O is for originality
Is there any point in copying?
There is no shortage of content out there. If yours is to attract attention and have any impact, it needs to stand out from the crowd.
Originality is one of the hallmarks of good writing. That doesn’t always mean finding an entirely new subject – though do share it if you do – but it does mean your writing should offer something different.
It should find new ways to express ideas; it should say something new and valuable; and it should be well-written.
So how can you ensure what you write is original?
Be creative. You might be covering a well-known or unavoidable topic. You need to move the story forward; reward your readers for their attention. This might mean sharing expertise, offering research or even making a joke. (See L for laughter.)
Avoid statements of the obvious. This means pitching the knowledge level right for the expected audience. If you are writing about mortgages, for instance, you need to think about whether your reader is a financial professional or a first-time house buyer.
Try varying the format. Could you tell the story in graphics or lists rather than following the well-worn path? Perhaps the opinion of a third-party expert could bring new insight. Would a podcast offer a fresh take?
Ultimately ask yourself whether your reader will be better informed by what you have to say. If not, it might be best not to say it.