In an ocean of websites, it’s quite difficult to build an individual drop. At some point, you will come across a topic that has already been covered by someone else. What can you do to build a unique site without it seeming like you’re copying the success of others? It’s not impossible. It just takes a bit of effort.
Offering a Unique Website Among Many
Trying to do something different is part of my job for both clients and myself. In many situations, there is often a large number of articles that are similar to what I need to create. So, what can I do to write a unique piece that isn’t regurgitating the same information?
1. The Personal Perspective
Adding a personal perspective to content is a good way to make it appear different from others. After all, you’d be amazed by how often a story changes because of a different point of view. Adding your personal take on the topic is a way to separate the subject from what everyone else had already published.
A lot of bloggers will do this by explaining their own experiences. For instance, my retainer client needs at least one infographic done per month. Unfortunately my manager has the hardest time trying to find something that hasn’t been done before. What we wind up doing is taking a topic and change the perspective or add something more relevant to her industry.
See what I did there? I introduced a story of my own to accentuate the point. And I did it again.
A personal perspective also connects readers to the author. When I introduce elements like this, you’re getting to know me as a person and a professional. Both have potential to improve interaction and branding regardless of who you are.
2. Opposites Attract
One method my client loves is taking a topic and writing about the exact opposite. For her business, this platform has worked exceptionally well. For example, we’ll take an article titled, “10 Ways to Improve Traffic to Your Site” and change it to “12 Things to Avoid If You Want Traffic On Your Site.”
Although we don’t generate the same numbers as the original, these styles of articles work fairly well.
The point is to take your idea a different route. If you see someone has the same article in the search results, modify it in a way that makes it different yet similar. In my examples above, both have the same purpose in mind: to increase website traffic. We just went about it a different way.
3. The One-Up
A lot of clients like the “skyscraper” technique when it comes to creating content. This is when you take an article someone else has created and try to make it better. Personally, I like to call it the “one-up.” Essentially, you’re saying, “Oh yeah, well I can do it better.”
There are several facets to the one-up that you need to pay attention to for success. You don’t just jump into writing a longer blog post thinking it will outperform the competition.
Here are several of the things my client wants in these pieces:
- More stats to support the claim: Stats are great when you want to support an argument, especially in a world where everyone is claiming “fake news.”
- Improved readability: I use tools to determine an article’s readability level and try to improve upon that. Content that is easier to read often performs better.
- Deeper coverage: Go deeper into the points of the article. Instead of a couple of sentences, finding enough information to got two or three paragraphs gives you content and provides better understanding for the audience.
Unfortunately, thin topics are extremely difficult to flesh out without it seeming like filler content. You want each sentence to have a solid point that readers can absorb. Trying to cram too much into a piece just to make it seem longer actually hurts your chances of engaging the audience.
4. Being Creative
Personal creativity and imagination can help keep your content unique among the growing number of sites in the world. This is especially true if you’re able to throw in your own style and sense of humor. While you probably don’t want to cross lines when trying to deliver news and more serious-minded material, adding in flavor can have a positive result.
Depending on the topic and the client, I have to hold back on my light-hearted side. Which is a shame, really. While I can be vulgar, people around me enjoy when I go off on a tangent. That there is filler content. It’s information you don’t necessarily need and has no impact on the topic.
Anyway, being creative according to what drives you is a great way to separate your content from the others. Although some people have similar personalities, everyone is different.
Even news can have a sense of humor to it, as long as you can deliver it in a tasteful way. Perhaps you can do some research and connect the use of video games played compared to the number of Republican voters. There’s probably not a correlation, but it would be a fun study.
5. Always Cite Sources and Facts
As funny as it may seem, just being truthful and basing opinions in facts seems to be something unique nowadays. I mentioned, “fake news” earlier for a reason. Too many people are trying to get visitors by citing outlandish claims. The other side of that coin is a lower reputation.
The last thing you want to do is be one of those “click-bait” people who title a headline just so visitors impulsively click on it. However, you need to know where the line is between a fact-driven headline and click-bait.
One of the things I do for myself as well as all my clients is cite my sources of information through links. On the health blog, I’ll even add a Sources section like you would see in WikiPedia. I also only select sources that have a higher reputation after I do some research to verify that the claims are correct.
Yes, this creates a bit more work. However, I feel comfortable in the idea that people are getting actual facts from me and not just information I found on some conspiracy theorist website. Facts are there…you just have to find them.
Try not to force yourself to appear unique. Probably the best thing you can do is be yourself when you write. Don’t worry if you want to cover a topic someone already created. Just find ways to make it your own and do it better according to your personal standards.