How To Write Unique Content

Every webmaster knows that to rank in the search engines these days your site must have lots of high quality unique content. But what is it that makes content truly unique?

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Let me start by saying that I love writing. Creating content has never been a chore for me; I like nothing more that putting pen to paper (or more accurately fingers to keys) and letting my thoughts pour out of my head and onto the page.

I understand however that not everyone feels this way and I also accept that writing is not something that comes naturally to everyone. Quality will vary (although this is something that can be improved with practice), but this can be overlooked if the content and message is good.

What I do not accept however are those that do not even try to write for themselves and simply plagiarise other people’s content, particularly through the use of article spinners.

With this in mind, when I read a blog post this week extolling the benefits of using article spinners to rank your site, my blood temperature started to rise. Worse still the article had received numerous votes on blogengage (not their fault, they have a great service) and had made it onto the front page.

There were various comments from other members agreeing with the article and a particular one that got my back up was that no content is truly unique anyway -with the insinuation being that when we research a topic we are just becoming human spinners -so we may as well let a machine do the work for us.

This really hit a raw nerve with me, so today I am going to look at what I believe makes content truly unique and how you can produce blog posts and articles which are fresh, engaging and insightful – no matter how many times the topic has been covered in the past.

What Unique Content Is Not

First let me clarify that what I am talking about today is not what makes content unique enough to pass through google’s duplicate content filters. If all you care about is getting your page indexed then yes, an automated tool could possibly mix it up enough to get you by the algorithm (for now).

Once a potential customer is on your page however, do you really think a spun article is going to make them trust you enough to want to use your product or service?

Actually, let me rephrase that…

When a potential client is on your page then again, do you truly suppose a spun article is set to make them believe you enough to need to utilize your item or administration?

In case you didn’t guess I just put that paragraph into an article spinner as a test. I googled ‘article spinner’ and used the first one that came up, so would assume that it is one that is widely used.

Doesn’t read well does it and that is just one paragraph. If the whole page was like that I would certainly be heading straight for the back button.

Apart from reading horribly it is clearly not a unique piece of content, although as I mentioned before it might slip through the duplicate content net.

What Does Make Content Unique?

So if a topic has been done to death, how can you make your articles truly unique?

Well, to my mind there are four main ways in which you can write an article about a popular topic and bring something genuinely fresh to the table.

  • Offer new insight
  • Your own opinions
  • personal experiences
  • An interesting twist

I will go through each of these in more detail.

New Insight

The first one is easy. If you genuinely have something to say about this topic that no one has ever said before, then you have a golden ticket. Be it new facts, research or just a new perspective.

This is naturally going to make your article unique and people who are interested in the subject want to read it.

Your Own Opinions And Experiences

This is, for me, the key to creating truly unique content and also to writing compelling copy. Only you are you after all!

Write with a strong voice and give your opinions, even if they are contrary to the popular beliefs on the subject. In fact, in many cases, especially if they are contrary to the popular beliefs on the subject!

If your article includes lots of facts and figures, don’t just quote them without any comment – if people want just the facts they will go to wikipedia.

Explain why you feel these figures are important and what you believe they mean. And don’t worry if people disagree with you, that’s exactly what will start the debate and get your comments section buzzing.

Personal Experience

If you are writing about a topic in which you have personal experience all the better. Tell your readers about your experiences, what you learned from them and how they have caused you to form your opinions.

Not only will this ensure that your content is truly unique and valuable, it will help you to form a connection with your readers.

This works well with a standard ‘how to do this’ type article. For most topics there are probably dozens of these already, so using little anecdotes will help to separate you from the crowd.

An Interesting Twist

Find an interesting twist, or quirky take on a topic. For example, last week I was writing about the importance of writing great titles for your blog posts and in the article I compared blog posts to salt.

It wasn’t the greatest analogy in the world (I freely admit that!), but it did help to make the article unique to me.

Takeaway

I’m sorry for the serious tone of today’s post, but the claim that everything has been done before anyway, so we might as well just cheat gets me going! There are no shortcuts to success and creating truly unique content, which engages your readers takes time and practice.

