Updated: Nov 4, 2021
When my company used to do marketing for nightclubs, I would always have the owners and marketing directors ask me: "Alex, what's this new social media platform and how can we use it?" This was back in 2005 when Digital Marketing was in its infancy.
I would tell the nightclubs, "go online and search articles and you'll find a bunch of people talking about it."
The problem is that all of the articles were written from a small business perspective, and not a nightclub perspective. It was difficult for them to grasp the concepts because the articles weren't relating to them.
So I searched for an article on Social Media Marketing and REWROTE the entire article, but changing all of the examples and language to something nightclubs could understand. Once I did that, they were able to grasp the concepts.
I continued to do this "rewriting" strategy for a few years. I had a blog called Nightlife Marketing Resource. Nightlife marketers from around the world appreciated that I was able to take confusing Digital Marketing concepts, and break them down for them in a way they could learn and implement into their marketing.
Is Rewriting Ethical?
Before I teach you my strategies for spinning, rewriting, and curating blog posts to better serve yourself and your readers, I want to draw the line between making good use of research and blatantly stealing someone else's content. I have a few criteria that I go by and expect from the writers of Daily Godpreneur that I'm going to share with you.
Being that I run a branding agency that writes content for my clients, and I have a blog with thousands of readers, I understand a few basic rules of the game. First, plagiarism is never OK. Plagiarism is taking someone else's work, changing the author, and posting it as yours.
However, being inspired by someone else's work is not plagiarism. We are not expected to produce content that is 100% original and written off the cuff. That's not how God designed things.
The Bible says:
What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
God took the first 7 days to create the entire world. He's the original creator. After that, everything has been an inspiration from that, passed down throughout the ages. Someone's story inspired the next person's experience. Traditions have been passed down and rewritten, spun, and analyzed to create new thoughts. This is how God designed "human progress" to work.
When I see that my followers are struggling with depression in their business, I don't just close my eyes and start thinking of how I can help them. No, I open up the Bible to research what's already been said about this. I'll google others who have written about it. I'll watch YouTube videos.
Sometimes, I'll find a great article that was not written to a Christian audience, and I'll use the outline to re-write it from a God-first perspective. I find the Biblical perspective on the topic and re-present the article so that a Christian entrepreneur would be inspired by it. Had I not done this, the article might not have impacted them the way it could, and should, when I find a Biblical truth to back a concept up.
The Right Way to Rewrite Articles
The wrong way to rewrite an article is to not change any of the examples or context for your audience, and try to pass it off as your own thoughts on a subject. You made no effort to reorganize the ideas through your own personal experience.
Here are some good tips to guide your rewriting process:
Identify a problem your niche is having (depressed entrepreneurs)
Find an article that has all the information you need (an article on why depression happens)
As you read the article, make note of details that aren't in your base problem and include them in the finished product. (what the Bible says about depression)
Start with your own experience (I used to suffer depression in entrepreneurship)
Reorder details to create a unique flow in the information (your personal example, what we all go through, what God has to say about it, and what we can do to change)
Many people have written great articles on depression and overcoming it, but not until I wrote about it did someone write it from a Christian entrepreneur's perspective. (Browse Topic: Depression)
Curating Existing Content
If you don't want to "rewrite" an article, you can curate content you find on the internet for your niche.
For example, you can find an article that you like and present it in an editorial way that gives the content your own unique voice. God could use you to make the content, His, through your own insights and perspectives.
I call this method "giving credit to where credit is due." It's taking someone's article and simply prefacing it with what the Bible has to say about that topic.
Can we ethically rewrite and curate content?
The better question is: what is being written out there that God wants you to re-present to the world from His perspective?
You can work directly with other people's content and, in good conscience and spirit, write your own version. Just make sure you make it your own unique voice in the subject.
My process consists of:
If nobody's going to bring God into the topic, I'm going to rewrite it.
I'm researching the Bible to see what verses can back up a certain thought. I really do take the time to be certain it makes sense, Biblically.
I write so that my content is relevant and unique to my readers.
If I read a popular book or blog post, and God isn't given the credit, I'm going the curation route.
Follow those steps, and you'll never have to worry about feeling like you aren't creative because God wants to show your ideas through others.
P.S. You're more than welcom