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7 Strategies for Creating Original Content

content originality

According to research conducted by Curata, originality is a content marketer’s greatest challenge.  Creating original content requires more time and creativity, but it is worthwhile:

  • Unique content is much more likely to build an audience of returning readers.
  • Search engines reward originality.
  • People are less likely to link to over used content.

Originality is often thought to be synonymous with new ideas. Content doesn’t have to be a brand new topic that has never been covered to be original.  Here are seven strategies for scoping out and creating original content:

newsjacking

1. Use the News:  It is extremely difficult to compete with news networks and online publications dedicated to covering current topics, unless you have some extensive contacts or exclusive information.  What you can do is put your own spin on the news in a way that is relevant to your industry and audience, making the perspective unique to you.  For example, instead of covering an election in a way that is designed for the masses, you could discuss the conversations that happened over social media channels during a political debate.  Provide a different lens for your audience to view a popular topic through.

other voices

2. Include Other Voices: Having someone else create or contribute to your content can be a great way to get a different perspective.  This could be in the form of a guest blog post or interviewing other people on a topic of interest.

read comments

3. Read the Comments:  When researching a topic on other blogs and online magazines be sure to check out the comments left behind by readers.  The comments section is often full of questions, elaborations, and critique that can act as a compass when writing about a similar subject.

mind the gap

4. Mind the Gap:  When you are writing about a topic that has been covered before, look for holes in the popular literature.  Are they missing a major point? Is their article outdated? Add more depth, seek the most up-to-date research, and fill any gaps left by other writers.

Researching Content

5. Do Your Own Research:  Rather than relying on the findings of others, go ahead conduct your own research.  This could be an online survey, a poll, or asking in person. This is far more time consuming than building on the existing research, but can be great for delving deeper into topics and subjects that lack relevant research.

Change Package

6. Change the Packaging: If you have covered a topic as a blog post and found it to be popular, try taking that content and re-formatting it for a different platform, such as slideshare (an online slide sharing platform).  Content can be repackaged into infographics, prezis, slides, video, and assembled into eBooks.  This helps you get your message across to all kinds of different readers.

content personality

7.  Take it Personally:  When in doubt, write about what you know.  Who can talk about you, your work, or your brand better than you?  Humanize your company and write about your journey or celebrate a milestone.  Write an opinion piece expressing your views on relevant news and issues.

We hope this article has helped you in your endeavors!

Content Blogging

<<Read the mother post  ‘7 Key Characteristics of Shareworthy Content’

7 Key Characteristics of Shareworthy Content

Creating Content Worth Sharing

“Content marketing and social media marketing should be part of every brand’s marketing plan” –Forbes

content sharing

Creating content doesn’t guarantee it will get shared online.  A number of factors come into play when examining what makes one piece of content more likely to be shared than another.  First and foremost, your audience must be able to find your content.  As for the actual content itself, there are seven core characteristics that influence the virality of your content:

1) Originality If your content is old news or a reiteration of an idea that is already well-known within your audience then it is less likely to be shared.  Go after the less talked about, fresh, content.  Industry news is a great example of fresh, viral, content.  If you’re going to talk about a topic that has been discussed time and time again be sure to add your own angle, whether it is personal, adds visual aids (such as infographics), or provides an alternative perspective.  Tips for Creating Original Content >>

2) Visual: Photos receive double the ‘likes’ than text updates and videos are twelve times as likely to be shared.  On the top ten brand pages on Facebook video and picture content drive the most engagement.  Your content should be presented in an organized fashion and avoid lengthy paragraphs.  Lists and infographics are popular because of the way they organize information in a manageable manner.

3) Relevance: If you write a really great article about a topic that is irrelevant to your audience chances are it isn’t going to get shared. One must achieve content-audience fit.  If you listen to your audience and participate in the online conversations in your industry you’ll find yourself more in-tune with what topics might be of interest to them.

4) Great Titles:Your title/heading is a first impression.  Your content should have a carefully chosen title that either describes the value of the content or creates intrigue.  Great content titles are typically actionable, clear, descriptive, concise, brief, tweetable and interesting.  Your title also contributes to the SEO of your content and should not be over-looked.  How To Write Killer Headlines For Social Media >>

5) Humble: Even if the purpose of your content is to drive brand engagement or build up your professional profile, you don’t want your content to become a blatantly obvious piece of promotional material.  People do not like to act as channels for advertisement, but rather as channels for sharing valuable information or entertaining content.  Let your audience praise you rather than praising yourself.  If you are pushing products and services it is important to find a way to be subtle while creating a strong call to action.

6)Well-written:   Publishing content with obvious spelling mistakes and grammatical errors decreases credibility and trust.  If you have not taken the time to edit your content it raises the question of what other corners may have been cut.  No one wants to share poorly written content full of typos.  Attention to detail is a must.

7) Length and Depth: Highly shared content has breadth and depth.  However, most people want that breadth and depth in bite-sized pieces.  Your content should not be an essay, but if it is provide an article that summarizes the value of that essay and then link to the full-length version for those who are interested in reading it.  500 words is an ideal length for a blog post or article (this article is 600 words).

Throughout this week we will be delving into each of these characteristics in greater detail so check our blog for more information, or if you prefer this content to find you please follow us on Twitter @cahootstweets or on Facebook.

