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13 Quick tips to Make Your Blog STAND OUT from the Crowd

With a new blog being started every second it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Following are some tips on how to differentiate your blog from the millions of others out there.

stand-out-from-crowd-blog.pngImage by c.a. muller

1. Pick a unique topic – it is easier said than done to choose a topic that is unique from everyone else today in a blogosphere as crowded as we’re currently in – however opportunities do arise to start blogs on topics that are new trends, products or ideas. Being first doesn’t guarantee success – but it can help.

2. Develop a Unique Voice – while it may not always be possible to choose a unique topic it can sometimes be easier to cover that topic in a way that others do not. Whether it be by using humor, blogging as a character (think Fake Steve Jobs blog), blogging in the 3rd Person (Manolo the Shoe Blogger) or some other way – finding a unique voice or style can set you apart from the rest.

3. Design – having a unique blog design doesn’t mean you need to pay big dollars for a custom design – start with a default one (or a premium design like Thesis) and tweak it with a unique logo, colors and layout. Visual first impressions count and can be the deciding factor as to whether people subscribe to your blog or not.

4. Useful Content – perhaps the best way to stand out from the crowd and make an impression upon people is to produce content that impacts them in some way. Write something that matters, that helps people, that solves a problem, that enhances people’s lives and you drastically increase the chances of them coming back and bringing a friend with them.

5. Be Prolific – something that can make a real impression on people is when they keep ‘bumping into you’. Predict where your potential readers will be going online and position yourself there as a prolific contributor. It might be social media sites, it might be the comments section of another blog or it could be a forum on your topic – wherever it is – make sure you have an active presence there. If people keep seeing you in the places that they hang out they’ll eventually take note and want to know more about you.

6. Love Your Readers to Death – this is key in the early days of a blog when readers seem scarce. The reality is that the 10 readers that you DO have already are a powerful resource – focuse upon them rather than the thousands of readers that you DON’T have. Love them – thank them for their comments – involve them in your blogging – promote them and the sites that they have and in doing so you’ll be building loyalty, trust and relationship that one day will pay off. Each reader you have has their own network and can open up new audiences to you.

7. Be Original – there’s nothing more dry than coming to a blog that has much the same content as every other blog that you’ve already read that day. Don’t just rehash news and talk about things in the same way that others are – dare to be different, play devils advocate, look for new angles in stories, translate the news for your readers and help them to work out how it impacts them etc

8. Express an Opinion – people who express opinions seem to get more attention than those who simply report news. Tell people what YOU think and you’re bound to get discussion between those who agree with you and those who do not.

9. Get Visual – whether it be by using eye catching pictures, diagrams and charts or even using video – when you add a visual element to your posts you will grab the attention of those who are more visually oriented. Images draw the eye, illustrate points and add new dimension to what is largely a text based medium.

10. Use Titles with Bling – post titles that draw people to read your post are essential and can be the difference between someone visiting your blog from a search engine, social media site or another blog and visiting someone else’s blog that has a more intriguing title.

11. Longevity Counts – many blog readers are looking to journey with someone and can be a little suspicious of new blogs and wonder how long they’ll last. Blog consistently for the long term and you build credibility, trust and profile in your industry.

12. Build Momentum – one mistake that many blogs make is that there is a sense that the blog is not really going anywhere. Posts appear on the blog that rarely relate to one another. I find that when I’m in the middle of a series or writing content that builds upon something that I’ve written before that readers really respond well. Its also this momentum that builds a sense of anticipation on a blog – which in turn builds subscriber numbers.

13. Drive People to Your Archives – one of the weaknesses of blogs as a medium is that in they often hide their best content. The content that gets most attention is the latest post – whether it is good or not. Blogs that not only highly what is NEW but find ways to highlight what is BEST in their archives draw readers to the content that is most likely to convince them to stay around for more.

Alone the 13 points above will have some impact upon helping your blog to stand out from the crowd – however the key is to work on more than one because together they make a significant difference.

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. Interesting post and great photograph that illustrates your point exactly. But I really liked the title to point 10!

    Regards,

    Clive

  2. Rocking post!!!
    I will always keep all the pointers in mind, I need them for my blog.

    http://www.twitter.com/farrhad

  3. Ok, I’ll bite. These are worthwhile (if not tired) tips. They will all help you stand out.

    I can appreciate the work that went into it, put there just isn’t anything new here. (sorry)

    Cheers

    George

  4. I have no rights to disagree with any of these points…

    Blogging is like a passion..more your explore more u will learn…!!
    I have seen people getting board of blogging but I can’t ever justify them. If you love something you will never be bored.

    Seems like Darren have covered up every thing a new bie blogger need to learn. That’s positive attitude.

    Nice post Darren.

  5. Thanks to Tweet that I can keep track of new posts so frequently.

    http://twitter.com/shoutmeloud

  6. I especially agree with you about readers responding well to a series of blogs. Another suggestion may be to engage readers through a competition. This has really increased my readership each week.

