Does anyone know your blog is out there? Not sure? Then your blog needs to stand out more, separate itself from the crowd. But just how do you do that with the millions of other blogs out there. Relax, it’s as easy as ABC(DE).
First, think about your audience. Why first? Because it started with A. Seriously, your audience is critically important. Your audience is the goal, the end of the rainbow. When you write a blog you are trying to reach an audience. It’s the whole point.
“But I don’t have an audience. That’s the whole reason I’m reading this article.” Think about that, is it really true? Do you have zero readers? None at all? It’s likely you do have some readers. Maybe a half-dozen, maybe ten. “That’s not enough, that doesn’t count.” Of course it counts. This is your core, your cadre, your band of brothers (and sisters). These are the first to find you, the ones that will post in comments a decade down the road and say ‘I was here when it got started. I’ve met the blogger for coffee. I’m special.’ Love your audience. Connect with them. Make them feel they are part of something special and they are lucky to have gotten in on the ground floor. They will be your advocates, your cheerleaders, you support group. Those first few are special.
As you get more readers, grow your circle. Interact with them, answer comments, chat, take suggestions. Your readers are why you started this. You are trying to attract new ones, sure, but don’t value the thousand readers you don’t have more than the ten or hundred you do. Please the readers you have and they will bring you more. And more.
It was tough to find a B word as a key. But so much advice (good advice, too!) about blogging is in the form of ‘Be Yourself’, ‘Be Honest’, or ‘Be Real’. You should be who you are. Newspaper articles were written to a certain standard. They conveyed information, news, and they did it in a particular format. Sometimes it is hard to tell who wrote it because it does what it is supposed to do, tell you the news.
Blogs are different. Blogs are about personal opinions, personal experiences, personal information. When you write a blog, it shouldn’t sound like everyone else’s blog. It should sound unique. And to be unique, it should sound like you. So Be Yourself. Find an honest writing voice that conveys your personality. Make it all about you, because that’s the point. It’s what separates blogs from the news.
Have awesome content. Not helpful? Have really awesome content. Okay, seriously, that’s not what you need to know. You need to know how to create awesome content and what it means to be awesome. Back to Being, make it unique. Have a twist on the topic that only you do. Everyone writes about how they got started blogging and their advice. Tell it from the point of view of your dog. Or only give bad advice. Or tell exactly what happened but let people draw their own conclusions on what to do. Some angle that other people aren’t using.
Here’s more content related advice: set a schedule and stick to it. Post new content regularly, on a schedule your readers know. They will come to rely on it and thereby rely on you. Don’t let them down. Have something new out there every week, or twice a week, or whatever schedule you set.
More? Be prolific. Write bunches of stuff. Guest blog on other sites. Make your posts longer and more detailed. Put in pictures and video. Make it easy to share your posts so you show up everywhere. Make yourself a big target so readers don’t even have to aim to find you. The more you do the more chance people will find you.
Consider having your site professionally designed. Sure, you can create a site on your own in an afternoon. But it will probably look like you did it in an afternoon. How your site looks, how easy it is to navigate, how well it presents your content, these things matter. Make sure you put some effort into getting them right. And if you don’t have the skills to do it yourself (not many people have those skills at a professional level) think about getting someone to do it for you.
Specific tips? Make it easy and pleasant to get around your site. Getting where you want to go should be simple and obvious. Have next article, last article buttons. Have a prominent link to your archives where you have well-organized access to articles by date, topic, and title. Have appealing graphic elements, a professional grade logo, clear photographs. Make is so people want to be there.
Focus on a niche and be or become an expert in it. When you become a blogger, one thing you’d like to be is the go to place for information on your topic. If you create a domain name like thecamaromechanic.com you are putting yourself out there as the expert in Camaro repair and maintenance. Keep that focus on your site and you will stand out from all the mechanic sites and Camaro sites. Only you are the combination of the two. If you choose a niche that you aren’t already expert in but want to focus on, work to increase your expertise. Learn all you can and blog about what you’ve learned.
That’s the other part of the deal. Share your expertise with your audience. Tell them what you know and what you’ve learned. Being an expert isn’t much use unless you share that knowledge with others. And learning from your blog will bring you devoted readers who are passionate about that subject.
So there’s your alphabetic game plan for differentiating your blog from all the others out there. Your way to be one in a million and not just another face in the crowd. Remember your ABCs and your Ds and Es and you may end up on EZ street.