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What Has Happened to Original Content?

Online writing provides the opportunity for many writers to be published. Attracting and keeping readers is an important part of the process. A writer is more likely to be followed when they offer original content, something readers will find fresh and exciting.

Christmas is approaching, hectic preparation plans are being finalised and I’m sneaking a few moments to breathe and relax. What better way than to sit in the heat of early evening with a NZ chardonnay and read what fellow writers have been saying on various popular online content sites. What I discovered left me feeling somewhat disillusioned.

Apart from the work of several tried and trusted writer friends whom I follow on a regular basis, there was little tempting me to read further. There were pieces written about the end of the world, of course, but all said the same thing in the different words, based on the thoughts of others. I sit here in summertime New Zealand as the 22 December comes to a close, knowing all I want to end is the chaos of Christmas.

Other repetitive articles focused on news events well reported elsewhere, to the extent that repetitive phrases copied from others became obvious. I did enjoy many of the ‘How to’ pieces I found telling me how to be a better provider on Christmas day but, as my creativity is limited to writing, my family will be experiencing a very predictable Christmas.

Some articles I came across had titles so boring I had no desire to read further. Others, whose titles did entice me, let themselves down with lack of any originality.

This set me thinking about our responsibility as online writers. Are we here merely to increase our income by a few meagre cents and dollars? I think not. We write because we love to. But, we do need to consider our readers. We need to consider the reputation of our own following.

Even the most obvious and every day ideas can be given an original twist in the writing. I urge all content writers reading this, to consider the originality of their work. Do you want to be known as someone who churns out information readers can read in hundreds of other places? Or would you prefer to be, with just a  little extra effort, someone who is widely read because they give their writing an original slant, a personal touch and show they have their readers in mind.

I know, as a reader, I am drawn to the original, not the rehashing of the thinking of others. This has given me, and hopefully other content writers, something to think about.

Other thoughts on content writing:

Find Your Own Brand

For Whom Do You Write?

New to Online Writing? Persevere for Rewards

Be Original, Give Something of Yourself

Minimum Words for Online Content?

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29 Responses to “What Has Happened to Original Content?”
  • stevetheblogger
    December 22nd, 2012 at 12:05 am

    Val A merry Christmas to you and you made me so envious of the warm weather where you are. Up here in Canada we are in the midst of a horrendous blizzard not very nice at all. Have been away so have no t had the time to write but glad I read this Merry Christmas
    Best Wishes
    Stevetheblogger

  • Karen Gross
    December 22nd, 2012 at 1:43 am

    I can’t imagine Christmas without snow. Blizzards are normal here, and being stuck in a snow drift on the way to a Christmas event is par for the course. It gives us something to talk about when we finally get there. I’ll have to search my memory and come up with an interesting Christmas in Canada anecdote.

  • PR Mace
    December 22nd, 2012 at 4:59 am

    It’s so hard for me to think about Christmas as a summertime holiday. But then again we just spent five days in Disney World in jeans and tee shirts. Now back on subject. I agree writer have to make an article interesting to read. They need to put their on touch to it.

  • Rask Balavoine
    December 22nd, 2012 at 6:46 am

    Val I spent 2 Christmases on the beach in India back in the 70s. It was glorious except for the inevitable Santa who wandered through the village in red suit, white beard etc in 40 degree heat ringing a bell. Still wishing for another sunny Christmas. BTW amen to your article.

  • A Bromley
    December 22nd, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Merry Christmas Val. Good article. There doesn’t seem to be much original content here as of late but there sure is a whole lot of SPAM. Maybe I’ll write something and post it just for the sake of original content. I haven’t written much lately do to a family crisis that is taking up most of my time.

  • chforbes
    December 22nd, 2012 at 10:02 am

    “There were pieces written about the end of the world, of course, but all said the same thing in the different words, based on the thoughts of others”

    I hate to tell you this, however life is nothing more than a boring series of events. A person is born, grows up to be an adult, and after a while the person dies. Teens fall in love, in the Fall the trees lose their leaves and so on.

    So, there are some in the business of literary critique who think that the content is always the same, however what matters is the way each person treats it in his or her presentation…

    Romeo and Juliet’s story was written once, yet now and then there are others who have a go at it, and they are as successful as the old bard…

  • vickylass
    December 22nd, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    You’re right, but this happpens since the trend to write, get published and earn exists. Many of them have discovered a way to earn cash fast, but to be a writer is a different matter. There’s nothing wrong with commenting a news or an event, provided it’s a personal opinion, otherwise, and as you rightly say, one may fall into plagiarism without even intending. Good share!

  • Starpisces
    December 22nd, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    I always enjoy reading yours as they are so origiinal. Another well written piece here, and I notice all the comments above are good too.
    To be honest, I am lazy to read nowadays, missed reading a lot, trying to catch up.
    Merry Christmas.

  • jennifer eiffel01
    December 22nd, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I am, just for you, going to try and write some original content. I am going to work my hardest on it. I already have an idea and I am going to write it after I read a few more articles! THis article is not new to me it happened to me from 1986-1990 but I PROMISE it will be new to all you Triond writers!

  • Edyta N. Tehrani
    December 22nd, 2012 at 4:30 pm

    You are right Val. Originality is very important and even when we write about well known events, as writers, we should always look for a different angle on things instead of just repeating what is already going around. This is what I always try to do even if because of it I am not generating tons of content.

  • Margaret Boseroy
    December 22nd, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    Well stated. I’m in total agreement. Quality over quantity all the way!

