This is key :) Your content has to be either unique/ground breaking or authoritative and experts.
Controversial is good. Sexy (in the journalism sense of the word) is good.
And easy to understand is also very good.
Some of my article pages that rank highest are not "unique" per say. In fact, there are numerous articles out there covering the same subject that have more complete information, and more unique content, that rank far lower (we're talking SERPs pages 5 though 20, otherwise known as google purgatory).
I outrank them not because my site has a lot of domain authority / trust (it doesn't), but because I have made my articles very easy to read and understand for the user. As circus impresario P.T. Barnum said:
"No man ever went broke overestimating the ignorance of the American public."
When I look at an article on another site that is very detailed and authoritative but doesn't rank well, the first thing I ask is, "How can I make this page more readable. How can it be more enjoyable to read. What can I ELIMINATE to make it more understandable?"
There are experts in the world, and there are writers in the world, and a good approach is making expertise well-written.
Only a small percentage of articles on the web ever pass under an editor's eyes before being published. If you can't be an expert content creator, at least become an expert editor.
(Note: I was a print journalist for approximately four years, so my views on this may be skewed.)