Techjury estimates that about 5.8 million new blog posts are published per day — if this number is even remotely true, it’s also true you have to do more to stand out. But … standing out doesn’t necessarily mean doing “more” work. Sometimes it might just mean getting a little creative and strategic. Or even taking a risk. Here are 7 tips (that might surprise you) designed to help your blog stand out from the crowd in 2020.
“Why fit in when you were born to stand out.” Dr. Seuss
1. Discover Trending TopicsWhat are your readers really interested in? What is happening in the world? A quick glance at a free tool like Google Trends can help you nail down topics that people are already searching and that match your business. Then follow and converse with trailblazers in your niche and you’re bound to be inspired. You can also type your topic into your search tool (Chrome, Safari…) and see what Google suggests. These are the most popular topics being searched for and provide great clues for what topic will be the most successful.
2. Share Relevant ResearchIncluding research in your post is a simple way to add credibility to your argument while attracting legitimate attention. You want to offer your readers information that is popular and relevant to them. And doing this regularly will help you build authority and credibility with them while building your domain authority on Google. Try doing an annual summary of statistics in your industry, like this one about real estate, or this one about financial planning.
3. Speak to Your Audience
“People want valuable insight, access to great people and recognition before they want products and services.” ~ Michael StelznerEvery successful blogger will tell you to start with your audience. What do they struggle with? Where are they finding solutions now? What solutions are they looking for? The more familiar you are with your ideal readers, the more likely you are to attract their attention now and into the future. And the more you know what they like the longer you can keep them on your site enjoying your insights, advice, and solutions. Blogger Adam Connell does a great job of sharing examples of personas in this post.
4. Don’t Follow the CrowdIf you want to get noticed, be controversial. Go against the grain, say something unexpected. If you run a business you already know that having a unique selling proposition (USP) is important for making your blog stand out in a competitive marketplace. But this doesn’t have to mean comment on politics or talk about Beyonce’s latest album — you can still be genuine while sharing an original idea via a unique title or hook. We’re sure that this is the case in the blogging world, too. Here are some examples of viral blog posts. They are targeted, well-written and suggested a concept which goes against the “norm” in some sense:
- Best-selling author Ryan Holiday’s Dear Entrepreneurs: Please Don’t Write a Book—We’re Begging You
- Mark Manson’s The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F— and Stop Trying to Be Happy
- Seth Adam Smith’s Marriage Isn’t for You
- Hillary Weiss’ Money + misdirection: the shadow side of “charge what you’re worth” pricing culture
5. Get Up Close and PersonalSometimes a little controversy can work in your favour, but if you’re not telling the truth and writing with integrity on behalf of yourself / your business, it will come back to “bite” you — which is not the way you want to make your blog stand out! You don’t want to risk your business by being inauthentic, so why not offer some personal information to build trust with your audience? Here’s an example of 100% authentic and personal writing: Every year, Chris Guillebeau publishes annual reviews of the good, the bad and the downright ugly of his efforts to achieve his annual goals.
6. Take a RiskWant to publish a post titled “5 ways to be a better leader”? Great, it’ll be useful. But to really make your blog stand out and bring in relevant traffic, you’ll want to make it a little more original, even if it means taking a risk. Begin by digging into unique approaches you take to solving your clients’ problems, or specific questions you’ve been asked by clients. For example, if I am giving advice to people new to the business of professional speaking, I always promote the strategy of giving free talks to build your experience and collect testimonials. It’s usually not what they want to hear (they just want to get paid to speak). But it’s advice that has served me well over the years and I’m 100% confident it will help them as well.
7. Get on OPP (Other People’s Platforms)It’s great to build your own platform, attract followers, and grow a list…but let’s face it, it can also take a lot of time. One way to make your blog stand out is to get on OPP (Other People’s Platforms). One approach is to invite readers from other blogs to post on your blog. Here’s how it can work:
- Start by inviting experts to contribute to a blog topic relevant to your readers.
- Collect the contributions, choose which are the most intriguing, then edit and publish them.
- Then, go back to your contributors to let them know the post is published and invite them to share it with their peeps.