As a blogger for not only my site, but for others as well, I am sometimes annoyed by copycats who “steal” my ideas, and even the look and style of my website. While imitation can be flattering, if someone asks permission, or even acknowledges they have borrowed from me, I don’t mind too awfully much, but when I look at something on another person’s site and it has been blatantly copied word for word from mine, I get upset. I was chatting with a fellow web person about this, and she wrote a great post on one of her sites, the “Work At Home Mafia”, addressing the issue:
A good friend of “Work At Home Mafia “recently posted the following question to us via Facebook: What do you do when a competing website copies your entire website design and look? How do you deal with copycats?
Answer: Well there are really just two options open to you with this happens and believe me, I am very well acquainted with it personally.
There are two approaches:
1. Ignore them and just kick their ass.
2. Make a world class stink about it as a way to get more attention to your site and your work.
Now personally I know 98% of us would be fuming mad and want to crush the offending website like a bug on a vine and scream to the world what this website cooked was up to steal and confuse readers, but you know what? That rarely works. They have their fans, you have yours and you end up looking like a jerk even though you are the victim.
Repeat after me. They don’t have your drive, desire or vision. That’s right. That’s why they walk two steps behind you and pick up your droppings.
So, rather than make a stink, I vote for option 1. Your best bet is putting it out of your mind for a few days and focusing on making progress on your product and marketing strategy, you will eventually feel calmer about the whole thing.
I know it feels like eating crap and you just have to get over the madness. Been there done that.
Take this as a twisted perverse compliment. If someone copycats your work, you must be doing something right… You’re the inventor, they are the copycats. You’ll keep on leading, they’ll keep on following. You are the one with great idea and they lack the ability to cook up a great marketing plan, style and execution so that is why they try to confuse readers by looking like your site.
You can hit back by being a thousand times better than anyone who would steal your idea. If you’re really committed to making this idea of yours work, you owe it to yourself, and your advertisers or viewers to go above and beyond anything the other party would even think to do.
Another tip: Don’t discuss your plans for your website. Yes I know you might like to talk at networking events, online or with other business owners. Seriously, you need some mystery about yourself. You have no idea who that person will share with unknowingly and all your timeline and plans are suddenly common knowledge. So much for #thenextbigthing launching.
Copycats will always be there but they must not confuse you or take you off track of your business plan. Remember you are the innovator. You are the architect of your dreams and they are just someone too lazy and focused to put in the hard work that you have already done. Don’t get caught up in their show but be the star of your own. Ignore them.”