  7. This is excellent advice which I have taken on-board in relation to my exciting new adventure in the blogging world. I find the design of a blog or website to be an important factor when surfing for new writers and content.

  8. to george – sometimes we need to re-think the old strategies, and it doesn’t hurt to read them again.

    how about profanity or verbal bashing?? that gets people’s attention too.

    have a day all!

  9. Great tips! I agree that having great content is the #1 way to stand out. If you have all the rest you may get visitors, but if you have great content that reflects your personality then you’ll get FANS.

  10. Great tips especially #13. I have yet to learn how to properly divert my readers from current post to archives and vice versa in my blog. Must really put in these helpful tips to make my blog rock!!

  11. I agree with one comment here that Twitter is awesome. Following Darren on Twitter is worth more then I can describe. Everyone that wants to learn how to blog and build up their blogging experience should read Darrens articles.

    But friends when you see a great articles like this not only comment on it. Tell your followers on Twitter. Either tweet the link or retweet it. I’m sure Darren don’t mind. And I always bookmark articles that I find that will help me on my way to achieve my goals.

    Cheers…

  12. Great stuff, be yourself, be friendly, be genuine!

  13. Guilty as charged for number 13. I need to find a fun way to get great posts back in the forefront and increase page counts.

  14. Great tips, thank you very much.

  15. I don’t believe that anything is more important than voice. Relevant content is, of course, paramount as well. But a lot of people spit the same things. It’s the precision of our thought that can really make the difference.

  16. thats y i love to read your tips. unique tips for new bloggers

  17. Thank you for the summary. They are critical yet easy-to-fulfill. I’ve already been doing some of them. I am going to print it out and make it handy to review anytime.

  18. I am a new reader of your blog and love the great content you provide.

    Being a new blogger the one tip that I have been having some difficulty with is #11 Longevity Counts, or rather consistency counts!

    I’ve decided today that the only way to remedy this is by creating a schedule. Because while writing on the fly is great and I will still utilize those inspired moments…. My new blog needs way more content then those on the fly moments.

    Catch me on twitter at: http://www.twitter.com/JamiePelaez

  19. Great article my favourite was tip 6 very interesting tip that I shall be putting in to practice myself. I also enjoyed the last tip and a strategy for doing this on WordPress is by adding the Popular Post plugin

  20. This all makes sense. Drive people to your archives rings true as I’m often stumbling across really good content by accident. When you write a blog post think about other related post and chuck in a link to it. Please.

  21. Great list Darren, all valid points that need to be incorporated into all bloggers checklists. Now the key is for the bloggers to take this information and find a way to actually use it with their own content – in a unique and differentiated way.

    For those last two points on the list we made some developments to our blog to reflect those changes. We added a “Live Changes” button that goes on when anything is happening that day (explaining new improvements) and we added a “Knowledge Base” to structure our future archives into an easily searchable page organized by category.

    Feel free to check out the changes inspired by this post on our Internet Marketing and SEO blog: http://www.turnfire.com/blog/

    Cheers,
    Kris

  22. Sweet tips – really useful. This is definitely going on my “Fav” list and getting passed on to all my friends!

    Thanks…

  23. Thanks for the tips!

    I really like #6 – loving your readers to death. This is something I’m really starting to concentrate on. For starters, I’m shooting off a quick thank you email to those who comment on my blog. I also try to feature posts with lots of comments to give them more exposure and draw more people into the conversation.

    Content is also good. Since the beginning of my blog I have tried to write good content that is always consistent. I think it’s paying off as I’m finding more people linking to my posts.

    In the end though, blogging is a work of passion more than anything. This especially holds true nowadays when the blogosphere is so crowded. People can’t expect to make money overnight with their blog. I’ve been working on mine for over 2 years now and I’m just starting to see a small financial payoff – but nothing to quite my day job over.

    Great post and keep up the good work!

  24. All great tips. As I’m using more of these over time, I see my blog growing in popularity. I will keep this post in mind!

  25. Wonderful tips and following do guide you to a successful blog. Of course its all about hard work and commitment. I still find myself struggling with my momentum; I am getting better :)

  26. I am doing my best to follow all of these tips as I get my blog rolling. There’s so much to do and only so much time to do it in!

  27. Um,

    How do you stand out from the crowd by picking up different topic when you are the only one there?

  28. I love the pic!

    I think you gave similar advice through some other blog (don’t remember which one) about making the headline and the first line of a paragraph really appealing to readers.

    That’s what I am thinking about every time I write an article. Thank you so much for this advice because readers write to me and thank me for the useful content I provide.

    I guess I am on the right path, and this is partly because I listened to your advice!

  29. great post, it inspired me alot.

  30. Hi Darren, and fellow commentators!

    Darren, that was great advice indeed – truth is that most folks are visual people and adding some type of interesting visual elements makes it interesting and perhaps keeps their interest while they are there…..again great tips Darren.

    Check out one of my most recent videos for Trucker Hat Tuesdays by clicking my name…

  31. Good post. However, there are other more concerting things that most bloggers have to deal with than “being unique” or “original”. Getting seen should be the bloggers #1 priority…after all, what good is having unique or original content if no one knows you exist?

