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What Do You Do With Your Blog to Make it Stand Out from the Crowd?

Posted By Darren Rowse 8th of March 2010 Reader Questions 0 Comments

Last week on Twitter I was asked by @southrngurl6489 the following question:

If you had to pick only one thing that makes a blog stand out from its peers, what would you pick and why?

I thought it’d be a good question to open up to a wider audience as its something I’ve touched on quite a few times over the last year or so and because what makes a blogger distinct is often, by definition, something that can vary from blog to blog.

What are you doing to make your blog stand out from the crowd? What have you seen other blogs do that makes them stand out?

Further Reading: Here’s a post I wrote on the topic earlier in the year – The Power of Uniqueness [19 Starting Points for Being a Unique Blogger]

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. Your voice. For me it has to stand out so that when I’m reading your blog in Reader, I should know whose blog it is, isn’t if I’m not keeping track of the title.

  2. 1.Design
    2.Interesting Articles and Reviews
    3.Useful Links

  3. What I look for is biting insight and vulnerability. If you write concisely and are willing to expose yourself to criticism and ridicule, you’ve got me.

    No dry prose, no equivocation.

  4. Headlines. They gotta rock to get the attention of your audience. Then the content—it has to add value to the readers.

  5. To stand out from crowd,

    1. I am delivering all tutorials as videos. It gave great hit to my blog. For example, I have created more than 60 tutorials for thesis theme customization alone within a month.

    2. I closed my paid services and continuously helping to bloggers for free.

    etc, etc, etc……

  6. I believe what makes a blogger truly stand out from the crowd, is not only a custom layout and user-friendly blog interface that grabs and holds the attention of the reader within the first 15 seconds of looking at the page- but also the blogger’s way with words, quality of material, and how much they socially interact with fans/readers.

    The key to an out-standing blog is to be different, unique, but similar. You want to be similar because you want people to be familiar with the fact that you are a blogger – meaning that you’re making them feel at home knowing they can find information that you’ve written just for them – but how you present it to them needs to be perfect in a way that is uniquely brought to them. Don’t be like everyone else, and copy and paste news articles with your oppinions…or don’t just post 1 low res photo and a few sentences.

    I believe a good blogger will find a way to be outstanding from the rest, will have some way of pulling people in, and utilizing social networks to do so. But you must be skillful in a way that doesn’t make it look like you’re just throwing links at people or advertising. You do that and people think you’re just panhandling for some traffic. “Hey man…spare some hits please?” No, we don’t need to do that.

    Bloggers will truly become outstanding to themselves and others when they find their niche- a uniquely devised purpose of reasoning within themselves for what they do- have a drive that constantly urges them and feeds them to love and be passionate about it to the point where it’s noticeable- and to refrain from being an untouchable jerk when the blog is popular. DO stuff for the readership- keep things loaded with content, but don’t be lame and too simple.

    Many things go into making a blog outstanding. Many things go into what makes people/celebs/icons outstanding.

    Originality. Information. Entertainment. Simple but Deep.

    Qualities, and possibilities overflow on the list of possible things to make one or one’s blog outstanding when it comes to consumer generated media and user created content.

    Blogging is considered a form of CGM/UCG, and that’s what I find so interesting about it. You never know what creative/weird/interesting/demented/etc… things will come out of it. It is an essence that has been made available through the internet that we can connect with personally, and let creativity…or stupidity run through out fingertips- into the net itself- viewable by the rest of the world.

    Some really out-stand. Some are vague and lost in the void of millions if not billions of sites you’ll never see in a lifetime. Those seo-less, 1 hit a day wonders. *tear*

    And some…are truly special, or just really freekin’ useful or fun. Maybe even addicting. Could those be other tools to make one stand out? “YES! Let’s make something addicting to read!” – that I do not know.

    But if you mix together everything I’ve said in this little doobly-do, there you have it.

    -Kazu

  7. MummysReviews.com is the pioneer dedicated review blog for parents with babies / toddlers in Singapore and Malaysia. The niche makes it stand out.

    Within the niche, we ensure that useful information (content) is provided to assist our parent readers make smart purchases.

  8. As a blog using the Thesis theme I thought it was important to make enough design changes so that it didn’t look like every other Thesis blog.

