December 10th, 2007 - by Golgotha

I HEARD IT THROUGH THE GRAPEVINE – In 1968 Marvin Gaye released Motown’s longest-running No. 1 hit topping the U.S. chart for seven weeks. In 1970 Creedence Clearwater Revival would cover the song for what would be their most popular album, Cosmo’s Factor. In 2003, the album was ranked number 265 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the 500 greatest albums of all time.

AFTER MIDNIGHT – J. J. Cale released this song in 1966. Several years later, Eric Clapton would record the song on his first solo album, Tulsa. The song would become one of Clapton’s standards.

LITTLE WING – Jimi Hendrix released this in 1967. Since then it’s been covered by over thirty different artist, but no one does it better than Stevie Ray Vaughan. Hendrix may have knocked up the song, but Stevie Ray Vaughan married it.

WITH A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FRIENDS – The Beatles released this classic in 1967 on the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. But The Beatles aren’t the only ones that found success with the song; Joe Cocker also made the song number one on the British singles charts in 1968.

While The Beatles may be the most covered band in history, The Beatles also found much success by covering other artists such as: Chuck Berry, The Isley Brothers, The Miracles, Little Richard and more.

What’s The Point?

“I can’t blog about that because so-and-so did last week…”

“I can’t find anything to blog about that hasn’t already been covered…”

“That technique is just the same one that so-and-so already talked about…”

I repeatedly hear these reasons from people on why they feel they can’t blog about a topic. So in this article I’ll explain why each of these reasons shouldn’t stop anyone from “covering” it themselves.

“I can’t blog about that because so-and-so did last week…”

If so-and-so blogged about it last week then we can assume that you had your finger on a hot topic and so you should absolutely blog about it. Yes, even if so-and-so said pretty much the same things that you wanted to say. While you may share some of the same readers, there’s a good chance that you have some readers that they don’t have.

You may also try expanding on what was already said, or using a different analogy, or giving a personal story or testimony. All of these can help to make the story more your own.

The only time I wouldn’t cover something that someone else already covered is if it’s a news or breaking story, like the unveiling of Apple’s iPhone, or something like so and you find yourself with nothing to add to the topic. Then I would probably skip it…

“I can’t find anything to blog about that hasn’t already been covered…”

It’s really not about finding that unique or seldom blogged about topic as it is about finding your passion and voice. Technorati is currently tracking 112.8 million blogs! Finding something unique is not likely to happen. Instead, find something that you can be excited to blog about. Something that you don’t feel you can ever get tired talking about; whatever that may be. Think of Forrest Gump’s friend Bubba talking about shrimp. If you can talk about your topic like Bubba then you know you have a good topic for you.

“That technique is just the same one that so-and-so already talked about…”

Who was the first guy to land of the moon? Right, Neil Armstrong. Who was the second guy to land on the moon? A little harder eh… Look it’s nice to be Neil Armstrong and be first, but I can guarantee you that it wasn’t going to stop Buzz Aldrin from taking his turn.

Being first to bring a new technique of doing something to the web is wonderful, but it’s not necessary. Not even close to necessary. Do you know what the most popular article ever on Search-This has been? It was Paul’s article CSS Liquid Round Corners. When I asked Paul to write the article he was hesitant at first because so many others had already covered the topic. But I knew that with Paul’s ability to explain difficult concepts so that they are easily understood and the way that Paul leaves nothing unturned when he covers a subject, that his version of CSS liquid round corners would crush anything else out there. And it has.

Also consider the search engine traffic that you get when covering a popular topic. Doing a search in Google for ‘title tags + search engines’ brings up our article: Title Tags – A Search Engine Optimization Cornerstone. I wrote that article in May of 2007; think of how many other articles on Title tags had come before this one. We still get search engine traffic today from that article!

When Not To Cover A Topic

  • When your heart’s not in it and you can’t cover the topic with the passion it deserves.
  • When you don’t have the time to sufficiently cover the topic.
  • If it’s a news story and you can’t be the first to break it or have nothing to add to the topic, then it may not be worth talking about. That is unless you are looking at getting reader feedback from the topic.

Other than these three reasons, I can’t think of why you shouldn’t take on a subject that has been covered previously.

You can never let other blogs affect whether you post or not. There’s just too many blogs – somebody somewhere is bound to cover the same topic as you. Just make sure you cover the topic better 😉

7 Responses to “It’s Been Covered…”

1 Jack @ The Tech Teapot

I think one thing to be gotten over when you’ve started a blog is stage fright.

In the beginning you know nobody is listening so you can write completely uninhibited.

A bit further along people start listening so you need to be a bit more careful with the quality control.

Later still you may get quite a following, kinda like stepping out on the stage at the Old Vic. Then you get to really worry about how good your posts are…

I’ve noticed myself stopping from publishing a post because I didn’t think it was good enough and that to get it good enough would take more time than I could give at that time.

2 Golgotha

@Jack – finding adequate time to give to a particular topic is always hard. I think it’s what I struggle most with.

3 hubs

Let’s see, how did The Beatles put it?

“There’s nothing you can know that isn’t known.
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown.
Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be.
It’s easy.”

So just write it.

4 Golgotha

You Gotta love Lennon. Great post hubs, glad to see you around these parts. Hope to see you more often.

5 Court

I don’t even read most of the blogs out there that are like mine. I like to have my own energy for writing and sometimes it gets overwhelming if you read too much information – you start to feel like it’s all been done.

6 trademark registration

I agree with this posting: there’s only so many news stories dealing with a particular topic, and the number of blogs about that topic are probably 100-fold. If we were never to blog when someone else covers it first, then we’d probably never blog…

7 zakłady bukmacherskie

So what do you write for?

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