There’s no place on the internet quite like your blog-the secret to getting noticed is by being yourself.
Think you’re ready to become a blogger? Whether you’re looking for a creative outlet, in need of a portfolio, or simply hoping to put yourself out there and get noticed online, having your own blog gives you a shareable platform to share your story (or best fashion accessory or cupcake recipe) with a community from around the world.
However, when you first enter the blogosphere it’s easy to feel like a little fish in a big ocean! With so many blogs out there, how do you make your blog stand out from the crowd? Here are five tried and true secrets to making your blog stand out and get noticed.
INVEST IN DESIGN
When it comes to blogging, appearance does matter! Spending time on your blog design shows you truly care about your site, your readers, and what you are putting online.
The design of your blog should reflect your personality. Whether you are whimsical, simplistic and minimal, or bright and cheerful, communicate your essence to your readers through design, color, typography, logos, and photographs. Keep in mind that since blogs are great tools for resumes, having a strong design in place says a lot about you as a professional.
Be sure you know when to invest and when to save when designing your blog. Are you unfamiliar with HTML? Confused about CSS? Never fear! Your blog design doesn’t have to be complicated. Consider hiring a designer to help bring your vision to life. There are also plenty of affordable, even free, platforms like WordPress and Squarespace that offer easy to use website themes and layouts. What you save money in blog design you may find yourself investing in a custom logo to keep your page unique.
USE HIGH QUALITY PHOTOGRAPHS
Crisp, high resolution photographs and graphics set against a clean layout are more likely to keep your reader engaged and on the page. Partner with an aspiring photographer friend, or dust off your DSLR, and take a few lessons in basic photography 101. If you decide to take pictures on your iPhone, read up on phone photo tips. Photographing in natural light and with a simple scene composure are just two tips that always result in great pictures.
Crisp, high resolution photographs and graphics set against a clean layout are more likely to keep your reader engaged and on the page.
If you don’t have the steadiest hand for photography, look into stock image websites for pictures you can use legally for your site. Sites like Death to Stock offer beautiful, free, and affordable images that look anything but catalogue.
BE AUTHENTICALLY YOU
When starting a blog, it can be easy to be swept along in the crowd and get lost in doing what the sea of other sites are doing. What can you offer that is different than all the rest? Instead of focusing on what other bloggers are doing, find your own niche or unique spin on topics. Maybe you love chic vintage dresses paired with sneakers, or you bake the very best pies. Your unique spin on things is what you will want to share with the world to set you apart from everyone else.
Instead of focusing on what other bloggers are doing, find your own niche or unique spin on topics.
Don’t be afraid to get personal either. Sprinkle your blog with bits of your story. Add a dash of your favorite humor or long, colloquial sentences. Type out lines of your poetry or fuse your childhood memories into your recipes.
By sharing yourself with your readers, you will create connections and a community to bring them back for more. Don’t blog for the sake of blogging – seek out your individual reason for blogging. Know your passion and share that message with your readers by being you.
Not all of us can’t afford to become full-time bloggers. We may have 9-5 jobs, relationships, kids, and other projects on the side. And that’s okay. While you don’t have to post all the time or every day, try to be consistent when you do.
For example, posting on the same days each week (even if it is only twice!) lets your audience know when to expect fresh posts and keeps them coming back regularly. Consider doing a weekly post to keep your audience visiting consistently, such as a weekend roundup you post every Monday or a simple dinner recipe you share each Wednesday. Create a posting schedule that works with your calendar and stick with it.
BUILD A COMMUNITY
Post with purpose! The best way to ensure you’re not just adding to the noise online is to give back to your readers with every piece you publish. Whether this is a tip, how-to, or honest thoughts that may resonate with others, having a takeaway for each post connects you to your community and encourages sharing.
Along with creating community, remember to be a participant.
Along with creating community, remember to be a participant. Engage with your readers on social media and connect with other bloggers to encourage one another along the way. Bringing these relationships off the computer screen and into real life will only make blogging that much more fulfilling.
Above all, don’t let blogging become a chore. If you feel like you struggle with what to post next, come back to your intention each time and consider the community you are growing with each and every word you type.
Do you have a blog secret you’d like to share with us?