What sets you apart from other bloggers? There are millions of bloggers out there, and there are tons of great ones no one has ever heard of. What is the thing that will cause you to be more successful than another blogger who is an equally good writer and has equally interesting content? It’s something you must think about if you’re at all ambitious for your blog to do more than muddle through in obscurity, never receiving the attention it deserves. Chris Garrett recently discussed this question, and suggests that aside from creating unique, innovative content, a writer with “charisma” will automatically stand out from the rest. I agree with Chris, and would like to suggest a few more things that will help your blog to get noticed.
Above all things, networking with other bloggers will do more for your blog than anything else you can put your time into (besides writing great content of course). Spend time developing relationships with other bloggers. Link to others in your niche at every opportunity. Write posts about bloggers you admire. Spend time in forums connecting with bloggers, both within your niche and outside of it. Find ways to be helpful to others with no expectation of anything in return. All of this effort will pay off in the end. Eventually, providing you are writing quality posts, these bloggers will link to you and add you to their blogrolls, which will help build momentum for your site and gain new readership.
You may write the most interesting stuff in the world, but it won’t do you any good if no one knows about it. Use the relationships you’re building through networking to promote your content. Send e-mails to other bloggers letting them know of posts they might be interested in. Submit your posts to social networking sites and ask your friends to help promote them. Use your Twitter account to promote your posts. Don’t be obnoxious about it though- a little self-promotion goes a long way.
The design of your site gives an instant impression to visitors. When you visit sites like NorthxEast or FreelanceSwitch for the first time, for example, you have an immediate impression that the content is probably going to be worth reading. Of course, not all of use have the money to spend on a professionally designed, custom theme, but there are many very reasonable premium themes available that will give your site a custom look for little expense. There are also many excellent free themes that can be easily customized with a logo or other touches that will give your site a unique, sharp, professional look.
Consider two candidates for a job who are equally qualified and interview equally well – if one is dressed inappropriately or sloppily, and the other arrives dressed professionally, the professionally dressed candidate will be the obvious choice for the job. In the same way, the design of your blog can make all the difference in your ultimate success.