Tip 26: Learn from the Competition

Learning from other websites is one of the most important, and most misunderstood, tools in your development arsenal. There is emphatically a right way and a wrong way to use what others have done before you to get a leg up. Failing to scope out other products is a mistake, blindly adapting techniques used by other websites can be an even bigger one.[B]Don’t[/B]

  • Steal graphics or text. Stealing is using anything without the creators explicit permission.
  • Mimic something just because it looks impressive.
  • Emulate tools or techniques that you don’t have a good understanding of.
  • Make a ‘poor man’s’ version of a site with better designers and more resources.
  • Limit your examination to a narrowly defined type of website(s).
  • Assume a website is a model for success just because it does one thing well.
  • Adapt technology, images or techniques just because you can. Use another companies success as a blueprint for your business plan and goals.


  • Note good practices, habits and techniques designed by successful websites.
  • Keep a bookmark library of websites that inspire and interest you.
  • Use many websites in collages or mood boards for inspiration and color palette development.
  • Spend time contemplating why something works before trying to emulate or build upon it.
  • Learn from websites and materials that are in an industry very different from yours.
  • Look for what is not there. What did the developers forget to address or what should they improve upon?
  • Look at the source code of other websites (even if you aren’t very familiar with it) for insights into their underlying structure.
  • Use the work of others to influence and inspire you so you can continue to build upon past success and push the affiliate marketing industry forward.
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