It’s a crowded world out there. For every topic you’re going to write about, there are tons of materials already published by someone else. Creating content that’s never been published before is the best way to get noticed. But all too often, writers create content that imitates their competitor's content.
A lot of content lacks originality. And by originality, I don't mean a low plagiarism score. Original content is content that has a unique idea or a key message, a different angle and even different structure compared to other content on the same topic.
Well, I can think of an obvious SEO reason. There is a limited number of keywords that can bring quality traffic so the topics your competitors cover are pretty much the same topics you want to cover.
Also, coming up with new ideas is a long and exhausting process, and it’s always faster, easier, and safer to rewrite someone else’s content that ranks high on Google.
But to be perfectly honest, the real reason why we, content writers, tend to copy somebody else’s words is that we don’t know the topic we need to write about, nor the audience our content is supposed to serve.
We prefer to head to Google and rewrite stuff we’ve found online instead of doing our own in-depth research.
Of course, copying your competitor's content is a quick hack. In this case, you don't need to spend much time working on your article's message, structure, and angle. But the truth is, this type of content won't work.
Your content and your marketing will only work if you’re meaningfully differentiated from your competitors.
So how do you differentiate? Here are some tips to help you come up with ideas for content that only you can write.
Check out what people that your company is targeting talk about on forums, what they write in comments on your competitor’s blogs, what questions they ask while talking to your sales team. When you’re digging for content ideas, concentrate on topics that your competitors haven't covered.
No one else offers the same products or services, has the same experience, or works the same way. Talk about how you do your job, what results you bring to your clients, and how you think. This type of content is innately unique to your business.
Keep a journal with everything that passes through your head while you’re surfing the internet, talking to people, and browsing social media.
Try looking at the same topic from a different angle, add new analogies or comparisons, have a unique spin on your content structure, tell a story — this all can make your content stand out.
Sometimes, it makes sense to create an ebook, a video, an extensive guide with several chapters. All you have to do is bury yourself in research.
"There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely, but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.”
While there is no such thing as a new idea, there are millions of ways to twist and change the “same old stuff.”
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