As a blogger you can bet your cotton socks you read a variety of blogs. Yep, you read all the ones at the top of their niche, you read all the ones near the top of their niche and you read some smaller ones that you found on Twitter and were charmed by them. As a blogger you read a lot.
You always know when you are reading something original though. Always. It’s the post that makes you go “oooh” and makes you think for that moment or two longer than usual. It’s the post that makes you feel special, it makes you feel as if it was wrote just for you. So how do you feel about reading content that other people have wrote about elsewhere? If you follow say Chris Brogan’s blog, how do you feel about reading someone else’s take on what he wrote about? Don’t get me wrong here, I am not saying it’s wrong to riff off of other bloggers. Far from it. What I am saying is it’s wrong when you are not adding any value, anything unique or anything extraordinary.
If you do this, stop it right now. Your readers will know. They read all the top level blogs, and whilst it’s not outright copying it is bland, boring and mediocre. It’s not the original, it’s something lesser than the original.
So how do you make something unique? Yes, OK, your take on it makes it unique, your voice makes it unique and it may be a fascinating concept. But. It’s not enough. Your reader must take something from the post, they must take something and want to hold it closely to their chest, it must excite them, it must make them want to rush out and try it right now, straight way. At once if not sooner. And that is what your riff is missing. That secret awesome sauce that the original had.
Like chefs, bloggers can give you the recipe to their awesome sauce.
They can say do this and that will happen, do X and you will increase Y. For some of us that works and for others, well we think the ingredients are wrong or the oven is just not hot enough. Sometimes we think it will work if we have a shiny new kitchen fitted. Well the thing with recipes is if we copy them exactly, we get just an almost as good as the original awesome sauce. To those that have never tried the original it’s great. To those that have, it’s lacking that special something.
It’s time for new ingredients and that new shiny kitchen, it’s time to make your own awesome sauce.
Really, it is. That may seem a little scary but the truth is unless you start getting a little creative in your thinking you are not going to get the awesome sauce to your liking. I think it was Einstein who said the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results. He’s right, if it doesn’t work and you have no idea how to fix it, don’t keep doing it. Try something different. Try something else. Try another something, and another something and another something until you hit that sweet spot.
When you read something original, you find that sweet spot and you want to savour it, you want to share it and as a reader you walk away ten feet tall. You feel you have been given something special and you have, you have been given the gift of original thought.
Every reader deserves that, it’s why they come back.
P.S . – What to take from this – you are not alone, and you will break through you won’t do it by being a poor carbon copy. You will do it by thinking of your readers and being you. One day you will sell the recipe to your own awesome sauce.
Guest Bio: Sarah Arrow is a blogger with ideas, creative, crazy ideas. She has been known to write about Advanced Blogging techniques and creative thought, as well as the odd WordPress plugin and premium theme. She is a practitioner of “Just get on and blinking well do it” You can join her on Twitter @SarahArrow