Everybody who’s in business, has an opinion or has a hobby, is online and speaking to the world with a blog. It’s a mobile, social world and there are literally millions of people blogging according to statistics compiled by Ignite Spot Outsourced Accounting. With that much competition, a blogger has to stand out from the crowd to be successful, gain audience share and participate in the blogconomy with a compelling, memorable personal brand.
Find Your Niche & Brand ItStanding out from the crowd of blogging voices in the blogosphere is easier to do with a specific, focused niche, a point of view on something that you can create quality content about for a sustained period of time. You don’t want to bore or confuse people. You want to attract and engage them so they return to read what you have to say and think of you when they think of your niche. Knowing your subject area presenting it with your personality is the key to blogging about it and attracting readers.
For example, if you are known to friends and family as the go-to person for baking and decorating the best birthday cakes, think about why that is and what you could do with it online. Laser-focus in on “your thing” and present it with your personality and charm for the best results.
Do It DifferentlyJames Scherer of Content Marketing Institute recommends doing it differently to stand out from the crowd. He says write in ways that are different from others in your topic area. Write controversially, write in a fun sarcastic, anecdotal, or satirical voice, or write with refreshing or brutal honesty. Scherer says creating blog content differently such as interviewing people at farmer’s markets or on a horse and carriage ride or combining your blog content with a fun concept like mixed drink recipes for the weekend instead of just straight text makes it memorable and engaging.
This is along the lines of the Blue Ocean Strategy developed by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne, who advise bloggers not to jump into the highly competitive blogosphere of “red ocean blogs” they describe as an ocean bloody with bloggers fighting for attention. Kim and Mauborgne explain that “red ocean” strategies like sensational headlines, familiar topics and tired images can’t compete with “blue ocean” strategies of high-quality, in-depth content presented with extreme openness and design quality.
Longer, more honest content highlighted with fewer but better focused, quality images sourced from websites like Shutterstock give readers a welcome break from the noise online. An audience feels the difference in blue ocean blogs.
Create a Variety of High Quality ContentWhether your blogging voice is funny, charming, controversial, or foul-mouthed, you have to bring something of value to readers on a regular basis to have a successful blog. Riverside Marketing Strategies president Heidi Cohen says the key to this is structure. Once you have your focus and your unique voice, create a structure that supports the quality content creation you need to keep readers interested and coming back for more.
Create a framework for your blog for consistent and sustainable quality with tools that include an editorial calendar to plan what content to write and when, a promotional calendar with relevant events and holidays marked and a set of regular topic areas or ongoing themes. Use a planned balance of original and curated content, guest posting guidelines, and monitor competitors’ content for variety and idea-generating activities.