Want to know how to make your blog popular? To be a successful blogger these days, you'll need to make your blog unique. In this post, we'll share 12 ways to make your blog stand out from the rest.
oday, there are over 440 million blogs in the world.
Does yours stand out, or is it getting lost in the sea of sameness?
Many people launch blogs, but few will rise to the top. If your blog isn’t getting the attention it deserves, don’t worry– you’re reading this post, which means you are already one step ahead!
What Makes a Blog Stand Out?
As you’ve probably already discovered, running a popular blog requires more than simply publishing posts.
A passion for your content, consistent updating, attention to detail, and unique features are all necessary for making your blog stand out. You’ll also need to keep an eye on other successful blogs in your niche in order to outperform those who share similar content.
Be warned that building a successful blog takes time and money, so be sure you have a proper handle on your finances before diving in. That being said, launching an online business is a whole lot cheaper than opening up a brick and mortar. And with the right strategies, your blog will be generating leads in no time!
Are you ready to make your blog stand out from the rest? Here are 12 ways to differentiate your blog.
1. Make Your Content Better
The #1 way to make your blog stand out in a competitive niche is to simply create higher quality content.
High-quality, evergreen content (i.e. content that remains relevant) is the most important ingredient of any successful blog. Particularly when you are writing on popular topics, it is critical that your content is higher quality than the rest if you want to rise to the top.
But how exactly do you make your content better than the competition?
First of all, avoid sharing “fluff”, or filler content. Fluff content is dull, boring, and adds nothing of real value to your readers.
Instead, research the questions people are asking in your niche. Then, simply answer those specific questions in your blog posts! (It sounds simple, I know, but that’s really the best thing you can do to ensure the quality of your content.)
Make sure to cover every angle of every question so that your post is more comprehensive than others on the same topic. Add lots of images and cite sources to illustrate your points.
Neil Patel and Ritika Puri went above and beyond their competitors when they created this in-depth, beginner’s guide to online marketing. It’s basically an entire book on the web, complete with illustrations.
You can also analyze your competitor’s content by typing their URL into BuzzSumo, and see which posts are performing the best for them. The more informed you are of the blog content that works for your competition, the easier it becomes to craft and publish the right type of content that’s sure to be popular.
2. Craft a Memorable Brand
Contrary to popular belief, visual appeal and branding is just as important as the quality of the content and information you are sharing to your visitors.
When a blog is unappealing, boring, or appears outdated, users are much more likely to find an alternate source for the information they are seeking. The truth is, if your blog looks like junk, then visitors will assume that the content is junk too.
But it gets even worse… Without a visually appealing blog, your site’s bounce rate (the percentage of visitors who leave your site without browsing) is sure to climb. Bounce rates ultimately affect your visibility within search engines, so you’ll have a worse chance of getting visitors in the first place. Higher bounce rates can even affect the value of any advertisements you choose to host on your blog.
The best way to decrease your blog’s bounce rate? With an updated, responsive, modern, and appealing layout for your users to easily access and enjoy.
Plus, having a visually-appealing website gives you a huge opportunity to differentiate your blog from your competitors. The businesses and brands that are the most successful utilize logos, colors, and other visuals to truly set themselves apart. Taking the time to create a brand identity that resonates with your users will make your blog much more memorable to first-time visitors, increasing the odds of them coming back again.
If you aren’t particularly artistic, work together with professional designers and creative illustrators to create an image for your brand that is truly relatable to your users and potential customers. The more visually-appealing your website or blog is, the less likely you are to lose a sale or miss a lead!
Here are some examples of bloggers who have mastered their visual branding…
Derek Halpern, marketer and entrepreneur, looks quite comically stately here on the homepage of his blog, dressed up to the nines and sporting his $310 haircut.
Ash Ambirge, CEO and “smart ass”, lets it all loose in her snarky website copy and bold photography.
Sam Bradd, graphic facilitator and information designer, gives us a glimpse behind-the-scenes of creating his artwork, along with bright, playful colors that mimic the dry-erase markers in his hands.
3. Post More Frequently
Another way to differentiate your blog from your competitors is to simply publish posts more frequently than they do.
Next to post quality, posting frequency and consistency are some of the most important factors in building a successful blog. Publishing new content with a regular schedule in place helps to acquire more new visitors, and keep those visitors coming back for more.
So, how often should you publish blog posts? Monthly? Weekly? Daily?
Well, the exact posting frequency isn’t as important as consistently publishing high-quality content. However, as long as you have the time and resources to publish more frequently without skimping on quality, then the more frequent the better!
Create a content calendar and commit to it. Use tools and downloadable apps to schedule your posts and to keep track of the performance each individual update has when using social media, your official website, and third-party advertising services to increase your overall visibility.
If you have more than one individual managing content and sharing updates (for example, if you are managing a team of guest bloggers), use tools and applications like Edit Flow that allow you to work with multiple team members simultaneously, reducing the risk of a posting error or lack of updates altogether.
4. Give Readers Clear Action Steps
The problem with many blog posts is that they tell you what to do, but they don’t tell you how to do it.
Rather than simply sharing content that you find interesting, be sure to include actionable steps and tutorials. What goal is your reader trying to accomplish? Teach them exactly how to accomplish that goal, in as much detail as possible.
Whenever you include how-to steps in your blog posts, include examples, resources (such as a list of tools, or a downloadable template), and descriptive images wherever possible. Never take shortcuts by skipping steps. Remember: the more useful your post is to the reader, the easier it will be to stand out from the rest.
An excellent example of this is WPBeginner– every post they publish is a complete, step-by-step WordPress tutorial with screenshots and no steps skipped.
