Inspiration Nation: How to Use Competitors to Grow Your Business


To steal ideas is to create ideas, if you do it the right way! In a previous blog post, we elaborated on how to protect your content from “content thieves.” However, just as great brands have borrowed ideas from their competitors, you can similarly find inspiration to beef up your editorial calendar!

Don’t worry: there’s an art to stealing content ethically. No, we’re not saying that it’s okay to copy and paste someone else’s work into your content strategy. Aside from the moral dilemmas presented by plagiarism, you could damage your SEO efforts and online reputation by flat-out copying content.

You see, there’s a huge difference between stealing someone else’s words and using their work as inspiration. Once you embrace the fundamental truth that there’s rarely such a thing as an original idea, then you realize that all content marketing is doing is looking at old pieces through a new lens. In other words: don’t steal words; find inspiration.

This is the secret to successful content repurposing.

How Should You Use It?

So, how do you so this successfully?

  • Find a unique perspective. If you like a piece of content that someone else has already published, see if you can find a unique perspective. Is there a place where you disagree, or where your services and products can do a better job? Just as Sir Isaac Newton said that we all stand on the “shoulders of giants,” there’s no reason your content’s unique perspective can’t be attributed to inspiration from a competitor.
  • Steal the obvious. Love the headlines that a competitor uses? What about their keywords? Since headlines and keywords are some of the most effective SEO strategies, if you’re competitors are ranking in the search engines and you’re not, then you know that they’re doing something right. Try to emulate similar headline structures into your content, as well as using their keywords alongside your own.
  • Content topics. If multiple competitors are writing about the same thing in your industry, chances are that it’s a trending topic. While it might be tempting to be “too cool” to jump onto the band wagon, creating content based on a trending topic is a surefire way to boost your readership!

Have you used your competitors for inspiration? What guidelines do you use?

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Daniel Chioco is a writer living in Nashville, TN. He earned his Commercial Music degree at Belmont University, where he also studied creative writing and wrote for the student newspaper. When he isn't creating content, Daniel works as an actor and films YouTube videos. He is also a freelance musician and is authoring his first fantasy novel.

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