Should you copy other people?

Last Update: Oct 10, 2017


Here's something that I have thought of a long time: Are we allowed to copy other people in terms of their business, website, content, etc?

Ever since young, we've all been trained not to copy other people especially in school. If you copied someone else in exams, you cheated and would most likely face the consequences. Since then, we're ingrained with the thought that we need to come up with 'new' stuff if we want to succeed in life and not copy the rest!

However, that way of thinking is entirely flawed...

  • If not, why is China known for copying others?
  • If not, why do you see competitors appear rapidly in a space if it starts flourishing?
  • If not, how did Google and Facebook become the most relevant thing even though they aren't the first in their space?

I could keep going on and on, but you should get the drift by now. The only reason why this may feel wrong to you is because you were taught it was WRONG to do so.

However, most businesses and start ups are not even new to begin with. Heck, most of it are just recycled ideas. What makes them good is that they improve and innovate from previous iteration of a certain product or service.

Think about how Uber dominated and conquered almost every Taxi industry in the world that the government or unions have to step in to either set rules for uber, or even shut it down completely in certain countries. Taxi is not a new thing, but uber INNOVATED and became even better than their competitors.

So here's the answer: You are ALLOWED to copy other people! Of course, what i mean is copy their idea, and what's working. NOT entirely wholesale copy and rebrand it as your own (Because that would mostly backfire).

One big thing about Wealthy Affiliate is that we are taught how to create our own affiliate site in order to make money online. If you truly want to succeed, you should be 'copying'....well the correct word here is modelling other people's website.

Think about:

  • How did they structure their website? Their themes?
  • What kind of content did they put out? Can you make similar or improve on it?
  • What are some affiliate programs that they are promoting?
  • Are they advertising with anyone?

REMEMBER: It's NEVER OK to copy someone directly and claim it as our own. As you should know, if you copy someone's blog post and post it on your site, Google will most likely flag you as duplicate content and penalize your website.

What you should be doing is finding ideas on what topics are working and to find out which content are popular with the audience. You could easily replicate the content and improve on it, for example:

If your competitor wrote: 10 Ways to wake up better in the morning
You could write: 19 ways to sleep better and wake up easily in the morning (Add more points, change the wording, etc).

It's not only for content, but everything that you are doing. Remember even the biggest companies that exist now copied others but improved on the idea so much that it became the leader in the space.


If you read all the way down here, thanks for taking the time to read! I appreciate it and hope it has helped you.I aim to release content like this once to twice a week on Wealthy Affiliate. You can find me under the tag 'Terence Tips' or follow my profile or look on your right to see the latest posts that I have made.

I also have a Facebook group where I share more tips like this with my followers. The link is on my profile if you are interested to join!

Recent Comments


That is an interesting perspective, Terence. many of the ideas circulating have all been done before. There is innovation but a lot of times it is rehashing what has been done before.
The key like you have mentioned is to find that way to stand out from the crowd, model on the approach of others, but bringing our uniqueness to the task will create that point of separation from our competitors. Thank you for your reflectino0ns I really appreciated them.

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