to their site. This makes for not only great inspirations, but a pretty good networking tool.

Disagree with Their Article

Disagreeing with what someone else wrote can be fun. If you're going to link to their article and explain why you disagree, you might just get some conversation going. Or a bit of anger, whatever. It depends on how you write your own article and on the personality of the person you're disagreeing with.

You'll note however, that I said if. Linking isn't something I always do.

There's good reason for that. Sometimes what I'm disagreeing with is when I feel someone is promoting a scam or something mighty close to one. If I feel the article is promoting something I don't care to link to, I won't.

In that case, my own article is likely more general. It doesn't need to go from point to point countering everything.

It may also not even appear to be disagreeing with anything in particular. When I've read something I've disagreed with, sometimes the resultant article is strictly about my point of view.

Read Only the Titles

You can get a lot of ideas just from the titles of other articles. Read the title and create one of your own.

When I do this, sometimes it won't even be on the same topic as the title I read. The other title just gets me thinking on a topic of my own. It might be the type of the title, it might be just one word that makes me sit up and say "hey, that's an idea!"

Read Forums

Reading on forums is a great way to find out what questions people are asking about your niche. If someone is asking the question on a forum, you have a good chance that someone else is asking it on the search engines.

You'll notice that a lot of these ideas I use are for generating ideas to write about another day. Many times when I can't think of a topic to write about, even with a topic I'll struggle more than usual with the writing. Taking a day to generate ideas rather than articles means that the days I'm more into writing are more productive because the ideas are all there.

About the Author

Stephanie Foster blogs at about how she earns money working from home. Learn how to repurpose your own content at her site.