So far in the Blog Expert Series, we’ve explored how to find your niche market, what people want and how to give your blog the X Factor.
Now what does it take to be really different…
The World Wide Web has been operating for a long time. There are thousands of sites online covering every imaginable topic, and the creation of new sites is as simple as pointing and clicking, and then putting something live.
With this amount of information, sites for people to visit and new businesses cropping up every second, how do we stand out from the proverbial crowd?
In the last post in the Blog Expert Series, we looked at ways which we can discover our unique qualities as blog owners, in order to produce something spectacular that will ultimately raise money.
This time, I want to explore the idea of difference.
What does it take to be different enough online to attract attention and gain loyal traffic?
How do we find the courage to stand out, without compromising ourselves?
Do you remember when you were young, and wanted to fit in?
Our teenage years are spent buying the right clothes, having the right haircut, speaking the right language and doing the right sports to make sure we can blend in with our peer group as seamlessly as possible. Being different is rarely commended in this environment, as people who stand out serve to draw attention to themselves and risk ridicule.
When you consider some of the people who have stood out over the years, do you now think of them with respect, or derision?
As we get older, difference becomes a quality to court rather than scorn. In the business environment, people who have the courage to stick their heads above the parapet can either gain a better view, or be shot down. It takes a peculiar sort of confidence and bravery to decide to go against the flow and choose to be deliberately different.
In the celebrity world, people who are different are applauded. Think of people like Elton John, Elvis Presley or Jim Carey. These people made a fortune from being quirky, unusual or downright odd.
Less successful musicians and actors have chosen not to court their difference, and end up being forgotten in favor of newer, more interesting celebrities.
The reason is that society likes difference.
We find it interesting. Knowing that, we can apply the rule to our roles as small business owners, and use the principal of difference to distinguish ourselves.
Why blogs need to be a little bit different
Difference is exciting, unusual, and engaging.
People tune in to things which ignite our imagination because we are looking to be entertained as well as informed. ‘Sticky’ blogs tend to surprise and delight people, in addition to providing information or selling a killer product online.
As a small business owner looking to make revenue online through blogging, the principle of being different should be one of the first things to consider when establishing who, and what, you will be online.
Difference comes in many guises, all of which have the potential to make your business a success.
You could offer an unusual product, or set yourself apart through innovative navigation, or viral advertising. As a unique individual, you have all the difference necessary within yourself to set your business apart and shine.
From a personal perspective, I like using humor and telling stories to be different in my online work. I am a ballroom dancer, a dog owner, a parent and husband. I draw on all of these elements to make my blog a little different.
What are your unique characteristics?
How can you pull them in to your business plan to set you apart from the thousands of other sites out there?
Who do you want to be, online?
If you can establish this for yourself and your blog, you’ve cracked the principle of difference and successfully found your innovative, engaging, and ultimately different way of running your business.
In the next Blog Expert Series we shall discuss how to find gaps in the market to fulfill your potential.
Here’s the links to the previous Blog Expert Series posts:
Blog Expert Series: The Surprising Decision 77% Of Bloggers Get Wrong
Blog Expert Series: Be The Blog Every Blogger Envies
Blog Expert Series: Give Your Blog The X Factor
How are you different?
Please share your views in the comments below.
I decided I would encompass all things lavender after researching other lavender blogs. The only ones I found were mainly lavender farms that maybe wrote a few articles on their lavenders and had a farm shop to sell their products. Then I found cooking sites that had a few lavender recipes and some aromatherapy sites that had an article or two about essential oils. By encompassing all the uses for the lovely lavender; if people visit my blog they can see all the aspects and so far I am getting a wide range of visitors rather than only gardeners or cooking enthusiasts. It sure is an interesting ride that should only get more interesting as I introduce a few new things soon.
Patricia Perth Australia
You really have done your homework. You have picked a great niche that is unique and in demand.
Now…you have to exploit all your hard work and give your customers what they want in your unique way!
I feel like I’ve accomplished the ‘unique’ portion of this. I have a real estate blog that focuses on humor and story-telling from the view-point of a Realtor (we see weird stuff. it’s a bounty of material.). I feel pretty confident that I’ve established my voice. I blog regularly (three times a week). And yet I’m still struggling with that last little piece: readership. I know they say ‘if you build it they will come’. But I feel like I’ve built it, now where is everyone?
I am assuming you have built a blog around a subject peopel want to read about.
