How Do You Stand Out From The Blogging Crowd?

Crowds. Not a modern phenomenon

The best thing about blogging is that it’s easy. If you don’t like what’s being written on any particular subject, you can head over to WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr and share your take on things with the world. Everyone gets a voice, democracy in action!

But the worst thing about blogging? Well, that’s simple. The worst thing about blogging is that everyone gets a voice – so you’re competing to get yourself heard.

So you need to stand out from the crowd – but that’s easier said than done.

Standing out From the Blogging Crowd

No matter what your niche is, whether you’re blogging about copywriting, football or what you bought at the shops today, you’ll be competing with thousands of other blogs covering the exact same ground. So while it’s nice to come out and say something that nobody’s ever said before, you’ll find it far easier to stand out by saying things in a different way.

Finding Your Hook

The most important question anyone can ask is this: What’s your unique selling point (or proposition, if you’re a Rosser Reeves fan)?

If you want to get some attention, you have to work out what sets you apart from the competition. Maybe it’s your experience, your ability to poke fun at yourself or your sheer, bloody-minded determination. Whatever your USP is, you need to use it to your advantage.

For me, it was the fact that I was a copywriter employed as a full-time SEO consultant. While lots of copywriters were beginning to blog about SEO, there was a space for someone who could combine familiarity with the search engines with solid copywriting chops. Having that USP allowed me to gain an audience – and the attention of far more experienced bloggers and copywriters.

So follow my lead. Exploit your differences ruthlessly, especially when it comes to the next stage of carving your niche. Creating a unique voice.

Creating Your Voice

Having a particular insight or skillset isn’t enough. You need to share your expertise in an interesting, arresting and hopefully unique way.

The first way to do that is to start writing the way that you talk. Too many bloggers try to adopt an air of fake formality. Don’t.

If you use contractions when you’re talking, you shouldn’t be avoiding them in your blog. Same goes for slang. A little bit of colour never hurt anyone, but you probably shouldn’t start every post with “eeyar, soz ‘ard, main ‘eds.

Shouting helps too...

Once you’re writing in a relaxed way, your unique voice is going to start showing through. So it’s time to up the ante. If you’re naturally funny, sarcastic or charming, make sure your blog reflects that.

And once you’ve nailed your voice down, it’s time to start rolling out the attention grabbers.

Doing Things Differently

You’ll be surprised how many blogs follow the same format. Headline, picture, text, inset picture, call to action.

There’s nothing wrong with that format – I’m using it right now. But it pays to mix it up a little. Infographics are the trendiest way to put your point across in a different format, but unless you’re a dab hand with image manipulation software, you’ll find it hard to make a splash in an already crowded niche.

But you don’t need anything beyond a (relatively) cheap microphone and/or webcam to start putting together audio and video content. Releasing a podcast or a how-to video (or rant) is sure to grab attention, and it gives your readers a welcome break from the bog standard blog format.

Of course, the chances are that not everyone is an expert in multiple fields with an unmistakeable style and amazing screen prescence (I’m certainly not), but that doesn’t stop the majority of bloggers from carving their own niche.

So, what’s your secret? How do you stand out from the crowds? Let us know in the comments section below.

4 Comments comments for "How Do You Stand Out From The Blogging Crowd?"

  1. Ben Locker says:

    You make a really good point that I hadn’t really put into words before.

    There are a lot of blog posts out there that have been written by people who have decided on the format first and the content second.

    People read that ‘5 ways to…’ posts are popular, so they decide to write one – often regardless of whether the subject matter is suitable or whether the topic’s been done before.

    And as you say, it results in loads of posts that don’t stand out. At all. In any way.

    I suppose my tip – as far as I have one – is simply to find something you really want to write about, and then get on with it. Don’t make up nonsense to fit a format, just because you’ve read it’s popular.

    • Andrew says:

      And a fine tip it is too.

      I think that things like list posts are a useful crutch when you need to get a post out and can’t muster enough creativity for a longer, more linear piece. But a lot of new bloggers seem to commit to doing a regular list item – in essence allowing that useful crutch to limit their own creativity.

      Content and voice are far more important than format in my opinion.

  2. Matt says:

    Good post. The list style posts are taking over every industry, you just have to look at the web design community’s blogs to see it in full swing e.g. “Top X examples of Y that will Z”. To be fair, I do fall back on them myself, but as you say, a successful blog will mix things up.

  3. Eoin says:

    Great post. I’ve been guilty of sticking to the tried-and-tested post structure in the past too, but if the content isn’t worth reading the format’s irrelevant. An original idea and style will forge it’s own format anyway.

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