5 tips to help make your blog stand apart

There are millions of blogs on the web, with new ones being created daily. How do you make yours stand apart? If you want to build a loyal base of readers, subscribers and customers, you have to offer something unique. No matter what your particular slant on marketing, there are certain actions that will help you to create a successful blog.

Know Your Audience

You can probably describe the topic of your blog in a sentence or two. Can you, however, describe your ideal audience in terms of age, gender, industry or geography? You should try to find out all you can about your visitors and subscribers. You can do this with tools such as Google Analytics. If you’re going to provide value to people, it’s essential to know as much about them as possible.

Create a Unique Identity

It’s almost impossible to create a blog with no competition on a given subject. The only exception would be a purely personal blog where you focus on your own life. Marketing blogs, however, have a ton of competition. That’s why it’s so important to find your own unique voice and point of view. There are several ways that you can differentiate yourself.

● Style and voice. You can be casual and down-to-earth, formal or businesslike or almost anything in between. You might inject your personal style of humour into your blog posts. You should also consider what kind of knowledge your audience has about the topic. Are you addressing beginners, experts or a mixed audience?
● Give your blog a distinctive look. The layout, style and types of images you use should express your personality and point of view. Make sure you brand your blog with your own logo and images. It’s also best to use a unique or premium template. For example, if you use WordPress, it’s worth it to invest in a premium theme and customise it.
● Topics that you cover. Some blogs specialise in product reviews. Others discuss the latest news and trends in a certain industry. You can specialise in offering tips that solve problems that your readers care about. Or you can combine these and other approaches to your topic.
● Type of content you publish. In addition to blog posts, you might use images, infographics or videos for variety. You can specialise in one type of content or you can mix it up, which diversifies content and may keep visitors more engaged (once again, know your audience).

Post Consistently

One of the most important actions for having a successful blog is posting consistently. This is crucial both for attracting a loyal audience and for SEO purposes. If you only post occasionally, you aren’t going to be fresh in people’s minds. When new visitors come to your blog and see that it hasn’t been updated recently, they’ll conclude that the blog isn’t very active.

The more consistent you are, the more content there is for people to read and for Google to index. Of course, you have to focus on quality as well as quantity. However, the first step is to come up with a schedule for blogging and stick to it. There’s a definite advantage to posting daily, even if it’s only a short piece or a relevant video from YouTube. At the very minimum, you should be posting one significant item weekly.

You should also identify the best times for posting. In general, you’ll get more readers when you post weekdays during hours when people are awake and online. You should, however, test this and identify the posting schedule that produces the best results.

Stay Current

The field of marketing is extremely fast-moving. New trends, platforms and techniques are introduced all the time. If you want to provide value to your readers, make sure you cover some of the latest developments. This may include covering new products, providing recent statistics on consumer behaviour or discussing the latest trends in mobile marketing (which is constantly growing).
To do this, of course, you have to be well-informed on what’s going on in your industry. Subscribing to other blogs in your niche, following the social media accounts of experts and setting Google Alerts help you do this. It also doesn’t hurt to read contemporary books, magazines and journals related to your field. Always be learning.

Use Social Media

You can be sure that your audience is using social media, so you should be as well. There are a few simple ways you can use social media to promote your blog.

● Promote all of your blog posts on social media. At the very least, you should post them to Twitter and Facebook.
● Use LinkedIn to reach a professional audience. You can post content there and participate in groups. Make sure there’s a link to your blog in your profile.
● Try paid advertising on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to attract more subscribers.
● Use social media buttons on your blog to encourage people to share your content. The easier it is for them, the more often it will happen.

Hopefully, this will give you a starting point to move in the right direction. A successful blog can be extremely rewarding for you and your audience if you take the time to improve it and learn daily.

Guest post by

Robert Mening has been interested in technology and the web since he can remember. A web developer and designer since 2004, he created WebsiteSetup; a website he has dedicated to helping people learn what they need to set up their own websites. @robmening

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