Is it wrong just to copy another ones system?

by asc
29 replies
Ok, may get slated/burned here, but a legitimate question none the less.

Lets say that i liked someone's style...pat flynn springs to mind, or many of the other people who are doing well.

Would it be wrong to simply copy what he is doing? similar website, similar blogs and CTAs etc?

Obviously not copying their content, creating own but similar in terms of keywords or targeting.

Looking at some of the sites in some of the niches i have an interest in, simply put...there are some absolute great sites out there and great tactics. What is to stop me or anyone just rinsing and repeating their tactics? are there actual legal implications? or just not an acceptable approach?

Any thoughts appreciated
#copy #system #wrong
  • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
    There is a fine line between copying/modeling, which is what you suggest, and copyright violation.

    You mentioned Pat Flynn. One of the things that set Pat apart was his monthly income reports. They added tremendous credibility. Lots of people copied the concept with varying degrees of success. No problem.

    At some point, someone moved from a simple popup to a lightbox type, where the ad is front and center and the rest of the screen grayed out (greyed out for you folks across the pond ). Soon, it was common practice.

    Same when someone moved their menu bar (with ads) from the left to the right side of a blog.

    The thing you have to really be careful of in your modeling is to take successful concepts and ideas while still keeping your own unique identity. If you watch any of the singing contests, contestants are always told to take the cover song and "make it their own."

    When you start modeling, ask your self "if I do this, will people confuse my site with the original?" If the answer is no, fine. If it's yes, you still have work to do (unless fraud is your intention).
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    • Profile picture of the author TMets5
      Exactly...many digital products, sites, etc. are modeled after predecessors who have build success online. You can take many ideas that you like and put your own creative influence on it.
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    • Profile picture of the author dale2811
      I agree with John
      As long as you don't outright copy their stuff but use it as a model & inspiration, and add your own ideas, twists & methods to it and write it in your own words.
      Basically make it your own and make it better.
      Look for small flaws in the design of those sites that you're looking at and try to fix those flaws and improve on the original site.
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  • Profile picture of the author ChrisBa
    Originally Posted by asc View Post

    Ok, may get slated/burned here, but a legitimate question none the less.

    Lets say that i liked someone's style...pat flynn springs to mind, or many of the other people who are doing well.

    Would it be wrong to simply copy what he is doing? similar website, similar blogs and CTAs etc?

    Obviously not copying their content, creating own but similar in terms of keywords or targeting.

    Looking at some of the sites in some of the niches i have an interest in, simply put...there are some absolute great sites out there and great tactics. What is to stop me or anyone just rinsing and repeating their tactics? are there actual legal implications? or just not an acceptable approach?

    Any thoughts appreciated
    I don't see any issues with this, this is what everyone is doing. Look at all major companies, once one comes up with a great idea, the rest typically follow suite with what is working. (as long as you aren't downright copying them)
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  • Profile picture of the author Adrianne_
    No, I don't think it's wrong at all, as long as you are using it as a business model, or a template to build from. If your system is too closely related to someone else's, then competition is going to be your biggest problem.

    People like Pat Flynn has already spent the time cultivating a relationship with people and branding himself. What you have to do is find what's missing from a system that seems pretty much perfect, and offer it to your visitors. It's kinda like filling in the blanks. Give your visitors a reason to choose you over someone else and you will have a shot at building something great.
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  • Profile picture of the author Chris Nunez
    Copying what works is exactly what you should be doing! Why reinvent the wheel? This goes on in every industry and with every product. Someone puts something out that works, others copy and improve, and the cycle continues.

    There is training out there from reputable people that tell you exactly what colors you should be using on your landing pages down to the color of the button that works best. And the numbers in the price that works best. Why wouldn't you copy that kind of advice?

