How To Be Original In A Blogosphere Polluted With Regurgitations

“What does original mean?” my inquisitive, 3-year-old asked me.

I had just told her that I wanted to video one of her original dances, instead of a fourth installment of Yankee Doodle.

“It means you make something up,” I told her. That’s my layman’s definition of the word.

In the blog world, have you ever noticed that you can read the same thing hundreds of different ways? Some are definitively better than others. A few stand out for their creative edge and yes, originality.

I’m going to be frank. This is something I struggle with as a freelance writer. It can be difficult to make yourself stand out in an overflowing crowd of good writers (I say good writers because I don’t compare you to just any writers). How can you clear the air in a blogosphere polluted with regurgitations?

Be original. I can think of three ways to do it.

1. Be yourself.

I have my favorite freelance writers and business professionals that I look to for support and guidance. But I don’t try to imitate their writing styles or mimic the images they have created. I am my own woman.

It’s like this. Everyone has their favorite place to grab a hamburger. Some people love McDonald’s Big Mac, while others swear by the local hole-in-the-wall’s Superburger. Then again, nothing compares to what mama makes hot off the grill. Restaurants try to imitate home-cooked food when they aren’t the real deal. You are the real deal, and you can only be original if you show your true colors.

That means that you voice your opinion. You don’t follow the popular view if you don’t feel it. You allow your personal brand to be personal. Don’t just blog about the cold hard facts. Allow people to see a glimpse of your life. There’s no one else like you.

2. Stay up-to-date.

I used to work for a newspaper. But you wouldn’t know it if you talked to me. My knowledge of recent news is slim. It’s a sad fact, yet true.

I’m not necessarily talking about the latest crimes and hurricanes. I mean that you make yourself well-read in your niche. So, if you write about marketing, you know what other marketers are preaching. Why? Because then you can get an idea of what is intriguing your audience, and you can become the authority marketer who knows just about everything there is to know.

That knowledge will shine on your blog. Remember, don’t take other writers’ information and reword every sentence so it doesn’t look like a copy to Googlebots. We’re talking about originality, people.

The more you know, the more you’ll grow. You won’t necessarily need this information to feed your blog. You will need it to become well-rounded in your niche.

3. You have experience. Use it!

So, you’re a writer. I’m a writer. He’s a writer. She’s a writer. We’re all writers. But you have a background in public relations. I have a background in journalism. He has a background in sales. She has a background in accounting. What we write will be different.

You have some kind of knowledge of something. Stuff happened to you at your previous job. You knew other people before you hit the online scene. Talk about it. See how it relates to what you’re doing now. I can guarantee you that those personal experiences will be original.

I’ve learned a lot about originality from my daughter, Micah. One very important thing: She doesn’t care. She doesn’t care what she looks like or who’s watching her do her foot-stompin’ dances. She is going to be herself no matter what.

Kids are like that, and we adults should take that lesson to heart. Don’t be afraid to be original. You could be your worst enemy or greatest triumph. Choose, already.

Profile image for Terez Howard
Terez Howard operates TheWriteBloggers, a professional blogging service which builds clients’ authority status and net visibility.  She has written informative pieces for newspapers, online magazines and blogs, both big and small.  She regularly blogs at Freelance Writing Mamas. You’ll find her on Twitter @thewriteblogger.

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6 thoughts on “How To Be Original In A Blogosphere Polluted With Regurgitations”

  1. You do realize that posts about how to be original are not original? Using your child as a springboard to originality is one of the most cliched deals out there.

    Reply
    • Maybe I missed it, but I’m pretty sure she didn’t claim it was. Although personal stories are always technically original — they’re original takes on topics you might see covered elsewhere more generically. Does that mean every original blog post has to be 100% different from everything you’ve ever read elsewhere? Absolutely not. It means it’s yours. It means you’re the original source and it’s not simply derived from another’s work. That might mean it’s a personal story, your own point of view or take on a subject — not that the subject matter itself is unique. It’s the difference between “5 Tips to Earn $100k per Year as a Writer” done ten times on ten different sites rehashing the same thing versus “How I Earned $100k Last Year as a Writer.” When the story, or a significant part of that story, is your own then you have something original rather than rehashed. That doesn’t mean no one else has had similar experiences.

      Reply
      • Well said, Jennifer. I think that being original doesn’t mean never before seen anywhere else ever in the history of mankind. It’s more about sharing a personal viewpoint in your own voice.

        Kevin, I can assure you that I am not the first person to talk about originality. I know that. However, I do believe that it’s a topic pertinent to freelance writers and other business professionals, and it’s something that we need to talk about. I would love to know what you do in the business world to be original.

        Reply
  2. This was a breath of fresh air on a gloomy November morning. On one hand being original is hard work, on the other it’s easy peezy. (Yes, that is how I talk. I am an original, so get over it.) Thanks for inspiring creativity in my writing today!

    Reply
  3. your right. Originality is a must. But, then you may read so many blogs that a person’s voice becomes your own. I guess one would have to detoxify for awhile to get their own voice. What are your thoughts Terez?

    Reply
  4. Everything seems like it has been done to death, so it is hard to be original anymore. Then again, like people have said, every voice is unique, so there has to be something you will write something others have yet to experience or document.

    Blogs that fall behind are bland and dead. If you don’t stay ahead or in-line with the latest news then what’s the point? The only time being behind is worth the wait is when the poster has a unique slant on the subject matter e.g. presents the news in a comical manner.

    Reply

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