How to Create an Outstanding Blog
How to make your blog stand out above everyone else, and what benefits it brings
It’s difficult to stand out as blogger. The market is way, way beyond saturated. But you can stand out, by taking a little care and attention.
Maybe you have your own blog right now, but you’re not getting the traffic you wanted, or perhaps you’re afraid to take the plunge and start one. After all, what will you write about? How will you keep your readers coming back for more? We’ll get to that in just a second, but first, let’s talk about why you should have a great blog.
You’ll Land Bigger, Better Jobs
Simply writing about a topic passionately tends to make you look like an expert to others, even though you may not be. Use this advantage.
Picture the scenario: a big company has narrowed down the countless number of applicants to just 2. Let’s say for argument’s sake they’re identical in experience and skill. One of them, however, pours his blood, sweat and tears into a post once a week on his blog, the other doesn’t write anything at all. Who do you think the client might pick?
Great companies want people who can write well. It’s not just about being the best at what you do anymore. Spoiler alert: there’s always someone better than you.
You’ll Be a Better Communicator
Do you ever look back at something you wrote a few years ago and laugh at how bad it was? That’s going to happen a lot more frequently when you’re blogging, but it’s a good thing! If your older posts don’t make you cringe just a little bit then it’s a pretty decent indicator that you’re not improving all that much. Keep writing!
It’s a Great Way to Learn
When you put pen to paper—or finger to key—on a topic that interests you, it’s hard not to want to learn more about it so you can write more about it! It’s funny how much I’ve learned about blogging from writing about blogging.
You’ll Inspire Yourself and Others
Truly valuable posts are inspirational, as well as being informative. You know, those epics posts that make you get up and do something. It’s difficult to explain how rewarding it is to come across feedback from a reader that was so inspired by your post that they changed their way of thinking, or got up and did something important. These are the people that will read your blog forever; they’re lifelong fans.
You’ll Get Stuff Done
By announcing something to your readers that you’re going to do, you’re more likely to actually do it. You’ll feel like you don’t want to let your people down. It’s called making yourself accountable, and it’s a fairly well known mind trick. If you can learn to take advantage of it, you can really get stuff done.
Define your Audience, and Speak Only to Them
You’ll have more luck creating a great blog by appealing to a certain group of people than just making it for everyone. Your readers are more likely to feel like you’re talking directly to them—it’s more intimate. Trying to appeal to everyone often ends up with you appealing to no one.
Take for example Nerd Fitness. A very popular blog aimed at nerds who want to get into shape. The creator has targeted a very specific subset of the fitness community, and nerds love him for it because it’s written just for them.
Another example: You have a marketing blog but you’re finding it hard to compete with all the others out there. Try targeting a specific subset of marketers, like marketers on a budget, or marketers in Brooklyn, or even ethical marketing—imagine that!
I can’t stress this enough, don’t half-bake your blog. There’s not much more unattractive than a blog with weeks or months between posts. Stay on top of it. Keep your audience coming back for more by writing great post after great post.
Do something different that no one, or not many other blogs are doing. If you notice there’s something that competing blogs are not writing about, write about it. Talk about your flaws, it’ll likely help your audience connect with you. No one likes the guy that brags about himself at every opportunity, but tend to fall in love with the the flawed hero.
Depending on your industry, try talking about what goes on behind the scenes. Reveal numbers. How much money did you make? How many visitors did you get? You’ll be tapping into the same curiosity that we get from watching extras on a DVD/Bluray. We love to know how stuff is made.
Engage your Audience
For the love of god, don’t turn off comments. You might think that you’ll turn off your readers if they see that a post has zero comments. Well, you might, just a tiny bit. But it’s outweighed by even getting just one comment.
Make an effort to reply to every comment.Why? Because most people don’t. By actually caring about your readers, you’ll create a relationship with them. These are the people who will become your regular readers, your audience.
Make it Sharable
We’re social people. We like to share things with other people that have helped us in some way. You can do this on your blog by teaching. Make it a point to try and help someone in each of your posts.
If you take home any advice from this post, take home this: Just start writing, and stick with it. Try to write 1000 words a day. It’ll seem nearly impossible at first, but within a week it’ll get easier, to the point where it’s harder to not meet your goal.
You can’t create a great a blog without first committing to it. Rome was not built in a day. Start now!
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