I think most businesses have it backwards when it comes to the Internet. The majority of mom & pop shops have unique themes for their website but copied content. It should be the other way around. If your website looks like another site nobody is going to notice or care. If your site has copied content people aren't going to notice, but they also aren't going to buy.
Copied content usually sucks. You can't really copy an about us page from another site and if you try to keep it general it will also suck. Copy is one of the most important parts to conversions on a website, but so few people really get it. You can convert more people with a bad design and good copy than a good design and bad copy. Copy is everything when it comes to the Internet.
Look at Craigslist. They get by without a good design. All that really matters to them is content. And this is how it is for most of the largest sites. They don't care about design as much as they care about content. When it comes to design it is much like a newspaper. It isn't about doing anything out of the ordinary or trying to be creative with the layout or design. Good design is about letting the content be seen. And this is what all of the top websites do. But this is also what none of the small sites do. All the mom & pop shops focus entirely on everything but content. They focus on logos, design and all the other stuff that is secondary to content.
Save your money on hiring a designer, throw up a free Wordpress blog and put up a good looking theme. Then write or hire somebody to write some damn good content. And make sure it's readable. While you're at it throw up a video explaining stuff to people. People want content, they don't care if your theme is unique or not. They only care that your theme looks like you're the real deal. So put up a theme that looks like you're the real deal. They have no clue whether or not it is a unique theme or if 10,000 other sites are using. And they don't care. All they care about is what the page they're on is telling them to do and if the website is fulfilling their need.
Focus on content and everything else will fall into place.
Filed under:Internet / Tech, Web, Themes, Content