Make your content stand out against the crowd

Jennifer Hamrick
Tuesday 12 July 2016

There’s nothing new under the sun. For the most part, every topic that could be talked about has been talked about. This can be a daunting realisation for digital writers who struggle to produce new and engaging material in the sea of content found online.

Here are three simple ideas for creating content that stands out from the crowd:

Take advantage of your location

One way to differentiate your content is to centre it around your location. While there may already be much written about your topic, it is unlikely the topic has been explored from the perspective of someone from a town such as St Andrews (or wherever you may happen to be).

There are many ways to use your location to make your content stand out. You could:

  • share how the topic impacts your local community.
  • get new quotes from local experts – St Andrews has plenty!
  • poll local opinions about a controversial issue.

As an example, let’s say you’re an environmental scientist who has just conducted research about marine mammal migration. You could disseminate this research by writing a blog about when local residents in coastal Scottish areas might expect to see seals on their shores. A local perspective attracts interest because people feel the content is personalised.

Seals resting on a beach
Who isn’t interested in adorably fat seals?

Provide a clear summary

For users looking for information about a complex issue, the vast amount of content available on the internet can be overwhelming. That’s when you can swoop in to the rescue and make it easy on readers by summarising the information.

Readers prefer concise content – provide them a service by using your platform to break up large, difficult chunks of text into manageable bites. By providing a succinct summary of the content already found online, you will build your credibility with the audience, and be in a much better position to add your own perspective on the issue.

Although known for inaccuracies, Wikipedia’s success can largely be attributed to breaking down huge amounts of information and research into a single summary of a topic. You could provide a similar, but more credible, service.

Choose a new format

Look for ways to repackage online content. People enjoy reading in different ways, and there may be an opportunity to pioneer a new path for communicating a topic.

For example, recently there has been a resurgence of long-form digital journalism. The long-form format incorporates multimedia with an interactive style of narrative journalism – it is also known to improve SEO and lead to higher conversion rates. If you know your topic has only previously been written about in dry academic papers, or alternatively only through tweets, you could repackage the topic as a long-form article. The new format will attract readers looking for engaging material that offers more depth than other sources.

A long-form article about the University of St Andrews Chinese Makars project.
A long-form article about the University of St Andrews Chinese Makars project.


Want even more ideas about how to make your content unique? Take a look at these ideas:


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