Now…you have to market. Have you tried guest posting?
Your insights is this post are so valuable because it helps us identify key areas in ourselves that are afraid to stand out from the crowd. We can be afraid of becoming individuals and unique in our personal way.
For me that is when I am unwilling to let my light shine. This for me is a lack of faith in both God and myself. Not believing that the light inside me is perfect or that someone else’s light is better than mine is self sabotaging. Taking steps to transform this belief is the first and foremost empowering thing I or anyone can do for themselves. This is a stellar post with a message that can free the world. Thank you…
I can say…you will never be perfect (nor will anyone else).
What you do today…some will love and some will hate.
It will be the same when you stand out from the crowd…so you have nothing to lose.
Definitely something different is required in your blog to pull the attention throughout. Even though everyone is jumping in to Internet business now a days but yet also only some people succeed to make out equal to their 9 to 5 or takeover them and i think they do it because they are somewhat different than us, they do things rather than just keep reading on what works and what not.
I tend to believe that whether you’re looking to make money or not, you have to be willing to be somewhat different. I try to show personality in some fashion, whether I’m talking about something technical or telling one of my stories. I hope that builds a loyal audience, and I hope it ends up building a large audience as well.
Showing personality and sharing your stories is a great way to be different.
Have you looked at how different you can be in sharing those stories / personality?
Andrew, I’m nothing but different! Stop by & take a look; I’m betting that, overall, you ain’t seen no one like me! lol
I have been over a quite a few times. I think you wrote about one of my guest posts once.
I did, back in March; I didn’t remember until you reminded me.
You are difinitly right on this one. I am still working on the different part, but feel that if I keep trying different things one of these days I will nail it. It is also a lot of fun trying to be different. We all have to remember to be ourselves and not try to be something that someone else wants us to be or we think they want us to be. I encourage everyone to try being just themselves and have fun. You have some ever sound advise here Andrew. Thanks many bunches. Debbie
I must admit I do enjoy and look forward to your videos.
Thank you Andrew. I’ll keep the videos coming if you keep up the great job of teaching us all how to be better bloggers.
Have a great day.
There are so many blogs out there that touch on the same topics. In order to stand out, you really have to find a unique voice. The reality is that the subject matter is mostly the same, but if you can approach it in a different way or give a different perspective, you can generate interest in your blog.
You are right in what you say…I just think some people struggle to find the approach that is different from the rest.
To make money online you should have something unique for the follower. Don’t try to write on a topic which focus on people interest only & it should be according to your interest also.
I am happy to read this!
Because i know my blog is different than the others 😀
And the most important is, i really enjoy what i am doing and decide to stick and continue what i already have.
Thanks Andrew, love your blog 😀
Enjouying what you are doing is crucial and I’m so pleased you do!
One of the key things I’ve learned as a blogger and was re-iterated at BlogWorld is to offer value and put your reader first all the time.
Yes have your own unique voice, add humour and make it relevant, but more than anything provide value by solving a problem.
Looking forward to hearing more about your ballroom dancing adventures.
I haven’t wriiten about my Ballroom dancing for quite a while…you have got me thinking!
Well you should I think. Every aspect of life you love is worthy of a thought provoking and relevant post!
the X factor is everywhere , difference is the key absolutely , the post where ever you put it is a mirror of you , it will be showing the way you think and how experienced you are with the domain you’re dealing with ,and even how good your next post will be !!!!!
“even how good your next post will be !!!!!”
Now that is what I call a powerful statement!
I think most of the comments made here have said it all but I think the challenge is finding that uniquely YOU factor. That I believe takes time
While reading your post I immediately thought, “that applies to more than just a blog.” Being different and standing out (in a good way) is a means to succeed on many levels.
Personally I thought about email marketing campaigns. Nobody wants to read #405 of the same kind of campaigns. Being different — again in a good way — matters a lot, too.
While it seems to be risky to be different, it’s the only way to ever find and claim your unique spot.
Understand exactly what you are saying.
You just need to look at Lady GaGa
Being different is good as long as you know what you’re doing. Look at Steve Jobs, who just recently passed away, he quit is job at Oracle because he want to change the world with his visions. He never hesitated because he wants to have control of his destiny. He was different and he brought mobile industry into the next level. Just like in blogging, be different and be innovative. We don’t know that you might be the next Steve Jobs in the world of internet.