Escape The Echo Chamber


It’s hard to find web content which does not, at least to some degree, fall trap to the echo chamber effect. When inside this mental echo chamber we create content that echoes other content or is derivative of it, direct readers to other people’s work instead of our own, link out only to viewpoints and facts we agree with, and otherwise quash what is unique about our content.

In this post, I want to suggest some ways we can emphasize what is unique about our writing, rather than creating within the confines of the echo chamber.

You can write about what everyone else is writing about

…As long as you can approach the topic from a unique angle. If the original words express everything you want to say then don’t create ‘new’ content re-stating the same point. Readers always respect the original source of the content. If you want proof, look at the front pages of any social networking site.

The same but better will not cut it

How will you set yourself apart? You need to be different and better.

The old adage that people buy brands not products is true here. Your cola drink might taste better than Coke or Pepsi, but people who want cola are probably going to buy either of those two. If you’re creating the same content as established sites then new readers are always going to choose the established brands over you. You can write on the same topics but you need to provide a fresh perspective.

  • Can you explore a new angle on the same topic?
  • Can you answer a different question?
  • Can you articulate a different point of view?

Can you provide unique content for your topic?

Divide your topic into sub-sections. Cooking –> desserts, spices, learning new skills, finger food, chocolate, quick meals, etc. What are your competitors covering? How could you cover it differently? What are they not covering and why?

If the ‘Why?’ question has a clear answer, for example, the personal lives of chefs (boring!) then strike it off your list. If the ‘Why?’ question is a mystery (why aren’t other sites covering blazing fast meal recipes?) then you might be fulfilling a need amongst your readers that other sites haven’t caught on to.

Are you linking to the same sites again and again?

Why shouldn’t your readers cut out the middle-person and go straight to the source?

Are you often linking to high exposure sites in your niche?

Don’t think your readers aren’t already reading them. If you’re not expanding on content they’ve provided or offering a unique angle then your time would be better spent elsewhere.

Instead of linking out, why not build links in?

Take the time to create something original, even if it’s only short or small. These snippets help to establish what’s unique about your content.

Introduce your readers to content sources they haven’t seen before

Great content can be found in the most obscure and unlikely places. We all stumble across the occasional gem hidden inside the web’s nooks and crannies. Introduce your readers to great content they would never have found otherwise.


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