What makes your blog unique?
Blogging used to be one of those things that only a few special people would do. 10 years later, the amount of bloggers has gone up, making it harder for an individual to stand out. But what makes your blog stand out of the vast community of bloggers all over the world? The simple answer is: you.
There are 7 billion people on this planet but none of those humans are you. In the US, 42 million (and rising) people own blogs. 66% of them are written in English. These statistics are frightening, I know. So, how do you lift yourself from the crowd? Use yourself. Skills, humour and talent of course do contribute to the popularity of a blog, but they all are small parts of you and your personality. The reason I stress this point, is that many bloggers choose to write about topics they think will attract the public. That strategy will get you nowhere.
What do readers want?
This definitely depends on the genre of your blog, but the basic things rarely change.
Be relatable. When reading a magazine, you never fully get to experience the author’s personality or their opinion. Although objectivity is near to impossible, printed media normally still sets objectivity as a high standard. With blogs, readers get to experience a topic through the author’s eyes. Why try and be objective when standing for your opinion and for yourself is something that attracts so many people seeking for opinions on certain matters? In addition, you can build up a community with your readers. A blog gives you excellent opportunities in doing so, allowing you to connect with your readers and create a place for so many people to share their opinions.
What makes you unique?
That is a question that everyone reading this has to answer for themselves. There really is no right and wrong. Simply think of something that you have a passion for. A blog is a place, where you get to choose what part of yourself you want to present to the world. Your blog should be a place that represents you. This is the part where you need to sell yourself. What are your interests? What makes you happy? Which topic could you discuss for years? Questions like these are the ones you need to ask yourself. Blogging can be a long and exciting journey with of course some bumps along the way, which leads me to my next point.
Failing is okay.
It really doesn’t matter if it’s your blog, a post or anything else. Failing is natural. Learning is a part of everyone’s life. Naturally you will make mistakes in blogging. The trick is to not let it get to you. Try finding people on social media*, maybe even with their own blogs. Ask for tips and help. This won’t only give you different perspectives, but it will also widen your contacts. Helping each other is what builds a community. Mistakes are okay. Don’t be shy to admit that and definitely embrace all the help you can get.
*Recommendation: Google+ provides a great platform for bloggers. It doesn’t matter if you are new to the game or have had some experience. Communities on Google+ can only help you self-promote your blog and are a great way for contacting and discovering other bloggers.
As much as all points above count, a good first impression is crucial. This starts by naming your blog something creative and catchy. Try incorporating elements of the subject of your blog and yourself.
What feeling should a reader get when visiting your blog? What atmosphere should your readers fall into when reading your latest post? Feelings and emotions. Yes, they are very important. These feelings can be achieved by making your blog as visual as possible. You want people to have a variety of things popping into their eye. But – and this is very important – one, and only one thing should be the centre of attention. Again, what that is depends on your style of blog, but generally, you want the eye catcher to be the most important thing.
Building up on that, the use of mixed media is important. Pictures, gifs, videos and links are the things that will make your blog look more alive and friendlier to the eye.
To sum up, the five most important points you should remember are:
- Be yourself
- Be relatable
- Ask for tips & help
- Connect with people
- First impressions
Coming to an end, I would like to remind you all to have fun while blogging. It shouldn’t be a chore, but a thing you really enjoy doing. Blogging gives you the ability to connect with other people, who may share the exact interests. Write what you want to write and not what you think others would like to hear. Stay true to yourself and create a space that allows yourself and others to state their opinions.