How to Write an Original Blog Post (when its all been said before)
You’ve felt it. I’ve felt it, we’ve all felt it.
The blank page blues.
You need to write blog post. But you’re struggling to come up with ideas.
You’re questioning how to write an original post for your business—when its all been said before.
Focusing on that question too much causes a feeling of overwhelm to creep out and paralyse your brain. It’s the last thing you need. So, you take a deep breath and suppress it.
It’s ok. It’s completely natural to feel like that. In fact, even famous writers experience it at times.
There are thousands of blog posts published every day on the internet. On every topic imaginable. Some are educational, interesting, witty, entertaining, informative and a pleasure to read.
Most are not.
Most are rehashed versions of information already published. And that’s ok. Because not all those blog posts will reach the same audience. And not all those blog posts will appeal to the same audience. They have different writing styles, word choice, content, personality, imagery and layouts.
Different strokes for different folks.
So how can your blog be one of the better ones?
To write an original blog post: TAKE A DIFFERENT APPROACH
There are several ways to approach business blogging that will ensure your posts are unique— so that they’re different from your competitors’ blog, even though you cover the same topics. While remaining true to your brand and audience.
One of the most populated blog topics on the internet is learning how to write. There’s such a huge amount of competition in this online blog space, that I decided to go with this topic to show you how being different can be done.
These three blog posts are based on the same topic (“How to Write Better”). Each of these posts are written by different authors, and each are original in their approach.
This blog post, from the writing app Grammarly, is a short, 300-word blog post written in numerical list form. It’s simple, to the point and conveys four universal tips on how to write more effectively.
This blog post, from the advertising platform WordStream, is, like Grammarly’s post, written as a numerical list, but this post goes into more detail. It’s longer, around 1500-2000 words, incorporates a story, uses plenty of images and communicates a modern and friendly tone both through its imagery and word choice.
While both these two blog posts cover the same topic, the content they focus on is different and they vary in the depth of information.
This Masterclass blog post is different again. This article focuses on a niche topic within the main topic of “How to Write Better”. The article, like the two previous examples, is written in a list format, but the author (David Mamet) first uses a list of bullet points to answer the question “what makes a good sentence” then follows them with a numerical list with tips on how to do it.
It’s very concise — 650 words, and it works, because the content here is ‘gold’.
To write an original blog post: OFFER A DIFFERENT VIEW ON A TOPIC
Nietzsche, that master of the subconscious recognised that to be original is to look at something that already exists, in a different way.
You can do this by studying several blog posts on your topic and looking for ways to add to the discussion or even to change it. For example:
- What’s your point of view on what’s been said? Do you have a different opinion? (This works particularly well with industry news.)
- Can you add any finer details or information that’s been overlooked?
- Can you find any research or statistics to back up a popular blog topic and use these as the basis of a blog post?
- How about presenting statistical information or instructions on how to do something in infographic form and using that as a basis of your blog post? Or vice versa.
You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. The idea is to take information that has already been written and reworking it into something new.
To write an original blog post: TAKE OUTDATED CONTENT AND GIVE IT A MAKEOVER
How often have you read a blog post and found the content to be out of date? It’s one of my pet peeves—blogs with no publication date.
However, herein lies a golden opportunity. That is, to create a new blog post by updating the old content, perhaps adding to it, then putting your unique spin on it.
To write a unique blog post: ‘BE’ UNIQUE
You are an inimitable individual and your business is unique. Even though you have competition, probably a lot, none of them are like you, or do things in the same way as you or your business.
This is a concept of small business branding.
It’s a fact that the way you present your business to the world will appeal to some people but not to others, and there’s nothing you can do about this. And that’s ok. After all you don’t want to work with everyone. You want to work with people you like, and who like you, and who appreciate what your business can do for them.
There are millions of copycat bloggers online and it’s easy to fall into the trap of mimicking their style. But it’s important that your blog is representative of you and your brand. It needs to be consistently familiar and to achieve this it’s important to stick to your brand style—
- Ensure the style of layout is unique to your business and used consistently—it’s important to be recognised. (By all means take inspiration from other blogs, their layouts and style but turn it something that becomes uniquely yours).
- Stick to your brand colours, fonts and style of imagery
- Let your personality shine through in your choice of words, your writing style and your images
- Write content you know your audience will appreciate, in a tone they will relate to
- Be authentic. Don’t pretend to be an ‘authority’ if you’re new in business—your readers will see through it. Instead, how about taking your readers along with you on your journey. Incorporate stories of your progress, your challenges, your wins and things you’ve learned on the way. Sharing information like this builds a strong level of relatability and trust with your audience.
To write a unique blog: LOOK TO YOUR PROSPECTS AND CLIENTS
Has a prospect or client got a question? Answer it in a blog post.
All good writers keep a notebook or use a phone app to record inspirational moments that inspire content creation. If you’re having a face to face conversation, make an effort to remember the exact words the client used, or write them down straight away. That way you can replicate the exact phrasing for your keywords and content. If the meeting is face to face and it’s a bit awkward, simply explain what you’re doing. They’ll probably be chuffed that they inspired you.
Additionally, a good source of inspiration is via comments on your blog articles or on your social media posts, particularly those in Facebook groups. And in your client emails – what problems are they having, what’s working for them? Keep an eye out for those golden nuggets—the unexpected questions or comments you haven’t heard before.
To write an original blog: LOOK TO YOUR COMPETITORS AND INDUSTRY
Play a game of I Spy and regularly check on blog posts and social media profiles belonging your competition. Likewise check on those belonging to related industry members and their web sites. You’re looking for inspirational comments or discussions that can be expanded into a blog article.
By the same token, attend their webinars and pay attention to questions asked by attendees, both during and after the session. These can be an excellent source of inspiration for blog posts.
Originality in content marketing can stem from many sources. But don’t get too bogged down on being ‘original’ and instead focus on creating great content for YOUR readers.
By all means try some of the approaches mentioned in this post and keep the tips handy if the blank page blues should again raise its ugly head.
I’d love to hear any thoughts, comments or tips you may have regarding this post. Please feel free to share them.