11 Ways to Add to the Conversation of the Blogosphere and Stand Out from the Crowd

Posted By Darren Rowse 2nd of April 2010 Video Posts 0 Comments

One problem that I see a lot of bloggers falling into the trap of doing is simply writing what everyone else is writing about on their blog – and doing it in the same way everyone else is. The term ‘echo chamber’ comes to mind.

I think we’ve all done it (or have been tempted to) – a news story breaks, we report the news, perhaps with a quote and link from another source and we’re tempted to leave it at just that.

In this video I share 11 ways to add to the conversation happening in the blogosphere by adding something extra to the topics everyone else is reporting on. In doing so you add something unique and raise yourself and your blog out of the echo chamber.

Watch this video at full size at How to Add to Conversation in the Blogosphere.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Hey Darren,

    Thanks for sharing this video with us. This is a topic that every blogger needs to hear and share. Great Topic!

    Chat with you later…
    Josh

  2. I think extending on a topic is much easier than actually coming up with something entirely new.

    Lucky for me I have a blog design blog so unique graphic design tutorials are much easier to create.

    Thanks for the April fools joke, you really had me going. I even published a post about it on my blog to join the fun.

  3. Some great advice, Darren. I particularly like the points about stimulating debate by offering a contrary opinion, and also speculating “what if”. The news I can get from a thousand sources; it is the insights that I am seeking when I go to a blog.

    One of the things that I do on my blog about publid speaking is to show a video of a speech and then break it down in great detail, talking about the things that I liked and the ways in which it could be improved. These posts always get good response.

    My only concern with your post is that if everybody heeds your advice, we will all once again be the same. It reminds me of this scene in Monty Python’s Life of Brian: “We are all individuals”.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LQqq3e03EBQ

    Cheers!

    John
    http://mannerofspeaking.org

  4. Leaving a comment here will be the 12th way. :-)

  5. Valid points – if more bloggers would heed the advice we could eliminate some of the “clutter”.

  6. Thanks for sharing Darren. I loved the April Fools’ post. I love the idea of extending other people’s posts with own points. That’s not only a great way to promote other people’s content but to build your own content. Another way I would add is not just to expand on the blogger’s post, but maybe you could take all the comments on a particular post, link to all the bloggers who commented and respond in your own post.

  7. The part of adding a personal touch to a news post makes so much sense. In the recent months I have seen many post just posting the same news with no other information, feels really boring. It would be nice to hear some thing new about it …

  8. Thanks for sharing this video – I really try hard not to add more mindless fluff to the blogosphere – but that’s a great challenge and often the source of great anxiety. So I definitely needed these.

  9. I think this one is for me, until recently most of the posts on my blog were just the same things you could find elsewhere, although I never copy and paste. Its been quiet sometime since we’ve had a video post on Problogger. This was nice one Darren.

    http://www.dumblittleblogger.com/

  10. I usually bold stuff that I copied and pasted and add ellipses and brackets(for synonyms). Most of my best posts are aggregates and analyze the effects of the copy and pasted data.

  11. The cool part for my blog is that I always write about something no one wrote before. OK, maybe not always but most of the time. That’s the beauty of my little supernatural niche :).

    Beside, I write based on my own experience so I can’t really copy and paste content.

  12. Well said…Good video post.

  13. Can’t state enough how important the sacrifices that go into wealth creation are.

    Curious if anyone has caught this book yet? “The Richest Man in Town” by W Randall Jones. I’ve read half of it so far and let me tell you it is well worth it. Would like to hear what everyone else thought of it?

    http://www.richestmanintown.com

  14. Thanks for the information it’s a great topic to discuss for someone
    new to the whole internet blogging and business atmosphere.

  15. Thank you for the video. It’s a varied post, leaving the reader a distinct advantage.

  16. Darren: Thanks so much, grrrrreat video! Ditto on Srinivas’ comment re 4.1 blog! Somewhere, probably here, read that biz bloggers need to write in format: Problem: Solution. I try to do that with all posts. And often add: “So What?” Here’s where I can add my unique take on the industry, a quote, the news item, a video I post, etc.

  17. I try to write about things that will benefit my audience.

    I have actual services I provide… A lot of my blog post are written to address common questions I get about my services.

  18. I think you have covered everything!

    great!

