I know very well that it can be difficult to cover a story, an event or even a designer collection in a way that hasn’t been done already. Unless you are blessed with an ability to source news as it happens, and bang out a post before anyone else knows what’s what, it can be difficult to set yourself apart from the rest.
Why Should I Care?
You must think from the perspective of your readers. If you are covering an event or topic in much the same way as those that have gone before you, what is in it for them? If they could choose between reading the same story presented in the same way, versus the essence of that same story presented in an entirely new way, they are going to choose the later – almost every time. It matters!
What Can I Do?
The key to fresh and unique content is finding new ways to present information. Another way to look at this is, finding a unique angle from which to tackle a particular event, topic or story. This isn’t always easy, but finding an effective story angle that allows you to put your spin on things in a way that your readers will enjoy really is the way forward.
Here is the question that you need to ask yourself when you are sitting down to write: Will my readers find this interesting, entertaining, informative, or USEFUL?
It you cannot answer ‘yes’ to any of these questions (and if your story has been done to death, then you probably shouldn’t be saying ‘yes’), then it may be time to find a new way to approach that topic.
How Can I Find An Angle?
These are a few questions and points to consider when searching for a new way to approach and present a particular story. These do work for me, and I often find that after running through this list I’ve generated a number of ideas for approaching that story that I wouldn’t have otherwise thought of.
Why should/would your readers care about this story? If you can answer this question then you should have a clearer idea about what it is about the story that is actually important.
Rather than just relay events, ask: How might this impact my readers? Then, write from that angle.
It’s in the Details
Take note of the details, is there anything that jumps out at you as being particularly interesting or out of the ordinary? Sometimes the smallest odd detail can be spun out into its own story.
Innovation and Newness
Rather than try and cover an entire story, can you find something (perhaps even just a small tidbit) that is innovative or hasn’t been done before? Focus on it.
Relate it Back to Current Events
You may be able to relate some stories back to a current news affair, either locally or globally. Putting a local twist on a global story, or vice versa, can keep things interesting and unique.
Get a Prominent Third Party in on It
Can you get a quote or opinion from a recognized person, or a person who is knowledgeable in this area? You might not be able to ask them yourself, but perhaps you can find something they’ve said on a similar issue and incorporate it into your story. Just be careful not to take things too far out of context.
Tie it to a Trend
Can you tie something about this story to a current trend? This is especially useful for covering runway and designer collection type stories.
If all else fails?
If you find that none of these approaches result in a fresh and unique take on a story, then it may be time to ditch the idea and focus on something new. Not everything is a winner!