Category: Design

Make Your Blog Stand Out

There are so many blogs out there, if you want yours to get noticed and read by many people, you will need to make your blog stand out.

Make Your Blog Stand Out

How To Make Your Blog Stand Out

In order for your blog to stand out from the rest, there has to be something different about it, something unique. It could be something like a catchy blog name or URL, an amazingly organized design, a feature or product that’s different, or content that is a cut above the rest.

For most topics, you can find thousands of blogs on the subject. First you weed out those that haven’t been updated recently, then ones whose design or writing skills make you want to scratch out your eyes. However you are probably still left with thousands or at least hundreds of blog on the topic of choice. How do you choose which one you want to read or subscribe to?

Whether you are researching an idea for a new blog, or just trying to breathe some life back into a current blog, you need to take the time to see what your competition is doing. In general I suggest being friends with other bloggers and helping each other out, but if you are looking to monetize your blog, or even if you just want a large following, you will need to use a little competitiveness to help you out.

What Is the Competition NOT Doing?

Look at blogs that post on topics similar to you. What are they NOT doing that they should or could be doing? Whatever that is, YOU do it.

Let’s say you run a blog that covers Mexican recipes. You look at similar blogs and you both have a recipe archive categorized by ingredient, you both use large, well taken photographs and you both make it easy to print or save your recipes. If you were looking for Mexican cooking, what would you want to see that the other blogs are NOT doing? Be creative. Perhaps a review of Mexican restaurants in your area? Perhaps expand into Mexican culture posts or Mexican decor or crafts? Perhaps you can include two versions of you recipes. One could be for those who like Mexican foods but need a milder version of the dishes. You want it to be different remember, but still helpful.

Long Tail Keywords

I’m going to get just a wee bit technical for a moment, don’t go away. Long Tail Keywords (LTK) means when someone uses a search engine and types in a longer term. Instead of searching for “recipes” or even “Mexican recipes” they might look for “Mexican recipes with avocado” or “mild Mexican recipes” or even “Mexican recipes kids can eat”.” The longer the keyword set, the less pages that come up when it is searched for. This also means that if you configure your blog SEO right you have a better chance of showing up higher in the search engine results (and hopefully getting more visitors.)

Think in terms of LTK when figuring out how you can make your blog stand out. Think of your topic and then think of how you can make it more specific. Now how can you cover one or more of those more specific topics or initiate a new feature, gift or service that meets those needs?

Using the Keyword Tool to your Advantage

You can even use the Google Adwords Keyword tool to help you think of things. It will tell you what people are searching for related to your topic. Pay attention to those LTKs.

Just type in your topic in and click search. You can ignore the rest of it. If you login to your Google account you won’t have to submit a CAPTCHA code first, (those random strings of letters and numbers you have to enter correctly before you can submit.)

googlekeywordtool1

When you search, you will be given a list of keyword ideas that are similar to what you inputted. This is where you can get some ideas. Change the word/phrase and search again to get more ideas.

googlekeywordtool2

For example from the above, healthy Mexican recipes or Mexican dessert recipes stand out. Is my blog competition covering those topics? If not, perhaps I want to do more of those recipes. To stand out more, I could offer a free e-book on email subscription of Mexican dessert recipes. Or perhaps I can go the extra mile and once a month, have my readers vote on an ingredient, and then I have to create a healthy Mexican recipe using that ingredient for the next month.

A search for Mexican food gives me more ideas (see below.) Perhaps I can post about a Mexican/Spanish food ingredient once a month and feature recipes with that ingredient all month. I could keep a page on my blog of all past ingredient posts and the recipes that go with it. Instead of just grouping my recipes and tagging by ingredient like my competition, I would be educating readers about the foods. For example a post on avocado could include history and where it grows, how to choose one in the store, how to store it, cut it and use it.

googlekeywordtool3

Use Your Own Experience

Think of the blogs that stand out as unique in YOUR mind. What about them do you think it is? Sometimes a blog can stand out even though you don’t like the blog too. Remember though, standing out isn’t everything, you need to connect with your readers and provide quality content as well.

What blogs stand out for me?

Parenting Illustrated With Crappy Pictures – I think it’s obvious why this stands out. There are other blogs that talk in an off sort of way about their kids, but this is the only one that does it with stick figure pictures.

Cake Wrecks – I’m not up on any other cake blogs that might be out there but I’m pretty sure I’ve never heard of another one that shows the bad side of cake decorating. I’d much rather see these than watch those that make good cakes like Cake Boss and such.

MomComm – Blog about blogging by a woman, but this one stands out because she critiques other blogger’s blogs on her blog (that was a tongue twister.)

Awful Library Books – This one makes me laugh. It showcases old and poorly written or designed books found in actual libraries. Like this one about baby names.

What blog stands out for you?

Continue Reading

Guest Post: From Attraction to Engagement: Why Your Blog Needs Visuals

Why Your Blog Needs Visual Content

Move over content, there’s another new king in town. That’s right. Blogs are starting to make a shift from being completely text-based and now utilizing the power of photos and videos to help solidify the topic.

Many bloggers are realizing that their readers are turned away by blogs that contain only content. Sometimes, their readers just don’t have the time to thoroughly read a long blog post and instead are more attracted to blogs that also contain short videos or images.

If you’re still not sold on the idea of creating more visual-based blogs, let the following information persuade you.

People are visual

I already said that people are more attracted to visuals, but if you don’t believe me, check out the latest moves by the social media powerhouses. When Facebook made the switch to Timeline, one of the biggest changes was the addition of a large cover photo. Why? Because it’s what attracts someone to a page.  And both Facebook and Twitter have made it much easier for users to upload photos and videos to their page.

LinkedIn recently announced that they’re updating their brand pages, and one of the biggest changes is a large photo on the top of page, just like Facebook’s cover photo.

To prove my point even further, sites like Pinterest and Instagram, which are all completely image-based, have quickly grown in popularity.

Visuals are engaging

Visuals can share multiple messages without the need for text. A simple image can portray a thought or idea, and videos can keep your readers’ attention for longer than a text-based blog. Plus, videos can also get your point across much more quickly than the written word, so it’s a great way to reach those people who are stretched for time.

Videos are proven to have a stronger reach on social media sites like Facebook. In fact, posts that contain pictures or videos receive more comments and more likes than those that only use text.

Visuals are attractive

Today, there are more websites and blogs on the Internet than ever before, each one fighting the others for our attention. When your blog contains visuals, you’ll give yourself a better chance of earning more readers. And the more readers your blog has, the more successful your blog will be.

Getting more visuals on your blog is not hard to do. You can easily transform the layout of your blog so that you can add pictures or videos to each one. You can also jump on the infographic bandwagon and create an infographic to share information instead of writing out a long blog post. Or, instead of typing out a blog, grab your video camera and record yourself talking about it. These are all simple ways that you can add visuals to your blog.

Images and videos are important to the success of your blog, and if you’re still only churning out the content without the visuals, you’re readers are not going to stick around for much longer.

 

Provided by the team of SEO consultants at SEOmap. SEOMap has authored a great SEO book which is available for free download on their website.

Continue Reading