The team at Convince and Convert wrote today about the widespread problem of plagiarism in social media, and the problem will only continue to worsen as more people produce more content on the public web. Here are three strategies you can take, to ensure you get the returns that you deserve for your original content work:
1. Build an App
These days, it’s just to easy for people to publish text, and too easy for people to copy it. Anything you publish on the web will be copied, if it is good. So, build a web app that distributes content in an innovative way. Most bloggers are incapable of copying a web app, and, if you are giving it away for free, there will be little incentive for anyone to invest the time required to copy it.
This could be a simple database of content that is implemented in a way that is tough to copy.
I learned this lesson the hard way when I first published my database of social media policies, and people simply copied the HTML table of policies from my site, then posted the entire list onto social media communities. In cases like that, you can add little features that put hurdles in front of the copy/paste process.
2. Keep Innovating
Apple stays ahead of competitors by always launching new products. They are constantly copied, and so they must constantly run ahead of competitors. If you are writing on the web, you must do the same.
3. Find a Sustainable Point of Difference
If you are trying to differentiate yourself by being the first to cover an event, or certain types of news, you are placing yourself on a one-way path to a heart attack. You are competing against journalists, and masses of bloggers, and the myriad tools that are now emerging to help people identify trends, before they are trends, so you can, theoretically, publish content about the trend before anyone else does.
This is a race to the bottom. Find a way to differentiate your content that does not depend on being first to market every day. Do some research that no one else has done. Or find a way to synthesize content in a novel way. For examples, look at the thought leadership published by major consultancies.
Also consider the fact that being first does not establish you as an expert, so it’s important to know your goal, and publish accordingly.