Intellectual Property for Content Marketers – Part Deux

Don’t steal other people’s stuff.

As content marketer we can all be caught with little to write about, but taking other people’s work is not the right fix.

In this blog, I’ll show you how to get inspired by others work, give them proper credit and still get your post out on time. Go here to start with the first post of this series.


People love to have their content shared. People have been “repurposing” ideas since the beginning of time.

Just look at the “personal development” books out there today. Almost all of them are variants of work written 70+ years ago and if you are pretty familiar with the Bible you could find verses that match most of the advice given (really, just try it!).

What authors and creators do not appreciate is you taking their stuff and not giving them credit. (we’ll talk about using photos in another post).

Below are the steps I take to get inspired and to give credit to those who inspired me.

  1. Get Inspired – Reading great content, meditation, exercise and even just taking a shower have been known sources of inspiration. Make sure you take notes of your ideas so you can find them when you need inspiration.
    I use Evernote to capture ideas that inspire me and just tag them using the tag “article” and whatever topic they relate to. Whenever I need ideas I can search by the tag article or the subject I’d like to write about. If you don’t use Evernote yet, you must give it a try. It is awesome!I rarely take my Iphone on runs, but use the “voice memo” feature on my Ipod to record a quick note when inspiration strikes.
  2. Give Credit – Most marketers are completely fine with you mentioning their content or even reposting a portion of their work. Michael Hyatt allows others to post up to 200 words of his work without permission. He only asks for attribution.
    Be very generous with credit. Even if something you use is just a fact or idea (not subject to copyright), give your source credit for inspiring you. It will be appreciated.
  3. Focus on Ideas – Ideas are not subject to copyright law, the expression of ideas are. Getting inspired by an idea and writing about that idea is totally OK. Just use the idea as a starting point and the run with it on your own.
  4. Focus on Facts – Like ideas, facts collected by others are not protected by copyright. I find facts and data to be my greatest source of inspiration. How those facts affect me and my readers is what I find so fun to write about.

I hope this post helps you get inspired to write great work while respecting the rights of others.

What about you, how do you get inspired?

Thank you for being a part of our values driven community!

Image courtesy of Christopher Dombres.