If you’ve ever been stuck on a blog post idea and didn’t know what to write about, then you might have been tempted to steal someone else’s idea. Well, the good news is, you can do that! You can’t copyright an idea, so there’s no harm in piggybacking off of someone else’s success if you do it the right way.
The wrong way is to steal the idea and the content. You don’t want to get in trouble for plagiarizing. Besides, using someone else’s content verbatim is going to pose search engine optimization issues for you. That’s another bag of trouble you don’t want.
That said, here are 3 ways you can steal blog post ideas without getting into trouble.
- Scan headlines – Go through your RSS reader and just read the headlines. Don’t click through and read the articles. Scan the headlines until something jumps out at you. Then, rewrite the headline. If possible, use a related keyword to the one found in the original article. Write your blog post for that new headline. If you don’t click through and read the original article, you won’t be tempted to use any of the text.
- Borrow a list item – Have you found a great blog post with a good list? Take one list item and expound on that on your own blog. If you can, rewrite the list item and make the rewrite your headline for your blog post.
- Quote from a popular blog – Read the popular blogs in your niche. If you find a paragraph or a sentence in a blog post that strikes you as controversial or hits you in a special way, quote it (linking back to the blog post for attribution, of course) and add your own commentary. You can agree, disagree, or go off on a different tangent. Make it your own.
Some of the best blog posts piggyback off of someone else’s work. It’s okay to steal ideas as long as you don’t steal the actual work.