There has been an unfortunate but inevitable byproduct in the last few years from the rise of content marketing: The online business realm is now stuffed with blogs comprised of articles chock full of crunchy content which is, by and large, about as indistinguishable as most kinds of breakfast cereal.
It isn't simply a signal-to-noise problem. Honestly, Google has been pretty good overall in their role as the gatekeepers of the Internet, and they're helping ensure the Internet remains truly useful for everyone. For Internet users who desire chemicals to eradicate pests from their home, or for folks seeking morning nutritional advice, or just learning about SEO, the information is there for the taking.
The problem is, it's there for the taking from hundreds of sources. One blog's list of “hot” tips for flea dispellation is going to be pretty much the same as the next, and they're probably both cribbed from the same eHow articles anyway. Too much so-called custom web content out there is created by people who see “custom” as meaning “unimaginatively recycled by a human, rather than by a computer.”
Sure, statistically speaking, if there are millions of people all searching among mere thousands of websites, you're likely to see at least some of the action trickle down. Basic Internet marketing requires little time investment if all you want is a small side stream of income. But is that really enough for you?
You can improve your blog writing and make them more noticeable through the addition of custom web content. From there, it's a small step to greater returns for not much more work!
And By Custom Web Content, We Mean “Content-Added”
There's a very simple rule you can follow – just one – that will likely lead you to much success if you just employ it with a little forethought. The Google Penguin and Panda updates have created a situation where now, more than ever, content is king. You have to earn your spots at the tops of the charts, and good content writing is what gets your site noticed.
So, the rule is simple:
Seriously. Successful custom web content boils down to simply adding something to a message that wasn't there before.
That's what gets you noticed. That's what gets people to forward your blog around Twitter rather than someone else's. It's taking content that's already online, if you must, but repackaging it in a way that's adding something to the content itself. Not simply a sales pitch, but something that makes the content more useful even without filling out a free webform.
Creating Custom Web Content With Added Value
Adding value is what we're really talking about here. Content is data; data has value. More data has more value. Anything you can add to an existing idea that makes it better, or more palatable, or easier to understand, or just more useful will make for better content.
Curate several articles on a topic and look for common themes or suggestions for dealing with a problem.
Take someone's data and make a chart out of it. Infographics, videos, and other data visualizations are great for shares among business and tech-focused users.
If you find a bit of advice on another blog that makes sense, share it along with a personal story illustrating how it's true in real life.
Piggyback on a recent web trend and examine it from a new perspective. How might the “Harlem Shake” have affected your business?
Deconstruct deeper meanings you found in this morning's Facebook lolcats.
Internet content doesn't need to be 100% original to stand out. It really doesn't even need to be 50% original. Just as long as you're adding something new, you'll be boosting your chances of being noticed and talked about.
And if you add a little something new to create custom web content every time, the cumulative payoff could be huge!