  19. I actually want to add by asking if it’s wrong to say so wrote a post on, let’s say another 10 ways on how to…on whatever the post is about. By linking a post this way is it “spammy”?

  20. Good points Darren. We like to say “content is king,” but really it should be “unique content is king.”

    I’d rather wait a few days to come out with a post that has original thoughts and ideas rather than just duplicating content that has already been posted elsewhere.

    I apply this principle to my Twitter feed too — so I stopped retweeting the most popular users (@mashable, @scobleizer, etc.), since I know others will do that. Instead, I tweet the more eclectic hard-to-find stuff.

  21. thanks Darren for this awesome video ;)
    Keep up the Good work !!

  22. I’ll take your advice and add one idea to your list. Including your own experiences and lessons learned on any topic provides not only some potentially valuable insight, but it also personalizes your blog, making it an extension of you rather than just a blog.

  23. Great video, and awesome points!

    But I must say, my favorite part is when you say, Darren Rowse, from Pro Blogger, he-yah.

    PS: a post on vlogging tips would be great, too. Or have you already done that? I’ll have to go look!

  24. I love what Roger said, it should be “original, unique content is king.” Great post Darren, I think this should be addressed more..

    Thanks for posting & I too enjoyed your April Fool’s Blog..

  25. Yeah I agree that adding your own perspective is key. People often get too rushed to get content out that they don’t take the time to actually put good posts together. They just do what everyone else is doing because they are too lazy to do the work themselves. Using others’ articles is fine, but at least put your own spin on it. Thanks for the great post/video, was very informative! I actually took notes!

    Have fun blogging!

    Steven Goodwin

    http://www.myglobalnpn.com

  26. Great video! I feel that I did this specifically in my post

    http://thismamaworksit.com/2010/03/31/is-it-possible-to-find-real-authentic-business-andor-make-money-from-home-advice-on-the-internet/

    I talked about what you had to say with the “jerks” within a specific niche and then discussed from my point of view as someone trying to find quality information within the niche of authentic business advice, make money from home, etc. So talking from a customer point of view not so much a blogger in the niche point of view.

    Thanks for these tips. I find it extremely useful as I continue to blog!

    Oh BTW love the Australian accent. very sexy! haha

  27. Great suggestions Darren! I think injecting humor into posts would be another way you could add interest (as a couple of bloggers did this with the IPad story).

    For example, if someone does a top 10 list for something and you like it, you could do a David Letterman type top 10 list in response (i.e. “Top 10 Features For The New IPAD” becomes “Top 10 Rejected Features For The New IPAD”).

  28. Great posts with lots of good content. I think selling yourself is one of the most important thing you can do in order to make yourself more unique and stand out from the crowd.

    Most of us love to watch TV and we get a lot of influence from watching passive entertainment so if you can translate that to your blog you can become more successful and have people like you.

    When nobody says anything else different then people have no reason for coming back to your blog and people value shock and controversy so if you can be shocking, funny or craete controversy in a way where people will either love you or hate you you will go a long way to creating a loyal following and have visitors come back to your site daily.

  29. Hey Darren,

    Love the idea of answering unanswered questions on the other post to make your post more useful than the original post. I also like the idea of telling how his or her post helped me the blogger.

    Great stuff

  30. Excellent points. I love the What If? That really strikes a fancy with me. That’s a really good way of looking at things. You never fail to give me at least one bit of advice that I can walk away with that makes me think. Well done. :)

  31. Very nice. I did this with a certain “Building Trust” article, posted on a high visibility website (*cough*), where I added Point #7 to the author’s 6 points. Worked out very nicely.

    Thank you for that.

  32. Hi Darren, very valuable 11 ways to add to the conversation.

    One other thing I’d say is to expand on a point already mentioned and make it a one post.

    Most of the time I tend to write about my own experiences and relate it to a topic on my business.

    Thanks again
    Damayanthi

  33. Hey!

    First of all , I want to thank you for all this informations , and I’d like it so much .
    Thanks for this sharing!

    Good work ! ;)

  34. This was very timely for me. I had just started to heed all the people saying “Think of your readers. Don’t make it about you.”

    My natural inclination is to share personal experience that “adds to the conversation”. Thanks for helping me get back on track.

    Excellent video!

