This Is the Well-Kept Secret to Writing Compelling Original Content There are meaningful and useful subjects that your competitors will never be able to write about: your thoughts, reflections and ideas, so share them for maximum copy impact.
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How important did your business seem after you heard about the war in Ukraine? For me, reading about it felt like reading about Covid-19 in March of 2020 all over again: I was filled with that sense of dizzying helplessness, of immense and hopeless sorrow, and a feeling that my mortal existence had no meaning in the greater macrocosm of the universe.
The same feeling played out in May of that year when Minneapolis went up in flames. And somewhere during that time, we also had the Australian bushfires — were witness to horrendous images of a living hell on earth, a mother holding her baby in her arms backdropped by a wall of orange-red.
Personally, that time was also marked by my marriage — and to a large degree, my life — falling apart, some of the details of which I shared in another Entrepreneur article. I didn't see my kids for a few months. Things got ugly for a while and I felt, finally, like a man crushed by the cosmic forces of the universe — the ultimate tragedy plot.
And now there's Ukraine, and a mass entertainment media that seems determined to drive home to us that this is "exactly like the months before World War II!" (it isn't) and that "we now have nuclear weapons!" (We also have the modern miracle of social media.)
It can make a person feel pretty helpless, can't it?
The power of self-reflection
I wondered to myself what I should write for Entrepreneur in the middle of so much misery. I'd signed up for the Entrepreneur Leadership Network last year to write about writing, to give people tips about how to promote their businesses through the written word as well as how to write a book.
But, the world? To write an article on "How to write a better book" in the face of the state of global affairs, and my own inner state, just felt wrong. If there's one thing the last three years (and especially this last year) did for me, it was to put me into a state of deep self-reflection regarding my role in the world and what my brief time here will mean.
I'm not alone in entering that meditative state. The Great Resignation has been driven, in part, by people asking themselves these same existential questions. Family, friends and a better quality of life rose higher on many people's bucket lists than "my job."
In 2020, I wrote an article for One Table, One World about my cousin who was like a brother to me, and who died too young. I wept while I wrote it. Others who read it also wept. I still struggle to read it, but am proud of the work because it means something. I want to write pieces like that every day.
But these days, I have so much work as a freelance writer that I spend my days typing about cryptocurrency, options strategies, digital marketing, SEO, Android, Python and the plethora of additional topics that businesses come to me with.
I am grateful for the work and do it with pride, but it is soul-sucking when carried on too long. Life must have balance; the only time my mood sinks about writing is when I do it too often for money and not enough for love.
If I was still 20 and brimming with hope, if my 14-year relationship and eight-year marriage was still together, if the pandemic hadn't come about and obliterated what I dreamed of as the future happy world my children would grow up in and if Russia hadn't invaded Ukraine, perhaps I wouldn't care as much about adding meaning to what I write each day. But I have become an immensely self-reflective soul who understands now that some bruises will never heal and that part of growing "wise" is to press on those bruises occasionally to remind myself that anything can be lost in a blink, and so we must make every moment count and every article count.
Your secret weapon for creating original content
There are only so many articles the internet can take on how to improve your social media presence, how to spruce up your LinkedIn profile or how to write a better business plan. They have already been written. Google has indexed them, and your article is unlikely to compete. But there is one thing you can write about that can never be copied — a topic related to your business that's unique, meaningful, useful and stands a chance of competing with the rash of similar stories out there. That topic is you: Your thoughts, reflections and ideas. If you're sincere in your writing, a message will come across and people will feel moved by what you've written.
An article written from the heart simply has a better chance of resonating with readers. If you can then angle it to a service you offer, you've solved your business's content creation problems for good, and will have done something meaningful for the world, not to mention for yourself.