It is one thing to generate content ideas — but it’s another thing altogether to create that content. Truly valuable and informative content. If you are very fortunate, you will strike upon a subject that really resonates with your target audience. The conversation begins, lots of likes and shares… And then it gets duplicated on another site.
This is something that is frustratingly familiar to most people who maintain truly valuable websites. So much web content today is just a recycling of what many others have said. How do you stand out from the crowd with your content offerings — and how can you create content that other sites cannot use?
The key is to personalize and individualize your content. When the content that you produce is so tied to your individual situation, knowledge, history and insights — tied to the unique context that gave rise to it — if another site does steal it, there is no way (short of out-and-out scraping) that they could modify it without it being very general and therefore of little value to its readers.
So you need to ask yourself: “What information can I lay my hands on that others do not have access to?” Incorporating this unique information will allow you to “own” it in a way that others cannot, even if they plagiarize it.
Personalizing Your Content: Three Clarifying Questions
There are three important questions that you can ask, that will help you to clarify possible sources of information that you can include in your future content offerings to personalize it:
What Is It That You Know That Others Do Not? The first question is something for you, yourself, to answer. Think about your personal training and education, both on-the-job as well as formal instruction. What have you learned over the years from your training? What classes and training events have proved most useful? Why? Also, think about your personal experiences over the years? Did you have any events occur where your perspective was transformed? Where you really came to a new level of understanding? Finally, think about direct interactions that you have had with customers and loyal site visitors. Think about your interactions with them via support tickets, email threads, interactions in the comments section of various blog posts, or back-and-forth on various social channels. All of these areas will help you to recap your unique life journey, one that cannot be duplicated by others (at least not exactly).
What Is It That Your Staff Knows That Others Do Not? The kinds of questions that you could ask about yourself and your experiences (see above), you could ask about your staff. The difference is that, as these are other people, you will actually need to find ways to approach your staff to get them to share with you. You could try something like a survey but the better option is something akin to a 1-1 interview or assessment. You’ll need a way to compile (and save) all of this information, but if you handle it properly, you will have a good handle on insights they might have from their own education/insights/training and their histories in helping your customers (your sales, marketing, and customer support staff). Focus especially on customer-centric problems that they were presented with and how those challenges were overcome. No other company or business has a set of experiences exactly like yours — capitalize on that with your content!
What Other “Data” Do We Have Access To That Others Do Not have? Once the first two questions have been thoroughly explored, you can start your search for other types of data that you/your business has access to that others do not have. Take a good look at your website analytics. For example, you might notice a repeating ebb-and-flow pattern with your traffic volume that suggests that your business is seasonal. Explore that topic. What topics might your customer research or analytics suggest? While you’re at it, take a look at your customer database for any demographic information that might suggest relevant content topics. As well, market surveys, direct feedback from customers, and pulling apart the details of past case studies are all grist for the mill here.
Some Final Reminders
You need to take action on this today. Get in gear – make some lists – talk to some staff – do some thinking.
Remember, what you/your business uniquely knows is of the highest value.
Relying on those unique insights ensures that your content will also be of the highest value — so developing this kind of content should be your highest priority.