Starting a blog these days is easy. You can use any number of free website builders to flesh out your site from a preexisting template, and resources like the Blog Starter to learn the fundamentals of good writing, branding, marketing, and distribution.
However, there are millions of blogs that are already popular, and tens of millions of people who would love nothing more than to make a blog successful. Even with a fantastic blog, you’ll find it difficult to stand out from the crowd…
Blog differentiation is one of the best ways to get more attention for your brand, but how can you actually make it your own and differentiate your weblog or blog?
Why Blog Differentiation Is Important
We’ll begin with an explanation of why blog differentiation is important. Why can’t you just capitalize on an existing successful idea or topic?
- Competition avoidance. First, differentiating your blog helps you avoid the competition. Right now, if you choose a broad topic like “bicycles” or “cocktails,” you’re going to be competing with millions of similar people trying to find success in this niche. But if you dig into a much more specific topic with a niche audience, you might only have a handful of competitors to deal with.
- Specialization and appeal. Choosing a unique, specific topic can help you find more relevance with a target audience, and therefore more appeal. The readers of niche, original blogs tend to be much more loyal than followers of generic blogs.
- Memorability. Finally, an original, differentiated blog is going to be much more memorable. People are much more likely to remember original concepts and experiences, which means they’ll be more likely to come back for repeat visits, talk about you brand, and ultimately help you grow.
Methods of Differentiation
There are also many unique ways you can differentiate your blog from those of your competitors:
- Topic. The simplest way is to choose a topic that differs from your competitors’. You can do this by choosing something truly original (which is extremely difficult) or by modifying the topic to be more specific. For example, instead of just having a blog about “bicycles,” you can write about “restoring bicycles from the 1960s” or “how to become a competitive bicyclist when starting with zero experience.” The more specific your topic is, the less competition you’re going to face.
- Locality. One way to make your topic more specific to an audience, and another mode of differentiation, is catering to a local area. There may be a million or more restaurant review blogs out there, but how many are focused on your city? What about your specific neighborhood? You might be able to find a competitive edge by exploring the topic as it relates to your specific area; and if you find success, you can expand in the future.
- Demographic target. It’s possible to differentiate your blog by targeting a different demographic or market sect as well. For example, you could write a blog that introduces newcomers to chess, including basic tactics and openings, or you could write a blog that analyzes pro-level games for experienced chess players. The topics are very similar, but they appeal to different types of people. You might also write about chess differently for children and retirees.
- Content medium. You may be able to differentiate your blog by developing an assortment of different content mediums. Instead of only writing content posts, consider creating infographics, videos, podcasts, and photographs. If you’re diverse or original enough with these materials, you can stand out easily.
- Content style. Consider altering your style to differentiate your blog. There are hundreds of stylistic tweaks you could make to introduce and develop an original voice; for example, you could strive to make your content funnier, or give it a sardonic edge.
- Secondary offers. Your blog can be more than a blog. If you offer other things on your website, you may be able to differentiate yourself with them. For example, your blog may be the main draw, but you may also sell products or services related to your content. If it’s valuable to visitors, it’s going to help you.
- Partnerships. If you’re struggling to find a footprint of your own, consider partnering up with other content creators. You can start a podcast together, collaborate on an eBook, or work together in a way that makes both of your blogs more original and successful.
- The engagement factor. The most successful blogs are ones that engage their readers directly. Sometimes, all it takes to differentiate yourself is a greater commitment to supporting your readers.
Differentiating your blog will prove difficult, especially if you’re already facing significant competition. However, once you carve a unique niche for yourself, you’ll be much more likely to stand out from the crowd and attract an audience that’s all your own. Now go and get started!