  32. Good and helpful post! Thanks!

  33. Nice post! I think the comment about consistency producing good content is key. With the influx of blog, staying relevant is the hardest task.

  34. I take design seriously. You don’t have a second chance to make a first impression. The first thing anyone notices about a site is the visual. Let your reader know what they’re in for.

  35. A couple days ago you mentioned that you have multiple projects that you work on. And that you have your up days and down days for each of them.

    Sometimes you are enthusiastic about problogger.com other times your twitter project.

    Today after a comment like the one from George (2nd comment). I am guessing that the enthusiasim must be leaning towards some other project.

    But what needs to be realised is that you get a lot of new visitors and for them this is all new information. Even though for you, and for regulars, it is repeated information. For the new visitors it is fresh information.

  36. Thou shalt love thy reader (I mean, neighbour)

  37. Very well put. We sometimes do it by instinct but nothing like a good summary, specially if you are starting in the blogging thing. I am with you in the good title issue and the building momentum part. I try not to be too repetitive and change topic but always bringing back the good posts with links to the archives as you recommend. I think it is a good idea to surprise people and give them good content, original content. So as you suggest you should pick up a unique topic, one that you feel comfortable with. And definitely, longevity counts. I like your list. 13 sells better than the classic 10. Odd numbers are good. Nice title and list.

  38. Good tips Darren….

    Especially the tip about involving readers. I have had some success with that on other blogs.

  39. Great post! You have to have something that others don’t.

  40. A short but informative post.

    Another important tip for being a successful blogger is being a good planner.Planning is something very important and all the success of blogging should only emerge from it…

  41. One of the things I love about you is that you give quick, simple tips!

  42. These are invaluable tips for the relatively new blogger.

    Before designing our blog we did a lot of research on blogs, and quickly realized the importance of having a good design for the blog. We think that having an original design has been somewhat helpful in catching the eyes of first time visitors to our blog.

    We work everyday at suggestion #4, to provide unique content for readers. We are hoping that soon our readers will begin interacting on a more regular basis, and provide us with some feedback on the various posts in the comments section.

    I thought your photo for this post was great. It drove home the point of how effective having a great visual reference could be for grabbing your readers attention.

  43. Good reminders for us novice bloggers. I’m trying to key on having top-notch content and being consistent. It bugs me when bloggers take long hiatuses in between posts. My goal is to blog Monday through Friday, taking the weekend off to recharge the creative batteries.

  44. Tumblemoose – thanks for the comment. I would say however that while I’ve covered most of this previously ‘new’ isn’t just about what you’ve ‘written’ before as an ‘author’ but also about what your readers have ‘read’ as ‘readers’.

    Here’s the thing – last time I ran a poll asking the readers of this blog how long they’ve been blogging the results revealed that 58% of my readers had been blogging for less than a year (or hadn’t yet started a blog). around 32% had been blogging less than 3 months or were yet to start a blog.

    Less than a quarter of my readers have been blogging longer than 2 years.

    While I do try to produce content for the more experienced 25% of my readers – the reality is that it is beginner bloggers who read this blog as much (if not more) than anyone and as a result I do focus upon the basics with more than a handful of my posts.

    As you’d know as a more experienced blogger – there’s only a certain amount of basics to write about and so from time to time I come back to things I’ve covered previously.

    Not saying this to disagree with you – but hopefully to give you context for why I posted this post. The other reason I published it is simply that this is a question I’m asked time and time again and that I (and quite a few others by the look of comments on this post) think is actually quite a challenge to many bloggers.

  45. These are very good points. I think #6 is probably the most important. When my blog first started, I really slacked off after a very short time. It was primarily because I felt that it was “not getting anywhere” just as you mentioned. What I didn’t realize was that there were a few people that gave a sh!t and I completely blew them off. Inexcusable.

    T

  46. I think the “love your readers to death” tip is one of the best. If you can make your readers feel like they are special when they visit your blog, they will be dieing to come back. That was one of the techniques I employed with my other blog – I gave away prizes, I responded to every comment, and was personal with my readers. It also makes blogging a lot more fun when you truly care about who’s reading your blog.

  47. Thank you very much for you post it is very informative and I will use all of those approaches into promoting my blog.

  48. Hi Darren, thanks for the article.

    One question I had about point 12, would you recommend running a series of articles consecutively, or mixing it up.

    I have a number of lengthy series in the pipes, and I’m not sure if the best approach is to mix up the content a bit by inserting different topics every few posts, or just bang out one after the other in the series until its finished.

    Cheers
    Hugh

  49. This is what I like about problogger.. It always gives me new insight which I can use everyday. Keep it up and I will still come back again to learn more from you.. thanks!

  50. OutsourceSurvival – I think either could work. I like to run a series of consecutive posts (one day after the other) if the topic lends itself to that – but at times I’ve also spread them out more when the topics were a little more general and/or the posts were more detailed and needed more time to write (and digest).

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