“You’re nothing but a second-rate, trying hard, copycat!” Not a lot may now this line, but this is from a Filipino movie. And it says a lot, doesn’t it? Let’s elaborate on it, shall we?
Copying other people’s content is just not the way to go. We know it is challenging, especially with how much content has been published on the Internet today, but original content is still king when it comes to social proofing and establishing your credibility. You want people to know you as an expert in your field, your website should be the go-to place for information and valuable insight. You want people to visit your website regularly.
So, what exactly is original content, and how do you write one?
By the sense of the term, content is considered original if it has never been written about before, however, in this day and age, it is unlikely that you will have purely original content, although not unheard of by any means. Think of it as a topic that’s been published but written from a different perspective. Simply put – it’s an old concept, explained in new terms. And to make it more original, written in your terms.
Before we get to the how, we’d like to remind you why original content is important.
1. One reason is the algorithm of search engines, like Google, has evolved and can now detect plagiarised content. This has a significant impact on your search engine ranking. You can read more about Search Engine Optimisation and why it is important.
2. Another reason is you can be sued and penalised! Free websites like Small SEO Tools and premium ones such as Copyscape have made it so easy to check if your work is plagiarised. Use this to your advantage and check if your content passes the test.
On to the how.
Pro tip number one – write what you know! What else can you write if it is not something you know by heart. By writing content you are fully knowledgeable about, you can expand on topics without having to do intensive research and trying to understand concepts unbeknownst to you. This way, you are telling your readers you are an expert of your field. Although it does help to add some links to credible statistics and researches to prove your point too!
Pro tip number two – talk to your audience. You must have a target audience in mind. Sure, the general public is your audience since the Internet is open to everyone, but the chances that people land on your blog or article is because they searched for it, or they are regular visitors of your website. They are your key demographics, so write your content in the language, tone and terminologies your target audience understands. For us at Start Smart Website, our target audience are women entrepreneurs, so we always keep you in mind when we create our blogs.
Pro tip number three – be relatable. You’re writing a blog, an article, or a website content, not a textbook. Your piece should be compelling so that your audience will read them from start to finish. Tap into their emotions. Create pieces they can put themselves into. Our post All About Newsletters discusses a little more about the importance of storytelling and human interest stories.
Pro tip number four – add visual content. Images add impact to your writing and can help make your point clearer. Infographics are a good example when you’re writing about something informative and educational. Photos also help break the entire content into smaller chunks so that it won’t seem as long and will make the page easier on the eyes and easier to read.
We like to assume that our readers are keen to detect copied content, so it’s best to publish original content. Unless you want to be tagged as second-rate, then don’t be a copycat!