Why Originality Matters When Publishing Content on the Web

By: Daniel Imbellino
Updated: May 09, 2013

When it comes to publishing content on the internet, we’ve all heard the saying “Produce high quality content!” Unfortunately image of laptop with earth this is kind of a subjective statement in the fact that what one person may consider to be content of a high quality and standard, another may not see this content in the same light. One idea to consider when taking web publishing into account is, do people like or consider your content to be of a quality nature? Are you producing likable content? How do we gauge the value of content in terms of a wide audience? These are all fairly reasonable questions that any web publisher should be asking themselves, if not, then failure isn’t far away. It’s logical reasoning really. Who are we producing content for, and do they like, want, or need our content for some reason? Here we’re going to take a closer look at why only a handful of web publisher’s manage to succeed, while the rest fail.

Epic Content Fail Number One – You’re Regurgitating Content!

I see this all too often on the web these days, websites simply pushing out article after article of dry, boring content that would clearly interest no one. Simply producing content for the purpose of monetizing does not work! If you aren’t passionate about your work, no one else will be either, and this is where originality comes into play. I can’t count how many SEO and social media articles I’ve read that simply state the same thing I’ve read a thousand times before. Some content strategy right? Or worse yet are the publishers who simply troll the web stealing others work and changing a few keywords in order to make the content look original to search engines so they don’t get penalized.

On the other hand, if your content is insightful and original, then people will come to like it, and they will continue to follow your content. But what is insightful and original content? Its content that is derived from your own thoughts, ideas, beliefs, and knowledge; not simply barfing up somebody else’s work for the fiftieth time! That being said, you must be knowledgeable about the content you write about, or else you will trip yourself up with those who know more than you. Everyone’s an SEO and Social Media specialist right?

Epic Content Failure Number Two – Your website looks bored!

OK, great, so you just created your new website with Wordpress, and you have high quality content ready to be published on your site that looks like every other website in the world! Yep, that white background with black text is sure to get your readers intrigued, and win over thousands of followers. After all, there’s only one billion other sites on the web with the same design strategy, so how can you go wrong? And, whatever you do, make sure not to make use of effective space on your pages by having tons of empty white space (adds more value to user interaction right).

I can count about 20 times over the last 6 months how people asked me why I didn’t just use Wordpress when designing my sites? They claim it’s easier to manage, and it streamlines much of the design process for you. My answer, I guess those same people should tell artists not to bother painting anything, and instead just go out and buy a painting! After all, it would save them time since they don’t have to design anything, then they can look at that painting everyday and have nothing to feel proud about since they have no personal thought or inspiration in it themselves. Now isn’t that creative!

The point is, having a website that looks like every other site in the world isn’t going to score you any brownie points with your sites visitors, plain and simple! I don’t just write content, I design it! Sure Wordpress is great, and for those who don’t know web design it may be the only viable choice, but it doesn’t add any originality to your overall content to have a site that looks like ten million others! I have no doubt in my mind that if I took the design away from my site, it would likely fail to continue to attract people’s interests, and would ultimately cease to exist.

Epic Content Failure Number Three – You Pay No Attention to Your Users!

How do you know what people like or dislike about your content if you have no working strategy in place to measure the worth of your content within your readers eyes? It’s this very subject that caused me to fail as an internet publisher early on. There are a few simple ways to gauge the value of your content however. Among those are, connecting with users on social media, listening to what they have to say, and measuring technical and social data in order to determine what content is popular, what is not, and why. I use tools like Stat Counter to measure traffic, social networking buttons to gauge how many people are liking, +1’ing, or sharing my content. Content that is shared a lot is obviously being shared for a reason. Likewise, content that isn’t gaining any steam is probably being ignored for good reason.

Being able to determine the worth of our content from the user’s perspective helps us to know where we need to focus our efforts when creating content online. This is also where being creative and not being scared to think outside the box comes into play. Not everything I write or create is an instant success, but I’m not afraid to experiment and try new things in order to see what people think, or expand my capabilities. We can learn a lot from our own failures, and the less failures we make, the less likely we are to succeed! Success does not come without failure. If people don’t like your content, then try something else, after all, you can’t make everyone happy, there are plenty of trolls on the web.

The point of all this is, don’t just do what everyone else is doing, if you do, then no one will ever find interest what you have to offer, since you are doing nothing different than anyone else. Set yourself apart! Implementing an original design and creating content that’s useful to others will win people over. No sense in marketing when you can have your readers do this for you. I for one tend to share articles I like on the web often. Another thing to consider is, are you writing about or creating content that people are actually searching for online? Not all subjects are created equally in this sense. Some subjects and keywords are clearly searched for more than others. In this case it’s probably best to use some type of keyword research, as well as checking out what’s hot in today’s media in order to find subjects to write about that can be real traffic to your blog or website.

Google’s Adwords program has a keyword research tool that clearly shows how many global searches were done for a given set of keywords within a given amount of time. Bing webmaster tools also offers a similar keyword research tool to help web publishers determine which keywords are searched for the most on a given subject. I personally focus on what content is hot on the web, what’s new, and what keywords match a current subject well when creating my content, and you should do the same.

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