Thanks for reading,

Cah{o,o}ts

6 Reasons to Blog About Your Business

6 E’s of Business Blogging

Reasons_To_Blog

Blogs are continuing to gain popularity with businesses, both large and small.  Roughly half of small businesses report having a blog. One of the biggest deterrents to blogging is indeed the time required to write and publish engaging content.  The benefits of blogging are not instantaneous and the ROI (return on investment) often takes longer and is less obvious than other marketing efforts. However, blogging doesn’t necessarily have to be a daily activity- even blogging one good, insightful article a month is superior to not blogging at all.  Here are  important reasons your business should be blogging, all beginning with the letter E:

Engagement: Having a blog that allows for comments is a great way to open dialogue within your industry and obtain valuable feedback.  As a small business or corporation, a blog can humanize your brand.

Expertise: Having a blog full of useful information related to your industry can enhance your reputation and make you a go-to resource for people who may fall into your target market.  Blogging is a chance to showcase your leadership, professionalism, and personality. Moreover, blogging can help you gain legitimacy and trust.

Educate & Explain:  Blogs act as a great medium for sharing information and educating your audience in ways that make them more likely to become or continue being customers.  It is a chance to explain what you do, how you do it, and how you are different from the competition.

Exposure:  Every blog post is a SEO opportunity.  Search engines love fresh content, and each time you publish a blog post it is like updating your website.  In addition, blog posts can be shared on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter, drawing more traffic to your site.

Endure:  Another great thing about blog posts is their staying power.  Many marketing tactics and advertising techniques are fleeting, such as a pay-per-click ad.  A blog post can be found again and again through search engines and visitors free of cost.  While other forms of engagement have come and gone, blogs have remained very popular and are increasingly being adopted by businesses, and continue to be crawled regularly by search engines like Google.

Blogging is an incredibly powerful tool if done well. However, if you’re not a good writer or publish poor content, the opposite effect may be achieved.  If you are going to blog to drive business it is important to remember 4 other E’s:

  • Execute: Simply having a blog section on your website with one post does not constitute a blog. You must consistently publish content.
  • Edit: Be sure to check for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, and other mishaps before publishing.
  • Employ: If you’re not a good writer or don’t have enough time, consider hiring a writer to assist you.
  • Entertain: Blog posts should be engaging and interesting, not a long, well-written advertisement for your products and services. If you want to reap the benefits of blogging you must provide something of value to your readers.

We wish you blogging success!

Thanks for reading,

Cah{o,o}ts

The Growth of Social Media

We came across a great infographic that outlines the growth of social media and we thought we would share it:

social media growing

Originally from ‘Search Engine Journal’

Cah{o,o}ts

Curb Your Enthusiasm: Setting Realistic Goals For Your Blog

 

5 Important Aspects of Blog Success

Successful Blogging

When we venture out with a new idea or project there are unlimited possibilities and the sky is the limit, that is until you actually start. That is when you learn your limits and obstacles and find yourself at the base of a mountain that you want to be at the top of.  It can take months, even years to get the kind of blog presence you desire and you won’t necessarily be able to monetize your efforts right off the bat.  The good news is that blogging does tend to reward those that stick with it, teach us a lot about ourselves (and/or our businesses), and make us better communicators.  Here are some tips for setting realistic expectations for your blog, and we don’t recommend making any great expectations until you’ve been at it for at least a few months:

1. Persistence and Patience:  Most blogs don’t make it past the 2-3 month mark.  Although publishing content to the internet is pretty much instantaneous, getting a post noticed and building a following of readers is not.  Even the blogs of well known companies don’t necessarily make the mark with their blogs.

2.  Curb Your Enthusiasm: Starting a blog is similar to starting a new workout plan.  Tons of enthusiasm at the beginning, but often it takes longer than expected to see the results and we end up disappointed.  It’s common to over do it at the start or set unrealistic goals.  Try to spread your enthusiasm out over a few those first few months and slowly build momentum.

3.  Stick to Your Passions:  If you write about topics that you are passionate about or interested in then you are much more likely to stick with it.  As a start-up, our blog for Cahoots has covered many topics that have not only served as a resource for others, but as a way of organizing information of interest for ourselves.

4.  Be Consistent:  Try not to over commit yourself.  Wait until you have been blogging for a few months to determine which pattern works best for you, and whatever it is be consistent.  Posting 3 posts a day for one week and then none the next is unpredictable for your readers.  Humans are creatures of habit.

The same goes for consistency in content and style.  Try to write your posts with a consistent style/format.  Choose a topic or area of interest and try to stay within it, for example you wouldn’t want to be writing an article on breast-feeding one day and election coverage the next.

5.  Put Yourself Out There:  ‘If I build it they will come’ is a  mantra destined for failure and obscurity.  Make use of micro-blogging tools such as Twitter and Facebook pages to drive traffic to your blog and guide people towards your content.  Interact with other bloggers and blog communities.  There are many, many out there to participate in.

We hope this article has been helpful whether you are just starting out, are just past the two-month hump, a pro-blogger, or have decided that blogging just isn’t for you.

Thanks for Reading,

Cah{o,o}ts

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