Write with passion, infuse your own character and opinions into your articles and you will be well on your way to succeeding with your website and watching your subscriber count/sales grow.

If you have any questions, feedback or other tips on writing truly unique content then please leave a comment below. Join me on twitter, or subscribe by email or RSS for loads more internet marketing, blogging and SEO tips.

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About the Author

I'm a web developer, programmer, blogger and SEO expert from Glasgow, Scotland, with over 15 years experience in the industry. When I'm not writing about marketing and SEO you'll find me strumming the guitar in my band or listening to Revolver on repeat. Follow me on twitter, connect with me on google+ and add us on facebook to keep up with all the latest trends in SEO and online marketing.

Leave a Reply 24 comments

Scott Craighead - July 14, 2013 Reply

I agree, you should always write with your own thoughts and creativeness. It’s okay to get motivated by reading another’s blog post and center your thoughts around that. But don’t just take it and use it like some thief. – Scott Craighead

How To Write Content That Is Truly Unique - Top... - July 14, 2013 Reply

[…] How to write content for your blog or website that is truly unique, offers value to your readers and will grow your subscribers/traffic.  […]

Bernard Z. - July 14, 2013 Reply

Hi Dave,

You have stated some very valid points in your blog and I understand your frustration with spun articles. In the past I used to think that spinning article was a good Idea, I even written some blog posts encouraging it. But can you really blame a person for thinking this way? Think about it, spinning article saves you time and you can have a 1000 words within minutes. So to someone who’s uneducated in the field it sounds logical.

With that being said, I don’t think everyone who spins articles is a black hatter or someone who’s actually trying to game the system, it can be just someone who’s unaware of the harm since you see so many articles that say you should go for it without knowing that you might want to check the date. When it comes to SEO, in a lot of cases if its written in 2006 then perhaps its not good advice.

I also think that a lot of people see a post on the top page of Google and believe it has o be like it in order to go to the first page. They completely forget what the whole point of blogs is and just rewrite what someone else wrote. A blogger should add their own personality, opinions, rants, etc. to their posts. I tell a lot of local musicians in a heart beat, you not going to go anywhere because I don’t see your uniqueness and personality in your music. You just trying to do copy another successful musician and you are missing the point. Which is your own personality, twist, etc, I think that this can apply to anything.

Anyway, I have pretty much written a post in the comment section. I go write now before my inspiration dies out for today.

Stay Awesome.

David McSweeney - July 14, 2013 Reply

I know what you mean, there’s a lot of disinformation on the web and old irrelevant advice. Hopefully we can help spread the word about how to do things the right way! Article spinning just grates with me like nails down a chalkboard.

Your musician analogy is a good one (and something I can identify with as a songwriter myself!). While you can be influenced by others, in any creative medium you have to find your own voice. I hate to use over used catchphrases – but innovate, don’t imitate seems relevant here.

Tom Jamieson - July 14, 2013 Reply

Hi David – This article is quite helpful for me. I often find myself experiencing some sort of writer’s block and sometimes even a little anxiety when it comes to writing great content that is relevant and of high quality.

Nancy Badillo - September 28, 2013 Reply

Hello David,

Thanks for the informative article! Writing an unique article will help you stand out from your competition and engage your audience. I have a lot of people complain about others who copy their style of writing, keywords, and titles tags. In the online marketing world we all have room to grow so we need to stand out and have unique content. Great job!

    David McSweeney - September 30, 2013 Reply

    Thanks for stopping by Nancy and glad you enjoyed the article. Yep, writing with your own voice and giving opinions is what will make you stand out and you’re not going to get that by cutting and pasting from elsewhere!

Denis D. - September 29, 2013 Reply

Writing unique content is key to creating a great site/blog. Using article spinners doesn’t work anymore after the latest Google update, at least not as effective as it might have worked before.

If you really want to build loyal readers, then you need to provide them with something fresh and clever that comes from you and you only. Like you said, sharing experiences and putting your own twist on your content will make a huge difference and will distinguish you from the million other writers.