  9. I’d say content. Visually, of course, it also helps to have a blog that attracts the attention of the user and draws them in but content is always what will make them stick around. I prefer blogs that either offer useful insights and content or strong, well written opinions.

  10. 1. Not being Biased
    2. Constantly updated
    3. Should make complex ideas simple

    They Standout…

    blogs.hbr.org
    lifehacker.com

  11. Hi,

    I think the main aspect which attracts any visitor is the blog design. It should be readable and easily navigable. More graphics might cause more headache. Only a good layout does not keep the blog out of crowd. We need to have unique and useful content.

    Subhakar
    http://www.dollars2day.info/

  12. As my handle might imply, we run a website for people who travel with their pets. Rather than sit in an office behind a computer and “tell” people how easy this is to do, we bought an RV, had it wrapped in bright colors and pet photos, and will be traveling in the US and Canada with our two dogs. We are walking the walk, and our blog will reflect places to stay and things to do. We leave next week.

  13. The biggest thing we do at No Fact Zone (a fan site dedicated to Stephen Colbert and the ‘Colbert Report’) is we add a lot of original content features, that we do on a daily and weekly basis. For example, we do an episode guide for each ‘Colbert Report’, and we have a weekly A”pop”calypse post that talks about the pop culture references on the show, for viewers/readers who may not have caught them.

    This unique content lifts us above other news sites who may only feature mainstream media news. We create content that the readers will enjoy outside of what they can find on an RSS feed.

    While content is the reason people come to my blog, the community is the reasons why it stays. We put a ton of emphasis on our community. Our fan community is one of the largest on the web as far as the Colbert Nation goes, and we have always kept an atmosphere of a shiny, happy community. You can comment on our site without worrying about being attacked by trolls or being responded to with vulgar language. We’re very supportive and helpful. This fun, positive attitude helps wrangle in new readers to participate in the comments and come back again and again.

  14. Content! Nobody wants to know what you had for dinner last night. Real bloggers reserve such topics for their wives and kids. I only return to blogs with outstanding content.

  15. Wow, There are some great answers here. I asked that question because I am trying to step it up on my blog without loosing the fun side. I will be keeping up with the comments, and most likely taking lessons from them! Thanks Darren and those commenting!

  16. The Shopping Nazi does two things. One the name, The Shopping Nazi, lets people know we are fanatical about helping people save money.

    Each post takes a unique approach at helping people saving money. Most of the material is what post is the homework people should do before they go out the door to purchase anything.

  17. Be our self. Each of us is unique, right? So if we do blogging as my self i think my blog will be unique and it surely great to be stand out from crowd.

  18. I use the blog as a knowledge management site rather than a “diary” (well, a bit of both).

    This means that I go back and edit/update older articles to keep them relevant, and also to link them to new articles. When an article is no longer useful, I remove it.

  19. Most people chose a subject that is popular and blog about the subject – Sport, Tech, Fashion etc…

    What I have done is created an animation series and blog about the progress of the series and mix it up with custom illustrations of the characters.

    The traffic is mainly from “You Tube” so it’s important that the videos go viral to get a fan base built to profit from the website.

    It’s all on target to start earning money by May 2010. I started in May 2008 so that’s 2 full years of being broke!…

    The foundations are there, it’s just a matter of setting up the shop properly…

    Thanks

    David Edwards

    ;]

  20. I reply to every question. At times the replies are long enough that I convert The Q & A into complete blog post.

    My readers are never short-changed. If they have a problem, I’m there to give the detailed answer.

    My blog is about stock options and learning to sue them to reduce risk when investing.

  21. For us, it is content, content, content. We’ve gotten nothing but good comments. Comments like, “Nice site ladies.” The comments on the site are actually hilarious, because the content, which is about the private discussions of 8 women friends (with information so good we’d be unfair NOT to share), is both racy and not.

    Also, design is clean and warm (I hope). Finally, we don’t really fit into any standard niche, which is good and bad. Makes it hard for social media classification, but also a little different from the rest of the crowd.

    That’s our approach, for now. We’ll see where it leads. Thanks for the comments.

  22. I felt strongly that I wanted to put up a blog about blogging but had no desire to compete with the likes of excellent resources (such a ProBlogger!) that had regular streams of content going up on a daily basis.

