Be Original

Be Original

"It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation."
- Herman Melville

There has been a huge increase in the number of advice posts popping up in the blogging community, most of which discuss everything from how to increase readership numbers to photography tips to how-to guides on becoming a "popular blogger." What has followed has been an increase in the number of blogs that look and feel the same: identikit blogs void of personality and originality in an attempt to achieve "blogger success."

One thing the community seems to be missing is the urgency to create exciting, unique content that doesn't feel the need to buy into the popularity contest and chase reader numbers by following "winning formulas" and replicating familiar content. We need creators who write and produce work they feel passionate about in a style that is their own.

Overlaps happen: We move in tight circles and gain inspiration from similar sources but sometimes influence turns into imitation. While "there is no such thing as an original idea," there are definitely ways of presenting old ideas in original ways. Developing your own individual style is the only way to stand out. Be confident of yourself, your talents, and the way you create.

Be easily identifiable | From your writing to your photography style
Be consistent | Everything you do online should look and feel the same
Keep it simple | Focus on a few key elements and hone them
Don't try to replicate | There is no originality in reproduction
Discover and develop | Discover your aesthetic style and work on it

Be Original

"Trying to follow a formula, script or tactic to get more traffic, sales or followers never works in the long run because it screams inauthenticity... Copying what others did to gain success just makes you sound like an echo instead of a voice."
- Paul Jarvis

It's time to stop reading posts about "how to have a popular blog" or "how to gain more readers" and start doing things differently, in your own way, and in your own unique style. Experiment with photography styles, write about new subjects and unexplored content; be brave, take risks, and stop worrying about the numbers. Blogging is not a job but it can create job opportunities from the skills you showcase on them - copying content isn't a desirable trait but originality is.

Read less | Limit the blogs you read (especially the "most popular" ones)
Write more | Develop your own authentic style
Teach yourself | Photography skills and the value of a personal aesthetic
Stop analysing | Ignore the stats and readership numbers
Don't mimic | Don't try to replicate successful content
Have confidence | In your unique content and writing style
Ask questions | Is this what I want to create? Am I proud of this?
Explore | Read outside of your blog niche for fresh opinions
Develop | Curate your personal style and develop it over time
Experiment, express, inspire, and share

Originality comes only through producing content in a unique, personal style. Replicating someone else's aesthetic won't give you success and chasing popularity, instead of working hard on achieving something worthwhile, won't make you happy.