On making your blog stand out…

I get a lot of questions about my blog. People ask when I started my blog, how it grew so quickly, how to encourage feedback, what type of content to share, etc… And, while I’m extremely humbled and flattered each time someone does ask me, I often wonder if they’re perhaps asking the wrong person. I don’t see my blog as anything all that exceptional, I just consider it a branch of my personality – the good, the bad, the happy, the sad, the real.

I started my bog in January of 2019. The truth is, I don’t know how it grew so quickly. Dumb luck, perhaps? Being in the right place at the right time? I’m not really sure how to answer that question because, quite frankly, I think it’s a better thing to ask someone following my blog than it is to ask me. I don’t mean that in an offensive way, I just mean that… I can only speculate as to why people follow me. You would have to ask them to find out for certain.

This blog has only been active for eight months, so I am by no means an expert. That being said, I do understand the whimsy and excitement that comes with someone reading your posts, liking what you’ve written and sharing a piece of themselves that lets you know your words have resonated with them. So, here are some suggestions that I’ve learned, through trial and error, and a decade of working in digital marketing, that might help you along with your blogging journey.

CHOOSE YOUR BLOG NAME WISELY. Give your blog a name that people are going to remember. Your blog name is your personal brand, so make sure that it’s something simple that will stay top-of-mind for readers to easily come back to. If your blog name is “Steve12432342352” people could have a hard time finding you. So pick something that is reflective of yourself, but also, easy to find.

FIND YOUR NICHE. It sounds cliche, but a niche integral to finding any success with blogging. Don’t just say that you’re going to write about life, dig deeper. What aspects of life do you want to share? What feelings and emotions, what experiences do you want to display? An established niche will help you to create more well-rounded content for your blog and help readers determine why they should or should not be coming back to your blog. Some people say that you’re supposed to establish your target audience and I vehemently disagree with that tactic. I believe that first and foremost, you should be writing for yourself and not for an audience that does not yet exist. Furthermore, establishing an audience closes the door to anyone who isn’t in your target demographic, and you don’t want to be closing the door to potential readers.

USE YOUR ‘ABOUT ME’ PAGE TO ANSWER WHY YOU STARTED YOUR BLOG. If someone accidentally stumbles upon your blog one day and they like what they’re reading, the chances are they’re going to want to see who you are and find out more of what your blog is about. A carefully written ‘About Me’ section will allow readers and potential readers to learn about who you are and why they should follow your blog. So please don’t neglect the ‘About Me’ section.

ESTABLISH GOALS. Real, reasonable, honest goals. Sure, it would be great to make a living writing a blog, but that is a by-product, and should not be your goal. The truth of the matter is, most blogs do not make money, and if they do, it’s not enough for someone to live off of. If you’re just blogging in hopes to make money, that will show in the content you produce and will likely lead to a lack of credibility and integrity. Establishing real, reasonable and honest goals for your blog will help to keep you motivated with what you’re doing. Do you want to share your DIY Crafts? Are you hoping to find a like-minded community to talk to? These are the things you should be seeking, and as your blog grows your content can continue to grow with it.

CREATE CONTENT THAT YOU LOVE. I have crossed paths with a few people over the past eight months in which you can definitely tell they’re writing for attention and nothing more. If attention is what you crave, you may find it in the things that you say, but that connection with people will be fleeting before they move onto the next. Use your blog to share things you’re passionate about and that passion and love will be conveyed through all that you do. If readers crave authenticity (and they certainly do) they’re going to adore you for sharing your content with love.

DEVELOP YOUR PERSONAL STYLE. Are you a minimalist? Do you like things to be flashy? What is it about your personality that can shine through in the layout of your blog and in the content that you post to your blog? Think of your blog like a brand. The best brands have a consistent tone to them. If you’re minimalist and quiet one day, flashy and raunchy the next, people will have a hard time following what you’re putting out. But, if you establish your personal style through the posts that you make, people will know what to expect when they visit your blog and will look forward to that.

FOCUS ON WHAT YOU’RE GOOD AT. Sure, it’s nice to think outside of the box every now and again, but do remember that your strengths are your best asset in blogging. If you suck at poetry but are amazing at short stories, perhaps you could make one out of every five posts a poem. That way, your short stories have their time to shine whilst you’re still practicing your poetry. This same example can be applied to virtually anything you desire to blog about.

IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE IN FRONT OF THE CAMERA THEN DON’T BE. There are plenty of people in this world who would love to have their face plastered all over a blog because it helps to showcase their brand and their personality. Then, there are people like me who are awkward and uncomfortable in front of a camera. That awkwardness would be easily conveyed through any photos of me in existence and would likely turn people away. So I guess all I’m saying with this is, do what’s right for you. Don’t feel pressured to post photos of yourself because you think that’s what is going to make you popular.

ENGAGE. ENGAGE. ENGAGE. In this day and age people can spend their time doing a million things under the sun. So, the fact that they’re spending time reading your blog does and should mean a lot to you. If they leave you a comment, respond to the comment. If they send you an email, let them know that you got it. If they ask you to check out their page, check out their page. Let them know that you’re listening and that you’re grateful they took time out of their day to view your blog.

TAKE A LOOK AT WHAT OTHERS ARE DOING. This one, I got from a woman named Catherine on who runs a youtube channel called ‘Do It On A Dime’. Her biggest piece of advice for blogging and vlogging and sharing with the web is that you should take a look at what others are doing, find what you love and ask yourself how you can put a positive twist on that to make it your own. Someone who follows this blog of mine once pointed to me that the things I say aren’t anything that special or different from what anyone else experiences/shares, but that it’s the way in which I say them that draws her in. To me, that was a huge compliment, because that means there’s authenticity in what I’m conveying on my blog. I think that’s what everyone should be aiming for. Taking something that you feel, that others have felt, and putting your own spin on it.

ALWAYS KEEP LEARNING. There are so many tricks to the trade when it comes to digital marketing. Learning things like analytics, audience demographics, trending topics, these things will all help as you look to improve your blog. But just remember that you need to walk and not run. It’s not a marathon. The likelihood of 50,000 people viewing your blog overnight is slim-to-none. What you can do, however is focus on the small improvements to be made. How can you use analytics in your favour? What do demographics mean to you? How can you learn more to help consistently make your blog better in small ways with each passing day?

BE KIND. There’s enough assholes on the internet already. If you have an opinion, you can share it. Just remember that you don’t have to be an asshole in doing so. Because after all, if people think you’re an asshole, what reason do they have to come back to your page?

MOST IMPORTANTLY, HAVE FUN WITH IT. If you treat blogging like it’s enjoyable, it will be. If you treat blogging like it’s a nuisance, it will be.


P.S. – If you haven’t already read it, I did a post in May titled ‘On Building your dream blog’. To read that, Click here >

P.P.S – If you haven’t already read it, I did a post in July titled ‘Beginners guide to wordpress analytics (and using them to grow your audience)’. To read that, Click here >

71 thoughts on “On making your blog stand out…

  1. As always V, you’re on point. You and I are exactly alike. I just started my blog last month and just really wanted a passion and platform where I could be myself. No filter with what or how I say shit. When I’m in FB (not that I have a big friend list 20- something after being on it for 10 yrs), people get touchy or take things personally, when all I was doing was expressing my feelings. My sister or whomever may feel it’s about them, therefore prevoking a non existent fight. Then I’ll have to sugar-coat what I say.

    So, this is part of why I started blogging. Then there are the aspects if me being able to connect with other like-minded individuals on so many different levels.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Sometimes it’s just easier to make a connection with strangers. As weird as that sounds, it’s true. And I find that in a lot of people I cross paths with on wordpress. This community is so open and evolved, it’s a nice place to just be able to be yourself, free of judgement.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Daaaaaaamn straight. It cracked me up to get some of the responses I used to get;

        “You know ______ is gonna think you’re taking about them.”

        “Who told you about ________? I only told______, so they must’ve told you.”

        “If you felt that way about me then uppity should’ve said it to me, not social media.”

        Omg, the craziness when it really had nothing to do with wtf they were talking about. Smfh

        Liked by 1 person

    1. This is such a lovely compliment. Thank you ❤
      I try to portray as much real feelings as possible through my words so hearing that it resonates is really amazing.