  35. Why not compare two different links on similar subjects, quoting and paraphrasing from both, while acting as moderator or playful scorekeeper (could be especially fun if you’re monitoring a spat between two or more bloggers)?

    You could also blend them into a single, comprehensive resource using your own ingenuity and adding your own two cents into the mix. This is similar to the way search engines consume other search engines in order to be more comprehensive…

  36. Great post, also experience is important, good to do lots of research of course.

  37. Great post/video. I thought that you have been preaching that it’s all about content, content, content. What’s been interesting about anonymous8 is that we don’t fit into any genre, which is both good and bad. Our content is pretty unique (up to this point). We are not a mom blog even though we are all moms. We are not a relationship blog even though we are all in long term marriages/relationships. We are having an identity crisis, but so far, that has allowed us to keep our content fresh and unique and well-received. Without meaning to, we are nicheless, which you have just reiterated, helps with unique and humorous content.

    One thing our readers tell us is that they are “intrigued” by what we talk about. Maybe that’s something to add to your list.

  38. Good point..I can do it simple…thanks

  39. Great way to add to the conversation, I think if you are going to be blogging about the same things as other you need to set yourself apart somehow.

  40. Yawn, I totally agree, but then again that’s Life in the modern era. It’s the same in many walks of Life, for instance music. When someone comes up with something semi-unique and achieves success, everybody get’s on the copy-cat bandwagon trying to capitalize by doing the exact same thing, with little to no variation, like a self-similar fractal.

    All in all, it simply amounts to playing it safe. People are truly afraid of being unique, and standing out from the safety of “the herd”…mooo!

  41. leave a comment still is an effective way of communicating in the world of bloggers. visit their blog, leave a comment too

    http://lahs99.com/

  42. It’s such an easy trap to fall into, especially with all of the pro bloggers talking about reading, reading, reading – as a way of growing as a blogger.

    I tend to disagree with what the crowd is doing and am slow to jump into fads, so I find it easy to come up with (1) opposites-lists, as you mentioned in the video, where if someone talks about 5 ways to avoid something I talk about 5 ways to do it, and (2) transparent/vulnerable posts such as my slowness to embrace Twitter and Facebook (hehe, so funny now, in hindsight).

    Cheers,
    Tia

  43. I like your encouragement to seek our own take on issues and to find possible unique ways to journal trends. Lets keep the Internet effective and relevent and for pete’s sake ….Interesting!

  44. I feel that if we extend the topic which other bloggers are discussing about, then we can keep our readers engaged with it by fluffing and spicing the topic!

  45. Quite useful tips Darren and I perfectly agree with you. Adding personal touch with humour will make your blog not boring and standout from the crowd.

  46. Thanks for posting on this topic Darren. It’s true that when everyone is talking about the same news story or hot topic, the posts are often repetitive across the board. It’s easy to report something, but if the author isn’t adding their insights, questions, predictions, etc. it could be any old story and doesn’t stand out. I’ll concentrate on adding my 2 cents…and hopefully, it’ll be worth a whole lot more!

  47. I like creating mashups.

    Taking two seemingly unrelated genres and mashing them together.

    A couple I’ve done recently we’re:

    Real Estate Investing Lessons Learned From Project Runway
    Zombie Life Lessons
    How To Become a Fame Monster: Personal Development Lady Gaga style.

    I like what @Roger Harris said, ““unique content is king.”

    Thanks for the post Darren. I will be back with notebook and pen.

    Ian

  48. I wish i had something to add with this comment except that I’ll try and do this on my site now :P

  49. The unique is rare. It requires hard work and some genius.
    Are we not all standing on the shoulders of giants.
    As per the saying of Bernard of Chartres.
    It is even more relevant now than ever before.
    Furthermore more than one person can have the same thought about the same time. It has happened before.
    It is very difficult indeed to break new ground in these times of information glut. You need to have thorough knowledge of your subject and a glimmer of genius.

  50. Solid advice Darren.

    I totally agree that it can really water down your marketing power if you are doing the same things as everyone else and just re-hashing the same news and events as everyone else.

    The same can hold true for the look of your blog as well.

    Have you noticed any backlash/drop in customers from too many people trying to design their sites like yours?

    Putting your own spin on current events and making sure you turn left while everyone else is turning right is one of the most surefire ways to put your own stamp on things.

    Thanks again,

    Joshua Black
    The Underdog Millionaire