I probably read more Blogs and posts than most folks. But that's my job and it helps to keep my finger on the pulse of what others are doing that works (and what doesn't too) as well as what onliners like, react to and are looking for.
What I see happen all too often is new Bloggers are lemmings -- not leaders. They believe they have something to say (whether they do or not is moot) and jump right in without thinking about how they will separate themselves from all the others already discussing the very same subject. They take a bit of a narcissistic approach thinking that because they think it is a good idea and that they will be the one typing about it, that's good enough. Not so much.
After the initial launch, they run out of steam. We have the Blog started but we aren't adding posts on a consistent basis. We aren't offering any content that makes folks want to subscribe for more. How do you do this? We write about what folks want to know based on our POV, expertise and/or passion! Not what we want to tell them -- two entirely different approaches. If you start a Blog know it is an ongoing perpetual project that requires you to be prepared to write; a lot.
Then, we tend to blindly follow what we see others are doing -- many times under the incorrect perception that what one person is doing is going to work for them. That, is the second mistake.
The third mistake made is in thinking that without putting a concentrated effort into creating a Blog that is different than anything or anyone out there, that they'll still be read, ranked, visited, bought from. Nope. You simply cannot offer more of the same and expect to attain the "WOW! Factor".
You want to be uncommon!
Definition of uncommon:
1: not ordinarily encountered : unusual (an uncommon plant)
2: remarkable, exceptional (a soldier of uncommon courage)
Get the WordPress "WOW!" Factor
Here is my list of five things you need to do from the very start, before typing your first post, to create and develop an uncommon and therefore unique and interesting Blog:
- Determine what you are interested in, what you know about (or are willing to submerge yourself in) and have a passion about. All too often new Bloggers fall into the trap of being a "me-too" Blog. In other words a Blog that talks about the same stuff as thousands of others -- nothing new; nothing that can't be found elsewhere. Without an genuine interest in and passion about your topic, you simply will not have the wherewithal to put in all the hard work and hours of writing and resource hunting necessary to create a successful Blog.
- Now that you have identified your interest and passion, look at that subject matter and dig deeper into a niche, corner or unique angle of that focus that, after doing a bit of due diligence (searching Google, Twitter and other social media sites) you have found there is a void to fill. A need or desire for information that others are not yet providing or that you know -- for a fact -- you can do much better (be realistic here -- this is much easier typed than done!). Better yet, find an angle you can hang your hat on that puts a twist on the subject that makes your Blog different from all the rest. Then add your unique personality! That's one thing no one else has -- YOU!
- Get a great design! No, you don't have to pay for a custom design -- that's one of the great things about WordPress. There are a ton of great premium themes available that you can make your own without "knowing code". WordPress makes it relatively easy to make a theme unique to you! Take it up a notch by changing colors, adding a unique header graphic, cool feature areas and stunning accent graphics. This is a visual medium and if you are serious about being different from the rest, you simply cannot look like everyone else.
- Create an engaging and creative About You page that puts your personality out there while providing just enough personal information to show you are real, genuine and sincere -- and approachable. Let your personality shine through in every corner of your site -- visitors will quickly appreciate your personal spin if this is accomplished consistently throughout. This helps to build trust and credibility while giving visitors a sense of familiarity that makes them comfortable with you and your topic. Talk about the passion behind your site and what you intend to accomplish. Include an attractive photo of yourself to give visitors the opportunity to get to know you better. Remember, people like following and doing business with people they like!
- Create catchy and distinct Post Titles and commentary. Using off-beat, odd or peculiar verbiage your site visitors will "get" that relates to your sole focus can help to give your Blog it's own unique personality not to be found elsewhere. Take creative liberties with standard and customary jargon and make it exclusive to your site and topic. But only if you know your target market will "get it"! This approach while helping to make you uncommon needs to come natural to you and be used consistently to help your site be exceptional.
See a pattern forming? There's nothing special about being common -- not if you want to "WOW!" your visitors and keep them coming back for more. The last thing you want to do is what everyone is doing. So find a way to turn your topic on it's head, be controversial, be different!
Yes, it is important to use methodologies and solid principles that work. But in today's noisy online environment where everyone seems to have something to say -- you need to be constantly thinking about how you can be different and rise above the cacophony of those typing about similar things in less than interesting ways.
How you do that is by being unlike anyone else -- and that's YOU!
At your service,