5. Mine for Keyword Gold
To stand out from the competition, avoid using extremely popular or general/vague keywords. Instead, research unique keywords and phrases you want to target based on the products you sell and the type of users you want to reach.
You’ll know you’ve hit keyword gold when you find very specific blog topics that haven’t been tackled in-depth by your competition, but are still extremely relevant to your users and their needs.
One of the best ways to find untapped blog topics is by doing a good old Google search. Just start typing in a general topic idea, and see what suggested searches come up.
For example, we could start to type, “how to make your blog stand out”:
As you can see, there are lots of more specific blog topic ideas here. Instead of writing a post about all blogs in general (which is a more competitive topic), we could write a post specific to fashion blogs, travelblogs, food blogs, beauty blogs, WordPress blogs, or Tumblr blogs. Eureka!
6. Implement Meta Tags
Improving your blog’s search engine optimization (SEO) is a fundamental necessity, regardless of your niche or the type of blog you are planning to launch. If no one can find your blog in the search results in the first place, it won’t stand a chance against your competition!
Search engine optimization helps top search engines to find your website’s URL and specific pages of content, so people searching for content are much more likely to locate your blog as a solution. The more optimized your website is, the higher up your blog’s domain will be placed within the pages of search engine results (based on keywords entered, as well as the keywords you have optimized your blog for with updates and content pages).
One of the simplest things you can do to improve your blog’s SEO is to start using meta tags. Meta tags tell search engines what your blog posts are about, so they know what keywords your post should come up for.
If you use WordPress, the easiest way to implement meta tags is with the Yoast SEO plugin. Simply install this plugin, and fill in the SEO Title and Meta description (making sure to include your keywords) before publishing any blog post.
7. Refresh–Don’t Duplicate–Old Content
Avoid posting duplicate content, even if you have created the pieces individually on your own. With duplicate content on your website, search engines can quickly become confused when determining where to send users on your blog’s domain.
For example, instead of publishing a new, updated post that is almost identical to another post you previously published, simply bring the original post up-to-date. Search engines love it when you refresh old content, because that means better value for their users!
BONUS TIP: Do not to change your post’s permalink in any way when you update it– you don’t want to lose any search engine rankings that you already have.
8. Boost Your Backlink Profile
Building links to your blog posts is another way to get the leg up on your competitors.
Whether you are writing guest posts for other blogs or interlinking your own articles, the more locations you are able to implement your blog’s URL, the more visible your blog becomes online.
To build backlinks, reach out to other bloggers with similar or relevant content as your own. The more you build relationships with other bloggers in your niche, the quicker your website’s domain is likely to gain authority and clout within the top search engines.
You can also accept guest posts from other bloggers who will spread awareness of your blog with their own audience. While it may not lead to backlinks directly, collaborating with other bloggers who work in your industry is an effective way to make a name for your brand (which will eventually lead to more sites linking to you).
9. Construct Click-Worthy Headlines
Once your post has made it onto page 1 of the search results, it needs to stand out among all the other blog posts on the same page so that users will click through to read it.
To persuade people to click on your headline, it needs to be: 1) relevant and 2) eye-catching.
First, draft a relevant headline. Relevant headlines are clear, specific, and target a particular type of reader. List headlines (e.g. “7 Types of Blog Posts that Convert” or “10 Top Blog Niches of 2018”) are one of the best types of headlines to use for this because they are so specific.
Next, make your headline more eye-catching by adding power words. Power words are words that entice people to click (e.g. “top secret”, “crazy”, “fail-proof”, “mouthwatering”, “genius”, etc.). Oftentimes, all you need to make your post stand out among the others in the search results is to simply sprinkle the headline with one or two of these words. (Click here for a complete list.)
10. Make Your Posts Easy-Peasy to Share
Outshine the competition by getting more people to share your blog posts.
Is your post easy to share? At the minimum, you should have sharing buttons towards the top of every post. Don’t make readers work to find the share button!
Social media plugins for WordPress make it easy to add social sharing buttons and other sharable tidbits (such as images and quotes) to your blog posts. This site uses Social Warfare to add social share buttons.
The other benefit to Social Warfare is that it controls what people share and how they share it. It also ensures that you never lose your social share counts, which is super important for creating social proof.
11. Put Your Social Media Profiles to Work
Putting your social media profiles to work is important for any entrepreneur looking to build a popular, successful blog.
Whether or not you enjoy social media for personal use, putting social media to work for your business allows you to quickly learn about your target customers: what they are struggling with, how they prefer to be communicated with, which type of advertisements or promotions work best for them, etc.
The best way to start is to engage with your followers. Ask them for their input on your blog, products and services. Share contests and giveaways to incentivize your followers to share your posts. These are some of the best ways to figure out the best direction to take your brand, especially when running a blog in a competitive niche.
You’ll also need to post to your social media profiles consistently. If you are short on time, you can automate this process with a tool like Viraltag which allows you to create evergreen social media campaigns.
12. Keep Tabs on Your Results
To keep ahead of the competition, you’ll need to regularly monitor and track your results.
Similarly, when you have topics or keywords that are not performing well or costing too much, eliminate them from future posts to steer your blog in a more potentially successful direction.
Helping your blog to stand out in a competitive niche is necessary today with the increasing number of blogs online in all markets.
Taking the time to thoroughly research your blog’s unique niche, target demographic, and the competition is a great start to building a successful blog. The more in-tune you become with your potential readers, the easier it will be to deliver useful, standout content.
What are your tips to make your blog stand out? Let us know in the comments!
Dakota has been published on a wide ranging spectrum of respected sites. His writing inspirations are drawn from the areas of saving/making money, goal setting, technology, investments and beyond.