I get several pitches a week from people wanting to write for my blog, and I’m always happy to consider original posts.
But when Richard Smith contributed this article I resonated with it immediately.
I run workshops for a couple of Enterprise Agencies (listed on my Events Page).
An icebreaker question I use, is an exercise to find out something interesting about the person you are partnered with.
It’s always a tough one for people.
I hear delegates saying,
“But I’m boring…” or,
“But I’ve never done anything interesting…”
The truth is, we all have a story to tell.
They say there is no such thing as original idea anymore, but we all have a different take on a story.
We dismiss ourselves as uninteresting because we know ourselves and the lives we’ve lead.
Our own experience always seems so ordinary or mediocre compared to other people.
Just a cursory look at Facebook could make you believe that everyone else is having more fun and is more interesting than you!
And here’s the rub… most of us are thinking this!
“We dismiss ourselves as uninteresting because we know ourselves and the lives we’ve lead.”
So, no matter how boring you believe your life is, to someone who hasn’t lived it, it’s fascinating.
When it comes to our blogs, it’s easy to fall into the trap of believing we have nothing of value to say. So, we rehash ideas or reshare and roundup other people’s original content.
While this can have some value, and still be useful to your readers (provided you’re not plagiarising!) there is really no substitute for creating your own original content. Share your own ideas. Add value to the conversation not only by regurgitating other content, but being proud to tell your story your way.
Why It’s Important to Write Original Content
Most of the time when we want to create new content for an article, blog post, or a book, we usually go onto the internet to find out how it is being done. This, usually, is to review what is out there on what we want to write about, and how it is presented.
This process, in most cases, as you would be able to observe from most content on the internet leads to the creation of information, rehashed, revised and repackaged, without any meat or quality added to the content.
There are lots of quotes and memes doing the rounds which surround the creation of duplicated content. It is without doubt that you would have seen some of these:
When you pick from one source, it is plagiarism. When you pick from many, it is research (attributed to several authors)
Immature poets imitate; mature poets steal (T.S. Elliot)
Originality is undetected plagiarism (William Ralph Inge)
And my personal favorite:
Whaddya mean all my facts are wrong? I copied everything straight off the internet! (Stephanie DeMichele’s blog)
So maybe you see the humor in duplicated content or you understand the gravity within, the truth is that original content is required to create lasting relevance in a content-driven world.
Original content stands out and resonates with your audience
There simply is no duplicate to when writers and authors communicate with their audience using their voice. Whether as an individual, an agency, company, it is very easy for readers and customers to detect when a brand is culling out content from the core, or when it’s simply been repurposed to fill up blog space.
The purpose of your writing is to communicate information that would be of value to your audience. Even if at the onset you may get some information wrong – although that’s not recommended, your audience wants to know that you made an effort to connect with them and that you care about them – and not just your bottom line.
New ideas come looking for you
Popular sitcom producer, Chuck Lorre is famous for smash hits like Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory, and recently introduced spin-off, Young Sheldon. It is interesting how he says he came upon the idea for currently in its eleventh season and ongoing to twelve, The Big Bang Theory.
It was during a conversation with co-producer and writer, Bill Prady, who shared a story about how as a computer programmer in the 80s, among friends, they found it difficult to engage in the normal social life and regular activities that teens did.
And then they thought, “Why don’t we come with something from this?”
A TED talk given by renowned writer of Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert emphasizes this point. She explains how writers are usually at the mercy of the creativity that comes to them at inopportune moments. She refers to this as creativity seeking self-expression and wanting to come into existence.
Creating new content opens your mind to be receptive to new ideas. These new ideas also make you communicate better with your audience. And so, not only would you benefit, but your audience also.
Your Original Content is tied to Your Brand
Professional ring announcer, Michael Buffer’s Let’s get ready to rumble has gone on to be probably the most iconic words in sports history. Michael Buffer explains how early in his career, he sought for ways to make the ring announcing more interesting and memorable. From rehearsing consistently to get the judges’ names right, to trying new catchphrases to get the crowd excited, he finally chose ‘Let’s get ready to rumble’.
Those simple words represent the Buffer enterprise brand. Trademarked, they have earned Buffer contracts in boxing, wrestling, other sports, movies, video games production, and toys production. They have also earned him an estimated 400 million dollars!
Similarly, your content is your brand, i.e. something that customers identify with. Through these, readers and customers identify the role your words play in providing them what they want, and how they can get it.
Avoiding the Plagiarism Tag
You must have heard of high-profile cases of plagiarism. The earliest I can remember was that of Joe Biden, who had to drop his presidential aspirations because there were suspect areas of plagiarism in his speeches. There are several other cases of members of governing bodies, who had their school degrees rescinded, and had to resign from their positions, because of the plagiarism indictment.
In the present day, the instances of plagiarism are easy to detect. With plagiarism software and websites like https://writingpeak.co.uk/plagiarism-checker, you can identify plagiarism within minutes.
So, presently, while it may not seem grave, years later, you could be battling the issue of plagiarism over a lengthy period, and more so, if your content spreads.
You could have a book in the making
If your content or content niche is in high demand, there is no saying that you cannot revisit the most important points, add up to date and more quality information, and repackage into a book – the objective being to give more value to the reader.
This is simple: Rather than readers having to scour through your blog looking for information that corresponds to their immediate need or requirement, they would have a systematically arranged script that points out the relevant information, in a well-arranged manner.
Now you do know that while you may able to get away with information in an article or on a blog post, a book puts you in the limelight, and opens you to a larger audience who would vet your content.
In conclusion, creating original content makes you stand out from among the junk and trash that is available. This is not to say you cannot give credit or act upon some other person’s ideas. The perks to creating original content, however, is similar to how past writers and authors – living or dead have been quoted and revered for their work, you might start a process that far exceeds that corner of the internet you call your own.
For instant updates when I publish a new blog post, Follow me on Bloglovin’
For extra goodies and exclusive new information, join my mailing list HERE.
I only send a newsletter monthly so I won’t spam you, I promise!