In today’s world of rampant regurgiblogging what constitutes originality in a blog post? Should every post be completely original or is that goal essentially impossible? In virtually any niche you will need to go beyond what you simply think up on your own and have to link to others and (gasp!) possibly reblog in one form or another. So the question is: how do you do that and still add value for your readers? Here are three general approaches to blog writing that involve added value, but you will notice that two of these are not about purely “original” content!
1) Original Posts: Sure, there are blog posts you could call “original” articles. Usually, though, these means telling a personal narrative rather than discussing a current idea, topic or news item. Why? Because as soon as you are talking about news or anything outside of your personal life you will inevitably be repeating information. Still, this applies to a rather limited set of blogs and blogging styles or one-off articles.
2) Collections of Information: One of the best ways to add value for a reader is to collect information (whether in list format or otherwise) in one place. In this case the creative act comes not in the discovery but in the presentation of said information. Take the Discovery or History channels for example: they typically are not showing you anything you couldn’t find out in some obscure source or possibly even a textbook. Still, many of us don’t have time to research topics so we tune in to regularly scheduled programs for a dose of information on a particular topic. Is the information completely original? Not typically, but it is presented in a new and easily legible format.
3) Connecting Readers to Resources: A great way to bring value to your readers is to bring your readers to other resources that they value. This is often something that is done in conjunction with the above strategy. You can create an article collecting a variety of information on a single topic and link intelligently so that readers can learn more about the specific aspect of that topic that they are interested in. Again, you aren’t creating entirely original content but you may be pointing readers to other original (or not!) content in a unique way.
So, while it might not be terribly useful to simple reword what someone else writes about on another blog you can add value without being the first and only person to know about something. The question you should always ask yourself, though, is whether what you are doing adds value for your readers – whether it gives them something that they couldn’t find (at least not as easily, quickly and legibly) somewhere else.