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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. You rock man! yes in order to become a good blogger you need to have a passion for it and equip with knowledge on how to blog. You have demonstrated the power of blogging keep up the good work man.

    http://vur.me/wealth2u/lazy40money
    http://vur.me/wealth2u/lwsfreedom

  2. They forgot #14. Read and implement what you learn at problogger.net!!;)).

  3. #6 really hit home for me. I have a small online journal that is read religiously by friends and family. I wrote a post about the ShamWow infomercial and started getting lots of search traffic. So I wrote about it again… and again and again. I was getting lots of traffic, but a closer look showed that none of them were coming back and none of the were subscribing. It was all single, low-value visits.

    To make it worse, I was boring my regular readers who had enough of the topic. Thankfully I think I caught it before I lost their loyalty.

    Thanks for this and all the other great posts Darren.

  4. All the above point are really touch the success blogging. If any one follow these step will definitely get the success. Three points i have all ready used and i am going to follow all the points.
    thanks

  5. Dustin says: 02/06/2009 at 1:08 am

    All great points. I particularly like the idea of driving people to your archives. Posts aren’t always going to be awesome, so make the most interesting or popular articles prominent. I find that I do this constantly.

  6. Thank you for the tip, will use it to be different form the rest of the crowd.

  7. A very good post yet again there Darren. I think some of the points have been mentioned by you in the video yesterday.

  8. Thank you for the tips, it really helped me understand more about my visitors and I know what to change.

  9. Great post for beginners like me. Many thanks! I’ve been at only a matter of weeks, and am still not sure where the kitchen is, so I’m particularly interested in helpful tips. Keep on writing–I’ll follow along!
    All the best to you.
    http://shamanwhirlwind.blogspot.com/

  10. I struggle with making the commentary of my posts unique and interesting. I feature the work of independent artists, musicians, filmmakers, and writers so I don’t want to diminish their work by saying too much. I feel as though I can’t provide much comment-provoking opinions because I like everything on the site. I wish I could be more proactive in how interesting the posts are. Maybe I will find a more effective style and voice in time?

    Great post, thank you!

  11. Thank you for the tips :)

  12. I have been following your blog and love the layout and images. How do you insert your images to look so clean and neat. I feel like I am looking at a book or magazine. Take a look at my blog which I started in November 2008 (first blog). I cannot figure out how to manipulate the images to have that clean look. In a Word document you can use the “tight” feature to move the images around and manipulate them with your text. I do not know how to do that with blogging. Are you using a separate software to assistance with your posting? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I am working on the “31 Days to Better Blogging” but as you will see I am behind (quite a bit).

  13. Thank you Darren. You know, sometimes I (we) forget, or don’t even think of some of the more obvious things we can do. There’s no need to do a handstand and juggle with your feet to attract attention….a beautiful, elegant woman will turn the heads of both men and women because she stands out in a crowd. That’s what I’m hoping to achieve. A blog that elegantly stands out in a crowd, with my manner of speaking, my choice of posts and my appreciation of both the readers and my blogging journey (because I would hope that both will shine through in my writing & comments).

  14. On your last point I have noticed that your list related posts on the bottom of your post as a way to drive people to your archives.

    I have also seen blogs that put a “best posts” category in their side bar.

    I think these two methods work better than just listing an archive section. I know I go to them more when I am on a blog.

    Sheila

  15. This is a Rocking post. I very much believe in the points:

    *Love your readers to death
    *Be original &
    *Express an opinion

  16. Thanks Darren for the great list, will try to stick to it in my blog!

    Marc

  17. Good post. The points are all old news to serious bloggers, but newbs need to have these pointers in order to start successfully. So good advice thanks for sharing. :)

  18. Developing a unique voice, finding a unique topic and using related posts to push them to your archives are all time-tested tips. Simply put, solve the readers problem and they’ll keep coming back.

    Blogmonies.com

  19. I am running my blog on beauty and styling and I’ll surely try these tips on it. Thanks alot!!!

  20. Iam proud to work on this freelance because i had gained lot of valuable tips like the above one in building websites and blogs.Really i am improving day to day by reading like this kind of posts and today i learned in making a unique blog.Thanks for the effort made!

  21. Glad I found this site – I’m finding the content very useful – thanks!

  22. Excellent content here and a nice writing style too – keep up the great work!

  23. I think the second point is really the most important. As a writer it’s so important to find your voice. That’s what will keep the readers wanting more. It’s often difficult to distinguish between bloggers because so many are very drab in their writing. Find your voice and you’ll find an audience.

    Great post!

  24. Great post. You ‘re Inspiring me Darren.

  25. A wonderful list of helpful pointers +_+

  26. I’m digging on the tips. Thanks, a soon to be pro blogger!

  27. Useful Content is important. It will keep people coming back for more.

  28. Thats a really nice blog, very loyal and inspiring….thanx for sharing the valuable information.

  29. Thank you for your excellent advice. For a beginner blogger like me your points would be greatly helpful. Please keep up the good work!

  30. Hey man, you are such an inspiration, I am starting my blog soon, infact im launching next week and I have been doing a lot of research and I found your blog as the most helpful and resouceful of all, everything you say makes sense, I actually took your advice and started registering for more social networks and put my url as my site and its working wonders, I have a good response and anticipation from those I communicated with via the social networks, thanks a lot dude, oh, this is my blog url by the way, http://www.footballfevr.com

    Cheers,
    Calvin

  31. Thanks for the tips
    I really found them useful.

  32. Great tips – thank you for sharing these.

    As for tip # 1, you’re right – it can be incredibly difficult to find a unique topic… but sometimes taking a different angle on a popular topic can do the trick, as you noted later in your post.

