Defining Original Content

By: Melanie Blodgett Photo by: Design Love Fest.

Whenever the topic of growing your blog readership is discussed, one of the main points that is always brought up is that you need to create original content. That’s all fine and dandy, but what is original content? And how can you apply it to your blog?  I’ve asked a few bloggers who I admire to share their insights on what original content means and this is what they had to share:

Original content is, basically, just images or text that you've created yourself. It comes in different forms – on my blog, some of my original posts are short stories, photos of my favorite places, and cooking videos. Developing content yourself makes your blog more unique and gives it a distinct personality, but at the same time, original content isn't necessarily better than other types of content. Sharing photos of your shoe collection can be done artfully (or with wit), but it could also be done in an uninspired way. It's up to you to craft it into an interesting blog post. - Rachel of Elephantine

Anything that you created or spent a very long time searching for and isn't seen on other blogs. I would also count submissions that are exclusive. Original content isn't just DIY projects and products photo shopped together. Be creative! Blogging is an amazing medium to show off whatever it is you like to create. Use it to the fullest (this is what I tell myself.. I have yet to get there!). Original isn't always better. It's still gotta be good! - Chelsea of Frolic

I think original content stems from the blogger's own creative mind- it's not something re-posted, re-hashed or re-shared- it's content you'll only find on that blog in particular, said how only that blogger could say it, with perhaps photos that they took themselves. I really think that no idea anymore is original- the originality stems from sharing your own unique perspective on something based on the unique combination of who you are, what inspires you and what you're good at. It's a peek into the world as only you see it, and it's totally engaging for readers to get a glimpse into other people's lives and minds like that! - Jena of Miss Modish

To me original content is content that has not yet appeared in it's current form on any other blog and that is crafted or compiled by the editor in some way. It could be DIY, inspiration boards, shopping posts, photos from the editor's personal life, etc. To me, submissions don't count as original content, that would be submitted content. Some of my favorite blogs feature unique columns that are original to that blog and I always go back for third, fourth and fifth helpings. - Cyd of The Sweetest Occasion

The Critical Step in DIY Blogging (That’s Often Forgotten)


By: Melanie Blodgett

One time I had a pretty good idea. I executed that idea at a party and then posted it on my blog. But I made a mistake. I didn’t edit it well and had the idea hidden in the post and not the star of the post. It did not make the splash I was hoping it would. Then, about six months later, another blogger executed the same idea but it was edited expertly and the post went viral. In fact, this was three years ago and I’m still seeing it all over the place. It was then that I really realized, the editing is just as important as creating the content.

There are a lot of factors that contribute to a well done DIY post, but one of the most critical steps is editing. Yet, it’s so often overlooked or forgotten. I get it, by the time I’ve come up with the idea, created the object, and photographed the steps, the last thing I want to do is spend several hours editing the photos and the post. But that last step can take the post from simply liked to a huge hit. So my suggestion to you is to create your own editing checklist and then mentally go through it every time you’re about to publish a post. Here are some suggestions for ideas you could ask yourself: 

- Does the opening photo let your readers know what the post is about right away? Does it make you want to keep on reading?

- Are the instructions written clearly? Do you have photos showing the more complicated steps?

- Are there any typos or grammar mistakes?

- Did you include detailed photos?

- Is the post consistent with the rest of your content?

- Is there anything you could do to improve the post? Even if it means retaking the photos?

Okay, let’s edit our little hearts out. 


Want to know more about DIY blogging? Check out Melanie's class on the Alt Channel!