  • Lynn Proctor
    December 22nd, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    Original and thoughtful content is fairly hard to come by, especially when many “writers” are simply going for quantity, not quality, for the clicks and the money, such as it is. The cheapening of professional writing can be seen in the news, and even major publications. Although, quality outlets still hire the best writers, and it shows. If you compare Yahoo News content to The Wall Street Journal, one can tell immediately where the quality lies. Anyone can write, but not everyone can write well. Thank you for your article.

  • LIVING BY GRACE
    December 22nd, 2012 at 7:53 pm

    I agree with you Val. Quality is extremely important to earn a solid reputation and a loyal readership. Original content can be most difficult to accomplish, because the internet has grown so big, so fast and this means there is the potential of coming across content that appears to be closely the same even though the writers may have never heard or read each others’ work. It is a completely different thing altogether when a writer copies and paste an entire article word-for-word to other blogs or publishing sites thus stealing some other writer’s work, just to earn a buck on it somewhere else.

    I really enjoy reading your work and others here on Triond even though I usually don’t leave comments often.

    Merry Christmas…Happy New Year!

    Sincerely,

    Living By Grace

  • Shirley Shuler
    December 23rd, 2012 at 12:09 am

    Val, I couldn’t agree with you more, original content is the best way to go.

  • Jackie118
    December 23rd, 2012 at 5:50 am

    Happy Christmas Val! I’m with you on this one. Admittedly I like to go through the various daily papers and if an article catches my eye (whether it be a major story or one that you find hidden closer to the back page!) then I like to publish my slant on it – mostly in a light-hearted way, but there’s ALWAYS a “part of me” in it. But I tend not to stick with the same old “news” … I love blogging on things that “get my goat”, children’s poetry and fiction, crime, history and cooking so hopefully there’s something out there to appeal to all my friends. Some subjects bring in more cash than others but, at the end of the day, I’m doing it because I have a passion for writing … not for the money!

    Enjoy the heat over there … It’s quite mild here in Norfolk UK at the moment so don’t think we’re likely to be in for a white Christmas!

  • Ruby Hawk
    December 23rd, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    Merry Christmas, Val. You are right on about original content.

  • SattaChakroun
    December 23rd, 2012 at 9:43 pm

    I completely agree, What a great article. Too many times a head line has caught my attention only to be some rehashed nonsense already online by hundreds of other people. I like to read personal experience, or advice articles, which is what I write about. Personal experience blogs and articles are the best, there’s only one of them.
    I enjoyed reading your article it was completely original and interesting to read.

  • lapasan
    December 23rd, 2012 at 9:59 pm

    this is a good advice. Every online writers should strive to write original contents. By doing so we could become more acceptable to the readers who would be back reading our blogs and articles. We should also strive to improve the quality of our content.

  • lowellhenderson
    December 23rd, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Hey Val, I haven’t been on here much lately…been busy writing a book. The past few times I have been back in the last month or two, the articles are mostly just as you described…same ole’ stuff. You and Ruby seem to be putting out the best work in my opinion. This article was spot on, good job.

  • lowellhenderson
    December 23rd, 2012 at 11:18 pm

    Hey Val, I haven’t been on here much lately…been busy writing a book. The past few times I have been back in the last month or two, the articles are mostly just as you described…same ole’ stuff. You and Ruby seem to be putting out the best work in my opinion. This article was spot on, good job.

  • catlord
    December 23rd, 2012 at 11:42 pm

    Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays to all. :-)

  • Uma Shankari
    December 24th, 2012 at 7:50 am

    Very nice and well said indeed. I realize this comment itself is by no means original, and my mind is numb and it refuses to work. All your friends I must say have responded with a lot of interest, and it was interesting to read their comments as well.

  • johnmariow
    December 24th, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Your concerns are valid.

    In view of the volumes of articles that have been created at different Internet publishing sites, blogs and websites; original content is often original only to those who have not found similar content.

    No matter what one writes about, someone in the world has written something similar and published it on the Internet or in a book.

    Having said that, I try my best to write original content but have failed to do so at times in the past. I’ve tried to add my feelings into each article I write and do a check for plagiarism on the Internet.

    Happy holidays!

  • Biswajit Basu
    December 25th, 2012 at 11:16 am

    I agree with every single word you’ve said here. I think we’re being busy in being too technical. We are being way too desperate in bringing our content in the first page of Google. Earning is somehow coming in the way of our writing and then succeeding in completely strangling the essence out of it. I write something with my heart and then after doing SEO on the article I produce something that’s barely recognizable or human readable. I don’t want this. I gave it up completely. Now I write for the sake of writing and care less about the SEO and stuff.

  • andyrobert877
    December 26th, 2012 at 7:27 am

    Great Post

  • shelpeare
    December 27th, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    Happy Holidays! I agree with you. People are copy and pasting other people’s work, spinning or translating other people’s articles or even getting software to take lines here and there from online articles to make a article. They realize that they are getting pennies so they go for quantity rather than quality. Triond’s software does not catch some very blatant attempts at plagiarism. I see people plagiarizing even Triond’s “About” page!

  • abtexas
    December 28th, 2012 at 5:00 pm

    I agree with you one hundred percent and wish others would read your article and take it to heart.

  • caesar27
    January 15th, 2013 at 3:59 am

    thanks for this article share.

  • afaceristonline
    January 20th, 2013 at 10:52 am

    Very good work succes

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