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: