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?
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.
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.
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.
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.