You decided to start a blog. You have spent time designing it and creating posts; now you want more. You want your blog to be exposed to a larger audience. You want it to be noticed. However, with hundreds of new blogs being started everyday, how can you make your blog stand out. Here are some tips to help your blog stand out from the crowd.
First things first, and this might be obvious, but you need to ‘be you‘. Readers connect with real people and they will come back to hear your story, so it is important to show them who you really are. There is only one of you, so that is your USP, tap into it, that will be the reason people will come back to your blog.
Write good content
Make sure you write quality posts. Again it should be obvious, but all your posts should serve a purpose; share your family life, preserve your memories, solve a readers problem or provide a service, but they should do something. Writing about a trip to the supermarket, for example, would tick none of these boxes (unless there was an angle). Before you hit publish think, is there a point to this post? Creating content that it is helpful will ensure people keep coming back.
Realise the power of good visuals
Visuals are so important to a blog. I will be honest, I can click on a blog and click straight back off it if I don’t like the aesthetics. I am so disappointed if I like the content, but I find the blog is visually unappealing. Does that make me shallow? Probably, but there are so many competing blogs, that to capture my attention for a return visit or possibly a mention on my blog, the blog really has to be the full package. Good visuals include both graphics for post titles and photography. Avoid dark, small images they really aren’t appealing.
Build links outside blogging
A popular post and one that would be noticed, could be an interview with an industry expert, this is not necessarily a blogger.
Create the post with your social media networks in mind
Make sure that it has a pinnable image (vertical, text on) if it is a post for Pinterest (i.e useful to others). Attention grabbing headline, that can be shortened to 140 characters for Twitter. Think about how you will market the post when you are creating it. I wish I had done this from the start. Now I have lots of potentially pinnable posts with no pinnable image, and not enough time to update them all.
Collaborate with other bloggers
Working with other bloggers is beneficial in so many ways. I wrote a post about collaborations recently, so check that one out. They are a great way to become involved in the community side of blogging, they can increase your traffic and ultimately increase your following.
Round up post
This must be done in a genuine way, but if you admire bloggers in a certain field, then why not write a post about your top 5 fashion bloggers (for example) and give them a shout out. They will be flattered (who wouldn’t be?!) and they may even share your post. More importantly though, you will then be on their radar.
Get your SEO right
Some people will find your blog through Google searching. But only if you get your SEO right. Investigate which keywords people in your niche are searching for and tailor your posts to include these keywords.
Choose the right blog theme
This point partly ties in with the visuals comment above, but it is more than just aesthetics; you need a theme that is attractive yes, but functional too. There are free themes, but for a small amount of money (mine was $50) you can purchase a theme that you can customise to a greater extent than with the free options. If people come to your blog and have a tough time navigating, they won’t go away talking about you for the right reasons.
Make your blog clear and easy to read
I personally feel that text should be black and the background the text is on should be a light colour. You can always have colour at the sides, as I have. You need your blog to look professional and not give people a headache when they are trying to read a post. Just because you like orange and purple doesn’t mean your posts have to be written in those colours. Read other blogs and see which ones you enjoy reading more from a visual point of view, this might give you some ideas of what would work for your blog.
Participate in the community
Blogging can take up lots of your time and it can be easy to focus on solely your own blog. However, no one is going to notice you if you do that. You need to comment on other people’s posts and have conversations on social media. Why not retweet people’s content, share on your Facebook page, but make sure it is meaningful and genuine. I have made lots of connections and amazing friends through social media and commenting. One of my best friends, Amy, came to my attention because she started to leave lovely, meaningful comments on my blog. She stuck in my mind, I visited her blog and we struck up a friendship.
Submit your posts to submission sites
There are many sites that allow you to post your content with links to your blog. For example Stumbleupon and Reddit. Using these effectively can really drive traffic to your blog and increase it’s profile. If people like what they see when they visit, they will come again.
By guest posting on another platform you are opening yourself up to a wider audience, which will hopefully pop over to your blog to read more. Guest posting on an experienced bloggers blog can be a great way for newer bloggers to gain exposure.
Some linky party hosts pick their favourite post each week and give them a shout out the following week. This can be great exposure and get all the people joining in to be exposed to your post. It also gives you a lovely backlink. You can also be featured on various other platforms, some bloggers showcase new bloggers or you may be featured on another site, for example Tots100 fresh five.
This doesn’t mean everyday, but set yourself a schedule that works for you and stick to it. If people like you, they want to know they will be able to read new content regularly. Otherwise harsh as it is, if they check back on your blog and nothing is there they may well forget about you and move on. Google also likes regularly updated content.
Go self hosted
This may not be for everyone, but then if you are reading this post you want to be noticed. To earn money, and to signal to people that you are serious, your blog needs to be self hosted (if on WordPress). As soon as I went self hosted, PRs started to approach me.
Getting your blog noticed by other bloggers, readers and brands does take time and quite a lot of effort. Not everyone can write a post that goes viral. Most of us have to build our networks and use the points I have highlighted here to raise our profile.