How can I make my content more popular? How can I make my readers take action? How can I make people spread my message? We all have dreams, hopes and projects we’d like to start online. We all have a passion for something. But not many of us do anything towards achieving those dreams. We just keep dreaming about them and delay them for another day. We do that day after day after day. But it doesn’t have to be like that. I got a very interesting question that I wanted to share with you here in public and answer as there might be more of you interested and curious about this. Here is the question:
My question to you is what do you do when you work in a niche that has a lot of other bloggers in it. How do I differ myself from them? If I do everything the other bloggers are doing how am I going to gain a competitive edge?
Let’s be honest here, most sites are boring. They look like any other site, their content is like any other site and they are as forgettable as any other site. Gaining a competitive edge and being able to differentiate yourself from other bloggers is definitely the key. It will allow you to build and grow an audience. Let’s take a look at what can be done to stand out in a saturated niche.
What you have that no one else has
The most important thing you can do to differentiate yourself from the herd is to be yourself and put more of yourself into your content. There is one thing that every blogger has that is very unique. You have yourself. You are unique, you write your own content, and no other site can copy that. You must use more of yourself when trying to make your site stand out from the crowd.
Be a brand that’s unique. Bring yourself to the front. Find your voice in the way you present your site, in the way you write your articles, in the way you comment to your readers. Great sites stand out because they have unique brands behind them. There’s only one Gary Vaynerchuk, one Perez Hilton and one … YOU! Put your face out there. Use it on your Twitter profile, your avatar pic and grace your Facebook page with it.
Blogging in an overcrowded world means to you have to move beyond the crowd. One of the easiest things you can do is to be where opposite of where everyone else is. Everything has been written about already. It is very difficult to write something completely groundbreaking at the moment. But the thing is that not much of this material has been converted to video.
Even if your site is in a very saturated niche, you can still make it unique and make yourself different from others by basically making videos of all the information that everyone else is competing for with text articles only. Same goes for podcasting, comics or infographics. Basically more visually appealing, multimedia content.
Tap into this goldmine
I’d like to think of this as creativity (especially for writers) and if you can tap into this goldmine, well then the content you pump out will be golden as well. It doesn’t matter if you have video content, an audio file or a written post, every time you create content and put yourself out there your core is always shining through.
So what is your core? Everyone’s different. But whatever your core happens to be, whether it is quiet and shy, loud and obnoxious or steady with a flow, you need to realize that it’s always shining through, which means you cannot afford to be fake or put on a front or claim to be an expert at something you are not. This is the first step you need to take when you want to write without restricting your flow of creativity and stand out in a crowded niche. If you’re faking it, your audience will know, and when they know, it will cause a few problems:
- They won’t be able to trust you and will become skeptical, the same way a pushy car salesman puts you on the defense. You know he has an agenda when he asks you how your day is going or how you’re liking the current courses you’re taking in school or whatever. His interest in your life isn’t genuine and you can sense it.
- You’re content will be weak. The connection between the brilliant idea in your head and what comes out on the page will be so distant and weak.
When you create content, you need to be real… whatever that may mean for you. If your reality right now isn’t what you want it to be, then go change it. Work and invest in yourself if you have to. Once you do this, come back and do what you set out to do.
What I do to make my site unique
Couple of ideas from my own blogging that you might use to make yourself more unique in your own field:
- Being as transparent as possible
- Giving away my design / promotional secrets
- Sharing my results
- Going deeper in details than competitors do
- Making my advice more practical / easier to implement than competitors do
From the start I tried to include as many real life examples and information as possible. For example the exact email I wrote to get my guest post accepted, the exact comment I wrote on a post to get many visitors, exact visitor stats from my Google Analytics, or the exact codes to how I customized my design. Not many writers in my niche reveal as many real-life examples about their sites and strategies.
A design can definitely help you stand out better. Take some time to figure out the best design and the best branding graphics for your site. I use a premium theme that I have done a lot of work on in order to customize it and make it my own. A remarkable design sets you worlds apart from your competitors. When you look at your current design and layout, take an objective look as a first time visitor and not the owner of your site.
Do you have a logo? Does your site look unique in comparison to other sites in the industry? All of these little, fine touches are going to be what separates you from the rest as it relates to first impressions. That first impression may be all you get, so you need to make sure that you put your best foot forward in your quest to grow an audience.
6 step plan for spreading your ideas
This is a 6-step plan that shows how those who go for it, how they spread their ideas to many people and how they reach their goals and dreams. I hope the simple step help you finally take the move to get your dreams alive.
Find out what makes you come alive
- You must love it, you must have a joy for it
- You must care about what you are doing
- It is your passion that makes you worth following
- It is your passion that will motivate you and make you put in the time and effort that is necessary to make something work
Share what you’ve learned with the world
- Start adding value to the conversation
- Share your insights, share your knowledge and your experience
- Don’t censor yourself, write from your heart and be yourself
- Blogs are simple, cheap and easy way to have a platform on where you can showcase yourself and your passion
- Rather than doing a hundred things, do one thing, but do it amazingly good
- A lot of bloggers think that using every social media channel is way to go. The more you try to be everywhere, the less quality you bring to each channel. Instead, find your favorite channel of mass distribution, focus entirely on that platform and rule it
Be personal, set yourself apart
- Don’t be afraid to show your personality, readers should never wonder if there is a person behind the blog
- Always incorporate your own thoughts and analysis. Personal opinion counts and it is the person behind the site that makes the content stand out
- You don’t have to be the best in the world. You just need to express your unique point of view
- Become the person online you always wanted to become – fully embrace your passions and obsessions, and then use them to market yourself
- Tell people what your purpose and your mission in. If I go to your about page, how long will take me to find the purpose of your site? Is it clear within the first seconds, or do I have to read through endless paragraphs to find out? The more concise and kick-ass your story, the easier it will be for your readers to promote you
Don’t be afraid of failure
- You love what you do, so who cares what others think
- Don’t give up easily if you feel like no one is reading, it takes time
- Blogging is a marathon, not a sprint
- Believe in yourself. Believe that you can do it. Believe that you will make it sooner or later, it is just a matter of time
Help people, build fans one by one
- Connect with people that are looking for your knowledge and experience. Help a few people at a time, build your subscribers one by one
- Twitter marketing is perfect for this. Do a search on a keyword related to what you do and start helping people
Tipping point: you have so many fans that they help spread the word and the viral effect starts happening
- As long as you make your content easy to share, the more people that like what you do the more people they will spread your idea to and increase your traffic
- People identify with style and become members of your community. Once you have built a community you can have a powerful influence
You can do it as well, you just need to be hungry for it and you just need to stop reading and start doing something about it! Being ignored is the kiss of death in the blogosphere. But by flavoring your awesome site with your unique personality, you’ll dramatically stand out from the crowd and burn your personal brand into our global consciousness. What are you doing to make your personal brand (and your site) stand out?