    But with a couple of personal sites doing well and a professional career working on large commercial websites I thought I had something to say.

    So my meta blogging site is slightly different to the others in that it isn’t there to promote a load of services that I don’t really endorse or support. I just wanted to put up a few key pages that share some thoughts from an industry professional.

    If people find it useful then great, if not then that’s cool too :)

  23. You have to provide something different. Everyone is tired of seeing the same old thing over and over. A new perspective is what you need.

  24. It’s about our niche. We provide business advice and startup motivation but its focused on the under 30 crowd. Everything we do revolves around becoming an under 30 ceo.

    That content connects with our audience and makes us standout from other sites with advice.

    We also hold live events on ustream and hashtag events on twitter which again increases the community environment and we try to do it more and better then anyone else.

    The design of the site has been the least important factor in differentiating.

  25. What makes my blog stand out is content. Other professional organizers have blogs, some of them very good – but my content is distinct. No one else would feature a glyptodon piggy bank – or the many other wonderful organizing-related products I’ve blogged about over the years.

  26. My blog is about studying Japanese language (http://lang2lang.ru). Although there are other sites in the Russian internet dedicated to the same subject (5 or 6), my site is completely different and I’m very happy about it :D

  27. My tagline “will sing for donuts and beer,” is one I haven’t seen on other blogs. :)

    And lately I’ve witnessed a flock of “blog award” poetry fairies fluttering around leaving comments to encourage back-links. Quite the crew of crazy sweeties.

  28. 1/ Unique topics and content, not to be seen anywhere else.
    2/ Design and copywriting that tell readers: “This blog is my passion and also a serious business for me.”

  29. A different take on the same subject. Lots of people review books online, and lots of people do it in the genre I review. But while others tend to focus on emotional reaction and characters, I focus on literary value and the spiritual message. (Christian books.)

    It makes my blog very unique within the niche. (Although it remains to be seen if it is TOO unique. It’s young yet.)

    I have seen others who review the same genre always do a author interview with every single review. That makes for a fresh look at the “same-old” books. Very nice.

  30. I think is very dificult to create diferents blogs.Always when i have an idea I start and then I realize that there are a lot of blogs like mine

  31. The ultimate difference between all blogs is the content. The content is the main thing that should allow you to stand out from the rest of the bloggers. I say this because what and how you write reflects your personality. And everyone’s personality is different unless you are a copycat.

  32. Keeping it fun and casual. I talk in my blog just like I would talk to a friend. I think people have got to like you and like your voice.

    Great navigation and images are priceless. The site has got to look good and work well.

    I don’t fit into any standard niche, so that helps me stand out from the crowd. I tell it like it is. I think people appreciate that and trust me.

    With my blog I’m always trying to help people. I like to open people’s eyes so they don’t get ripped off. Plus, having tons of unique content and giving them ways to save money… works for me! :)

  33. like any good brand communication, a good blog must understand its community and speak directly to that audience in a meaningful way. A clear blog marketing plan with solid market research supported by strong “persona/ voice”, excellent headlines, useful links, and multimedia (video tutorials, photos, podcasts). Also, I am finding best practices with the great widgets of polls, tweetmeme, hootsuite, addthis, and feedburner.

  34. To stand out I focus on what I deem I’m good at. I don’t try to do what others are doing. Instead, by doing what I excel at, I’m essentially doing what others simply can’t.

    To be more specific: I write on things and with angles that aren’t being done anywhere else. And I’m committed to excellence, posting less frequently but very high quality.

    The above may sound pompous, but really: If you don’t believe in your writing, who will?

  35. I believe that your personality injected into your blog is what readers are looking for, if you let them into your life they may feel like you are friends. They get to know about you and your interests even your family.

    Blog design could tie with your voice for first place. Design can get people to read your blog but it won’t keep them there.

  36. I personally am starting to write in my own language. I find if its not so structured and boring it tends to draw more people in and to create a better atmosphere.

  37. What gets me to a blog is the voice of the blogger and the content. I could care less about how it looks–although I tend to like personalized blogs, if the content is great I’ll stick.

    I do a lot of reading through my feed reader so good headlines help but it is mostly the voice and something different from the masses.

