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It may seem worthwhile to take the time to craft unique, original content, as it can help set your website apart. But chasing originality can be very challenging. While unique content will keep your visitors coming back to useful search results, practically, it’s not always easy to come up with such ideas.

This theory of producing fresh content for unique search results is sound. But can you turn up a fresh idea, a killer new product, an exclusive review or some first-hand breaking news, every single time?

Of course not, and this is where we tend to get mislead. Originality, especially in context to content, doesn’t have to always mean ‘first’. Here, take the example of Apple. Apple’s flagship iPod wasn’t actually the first MP3 player in the world but what made it original were its added features, the sleek design and iTunes music. It basically “enhanced” the digital music experience for its owners.

So in content terms, one could come up with an idea inspired from existing content but with a different angle of approach, like change the layout of an article or provide more in-depth evidence on a topic than your rivals do.

It’s about doing it better

Do not worry about being the first; just be better. So, the biggest weapon you have for originality is you. Reflect your unique thinking style, your approach to issues and write everything that is unique to you. And my friend, you will be standing out from the crowd.

However, I came across this random theory on Quora that said Asians, when compared to the west, lack the creativity and mindset to be original. This was kind of annoying but then I scraped out the following reasons that could be causing the creative sides of our brains to function a little less:

We are poorly taught on plagiarism

As a graduation student in a Delhi based university, we once had a lecture where the professor brought us a questionnaire that had an answer paper attached at the back. We were instructed to see the answer paper only once we’re done writing our answers, for self-evaluation. However, we were students and lazy, so most of us copied those answers. He later told us that the paper he had shared had all the wrong answers. We should have identified the wrong answers but copying was more convenient. So, the point here is that plagiarism just doesn’t seem to bother us. Even during exams, teachers seemed to be all fine about students restlessly copying from other sheets or the Internet. In fact, I remember there were so many guides and help books from local publishers which were simply a work of fine copy-pasting from books of foreign origin.

We religiously follow the cost-saving mentality

No, it’s not just the ‘baniyas’ and ‘marwaris’ that go by the cost-saving mentality (stereotypical, but true), it’s running in everybody’s blood, especially in India. The time when the Internet industry started in India, companies promoted India as a low-cost destination. Even today, the value that Indian companies buy in has a lot to do with the country’s currency value and the fact that we provide goods at a lower labour cost. Okay with globalization and the country’s economic conditions, that might make complete sense. But just like a programmer uses a chunk of somebody else’s code, we think that we can copy-paste our way through everything at lower costs.

We trust in the urban fable that the “Internet is free’ and “sab chalta hai..”

Creation of original content requires both patience and effort. Be it visual content or writing, if it is available online, it doesn’t mean that we have the right to use it without attributions. Taking the availability of content as a short-cut opportunity to call it yours is nothing that exists. People publish content on the Internet for you to see and not for free usage.

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