    Obviously though, avoid outright plagiarism.
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  • Profile picture of the author anand363
    Hi Asc,

    You should clearly understand the difference between copying and modelling. In some point or the other everyone will be in the situation to model others work.
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  • Profile picture of the author Laksh
    As others pointed out, there is a fine-line between modeling/inspiring vs copying. But remember that you are going to loose your credibility, if you just copy everything.

    Also, If you are trying copy some one like Pat, it's easy for any one visiting ur website to know abt that. On the contrary, if you get inspired & would like to model ur site, you can very well do that. Pat promotes his Wordpress theme & you can just get that.
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  • Profile picture of the author unlimitedoptions
    Hi: As has been said it is ok to model your site and other things but not to directly copy it. If you make your website look and feel similar to Pat's that should be ok. Directly copying it is not allowed.

    Good luck.

    Dan
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  • Profile picture of the author amuro
    Originally Posted by asc View Post

    Ok, may get slated/burned here, but a legitimate question none the less.

    Lets say that i liked someone's style...pat flynn springs to mind, or many of the other people who are doing well.

    Would it be wrong to simply copy what he is doing? similar website, similar blogs and CTAs etc?

    Obviously not copying their content, creating own but similar in terms of keywords or targeting.

    Looking at some of the sites in some of the niches i have an interest in, simply put...there are some absolute great sites out there and great tactics. What is to stop me or anyone just rinsing and repeating their tactics? are there actual legal implications? or just not an acceptable approach?

    Any thoughts appreciated


    If you are talking about copying someone's work word by word be it landing page, salesletter and membership site, then I am afraid the answer is yes

    But if you are talking about sharing with others what you learn from that person in terms of internet marketing - whether it will be affiliate marketing, selling your own products or local consulting - that is not but rather called modelling.

    There is a fine but critical line between copying and modelling.

    Or even content curation whereby you copy and paste someone's article on your blog or FB timeline but give credit as in link, to that person.

    Truth being said, everyone wants to make money online.

    Not just you.

    But if you do so at the expense of jeopardizing others to shortcut your success be it directly or indirectly, then I will say that is not the right thing to do
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  • Profile picture of the author successproducts
    This has been done forever -
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  • Profile picture of the author yukon
    Banned
    Where do you think Pat got his ideas? Yep, from everyone else.

    He didn't invent anything.
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  • Profile picture of the author discrat
    Copy, make money, scale up, and RINSE AND REPEAT
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  • Profile picture of the author Latinrage
    This is a typical case of reverse engineering. And, yes, it's totally legit. I've heard it from several successful online entrepreneurs, "If you want to achieve success, don't try to reinvent the wheel. Find someone successful, learn how they did it and copy them." In fact, that's what online coaches do! They teach others how to achieve success by teaching them the methods that got them there. And they make a pretty penny at it to boot. Russell Brunson has made a killing reverse engineering actual sales funnels from successful ad campaigns. He copies the entire funnel: the product, the colors, the videos.....everything. The only thing he doesn't "steal" is the actual ad copy. Instead he creates similar ad copy that competes with the original. He even goes as far as advertising in the same forums as the competition. Does he get in trouble for it? NO WAY! So if he can do it, so can you..............and you should!
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  • Profile picture of the author Brent Stangel
    At some point, someone moved from a simple popup to a lightbox type, where the ad is front and center and the rest of the screen grayed out (greyed out for you folks across the pond ). Soon, it was common practice.

    Same when someone moved their menu bar (with ads) from the left to the right side of a blog.
    Three or four years ago I mentioned my best CTA on this forum.

    Now I see it everywhere!!