It’s a shame that people voted up that blog engage article (nothing against blog engage as it is a great site, it is actually how I came across this blog post). I feel that some people are afraid to submit negative comments and disagree with writer’s point of view. I for one encourage negative feedback on my blog posts as long as they are respectful. Additionally I have been always for unique content creation as plagiarism is becoming a huge problem on the Internet with the emergence of more and more ‘want to be professional bloggers’.

    David McSweeney - September 30, 2013 Reply

    Totally with you on the negative comments thing. If someone doesn’t agree with what I’ve said I want them to tell me that is the case and (importantly) give me their reasons why. There are a lot of areas of internet marketing which are not black and white and it’s natural that people will have different opinions and experiences. I will argue my case though if I still feel I’m right!

Kuldeep - September 29, 2013 Reply

Hello David,

I really live your views regarding unique content and i agree with all your points. Now a days it’s really important to have unique content as google is really strict in finding the spun articles.

Yeah we use to perform spinning articles and submitting it to directories and etc but none of them are working now.

Sharing personal experience is really important to make our audience a regular reader.

thanks

    David McSweeney - September 30, 2013 Reply

    Thanks Kuldeep, glad you enjoyed the article and hopefully the days of article spinning will soon be behind us. The latest google update (Hummingbird) should help things as it seems to be more semantic in its index and nonsense, spun articles shouldn’t do so well.

Sachin Singh - September 30, 2013 Reply

Thanks! David, for providing a lot of information about Unique Content that is really great and helpful for me and other.

amitsarwara - September 30, 2013 Reply

hey David, Really helpful tips thank for sharing.

    David McSweeney - September 30, 2013 Reply

    no problem, glad you enjoyed the post

Zahid Sindhu - October 1, 2013 Reply

As someone who’s trying his hand at writing regularly on the web, I find the advice very useful.

I remember the days – particularly 2004 – 2007 – when “article marketing” was working quite well for internet marketers. Naturally, BlackHatters had to come up with an easier method of producing mass articles and so, article spinning was born.

Even though Panda and then Penguin killed the effectiveness of the practice (thank God!) I think some are having a hard time believing that such an ‘easy’ method doesn’t work anymore.

    David McSweeney - October 1, 2013 Reply

    Thanks Zahid, yeah, article marketing used to be a good way of building clean links and I had good success with writing high quality articles. Then the spinners spoiled it 🙁

Apollo - October 1, 2013 Reply

Nice post and right on target. A lot of bloggers think their content is unique if it passes through Google and their post gets indexed. I never liked spun articles or those who claimed to be bloggers and felt the need to spin their content which to me just is against what any real blogger would do.

    David McSweeney - October 1, 2013 Reply

    It’s a huge bug bear of mine.

amitsarwara - October 5, 2013 Reply

Really precise and amazing Article, There is a lots of misconceptions among bloggers about unique content, Some of them think that by synonyms in article will make their content unique, but that’s not the thing.

Everyone must see their blog from the audience point of view, what would they have thought if they were reading the article, Make your article as simple as possible.

One more thing, it can’t be learned within a day or a week, These qualities comes from practice and experience.

Thanks for sharing really amazing article.

    David McSweeney - October 7, 2013 Reply

    Thanks Amit, glad you enjoyed it. Yes, changing words around does not make content unique.

The 10 Commandments Of SEO | Blog Engage - November 23, 2013 Reply

[…] To find favour with Google you must write your own unique content and for tips on how to make your posts truly unique see my article on the subject here. […]

Abhishek Gupta - April 11, 2014 Reply

Hi

I nice read and I would say well summarized. Unique posts are the drivers for success on any blog and in order to write an unique post the writer needs to put in his own ideas rather than twist the ideas of others if he/she wishes to get ranked well on Google. Unique contents also make it very easier for you to earn from your efforts….

Adewale - July 21, 2014 Reply

Hi,can u explain to me how to research the web for inspiration before writing content with my keyword list

    David McSweeney - July 22, 2014 Reply

    Hi, really depends on the content you are looking to write/niche. Checking out forums and the questions asked in them is always a good start

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