If you’ve ever produced content for public distribution, you’ve probably struggled with lack of awareness or engagement— it’s the most daunting part of the process.
The unfortunate truth is that with so many informational articles generated daily and available literally at your audience’s fingertips, it’s likely your content will get sucked into the Google black hole.
In fact, it’s statistically inevitable: with over 440 million blogs available on the internet, there are probably hundreds - even thousands - that contain the exact same information you’re probably thinking about writing.
With the odds working against you, what can you do to stand out? Easy. Write something nobody else has written before.
Yes, I can almost hear your eyes roll. You’re probably thinking, “How am I supposed create something that stands out among 440 million competitors?!”
Here are a couple of pointers:
Write from your own experience.
If your first instinct is to write a generic “how to” post, that’s not a bad place to start - you’ve been given the keys to the company blog because you’re smart, you know stuff, and you can write. That’s the good news. Now for a dose of humbling perspective: Google your topic and see how many different articles show up.
Knowing that there’s lots of content about your topic, and that yours needs to stand out, it’s time to switch up your approach. What’s the one thing you have that nobody else does? Your life, and your experiences. If you’re the one writing the blog, you’re probably extremely versed in that subject, and you’ve likely had real-life dealings with it… so why not write it from your personal experiences?
It’s refreshing to hear personal accounts, especially in situations a large portion of your readers can relate to.
For example, instead of writing a blog called, “How to get your boyfriend to buy you flowers,” change the perspective — “How I got my boyfriend to buy me flowers.”
Can you detect the underlying change in tone and meaning? When you add a layer of personal insight, you turn instructions (yawn) into an actual story, one with twists, turns, and above all a human touch. Instead of “Here’s some advice that may or may not work depending on your situation,” your blog now says, “here’s something that actually happened to me, I learned from it, and you can too.”
Using your personal experiences, your content is now relatable and original - and it’ll be much easier to write.
Approach your topic from a unique and specific angle
You won’t always have a personal story to share on a subject -- but you’re still an expert, and what you do have are other options.
Again, consider the topic you need to cover. Think about every aspect of the knowledge you are trying to share, from the introductory information to the supplementary material, all the way down to your main argument.
Then plan ways to creatively approach that topic from a definitive, “out-of-the-box” angle. Is the topic you’re covering broad? Are you being specific enough, while remaining direct and brief? Are your readers going to be reading the same thing they’ve read 70 times?
For example: say you’re going to write a blog about how to dress properly for a job interview. The obvious title is going to be the broadest one: “How to Dress Properly for Your Job Interview.” Yawn.
Instead, try approaching it sideways, upside down, bottom to top, right to left-- anything to switch it up.
“From the Shoes on Your Feet to the Top of Your Head - a Step-by-Step Guide on How a Woman Dresses for a Job Interview.”
Yes, that’s a long title. BUT, look at what we just did here: First, the blog is clearly for women — women who might be entering the workforce for the first time, or who are returning to the office after months or years away. You’ve hit your niche.
Second, you’re going to start from the bottom and work your way up. Shoes, pants, tops, hairstyles, makeup, anything you’d need to know about job interview presentation.
And your CMS is probably a pretty good sandbox in which to play, with all sort of tools at your disposal. You’re about to give a detailed explanation, and it’s true that a picture can be worth a thousand words - so use photos, GIFS, or video to punch up your prose. You can also throw in some recommendations on where to purchase similar items, for a decent price - here, links can be your friend.
Your blog is officially specific, unique, and, if you want, you can even throw in some personal experiences with how you’ve dressed in the past, and what has worked for you - now it’s even personalized.
Writing unique content is no easy task, especially if your subject seems generic by default. However, through personalization and approaching each topic from a unique and directed angle, you can take even the most generalized topics and create content that even a jaded audience will find refreshing.