22 September 2007

Blogging 101: Original Content Rules the Day

Less than 20 percent of all blog content is original.

I can't remember where I read that, but spend about a half hour cruising the web and you'll believe it. From blogs that clip a portion of news then link to the complete story, to blogs that review and recap other blogs, to advertising blogs that merely clip content from the business's main website...It's tough to find anything original on the blogosphere.

Online searchers can spend hours hitting the same content over and over again; same content, different blog. Granted, hot news stories lifted from CNN or The Onion are going to provide something engaging and interesting for your readers, but how do you make the content yours. How do you move your blog from newstand to newsroom status?

Take a Stand
Go ahead and post that news article on Microsoft's latest lawsuit or PETA's drive to outlaw bullfighting worldwide. Once you've clipped and linked to the story or paraphrased the details, tell your readers where you stand on the issue and why.

Offer Solutions
It's really easy to point out an issue from the news. But, what are you bringing to the table by offering up the issue? Provide a solution without regard for the reaction you think you might receive from your readers. Nothing opens up discourse better than when you claim to have the answer...be it right or wrong.

For advertisers, find those clips in the news that will allow you to offer your product or service as the solution:

"Do you die to stay ahead of the fashion curve? NeoGothicPunkHippyPrep has the clothes and accessories sure to keep people thinking you just stepped off a Parisian runway."

Share Something Only You Know
Never believe that the stories running through your mind only have a place there.
  • Does your neighbor's ant-extermination practices fascinate you? Write a story about it.
  • How about that crack in the wall, staring you down day in and day out? Blog it. Who knows? Maybe a "crack in the wall" support group will fall right in your lap.
  • Does someone in your community work tirelessly to clean the runoff ditches, but no one takes note? Honor them on your blog.
Remember, original content rules the day. The more original your blog, the more valuable it will be in the longrun.

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