How To Make Your Blog To The Top 2%
Getting your blog noticed and engrained into people’s memories is like getting your dating profile into the “Featured” section. It takes many muscle strands of creativity and a tiny dose of personality to make it truly the one of a million.
After blogging seriously for more than 6 months, I’ve also became an avid reader. And what I’ve noticed about current blogs is that the majority of them are half-assed. You can immediately tell if it:
- has 500 words or less
- is poorly edited (lots of misspellings and grammar mistakes)
- doesn’t include any credible sources or links to back up the facts (this one’s BIG)
- always uses passive voice (freelancers love this style!)
But the one thing that ultimately shoves your blog into the shadows of the mediocrities is…
…no soul or voice.
Without that, it’s just a piece of written text with no meaning of being heard. Just a filler to score SEO points or purely for show that you wrote 300+ blogs this year. No, that’s not how you’ll ever be a reputable blogger — especially when you’re up against 2 million new blog posts written every day. I mean, how do you even compete?
But take a deep breath. There are ways you can go about on crafting an extraordinary blog. Here are the top tactics I use (that you can try) that will surely make your blog unforgettable.
The Secrets To Making Your Blog Outshine The Rest
Quotes from inspiring writers, thinkers, do-ers, & successful influencers
Whenever I read, I always keep an eye out for inspiring quotes that move me. It’s not because I want to frame it and mount it on my Instagram wall, much less my Twitter feed. But it’s mostly because I know there will be a moment of time when I can piece it perfectly into my blog post or mention it to my influencers and followers. Plus, it makes you sound smart.
If you’re not sure where to find deep and motivating quotes, the richest source (as well as my all-time favorite blogging spot) is Medium. You’ll discover brilliant writers of all industries — especially in startups, design, technology, and blogging. What makes Medium one of its own kind is that people love sharing more of their own personal experience than writing for just the sake of writing. You can even ‘highlight’ parts of an article that strike out to you, which gets stored in your account. Try it! Who knows, Medium might be your new best friend. :)
Once in awhile you might find a quote that’s noteworthy from:
It takes a bit of digging around before you can come up with a decent list, but I promise, it’ll be worth every minute of your time.
Mentions of big names or brands
It’s a cultural instinct for us to share the juiciest news with each other and see what the big celebrities are up to. Admit it, if you hear faintest whisper about Barack Obama or Jackie Chan, your ears will perk up. This just boils down to one fact: we’re more interested in people who live successful lives. And often times, we find ourselves wanting to be exactly like them — whether that’s being filthy rich, being beautiful, owning a huge business empire, having an attractive personality, having the most friends and professional connections, being able to travel without feeling guilty about how much left is in our bank accounts.
It’s these qualities that attract us, which is why you should always mention a highly-reputable person in your article. In the end, you’ll appear more knowledgeable, sociable, and up-to-date with the world. People like those types of people. Because then they’ll have something good to talk about for dinner conversations or for small talks with strangers.
Straight Facts + Graphs + Infographics
Ever feel frustrated when you read, “studies show…” with no direct link? Or a graph with no original source? I sure do, and so does 99% of the population. Even marketers know better when it comes to writing about their products. In fact, “84% of inbound marketers…cite organic sources (blogging, SEO, social media) as rising in importance,” according to Hubspot’s 2014 statistics.
Truth be hold: people love facts. We are logical creatures. We weren’t born with a left brain for nothing.
So don’t forget to source the facts, or hide it. Worst yet, don’t lie. Because the moment you’re caught lying, everything else you’ve written will be ignored. I mean, how can people trust you if you let them down once?
Give credit to the original sources. You’ll be more credible yourself that way.
A Twitter-er I recently started following, Lisa Irby, mentioned that “articles that use 1 image for every 75–100 words get the most shares.”
I’m not too surprised. That’s where Medium’s explosive growth came from: their core feature, images. The trend seems to favor big headers with lots of white space, HD images, and features of multiple pictures (think Pinterest or Instagram). Images paint a story, and that will always catch the eye faster than words can.
So if you need high-quality images for your blog, might I suggest you Istock? There’s no better place I can find that gives professional, yet can pass as a real life photo. But, if you’re on a budget, I have 10 other places that offer images that are just as good for free.
If you can though, try using your own photo or draw your own illustration. Take Darin Ross for example, who wrote about a burrito rant or Anya Barca-Hall’s story of being a perfectionist. You’ll notice the crazy amount of comments and likes these guys get. And it’s mainly because they showcased their own art or photo.
It’s within our blood to want to know about the before & after results. Seeing somebody try something new and risky that we wouldn’t ever do is worth reading about. Because for us, we get to take a backseat and learn second-hand from the experimenter’s tryout.
Take a couple minutes to read these inspiring case studies:
- How To Never Forget Ever Again by Mattan Griffel
- I Went 7 Days Without Complaining by Melissa Dahl
- How To Lose Weight In 4 Easy Steps by Aaron Bleyaert
Notice what all 3 have in common? A touching story with a result. This is exactly how you want to play with your readers if you want them to applaud you for trying. As long as you get them wrapped up on what you’re doing, you got them hooked (for life maybe!).
Either way, no matter if your experiment ends up as a failure or makes promising results, case studies will always be the BIG topic in any industry.
Speaking from your own voice
I wanted to save the best for last: being yourself.
I can’t stress this enough, people want to hear a new voice. It’s refreshing, more exciting, and original. Copy someone else, and the best you could be is a mini wanna-be of them.
“Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else.”
It’s surprising how many people don’t type the way they talk. I’ll admit though, I still have a bad habit of not being myself when talking to people online.
So how did you find your own voice?
It wasn’t an easy journey, I’ll tell you that. Embarassingly to say, I had to go through some humiliating experiences — one of which involved turning off my monitor and talking to myself while typing on the keyboard. Now, you don’t need to relive my story to find your voice, but there are other approaches that help:
- Read your content OUTLOUD
Your ears will naturally pick up what sounds weird. Omit the SAT words and cut the fluff.
- Write as if you were writing to a friend.
If you want to lower people’s guards AND yours, treat them the same way you do with friends.
This is a must if you ever want to grow and be a better (and more self-confident) writer. I remember reading an experiment Scott Young did on free-writing for an hour every day, for the sake of becoming a better writer. With that, I wrote for 30 straight days. Rain or shine, tired or not-in-the-mood, it didn’t matter. What I can write now is thanks to this practice of freestyle writing.
My Last Words To You
It’s every writer’s dream to be the next Da Vinci of blogging. Even though you might think your chances of getting noticed by the thousands looks pretty slim, it’s downright possible. Go the extra mile with these tips, because at the end of the day, people will immediately remember your blog.
If you really enjoyed reading this, I got a dozen more for your entertainment. Do check out my Medium too — that’s where my crazy and deepest thoughts flow out there. ;)
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Originally published at Rabbut.