Laurel from THE HIVE is preaching about how (and why!) original content is a blogging best practice.
I’m excited to talk about something I think is really important when it comes to blogging: original content. The value of having original content on your blog is paramount in establishing your credibility as an independent blogger.
Why, you ask? Allow me to explain.
Speaking from personal experience (and I know I’m not alone!), before I had my own blog, I checked and followed tons of other blogs. There would be times I’d spend hours after work surfing from blog to blog just seeing what all was out there. But not all of the blogs I read hooked + interested me enough to come back time after time or to subscribe to them (even if they were really pretty).
After asking myself what made me want to follow certain blogs and not others, the answer boiled down to these two words: original content.
I was interested in seeing pictures and reading text I couldn’t read or view anywhere else. I wanted to get to know individual bloggers through what they posted. I was not interested in scrolling through a post about fall fashion inspiration that was just a collection of 10 pictures I’d already seen circulating the Pinterest world. If I’m on Katie’s blog, I want to see how Katie styled this or that for fall; not what pictures she thought looked cool. As a reader, and also as a person whose time has become more and more limited the older I get, I have to be stingy with my time. Which means I want to invest it in reading something unique!
From the blogger side of things… I know it takes more time and more forethought to publish original content regularly, but I do believe it is well worth the effort put in.
For those of us who have jobs in addition to managing blogs, pre-planning is key. But if you start an editorial calendar, set aside a few hours a week, invest in a decent camera, set a standing date with another blogger buddy or photographer friend/invest in a tripod (if your blog is mainly pictures of you), you can learn how to really maximize the time set aside to create + optimize that original content.
Since I have started keeping my blog at roughly 90% original content, I have seen my site traffic jump, my Pinterest click-through rate skyrocket, my social media following grow, and collaboration requests grow from almost none to at least a few per month! I can only attribute this to the effort I’ve put in to maximize the amount of original content I’m churning out; the value it adds to my blog returns on the investment of time (and money) I have invested.
I know I have a looong way to go as a blogger, and I’m not saying every single post you put up has to be 100% original, but I can tell you one thing: keeping things unique on my blog have noticeably helped my opportunities grow, and I know they will for you, too.
A quick side note to share in closing: always link back to the source. Let’s say you happen to be running low on original post ideas, so you put together a quick, “rooms that inspire our upcoming remodel” post with pictures you found from various sources. Be sure to link back to the source for each image you repurpose!
As the manager of a blog for a high-end design firm, I cannot tell you how upsetting it is to see photos of our original work posted on other blogs without any sort of link back to our company’s site/blog. There is an unspoken code of ethics in the blogosphere, and one of the biggest issues is linking back to the original source if you are borrowing content. You wouldn’t want people “stealing” your original content, so be sure to treat others like you’d want to be treated! 😉
I hope you guys find that keeping your blog unique and, well, you is rewarding. People read your blog because they like you! You are what keep them coming back, so give the people what they want! 😉 Give them original glimpses into your personal style, your kitchen, your closet, etc., and they’re more likely to keep coming back for more. Promise!
Laurel blogs at THE HIVE and is an ambassador for The Blogger Collective.