How To Make Your Blog Stand Out
Some of the most popular niche sites such as Mashable began as hobby blogs and now serve up millions of page views per month. If you want to get to that level, there are a few things you should keep in mind when structuring your blog’s content and layout.
Niche It Up
First and foremost, memorable blogs tend to zero in on a lower-level niche at a particular level of specificity. For instance, you won’t have much success by focusing a blog on “technology”, as it’s too broad a topic. Google, Bing and the like will favour the heavyweights when it comes to search engine rankings and visitors are more likely to drift towards a trusted source. A more reasonable niche to pursue would be “creative industry technology”. It’s a lot easier to corner a smaller niche than it is to dominate a broad swath of the market, and you can deliver higher-quality content to your readers by narrowing your focus.
Avoid the Clichés and Find Your Voice
One of the main problems with most bloggers is that they use a generic approach to crafting blog posts and entries. While such utilitarian writing styles have their place in standard reviews, tutorials and news items, they don’t really resonate with readers and are extremely forgettable. When is the last time you saw a post on Yahoo News or even Mashable that really stood out to you? Bloggers like Seth Godin and James Altucher have a distinctive writing style that’s easily recognisable, which is something you should attempt to emulate in your own way.
Take Risks and Be Passionate
When you take an unconventional stand, people respect your integrity and will debate you on your point of view. Don’t be controversial just for the sake of being edgy, but avoid vanilla-flavored boilerplate op-eds that are forgettable. In addition, you should blog about something that really lights your fire intellectually. When you work on something you love, your passion shines through the underlying content and attracts a dedicated, die-hard core of readers that are extremely loyal. Furthermore, those fanatical readers often do your evangelising for you and promote your blog in an organic manner through social media channels.
Build a Destination & a Reputation
Probably the most brilliant thing Apple ever did with the iPhone was to create an all-inclusive platform for users. In other words, they crafted an entire ecosystem instead of just an operating system or a piece of hardware. Alongside iTunes, the iPhone forms a one-stop iOS destination for apps and media content. Your blog should be a one-stop shop for information on your niche that your readers will immediately jump to when they need advice. Make sure your deep content is well-indexed and easy to find, and invest time in perfecting internal linking to increase time-on-site and boost page views.
The most important thing to remember is that very few people strike gold on their first attempt on any given blog. If a successful, high-traffic blog is integral to your overall business plan, you’ll just have to tough it out and plug away until you discover the magic formula. Finally, always remember that all the fancy software and SEO tactics in the world can’t replace quality content that delivers value. Craft relatable content that first and foremost helps your audience, and the traffic will follow sooner or later.