Your web content will be derivative and boring, unless…

key to original contentMillions of new content pages are published online each day. Most of them are derivative and boring.

How come? Several reasons. But perhaps the biggest reason is that the environment of marketing online demands that we keep publishing new posts and new pages, at an ever-increasing rate. And photos. And videos. And slide shows.

If we don’t keep publishing, we look like we’re falling behind our competitors.

Plus, Google has made is clear that it likes “fresh’ content. And social media is driven by what’s new, and what’s happening now.

New, new, new. Publish, publish, publish.

Everyone feels under pressure to keep pumping out new stuff. And as a result, most of that new stuff is “fast content” that is almost always derivative of what others have written before.

In other words, the driving force behind content creation has less to do with sharing new and important information than it should. Often it’s to satisfy the demands of the search engines and social media.

So…how can you avoid writing content that is derivative and boring? How can you make it truly original? How can you make it memorable, and your own?

You do it by making your content specific to your own audience.

If you are writing about content marketing best practices, and your audience is realtors, you make your post or article totally specific to the needs of realtors. Your focus is not on content marketing but on its application to very specific circumstance.

It’s the same if you are writing about social media and your audience is event managers. You don’t write about social media, because a zillion people have already done that. Instead you write about the application of social media in the world of event management.

Make it about your readers. Make it about their world at work.

Here is another way of looking at this. Instead of using your posts or articles as a way to showcase your own knowledge and expertise, use them to serve your readers by applying what you know to help them in their specific business.

And as part of that process, make a habit of asking your readers what they really want from you.

When you spend less time showing off what you know, and more time helping your readers and prospects, good things happen.

Plus, when your content is audience-focused, you’ll never have to look back at what you have written and think, “Ouch, I just rehashed what dozens of other people have already written before.”

About the author: Nick Usborne is an online writer, copywriter, author and coach.

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3 thoughts on “Your web content will be derivative and boring, unless…

  1. Hi Nick

    In regards to specific information, it helps to “tell a story” in regards to “showing” value of your information.

    I write fiction. The stories are full of scenes that “show” a hero either succeeding or failing at something in regards to achieving her goal. If that goal is pertinent to your life, then the reader can empathize.

    Reader empathy is what you’re talking about here regarding blogs, news letters, fiction, and even day to day stories in the news.

    The more real the story, the more appealing the blog post. If you’re a Realtor, then tell us a story about what made the house sell, or more importantly–what had to change until it would sell.

    Stories written correctly capture our interest and we’ll keep reading as long as it’s relevant, entertaining, and to the point (for a blog).

    I suspect that one could get away with a newsletter as “the adventures of Sassy Sally the Realtor as she goes head to head against her lying, cheating competitors, and of course the crazy difficult to deal with home owners–and buyers.”

    that’s an interesting blog.


  2. Nick,

    This was a great article for me. I’ve been scratching my head, trying to figure out how to write something new for my articles.

    Now I realize that I should focus how my specialty, content marketing, on a particular B2B segment for the article content. Each article should appeal to a particular segment, not be so generalized.

    Thanks again,
    Steve Maurer

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