    Fortune 500 companies are using it...
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    • Profile picture of the author wifiboos
      Yes! you can't beat a good idea, they catch on. That's progress!
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  • Profile picture of the author Joey Babbs
    I have had my stuff stolen multiple times....I have learned to just be smarter than those people and keep building bigger and better.....unfortunately there's no way around it....people are gonna steal and copy from the best people ....if you can't beat em. ....join em lol
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    • Profile picture of the author jthom804
      Originally Posted by Joey Babbs View Post

      I have had my stuff stolen multiple times....I have learned to just be smarter than those people and keep building bigger and better.....unfortunately there's no way around it....people are gonna steal and copy from the best people ....if you can't beat em. ....join em lol
      I agree. I think that is just part of IM. If you have winning formula. Sooner or later. Someone is going to take it, and may add a slight twist and call it there own. All you can do as a marketer is just keep evolving.
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  • Profile picture of the author rlpoole1
    I think it would take a pretty unique person to create a product all from scratch without taking a little of what they learned from others. That's just the way it is. Just don't outright copy from someone and you'll be fine.
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  • Profile picture of the author Paulward
    I am a writer, and I can tell you there is nothing I write that hasn't been written before by someone somewhere. In fact, my clients frequently ask me to write on a subject I know nothing about, so I have to go online and research it. That is, read what somebody else says about it and then put it in my own words.

    I have just been asked to create the content for a website on turmeric curcumin. 'Nuff said?
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  • Profile picture of the author talfighel
    There is a system by a known marketer, Russell Brunson, who has a product called "Funnel Hacking". I did not buy his product but have heard him speaking about MODELLING someone else's work and then making it as your own. But you should not copy anything.

    You can get ideas and then create your own stuff but never copy stuff.
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  • Profile picture of the author Michael Meaney
    When I was first learning about all this digital product stuff, I copied (...at the time) didn't see a problem and was completely oblivious to how wrong it was.. and man, all these years later I still frequently feel like a total douchebag for it.

    Wish I could blame it on youth, or bad advice, or something else, but nope, entirely my own fault.

    Anyway, even if you're looking to model someone else's stuff there's a couple of things you gotta think about... This is something I learnt from a Dan Kennedy book.. can't remember which one, but it stuck with me.

    Ask yourself:

    Are their needs THE SAME as yours?

    Are they doing XYZ because it produces the things YOU want?

    Or do they have a completely different agenda to you?

    A lot of marketers aren't JUST focused on making a profit.. if you're small or just starting out, then your needs are different to someone who's been around the block a few times and has a reputation, or image, to worry about.

    They might even have stock holders and a board of directors to take into consideration.

    So your needs are much simpler than a market leaders.

    The way they advertise often has nothing to do with generating sales.

    They might need to advertise for brand image purposes - something you don't have to worry about right now.

    Copying them, and expecting awesome results probably won't work out as planned.

    Replicating them exactly, unless you understand WHY they're doing something, is probably going to cost you more time and money than you need to spend.
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  • Profile picture of the author GlobexWeb
    Remember Copy the IDEA/Concept ... and try to place a better IDEA from his theme ... This way you are presenting better Idea and in this way you are helping persons too .....
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  • Profile picture of the author @incomeindaycom
    where there is competition there is money

    It is good to start a business like pat flyn But You have to use your own strategy. Your own call to action. your own content. Getting a similar Theme is not a problem.

    When we land on a new website. we love it and we want to Build Like it But its not easier. They have been working for years and years.

    Nothing stops you from that. Use Your own content and Good luck
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  • Profile picture of the author Manoj V
    Emulate, don't "copy".

    Take a product, try to make it better, maybe add your own twist to it and launch it. Most bestselling products in the internet marketing niche are not completely unique. They may have been repackaged in a better way and updated to reflect the latest changes.
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  • Profile picture of the author newlease
    Everyone mimics someone in their business pursuits. What makes you special is your branding.
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  • Profile picture of the author voltaireross
    I guess what you are trying to say is that, you want some else's site to be your basis for your site? Am I right? If that's the case, then that would be very fine.
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  • Profile picture of the author vishwa
    Copying others style won't help you too much. Better try to do things in your own style as it will help you to increase your credibility and authority of your website or blog.
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  • Profile picture of the author Blistrel
    I don't believe it is a wrong to copy, if you really think about it, everyone copies, at some point, just take what is said and give it your own personal touch!
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