Standing Out in the (Blogging) Crowd

Two hundred and fifty million Blogs and counting.

How does one stand out in a virtual sea of anonymity?

It may be easier to debate the angels on the head of a pin analogy, but I’ll give it a try.

  Without dwelling on the obvious, plenty of articles already lay out the formula for getting your Blog noticed.  For the most part, common sense tactics prevail; you don’t need the IQ of a theoretical physicist, rather a pinch of fortitude and a sprinkle of stick-to-itiveness.  Basic things like ensuring original content, a welcoming page layout, practical (useful) information, knowing your audience, regular posting, and engaging readers, is crucial.  But many of us already do this.

Does this mean we stand out?

Personally, I don’t believe so.

So what’s the answer?

Simple.

Write whatever the hell you feel like.

But there is a caveat.  You have to write from the heart.  Always.  Accessing your personal strengths and experiences, using them as tools in your work, is what makes your writing unique.  Finding your voice, and not taming it, is essential.  Take the opportunity to reveal your personality, your true self, and build that intimacy with your readership.  Choose topics you’re genuinely interested in, or at least have a strong opinion on.  Writing a ‘How-to Blog’, or a ‘Top Ten list’ on a topic you’re not particularly passionate about may get you traffic, but it won’t make you stand out.  Your goal is to impact the reader.  While there may be a slew of previously published articles on your topic of choice, if you write from the heart, odds are your end-game will be unique, original, and compelling.

 Another tactic is to pick a contentious topic, choose a side, and write with passion.  Stick to your viewpoint.  No wavering, no Waffle House.  Writing on the fence, trying to mitigate dissent, becomes watered down tripe in the end.  Controversy is your friend.  People remember controversy.  Think Howard Stern.

 

ice-cream-cone-writingAvoid writing vanilla posts.  Vanilla is boring, it’s what we all do, say and write.  We want idiosyncratic.  Great fiction writers ‘tell on themselves’ through their writing, they divulge their most private thoughts and fears, embarrassing moments, gaffes, sexual failures – all the things that make for memorable writing.  Forget vanilla, we’re bored with vanilla.  Shoot for mocha mint almond brownie fudge.

Abandon the fluff.  I’ve read a lot about the correlation between frequent posting and successful blogs.  Volume has its merit, but quality sets you apart from others.  If you have the time and energy to post daily, by all means, do so.  But if you find yourself stretching your creative limits, stop.  I’d sooner read one hard hitting, straight-from-the-heart piece, than 5 mediocre place fillers that leave minimal impact.

Different blogs require different tactics.  Understood.  I realize my suggestions don’t apply to everyone.  Writing a post on ‘Depression’, or ‘the Zika Virus’ can probably do without the controversy or humour part.  There’s a limit to creative license.  Then again if you don’t care about your target audience, or you’re not concerned with gaining readership, go for it.  With that kind of creative freedom, you’re bound to strike gold.  And when you do, drop me a line, I’d love to have a look.

The sea of anonymity can be a desolate place.  Commitment, determination and an honest approach to writing is one way of navigating those waters.  As long as you write what you want.

 Sound advice from a novice (said no person ever).  You may disagree with my argument and that’s fine.  Successful bloggers use an array of tactics, some I’ve overlooked, some I’ve omitted.  Take my recommendations with a salt grain.  And please, feel free to comment, pro or con, I’m all ears.

 

young-mel-gibson
One final tip.  Choose your personal avatar wisely.  Your image speaks volumes.  If you’re currently using an obscure photo of Natalie Portman, or of a young Mel Gibson, hoping no one will notice, someone will.

Until next time,

 

32 thoughts on “Standing Out in the (Blogging) Crowd

  1. Mike seriously well written, & very helpful newbie bloggers/authors…. I will take down points which ‘d like to implement to make my blog post better than before…. there is always a chance to improve n evolve isn’t it friend….. n friend like you is a friend indeed .
    Thanks for sharing.

    Hey don’t forget to check my blog…. as a friend it’s a request.
    Keep in touch…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I haven’t reached my one year mark deciding that as far as I have been bloggers are the most delightful, supportive, most importantly love to help and share. Wonderful read and thanks for the advice and tips.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. [ Smiles ] The nice thing is, that there is a market for everyone; since bloggers have various tastes.

    Be true to yourself by posting about the things that you are passionate about.

    Also, I wish you all the best with your blog!

    Like

  4. Reblogged this on The Writer's Healing Room and commented:
    I am a new blogger n the author of the book, “the journey of my soul”This blog is great it speaks to what I believe in my writing as well.
    I began yesterday. I mean ia getting likes but no comments. Comments n likes bring traffic to your page as well. Again great article. My blog the writers healing room I welcome your comments.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Iam a new blogger on WordPress. Com, the writers healing room. Com as of yesterday and I came across your page. I really enjoyed your piece and I totally agree.
    I mean people are doing for liking than commenting on my new page.
    I really like to k ow why the person liked and I ask for comments and nothing. I am welcoming, you to pay a special visit to my page and comment and like because I love to hear what someone feels. Again your article is great😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Absolutely. Problem is there is just so much information out there, people are selective on what they pause to actually read. Bounce rates for my site are quite high, but then again, I’m all over the place on my topics, so this accounts for some of the reasons why people don’t explore the site more.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True, there is alot of information out there. However, we are all unique in our presentation of the same information. Also, people want to feel a connection to one’s blog as well. and its good to like a post however,comments by the individual reading it and the blogger responding helps people feel connected. In other words,there is room for us all if we just pay it forward.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. the truth is as writers we have to write what were passionate about, whats relative,and also know our audience as well. if a person is a painter, go and find blog pages on painting and read their material and write a post.
    this is just my own thoughts. I am sure you agree.

    Like

  7. Thanks for writing this.. As a new blogger, I am still struggling to understand what appeals my readers. Sometimes the posts I love, do not get much reviews. But still, I write with all my heart and about things I really believe in. It is a journey that requires a lot of patience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m just over 6 months in and I find it’s still often hit or miss with regards to popularity of posts. I realized that ‘how to’ posts, especially with regards to writing or blogging, will have a slightly greater appeal, and more clicks down the road. Trouble is, I’m more interested in writing entertaining posts, than educational. Oh well. Best of luck and thanks for commenting!

      Like

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