9 ways to make your blog stand out in the crowd
A guest post by Michael Deane.
There are over 600 million blogs on the internet. Is yours lost in the sea of sameness? If so, it doesn’t mean it’s bad. We just need to tweak it a bit.
By following a couple of tried-and-tested strategies, you can make sure your blog stand out of the crowd to get the attention it deserves.
What makes a blog stand out?
A blend of unique features, attention to detail, consistent updates, passion for the content you make, and a couple of other ingredients make a blog stand out. To outperform the ones with similar content, you need to remain vigilant and keep an eye on them.
Before diving in, you must know that building a great blog requires a bit of money, as well as time and effort. Luckily, it’s still much more affordable than brick and mortar. You will generate more leads in no time by employing the right strategies.
1. Improve your content
The best course of action to make your blog stand out is to create high-quality content, especially if you are in a very competitive niche.
Well-written and properly curated content is the foundation of every successful blog. And, the best content always remains relevant. Avoid filler content which is full of fluff. This doesn’t add value to your readers. It’s dull, boring, and common.
Find out what interests people in your niche. What questions do they ask and don’t get good answers to? Your blog posts should be well-researched answers to their conundrums. Answer every angle of every question.
I know it sounds pretty basic, but it’s a strategy that can help you make sure your content performs the best. Ensure every post on a certain topic is more comprehensive than those of the competition. And, make sure your headlines are click-worthy, eye-catching and relevant.
Illustrate your points, cite sources and add lots of quality images. Even if your time and resources are limited, there are steps that can help you produce quality content and increase traffic.
Tools like BuzzSumo can help you analyse the content of your competitors. It’s easier to create the right blog posts when you are well-informed about the content that works for your competitors.
2. Offer actionable guides
What I hate about a lot of blogs is that they just tell us what to do in bullet points without actually explaining how to do it. Having interesting content is not enough to make your blog stand out. Make sure all of your posts include appropriate explanations and actionable steps.
What does the reader want to do? How can you help them do it? Teach them how by going beyond the nitty-gritty. Include resources and examples in your how-to guides.
Good, descriptive images always help as well. Don’t skip steps to create shortcuts. Always ask yourself: “How useful is this post?”
A neat little site called WPBeginner is a great example of this. Every article on their site is a comprehensive, step-by-step tutorial. No steps are skipped and there are plenty of screenshots.
3. Post frequently
Try to publish posts more frequently than your competition. How often you post can determine the success of your blog. Make sure your writing is consistent.
The best way to do that is with a regular schedule in place. That way, users who like your content will know when to come back for more.
So, should you post daily? Weekly? Monthly? Let quality dictate the frequency. Don’t sacrifice content quality in order to make sure you’re posting every day.
But, you do need to have a content calendar. There are many apps and tools that can help you schedule posts. You can also use them to track the performance of each post.
If you’re managing a team of guest bloggers or have a partner in content management, you can use Edit Flow to work with more people seamlessly. Such tools allow you to avoid posting errors.
4. Build a visually appealing brand
Although I did put emphasis on content creation, having a visually appealing design and a memorable brand is just as vital. Your fabulous content won’t help you much if it’s too painful to look at.
An outdated, boring, and unappealing blog will send users to an alternative source of info that’s nicer to look at. I know you’ll do your best to bring your content up to par, but if your blog looks bad, the average visitor will assume that the content is bad as well.
Your bounce rate represents the percentage of people who leave your website without browsing it. I don’t mean to sound harsh, but your website’s bounce rate can only get worse if your site isn’t visually appealing. It affects your search engine performance.
An appealing, modern, responsive, and updated layout is the best way to decrease “bounces.” What do successful brands and businesses have in common? All of them employ colours, logos, and other visuals to differentiate themselves. Your site will be more memorable to first-time users if you take the time to build a strong brand identity.
It’s better to use high-quality, original images than stock images. But, since that may not always be an option, make sure you use stock images tactfully.
If you can’t afford a great logo, stick to simple text for the time being. A text that’s easy to read will leave a much better impression than a bad logo. Here are a few more tips on how to make your blog stand out visually:
- Keep paragraphs short
- Use headers and subheadings
- Keep line width short
- Use a large font
- Use white space
- Implement a consistent colour scheme everywhere
5. Focus on one specific niche
It’s hard to differentiate yourself in a competitive niche. It may be better to “go deep rather than wide.” You can find one topic that you’re particularly good at and build your niche strategy around it. Basically you should try to beat out everyone else who’s blogging about it.
If you’re not an expert at the moment, you needn’t worry. Focus on learning. You can’t copy other successful bloggers in the niche, but you can emulate them.
6. Search for the right keywords
Keywords are all about directing the right people to your website. Don’t use vague and extremely popular keywords.
For instance, If you’re selling a product on your blog or just want to reach a particular crowd, you must research unique keywords and phrases. Use offline marketing strategies to boost your online strategy and improve your chances of reaching your target audience.
If you’re on a tight budget, a good old Google search may be enough. Begin by typing in a general phrase related to your niche and see what Google suggests. For instance, start with, “ways to make your blog stand out.”
Google’s suggestions show there are more specific ideas we could write about. Since blogging as a general concept is a pretty broad topic, we could write a post about something more specific. Tumblr blogs, WordPress blogs, beauty blogs, travel blogs… each of these is a better topic for our post.
7. Use meta descriptions
Regardless of your niche or website type, improving your blog’s SEO (search engine optimisation) is a must. Basically, SEO makes sure you’re on great terms with Google, Bing, and the rest of the bunch. It helps search engines find your site and it’s pages. Then, when people search for a particular type of content, they are much more likely to stumble upon your site.
You don’t stand a chance against your competitors if no one can find you through Google’s search box. Search engine optimisation helps you climb to the top pages of search results. Keywords play a very important role here, but there’s more to it.
You must use meta descriptions as well. They tell Google and Bing what your posts are about. That lets them know what keywords to associate with your posts.
If you’re using WordPress, the Yoast SEO plugin allows you to easily implement meta descriptions.
8. Improve your backlink profile
Link building is a great way to gain an edge. You can interlink your own posts or write guest posts for other sites. The goal is to implement your URL in a lot of locations. You can reach out to other sites to build backlinks. Aim for ones with relevant or similar content.
Your site’s URL will gain authority as you build relationships with others in your niche. This will also score more points with search engines. You can make a name for your brand by accepting guest posts from other bloggers in your niche.
9. Utilise social media
Your post should be easy to share on the most popular social media platforms. Towards the ending of each post, there should be a couple of sharing buttons. Make sure they’re easy to spot.
Include shareable tidbits like quotes and images. Social share counts are also a great tool for creating social proof. For instance, when we see that a post has 12k shares, we’ll assume it’s great because so many people like it. This is social proof in its essence.
Engage users through your social media profiles. Ask them what they think about your posts, services, or products. Show them that their input is valuable to you. It’s not just good marketing, but it also allows you to learn more about your target audience.
Does your blog stand out of the crowd?
Having a passion for a certain topic is a great place to start. But you need to incorporate all of these elements into your blog in order to become a leader in your niche.
Take time to research the best ways to implement these steps into your blog. By making your blog more in tune, the right reader will be able to find your blog more easily.
About the author
Michael Deane has been working in marketing for almost a decade and has worked with a huge range of clients, which has made him knowledgeable on many different subjects. He has recently rediscovered a passion for writing and hopes to make it a daily habit. You can read more of Michael’s work at Qeedle.