Blogs until few years ago were still an innovation, and the pioneers of this new way of communicating on the Internet did not suffered too much to carve out a niche of loyal readers.
Since the number of blogs went up from 30 million in 2005 to almost 200 million in 2012, things have changed a lot.
Today the situation is much more complicated, because the boom that blogs have lived on the web makes increasingly difficult to “grow up” a new site and gain the attention and trust of a large part of the internet audience.
It’s a fight to the death, in which only the best can survive. And the winners are actually in small numbers compared to the mass of enthusiasts or simply curious who every day choose to start a blog.
The success of a blog depends on a number of factors : the type of content that is written, for instance. Or the way it is marketed online.
But to be able to differentiate yourself from the crowd and to make your blog “unique” is a job that requires commitment, perseverance and willpower.
As in all things, also promoting a blog requires many small steps that can be more or less useful.
Here below, you can read 7 effective ways to differentiate your blog from the others and make it unique.
1. Draw Original Graphics for Your Blog
An original graphical interface, which is unique and different from any other causes that your blog is easily kept imprinted in the mind of your visitors, especially the occasional ones, that end up on your pages almost by accident.
The next step is obviously to combine an unique theme and a customized header with an original logo: this will be your brand, and you want it to remain in the mind of your visitors.
So, forget about free themes and templates built by others. At most, you can use them for inspiration, but make sure that your blog look unique and different – you will see that your visitors will remember it much more easily.
2. Make Clever Use of Images and Media
Photos, images, videos, podcasts, audio extracts, are all very useful to attract the attention of your readers, if used in the right size and placed “strategically” within the pages.
A blog or a website that is filled with multimedia content will be very slow to open even with the fastest of connections, which produce a single, obvious result : your visitors will leave your blog even before it has finished loading.
And of course you know that the loading speed of your site is a factor considered by Google in order to decide your rankings.
Therefore, public images and video when you need them, and remember that – except for a few cases – it must be an enrichment for the content.
Of course you need to use all the blogging tips in order to reduce the weight of these media in your site, in order to make it faster to load.
Also in this case, you need to be original. Spend some time looking for eye-catching images and capable of intrigue. In other words, “never seen before” media.
Not surprisingly, most of the blogs of some importance create by themselves the images and videos in support of their products, through different softwares, rather than go and take the media from other sites ( take in consideration also the copyright!).
3. Be the First to Treat a New Topic
Another way to generate interest in your blog and stand out from the crowd is to tackle as first a topic or a story that is going to “explode”.
If you will be fast, your article will be the first to be be indexed by search engines, reported on social networks and found by the public users and web surfers.
Obviously also the quality of your content makes the difference: a good article, reasoned and full of information will achieve better results than an incomplete and carelessly written post for the sole purpose of being able to say “First!”.
4. Do Not Be Afraid to Express Your Opinion
It is undeniable that articles able to swim against the tide, to stir up a debate or just to make people think, are far more interesting and challenging than content that always confirm the opinion of others.
It is important to consider and assess yourself if you are serious about something “different” to say, arguing your case in an intelligent way. Otherwise, forget it.
Most successful bloggers have earned their reputation simply by thinking with their head and not being afraid to express their opinions, even when they clashed against what most of the people think.
5. Do Not Be Afraid to Challenge the “Guru” of the Blogosphere
This point is linked to the previous one. Who loves to spend time on the web, and even more those who write online, know which are the influential blogs.
This does not mean, however, that everything they say should be taken as gold rules: after all they are also human beings, and they can be wrong!
Correct an incorrect statement expressed by popular bloggers can result in a great benefit for your little blog in search of visibility, provided that you do it in a correct way, without being deliberately provocative or offensive.
Of course you need to know the facts, without “shooting blind”, just to get noticed. Otherwise you may get the opposite result, antagonizing most of the readers and bloggers of your niche.
6. Divide a Story into Episodes
Split into related parts a long article or macro-argument is a good strategy to make sure that the public come back to visit you.
And a “smart” subdivision of your content will also generate a certain expectation in readers and many of them will take your RSS Feeds in order to not miss the next post published.
Obviously this is not an invention of the bloggers. Ask the producers of the TV series and soap operas, or publishers of comic books and novels of the proven effectiveness of such a strategy.
7. Try to Offer Something Useful, Funny or Different in Your Blog
Have you noticed that newspapers and magazines occupy only a fraction of the space in a newsstand, and they are often overwhelmed by hoards of DVDs, CDs and gadgets of all kinds?
These are goods attached as gift in newspapers and magazines, and which more and more often end up to be the true driving force of sales.
Here, think of your blog as a small kiosk, and do not just write rivers of articles, but also think in what you may offer to “outfit”.
Your gift will be the possibility to download free resources, as ebooks, online courses, tools, etc. anything that your audience can find useful!
But also imagine somehing to make more attractive to your visitors to remain on your pages, such as newsletters, contests and competitions. It is an extra work but if done right, can bring great benefits.
There are many ways to increase your pageviews and decrease the bounce rate of your blog, you just need to check what is working for your audience.
What do you think? Which are the crucial factors to the success of your blog?
This article is written by Erik Emanuelli. He is a traveler and passionate blogger. He runs Free MAKE MONEY Advice program.