    Taking 10 or 15 minutes to do a simple topic map can be a good way to find these unique angles. If you can find someone who is willing to listen (and offer suggestions), you can use them as a springboard for ideas as well. (I’m surprised my wife doesn’t start running when I mention the word “blog”.)

    As for #3… a professional design does help tremendously. The challenge (at least if you’re not paying someone to code the entire design) can be to balance design and content production. It’s easy to kill an entire afternoon tweaking your design when you should be writing.

    I just started using FlexxTheme by http://www.ithemes.com to cut down on design woes. It seems pretty straightforward so far (which is good for me since I know just enough about coding to be dangerous).

    I think having a clean, well laid out theme is more important than loading up on plugins and other gewgaws, at least at first. There’s always time for that when your blog starts to build traction.

    Anyway, thanks for the great post!

    Lee

  33. I like the tip about driving people to your archives. That’s a good way to keep all posts active. I’m going to try it!

  34. Excellent tips.It can be hard to find a unique topic to blog about these days, but if you can write useful content then you will be doing fine.

  35. I was desperately in need of the post like this…very useful..thanks a lot.

  36. Nice Post. But I think reputation also matters a lot. Means lets take example of this blog only. You’ll find these points in most of the blogs, just google for “how to attract traffic to for blog” or something like that, but yours is popular because Darren Rowse has build a reputation. I know its not a overnight process, it needs time.

    As for being unique, I have seen very nice posts and unique ideas getting no traffic, but simple post which you can find on millions of site getting most visitors (I thought I was almost unique when I wrote about http://remember-postoffice.blogspot.com :) . So, I guess if the post is not out-of-this-world, it’ll ‘stand out’ if written by a known author.
    but it didnt attract much traffic

  37. Archives is something I have been trying to work on. My blog is fairly new, but I am trying to fill my archives with lots of useful content so that when I spend lots of time on promoting my visitors come back. Your tips are great, thanks for the post and I’ll definitely be bookmarking this blog!

  38. 13. Drive People to Your Archives
    That’s my favorite point there. I never thought about driving readers to my archive. I focused so much on new content, that I forget about them. I need to at least refer to the archive when key words are used in new articles.

    thanks

  39. 1 Quick tip to Make Your Blog STAND OUT from the Crowd – write posts like the one above.

    i keep stumbling on this site and every time i do i strike gold :)

    thanks for the great post.

    ric

  40. I have observed so many blogs for the past few months that I had started blogging which have content that does not make any sense.

    I really did not understand how some one can type after formulating the words and sentences in their minds and bring out such a junk material for their readers.

    Darren, if you find some time do write a post on the applications which produce junk content for wordpress blogs and do mention the adverse effects that this creates.

  41. I haven’t seen this listed or mentioned anywhere, maybe I missed it, but another way to set your blog apart might be to set up that “about me” page you have the right way.

    I mean, this sort of combines the “have a unique voice” and “express an opinion” tips. But I’m thinking like this: a lot of bloggers are able to engage an audience without always being useful or even opinionated. They have a way of writing about their life or inviting questions about what’s going on with them that makes them fun to be around.

    Seth Godin’s concept of “cat blogs” doesn’t apply here, I don’t think. It helps to have a few posts that show you’re human, and your about me can be a huge help in developing a narrative through those posts that complements your larger blogging aims.

  42. This tips make sense, but I’ve had a somewhat different experience. I think most people would make more money with their time than blogging by getting a second job at McDonalds.

  43. Here’s an idea to make your Twitter page stand out…

    Put a video of yourself on your Twitter page and personally say hello to your followers with BubbleTweet.

    http://www.BubbleTweet.com

  44. Reader appreciation is important and why we write. It’s an easy one to overlook too. Every comment makes me happy but if I don’t tell them they will never know.

  45. I like the idea that a unique voice is ok. Sometimes I have to ignore the grade school English teacher’s voice in my head and write the way I wanna say it!

  46. Building momentum is a challenge when, like you pointed out, it seems like it isn’t going anywhere. However, you sure won’t get there if you stop!

  47. Great post I enjoyed it. I think being creative is all about pickinig a unique topic. This is not easy I can say. I think picking a topic what you love to write about and which will be a topic of long lasting interest is also a huge factor what the bloggers must consider. I think you are right about being original because creating a whole new voice others than every body else may give the bloggers a head start. I think adding unique content regualrly can mean a great deal of traffic. Great post once again!

  48. Thanks for the tips. I am glad I found your link. I am going to refer to this post a lot to get my blog going. I started about a month ago and I know I am getting views but nobody seems to make comments. I think these things will help.

  49. Very good post here. I have personally just started a blog in the last few months and am now looking for ways to improve it. This post is an eye opener, particularly in relation to finding your own voice and ensuring your blog is visually appealing! Great work!

  50. Finding unique material to talk about seems to be the hardest. There are so many blogs out there that it seems almost impossible to find something new and unique that hasn’t been talked about. I guess this is where voice really matters and people who have a strong opinion on a subject are bound to get someone to respond to their articles. Thanks for all of the tips.

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