Dude, Tell Me Something I Don’t Know!

By Daniel Scocco

Have you ever been in a friendly discussion with someone who kept repeating things you already knew over and over again? I am sure you have, and it is freaking annoying. You get that urge to say “Dude, tell me something I don’t know!”.

I had such an experience this weekend, and I realized that the same principle can be applied to blogging (and to online marketing as a whole). In other words, you need to tell your audience (be they blog readers or prospects of your company) something that they don’t know. If you keep repeating trivial stuff, or stuff that other bloggers and companies have already discussed far and wide, you will bore the heck out of everyone.

I am guilty of regurgitating stuff myself, and I know how hard it is to come up with new and interesting things all the time. But hey, that is what is going to make a difference, so we might as well strive for it.

The next time you are about to hit “Publish,” evaluate whether or not your audience will read it and get the urge to say “Dude, tell me something I don’t know!”.



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24 Responses to “Dude, Tell Me Something I Don’t Know!”

  • Andrew @ webuildyourblog.com

    A really good point and it depends upon your audience. For me it’s a percentage thing. If I am telling the vast majority of my visitors (75%) something they didn’t know, then I’m happy.

    But what I blog about may only be telling 25% of your blog visitors, something they didn’t know.

    Does that make sense?

    Andrew

  • Daniel Scocco

    @Andrew, yeah things get slightly complex if you consider that your audience is not a uniform mass of individuals.

    If you talk about tennis, for instance, you might have both beginner and advanced tennis players on the audience.

    The solution is to make sure that the various groups will each get something new and unique, at least once in a while.

  • Bambou

    The problem comes up a lot when visiting blogs from the same niche, or downloading books about the same subject. After a while, you learn nothing new or interesting, and that may be a good thing : as a reader, you know a lot more about something than when you started reading. Still, you’re looking for better articles, and you decide to stop following people who always comes up with posts like : “Write valuable content, be present in social medias”, etc. How many posts like this this month ? Do I really need to have this repeating to me over and over again ?

    So yeah, if you’re a blogger, tell me something I don’t know and don’t hesitate to share more than other bloggers usually do. Valuable, deep, new content = me still following your blog 🙂
    But I understand the problem, I do.

  • Blog Handbook

    Thanks for the reminder. Keeping things new and fresh will atract new readers and stop the old ones from getting bored.

    Too bad it is impossible to never repeat sayings, because you really can’t remember all the stuff you have written before.

  • ROW

    Couldn’t agree more Daniel. I had to unsubscribe from one of the most popular blogs on blogging because of ‘regurgitated stuff’.

    On second thoughts, may be owner is helpless because meta blogging is such a niche where you may not be able to produce original articles over a long period of time.

    Well, I have never got that “Dude…” feeling from DBT at least.

  • Brian McGovern

    There is nothing new under the sun … sometimes it’s not the “what” but the “how” that matters.

    When you capture a reader’s attention because of your unique voice – and you get them to really think about some adage – the obvious becomes epiphany and the mundane marvelous – because you made the point relevant to that reader.

  • Darni

    Interesting post,hahaha.Telling people what they don’t know is difficult though.I’ve also been trying hard to write something which are very different from others.But most time I just find myself repeat what other’s saying with my own words.But I will keep learining,reading others articles and writing myself.I believe with the growing of my experience,my writing skills will be better and better.

  • Ryan

    Daniel, I knew this already….j/k 😉

    Provide useful posts. As in, information that someone could use. Keep the idea of writing to an audience in mind. Too many write to search engines; daily posts, keyword rich, etc….and forget to make their posts interesting.

  • Harrison

    How do you know what others know? Just because you know it doesn’t mean they do.

  • Gabe | freebloghelp.com

    It’s true that there are many Captain Obvious’s out there. However, if the author is great at storytelling and can provide a unique perspective, even common knowledge can be quite entertaining.

  • Mike CJ

    You’re right up to a point. The problem you face is that if you want to offer a “complete” service sometimes you need to add stuff that everyone else has done to death – it can be tough to put a new spin on it though.

  • Dave Doolin | Website In A Weekend

    Recycled pap.

    I’ve been railing about this to very little effect.

    Now that I’ve seen it here, and on Blogussion, I expect to see this story doppelgangered on blogs all over.

    Recursive irony.

  • Steve

    I have been there many times. Someone on the radio or tv starts to repeat the same old lines that have been said before with nothing new or no new point of view. I like the hosts that interrupts that kind of bs and makes them get to something real.

  • GetBrowser

    Repeated topics and concents are always annoying indeed.

  • Dana @ Online Knowledge

    Yeah, it is really hard to come with new fresh think each time but it is possible for some time.

  • Akshay S Dinesh

    Dude, Tell Me Something I Don’t Know!

  • Spencer

    It seem hard to find something someone has never heard before. Our world is a 24/7 box of communication. We are all wired and learning and absorbing a faster rate. While I agree that reading the same stuff can be boring, you do have an option. Your option is to change the channel.

    When too many people choose to change the channel away from your boring content why not try something even more radical… tell stories in completely different, fun, exciting, intriguing, and even unique ways. Capture our attention in whole new way with our imagination peaked.

  • Kang Asep

    Good way to get more idea…

  • Jeff

    The above comment are all the same, and now for something completely different…

    hehe. Yes good point and to further qualify that… “it has to be something of value to the reader”.

  • hafiid

    How do I know for sure that my post is gonna be something new to my blog reader? something that they don’t know.

  • David Walker

    Daniel, you hit it right on the head. There’s so many copies of anything out there and it’s tiring for a reader to keep getting the same stuff, over and over and over again.
    I think the best way to stand out is to try and use our writing style to say the same thing but in a different way, add passion for the subject and maybe an anecdote or two?
    We can also go further, look for more information to offer, dig deeper when it comes to research, and have our finger on the pulse when it comes to getting and offering the latest news in our niche.

  • Ray

    That is a good point, however, saying (posting) the same stuff like others have said before, isn’t really such a bad idea, because it will benefit newcomers to your site, or those who still are newbies on the topic they are searching for.

  • Sarge | beginnerblogger.com

    Short and to the point Daniel I like it!

    I know many people in real life that just can talk and talk and repeat the same thing. It’s hard, especially if you really respect them to say ‘hey tell me something I don’t know!’ I sort of just use body language to indicate that I’m listening but I’m not all that interested and you should get to the point and stop now 🙂

    I’m also guilty of probably regurgitating the same info, even in the same post but it’s usually to re-instantiate an important point I’m trying to make.

    Sarge | BeginnerBlogger.com

  • Jeff Sabo

    I agree with you on this point quite a bit. I currently write a sports blog and try and offer different opinions and topics so that the information is not all the same. I like talking about different sports teams, players and events so that I am offering different viewpoints and ideas on a daily basis.

    Another reason I focus in on different sports stories is because one of the teams I like to talk about is having a terrible season this year. It’s pretty obvious this team I like talking about is lousy and I know if I consistently talk about how bad the season is, the reader will sit there and think I am being Captain Obvious. Sometimes adding in analysis, a twist on a story, or some historical facts can make the information sounds more original. Sometimes I will throw in a story of how my buddies used to kid me for being a fan of this particular team to add some humor.

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