      Like

      1. I hope that you read the response I just posted to another post of yours. I really hope it’s of some kind of help I am rooting fir you my dear and I know you can conquer your depression. I have faith in you, and will continue to until you can once again have faith in yourself.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I like your blog so much, but I truly love this post! I can feel so much honesty and closeness in your words. They’re simple, but touching and interesting, and so real. Please keep feeding us, teaching us.
    I started my blog some months ago as well, but it does not seem to be very successful… My goal is trying hard to keep writing and not giving it up, no matter how disappointed I feel sometimes. Because I love sharing what I think and write. So please, wish me luck!
    Besides, most of these fantastic tips may help a little bit 😉
    Thank you again. Lots of love from Spain!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Before I put my foot in my mouth and say something stupid, is that Spanish you’re writing on your blog? Just double checking because I am not multilingual, or even bilingual, so I don’t want to say the wrong thing!

      Like

  3. These are great tips! I can see how you managed to grow your blog in such a short time. Keep at it, and keep going. 😀

    The personal touch in content delivery is very important for creators. As you have said, it may be something that a lot of people talk about, but how you deliver it matters, and this will be the crucial thing for readers/viewers.

    Thanks, and have a nice day!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Good! A well-written post might bring people to your page but a well-written ‘about me’ page will keep people on your page! I hope that you take some time to come up with one that speaks for you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I stumbled across your blog while searching for things to read during my lunch break and I am so happy I did. I needed this and didn’t realise it. Funnily enough, today is the day I decided to publish my first post in two years. Technically, I created a new site and altered my name but it has actually been two years. SO thank you for the advice. I will be taking it wholeheartedly.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The world is filled with plenty of mysterious and wonderful coincidences. Welcome back to wordpress, and welcome back to blogging! I hope that you find some new motivation to keep at it this time. I’m sure if you do, you’ll love it around here as much as I do.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. You’re an awesome writer and the tips are spot on. I never have had a real direction in my blog, but I have always been an over the place kind of person, so the blog follows suit lol:) But I will try my best to take your advice because the number of followers in a short time is amazeballs!

    Like

  6. Thanks I also took you advice and added a VLP on my site to secure it I checked which I didn’t when I got here it’s taken care of now I better read the manual on the next one. LOL Thank you again for all the useful information I’m going to save so if I get stuck I can refer to to it.

    Like

  7. These are all really good points especially about the ‘About Me’ page because I always check out that page before I follow someone and I think it helps me find out what to expect from their blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That right there is exactly why! If someone wants to attract you to really follow them, they need to sell themselves, right? A good ‘About Me’ page is like a good elevator pitch!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. I’ve been meaning to ask you — did you draw the black and white image of the girl with her eyes closed or did someone do it for you? I’m always looking for simple, subtle art for my current blog (and possibly another blog in the distant future). TIA!

    Like

    1. Absolutely! If it’s true to you, people will realize your authenticity and appreciate that. I’m sorry I didn’t see this comment until tonight but I just wanted to say thank you ❤

      Like

  9. I love this and I appreciate your insight. I’v only been blogging for a few months and you touched on several ideas that i’v been seeking more clarity on. Most of all the niche. I havnt really figured mine out… It started as a discussion of men’s self improvement topics. Not a how to guide just discussions. Of all my followers only a few are men. The majority are women, I don’t understand it but I’m grateful for them. It’s amazingly inspiring. I don’t get much feedback so I’ll only have to guess at it and try to remain authentic to my purpose. Did you start your blog with an intended niche or did it evolve into one? I dig the minimalist approach you have towards your content and presentation of it. Your writing style is so fluid and easy to digest it’s a nice read. I think that’s why you’ve done so well…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I missed this comment when you left it and I am so sorry that I’m reading it tonight (so many months later) but I just wanted to say thank you so much.

      Have you found your niche yet?

      When I started my blog I really just wanted a place to vent about things that were happening in my life. In the first few weeks I kind of realized that other people were going through similar experiences and that my niche kind of became something for the lost souls.

      Hoping you’ve found yourself a nice niche and community by now ❤ Much luck and light.

      Like

    1. I don’t know why I didn’t see this until now, but i just wanted to say thank you so much ❤ This was really nice to read and definitely brightened my night.

      Like

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