You’re not alone in the blogosphere, you never are, in fact. The best guess is that there are plenty more blogs in existence than there are people currently living in North America. In fact, Statista estimates that there’re over 390 million Tumblr blogs alone. Hence, it’s safe to say that the total number of blogs is much higher.
So how do you plan to stand out from the crowd?
In this game content is key, and it’s so easy for bloggers to lose track of their goals and intentions in the pursuit of popular posts that’ll catapult them to the pinnacle of Google’s rankings.
Sometimes people think that there’s an infused formula that picks the lock of the door to relevance – but if you’re looking for a cheat code to get onto the first page of search engines, then the chances are that you have the wrong priorities in this business.
Here I’ve come up with seven often neglected points to consider when creating the ideal content for your audiences.
Educate, Inform, Entertain
Okay, so I’ve borrowed that line from the mission statement of the BBC, I know – but their values are intrinsically linked to the world of blogging.
Never allow yourself to neglect the quality of your content. Unless your audience are egomaniacs, they won’t want to read content that emphasises what they already know – you need to teach them something new, to add different viewpoints to your work.
The first rule of journalism is to back up everything you say – source every critique or piece of praise. Respect the readers more by citing more than just your opinions on a divisive topic, bringing different voices into your writing shows how resourceful you are and helps eliminate any conjecture.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be entertaining! Reading blogs is a fun form of escapism for a lot of people, and they’ll be hoping that your website will make for an enjoyable experience. Try to keep conversational, add some fun analogies, some (ideally) good puns.
Help your audience achieve their goals
It’s important to understand that your readers are looking to get something out of you, to learn something they didn’t already know that will benefit their lives.
Here, you need to ask yourself what your audience wants, and how you can go about delivering it to them in your content. Even while writing your piece, continue looking to resolve any unanswered questions that a reader may have.
If your site focuses on products and services, offer useful reviews and suggest alternatives. If you’re writing topical content, include multiple arguments that give the reader enough information to come to their own conclusion. Even if you’re talking about baking – make sure your recipes are ready and accessible.
Backlinks are what puts your site on the map, write content that others will be keen to share.
Write articles that are designed to be shared across the web. This can be done by producing topical posts on relevant news stories, or creating referential lists that can be linked to from similar websites.
Forge an identity for your brand
It’s imperative for your audience to know what they’re getting when they visit your site.
People like familiarity, and by running consistent writing styles and allowing your personality to flow through the piece you can create a recognisable identity for your work which can entice readers into looking at more of your writing through content upgrades premium services.
Go where your competitors are yet to tread
Mediakix estimates that there are over 440 million blogs in the world today, so how do you plan to create a blog stand head and shoulders above your competitors?
Market research goes a long way here – use search engines to find questions that haven’t been answered. It also helps to have a good relationship with your audience to find out what they would like to see addressed in your posts.
By listening to your readership, you can really gain the inside track on producing content that, for whatever reason, hasn’t been touched upon in enough detail elsewhere.
Utilise your USP
Even the world’s biggest experts are capable of being taught something new. Find your strongest fields of knowledge (USP) and utilise them as a tool to teach others – you may be surprised at how resourceful and referential you are in your primary concentration.
Bring experience into the mix, by drawing on your personal trials and tribulations, you not only add your personality to your piece but you it helps to illustrate your stories in a way that no author can do.
The focus of your blog is a dynamic one, with news stories often bringing all kinds of subjects into relevance on a daily basis. Even if your blog is about ancient history, the goalposts are regularly changing – just this month the Great Pyramid of Giza was found to contain a previously undiscovered mysterious room nestled deep inside the catacomb.
Basically, it pays to keep in touch with current affairs within your blog while sticking to its primary name. People want a reaction to a developing story within your area of expertise to help them digest what’s happening.
If the topic is big enough, then the newsworthiness allows the piece to carry the possibility of going viral too – all it takes is for a few visitors to enjoy your content enough to share it and suddenly you’re an overnight sensation!
Editor’s note: e27 publishes relevant guest contributions from the community. Share your honest opinions and expert knowledge by submitting your content here.