By now, most bloggers have resigned themselves to the fact that it’s nigh on impossible to establish a unique blog, in the sense that the topic isn’t covered anywhere else. Where these niches exist, they more than likely don’t have the potential to attract a large following. As a result, bloggers have to find ways to make their voice stand out in the crowded blogging scene. Here are some ways to help you achieve exactly that.
Be inspired, don’t copy
Checking out the competition and assessing their strengths and weaknesses compared to yours is an important aspect of just about every web project, from personal websites to ecommerce stores. Blogs are no exception, but beware not to simply copy what your peers are doing. Besides being plagiarism, the key point here is that it’s a sure-fire way to blend in with the crowd, rather than stand out from it. In terms of content, it can be tempting to jump onto the bandwagon of whatever topic is trending in your blog’s niche, but don’t succumb to re-hashing the same content. The trick is to take inspiration from that topic area and develop content from an angle that’s original as possible. Give readers a reason to choose your blog over another; give them material they can’t get anywhere else.
Choose a killer name
First impressions count, especially with the name of your blog. Because web users will see your name before the blog itself, it’s absolutely crucial that it not only reflects what it’s about, but is original and memorable as well. The role of determining your target audience is often overlooked, but putting yourself in the shoes of your intended readers when selecting your name is vital. Consider the difference between the names “Tying The Knot” and “My Wedding Dreams”, for example – they indicate the same topic area, but come at it from a different angle and clearly target different demographics.
There is a limitation, however – domain names. Unfortunately the domain name for the title of your blog may have already been registered, especially if you want a .com domain. Therefore, it’s best to use a WHOIS domain lookup service to check the availability of your name ideas before you settle on one – there are several free options such as this one. If your domain choice is taken, you have two options: either attempt to buy it from the owner, or choose another good domain name.
Hone your presentation
This applies to every facet of your site, not just your homepage. Like it or not, the attention span of most internet users is short, which should be unsurprising given the sheer volume of competition for most blogging topics. For this reason, ensure you utilize plenty of images, graphics (including infographics), and videos to present your blog in the most attractive light possible. In addition to incorporating these multimedia elements into your posts, develop a strong and unified brand image with an appealing logo, banners, and other recurring themes. If you select the color scheme and design carefully to appeal to your audience, you can ensure that your blog will stand out for its looks as well as what it contains.
Do your keyword research
There are also ways to set yourself apart on the blogging scene in a more technical way. While social media, guest blogging, and other methods, are a great start when it comes to driving traffic to your site, successfully harnessing the power of search engines will take you to another level. By ranking on first page of search engine results pages (SERPs) for search terms most relevant to your subject area, you will experience far higher levels of traffic from people who care about what you’re doing.
This is where keywords come in – they are a crucial part of how Google and other search engines assess the quality and relevancy of a web page. To put it in its simplified form: the more relevant your keywords are, the more likely your blog post will be ranked highly on Google. It’s easier to do keyword research than you might think. First, using Google searches for inspiration, create a list of phrases your target audience are likely to search for if they’re interested in your topic. Then use the free Google Keyword Planner to discover how often those search terms are used. Then, prioritize your keywords according to that search volume and relevancy to your topic and blog in general. Bear in mind, however, that a higher search volume doesn’t necessarily mean a better keyword – first ensure it is not too general, or is unrealistically competitive for your aims. For more detailed explanations on keyword research, see here.