The thing I enjoy the most about being an online business owner is this: Nobody can take away what I have built with SBI! - John Shank, SBI! member since 2003

Stand Out From The Crowd With This Counter-Intuitive Tip

Written By: Mike Allton in How Solopreneurs Build Their Business | September 22, 2017

Stand Out From The Crowd With This Counter-Intuitive Tip
Seems like everyone is into “content marketing” nowadays. Most treat the creation of content as just another “to do,” rather than an execution of a business building strategy. In other words, the mindset is often…

Get it done.

Hit “Publish.”

Get to the next one!

That’s especially true of most larger companies, where employees do their jobs, few driven by your – the solopreneur’s – kind of passion. Examine your niche and find the few who really do stand out.

All, with rare exception, are solopreneurs!

Winning solopreneurs are driven by love-of-niche but restricted by time. We can’t afford to just “put in the time” — we must make every hour count. So…

Only commit to writing new content when you know that you have something different or have a unique spin on something you haven’t seen elsewhere.

“Content” could be a new page or blog post, an issue of your newsletter, or social content that won’t just be “more of the same.”

  • First, get an idea.
  • Next, assemble an outline, adding research as needed. Some folks excel at writing a great piece at this point, but many more churn “more of the “same.” Take yours to the next level.
  • Write your polished article.

This is where your content must escalate from “me too” to “me only.”

The secret? Weigh the concept with this set of questions…

  • How do I make this impactful enough to dent my reader’s brain?
  • What’s the twist?
  • What will make it especially fun to read, useful to learn, or behavior-changing?
  • If it’s just another “decent” article, don’t publish. It’ll be forgotten within minutes in this gigantic sea of good content.
  • How do you take “just another piece of good content” to the next level?

Take a Break!

You’ve done the initial spadework. Put the piece aside for awhile. (Putting your feet up is optional. )

  • Ask yourself the right questions as you doze off (or do whatever you do to relax)…
  • What’s so great about this article?
  • How will it stand out from all the other good (but not stand-out) content?
  • How do I push it to the next level?

Clarity will either kill the idea as “common” or give you the angle you need. You’ll make it waaaaay better than if you’d moved straight into the writing. It’s so easy to get lost in write-write-write that you churn out “just OK.”

But no one becomes hugely successful with “just OK.”

It’s OK if you kill an idea (“What was I thinking?!”). Think of it this way.

Instead of losing the time you have put in so far (true!), you are saving time by not putting more into “me too” material. And you’re raising the average quality of what you do put out.

Bottom Line Takeaway?

Most online businesses, in the crazy rush to “publish and move on,” would read this tip and ignore it. They aren’t paid to be extraordinary.

For solopreneurs, this gives you a big advantage! So…

Make taking a break part of your new routine. Your content will hit a new level.

Don’t miss “The Second Best Way to Keep Readers Reading.” Practice both of these strategies and watch your bounce rates drop dramatically.

P.S. Seriously, we’re not “new age” touchy-feeling folks. Just try it. Do it for 3 articles.  Then drop back in here and let us know how it worked out in the Comments below!

Mike Allton
Mike Allton is the Chief Marketing Officer for SiteSell. He has spent years helping solopreneurs achieve success online through the precepts of content marketing: write great content, share that to social, and drive new leads & sales.Mike’s focus is to reach people who have a passion for something and show them how it’s possible to turn that dream into a real online business and income.
  • The only problem with this is that there are other types out there that just wait for me to produce the great, unique article, steal it, and spin it. I get tons of traffic to my rss feed, and I’m pretty sure that at least some of the traffic is using this to find out my new articles. On the positive side, they do sometimes send me some decent amounts of traffic from their spun article, if they put a link to my site/s on them.

    • Jacki, this has been “the problem that’s not” since the earliest days of SBI!. When YOU set the tone, when YOU are the innovator, when YOU have the original voice and personality that people love, any who copies is just a copycat.

      Some of our most successful SBIers have either written me personally or in the forums, worrying about this very thing, as far back as 2002. I’ve always told them the same thing…

      Copycats can’t pass you because they don’t know how to do it better than you. That has only, and will only continue to become, more true as search engines get smarter and smarter at what I call “derviative content.”

      “Duplicate content” – you know that term. It doesn’t mean straight copying. They’ll “spin it,” as you said. But as Matt Cutts once wrote, Google’s getting pretty good at recognizing structure and material covered. It learns to recognize those who push the envelope.

      “Derviative content” takes more work, but in the end, it’s still just content that is derived from others. When YOU push out new material in your own unique way, YOU set the bar that others will follow.

      Embrace that and grow your lead.

      This is a principle that is true in every aspect of every business. Be the leader and forget the copycats. The sincerest form of flattery doesn’t win in business.

      • I don’t mean to just quit, but just be more aware, and build more of ‘me’ into the articles. My own pictures are a good place to start.

      • Hmm… Truly said.

  • Edward

    YASSSSSS. Glad you said it, Mike. As a marketer who’s been on the $10Million sinking ship of a company (when I was one of those ‘Quick! More more more, faster faster faster’ employees), this is such great advice. People are smart enough to sniff out duplicate content – it just doesn’t feel right or it’s worded awkwardly and people know. Sets off their ‘bullshit’ alarms and costs the company, well, everything. Also happens to be why I’m so excited to keep writing content for now. It took moving to Europe but I really get that we have something no one else has and who wouldn’t be excited to share (and read) about that?
    Love your work, keep it up 🙂

  • Thanks Mike for the insights, though may seem simple to do it’s so easy to get into the rut of publishing and sharing on social media and so on. Of late, I have realized its importance, of course, the hard way 🙁

    • Don’t feel bad, I’ve made a career out of ‘learning the hard way’! 😉

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