How to write great content on your blog
One of the things that annoys me about many blogs is that the authors don’t bother to write their own articles. They just quote or link to others who have written articles that interest them.
Write original content
Yes, I’ve also done this from time to time, but usually when I consider that the author has said something really significant, or they have said it better than I possibly could. Sometimes it is purely a matter of time restraints. As much as possible I try to write original content on my blogs.
An example of original content
Writing original content is relatively easy for me. Firstly, I have the time to devote to researching and writing articles that appear on my blogs. It could also reflect the unique nature of my blogs. For example, my Birding Blog mainly features bird observations that I have made, illustrated by photos I have taken. Sometimes I will link to other blogs or web sites that I think my readers would be interested in looking at.
On my Travel Blog I relate my experiences travelling in Australia and overseas. Again, the content is unique to me and this also features photos I have taken. I aim to not only make this blog read like a travel journal, which it sometimes is, but to also give my unique slant on the places I visit. I aim to give personal impressions of the places, the people, the culture and my reactions to these places.
Some sources for original content
On this, my writing blog, I frequently post snippets of my vast body of writing, including poetry and short stories. Many of my articles about writing and blogging (like this one) are quite original. I will admit that quite a few articles are prompted by what I have read in magazines, books, web sites or other blogs. I’ve even used ideas from radio and television programmes. I usually try to give my opinions or unique slant on these articles. This article, for example, was prompted by an article I read on ProBlogger. (More about that later.)
How to write great content
There are many different ways of doing this. How you do this will depend to some extent on the particular topic or theme of your blog. There are some general principles all bloggers can follow. This is by no means an exclusive list:
- Always write original content: Always relying on others for your content is a somewhat lazy way of building your blog. It can eventually turn off your readers because you rarely have anything new to say. Sure, writing original material is hard, time consuming and takes effort. If you are consistent and persevere with this approach, you will develop a loyal community of readers.
- Always write unique content: Write content that only you can write. Find a unique slant or unique responses to what you are writing about. In this way you will be bringing new thoughts and ideas to the conversation.
- Always be yourself: Print publishers, editors and writing mentors and writing instructors frequently talk or write about finding your own voice. Develop your unique style or voice in your writing, whatever its target audience. This takes time, effort and persistence. It will not happen overnight. The opposite, however, trying to copy the style of a famous writer or blogger, is a short cut to disaster. It just doesn’t work in the long term.
- Always add value if using content from others: If you do wish to refer to or link to the content of other bloggers, try to add value to what others have written. Give your own slant, your own opinions and unique response to what others have written about. A good example of this is this article; at the end there is a link to the source of the idea for this article. I just didn’t comment that the article is a good one, or that it makes good points on the topic. Instead, I gave my unique slant on the topic and in doing so, I hope that I have added value to the discussion.
Rules for writing great content:
Tony Hung, as a guest blogger on ProBlogger has written about what he calls the 1 / 9 / 90 rule of writing content. He explains it this way:
- 1% of bloggers create new content (what I called original or unique)
- 9% of bloggers enrich content (what I called adding value)
- 90% of bloggers consume content
Of course, Tony’s article says far more than just that. Read the whole article here.