Original Content is King

Don't settle for sharing the insights of others. Think about what you know and what you do, then write about it, offering your readers the benefits of your thought leadership.When you share content from other sources, you are sharing other people's thought leadership, not your own. The antidote: write about what you know.

For talent-strapped organizations, content curation has come to mean surfing the Web, finding relevant material and reposting it on your blog or website. There is nothing wrong with seeing what others are saying. But it doesn't say much about you if you just parrot what others write.

Original content is the best — and perhaps only — way to demonstrate your thought leadership. Original content is based on your experiences and reflects your point of view. It is your expression, not a counterfeit.

Borrowing a theme or imitating an approach is as old as, well, Shakespeare, who plucked his plots from ancient texts. But what you do with what you borrow is what counts. No one would say Shakespeare plagiarized Plutarch even though he borrowed some of his words.

Your thought leadership goal should be to project your unique experience or value proposition. That's hardly possible if you rely on someone else's thinking in what you share. 

One of the best forms of content to share is information of direct use to your target audience. What do you know that they need to know? Identify that and write about it. Social media guru Jay Baer calls that content with "youtility."

This is not an argument against an occasional shared blog post. But if content curation is little more than the crutch you use to avoid original thinking, then it does more harm than good.

Take the time to think about what you do, what you know or what you offer. Then write about it. That kind of original content is valuable and worth people's time to read.