Can You Mimic This?

by Nicole Branigan on April 23, 2010 · 0 comments

Blackbird Tells a Tale of the Undiscovered Voice Finding Your Blogging Voice

As stated in previous posts, I’m embracing a freelance career, and appreciating every moment. The support I’ve received is unparalleled and the office lets me bring my dogs to work! That being said, when I have free moments from writing and editing for the array of clients I’m lucky enough to have, I troll CraigsList postings all over the country. I’m partial to the “Writing Gigs” section where I’ve been able to find many worthy opportunities.

I stumbled upon one post (whose city of origin shall remain a mystery) that was written by a law firm looking for a writer to update their website. The gig looked promising, and the person who posted the ad seemed interested in an ongoing content plan (swoon!). That’s when things got interesting. I applied for the posting explaining my qualifications and experience. The law firm responded with a one-line email:

“Can you mimic this?” – with a link to a different law firm’s website.

While, I understand researching your competition to understand the language styles and tones used in your field, I was a bit taken aback. Those of you that read my blog know I am adamant about finding out what your competition does, only so you can do it better and that original content is the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT way to become a worthy presence on the Internet. I responded to the law firm’s email as follows (soap box not included):

Dear ______,

Thank you for the response! What section/piece were you hoping I could “mimic”?

While I can “mimic” many styles and writing tones, I urge you to find your own tone. Not only will this set you apart from your competition, your audience will be able to distinguish between you and “the other guys.” What’s more, by finding your own voice you will avoid pesky paraphrasing and plagiarism laws. Google, Bing, Yahoo! and other search engines prefer new, original and informational content – and by providing such you will be able to significantly boost your rankings on these and other websites.

I would love to work with you, find out more about your company and help you create your voice. I will telecommute from Nashville, so you don’t even need to provide me with a desk! I have extensive experience writing web content, and have worked with law firms before.

I never heard back. Now, I understand law firms are busy places and not everyone will embrace the need for ongoing informational content on your website. But this stream of events was so interesting to me. With all the information available and with so many ways to become a creative force in your area of expertise why are we still relying on copying off our neighbors?

Need help finding your voice? Email Nicole at

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