    Lately I find I only scan and read a handful of posts. Sometimes it is newsy, sometimes tips, sometimes silliness.

    As for my blogs, I’ve broken a big site into smaller niched topics. I have found that as I have narrowed my focus, the readers tend to leave more comments.

    Traffic is steady but I’d like to see more growth. I have also cut down on how often I blog but remain consistent and so readers understand when the blogs get updated.

    It has been fun to watch some of the blogs I read get better, customize, and evolve.

  38. Good question. I think my writing voice. I started my blog because my brother told me one day that I have a writing voice that is different from my spoken voice and I should try writing. (My brother never compliments me!) The aesthetics are always a work in progress….!

    So I would say my writing voice and timeless content from the heart.

  39. What do I do? I like writing personal posts that gives my readers more information on who I am as a person.

  40. GREAT photos. I know that attracts me to a blog… and I’ve noticed a difference in the response I’ve been getting since I have invested in learning photography.

  41. I try to have an interesting tone and keep things feeling casual, though I still feel like I need to develop more in the area of standing out.

    I think the layout would be the best place for me to stand out, I’m wicked creative and used to design websites, but it’s been a long time and I just feel intimidated by the idea of designing the blog myself. Right now I’m too cheap to pay for something like Thesis so I can design it more easily.

    I also want to make some videos, those seem to be in short supply on most blogs, I’m just hard up for ideas on what to make a video about.

  42. Quality over Quantity.
    You need to be able to provide something…anything…in your niche that readers get from you they cant get ANYWHERE else.

  43. I recently read my demographics and was shocked to find out that I mostly appeal to people with an advanced college degree! That was not my intent at all… I wanted to bring MBA-type information to the small business person, who may not have even gone to college. Ok, so I decided to make my blog a little more entertaining, especially over the weekend when my traffic drops off. So that’s what I’m trying to do… still bring great information to my audience but also be more entertaining. Is it working?

  44. My blog, Running on Dew, tackles different facets of media, such as movies and video games. It does this from a dorky-subculture perspective though, rather than from a strictly professional perspective. That’s where the name “Running on Dew” comes from. The theme is unique, and reflects both the dorky subculture and the namesake. I also try my best to make the images for each post be visually stimulating to the reader.

  45. I think it’s mainly a combination of decent content and GREAT titles/headlines.

    Check out an article directory and look at the most read articles. Almost all of them have catchy headlines!

  46. This is to me an example of a blogger who always stands out: http://ctkingston.com. For five key reasons:

    1. Original content – always fresh.
    2. Interesting Titles that tease you into clicking.
    3. Personality behind the content.
    4. Eye-catching graphics invite you to scroll the page.
    5. Engages the audience. A comment never goes unnoticed.

  47. I think in addition to unique content, unique style of presenting the content adds value to the blog. The blog should connect to the reader in a way that reader should feel part of it. So in effect making blog as easy to read as possible is one way to make it stand out – by adding more relevant images, videos, relevant resource links, easy to do navigation etc.

  48. rectly to that audience in a meaningful way. A clear blog marketing plan with solid market research supported by strong “persona/ voice”, excellent headlines, useful links, and multimedia (video tutorials, photos, podcasts). Also, I am finding best practices with the great widgets of polls, tweetmeme, hootsuite, addthis, and feedburner.

  49. 1. Original Niche
    2. Original Perspective/Opinion
    3. Original Content
    4. Original Design

    These four things, and in that order, will be the basis for standing out from the crowd in the blogging space. All the other things you do like unique headlines or a unique method of content delivery (eg: video or audio) will be the icing on the cake so to speak.

  50. Among many other food blogs mine is kind of standing out, cause I do not present own products (as a company’s blog would do) nor just present recipes I cooked (as most food blogs do).
    I’m a networker at heart. Therefore my blog is targeted at introducing great foodies and products plus presenting my own stuff (recipes in general). I meet with people, visit manufacturers, restaurant owners, etc. and write about the folks and what makes them special.

    This gives an interesting mixture, where readers get to know valuable ressources (on- and offline), get to know and appreciate me (hopefully). On long-hand it also may create some monetary benefit (from products sold via the blog). But that never was the main intention for this blog and I hope my readers agree, that multikulinarisch.es is not about selling but sharing…

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