Today, if you’re interested in starting your own blog, there are quite a few resources out there showing you how to create a site from scratch, how to crazily grow your traffic, how to earn a lucrative side hustle income from it without even blogging regularly, and so on.
However, the real problem from the very beginning is actually how do you make your blog stand out from the crowd.
As far as I can say, no blog was an overnight success. Mine, too. It took a solid four years before I saw my audience really take off, but then the pandemic just spread and all of the hard work was washed off like nothing (I’m talking about my Europe travel blog, btw).
Anyway, there is no lottery game here, starting a blog and hoping it will get thousands of view per month and generate a few thousands bucks per month. The success of my blog is the reflection of the effort I put into it.
For the first year, I didn’t earn any thing. Not a single penny.
Once I started treating it like a job, which is a full year later, everything changed. When I started putting all of my energy into the blog, investing (both time and money) on it, things started to happen.
So, here’s how to make your blog stand out from the crowd
1. Know yourself
Who are you? What is your interest? What do you stand for?
Before you can make your blog stand out from the crowd, it’s essential to look at what makes you YOU.
2. What’s your “why”
Why is your article important? Why do the readers have to read it?
The key is that you have to trigger their interest in the topic, thus keep reading through your writing.
For me, I wanted to create a blog to shared my personal travels and gave others insight into how travelling in Europe be like. As the years have gone on, that main “why” has stayed unchanged, and I’ve even expanded upon it!
3. What are your goals?
If your goal is to get-rich-quick, maybe blogging is not the ultimate way to do it. Of course I didn’t mean to say that you should earn any money from your blog. In fact, you should be able to earn from it, as long as you’re determined to work hard and follow your passion.
Set a specific goal – to be famous, to become an influencer, to be able to build up your own blogging empire – whatever you want.
And stick with it!
4. Create content on things you love
Just because a topic is hot, it doesn’t mean you’ll get noticed once you blog about it. Thus, finding a niche is critical in the already saturated world of blogging.
Fall in love with whatever topic you’re going to write about, and your readers will also feel it.
5. Who is your audience?
Figure out who is reading your blog and spend some time learning about audience personas – it’s save you tons of time writing irrelevant content and watch your audience not coming back.
6. Have a personal style
Think about all the worldwide famous brands you can recognise, Nike, Coca Cola, IKEA, Apple, etc.
They all have a consistent tone of voice, fonts, and a logo. This should be your goal. Find a style, both in writing and visual, that reflects you and your blog as a brand, and keep it the same across the board.
7. Focus on your strengths
Let’s make it short: if you’re not comfortable acting in front of the camera, YouTube probably isn’t your thing. That is why I keep blogging and try to stay away from the video stuff, even when my readers keep asking when I will start my own channel there.
Nope. Not my cup of tea!
At the end of the day, however, it is better to leave some fields to experts. Nobody can master everything.
8. Engage with your readers
The easiest thing you can do to engage with your readers is to reply their comments on your blog. And then later, start networking with other bloggers and comment on other people’s content.
Blogging is all about building connection and expanding your audience. Simple as.
9. Try different platforms
While Facebook is the biggest platform for me at the moment, maybe for you, too, it is only going to get me so far when it comes to blog traffic.
You also have to focus on SEO and build up your audience on other platforms like Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, etc. that actually drive readers to your blog.
10. Pay attention to aesthetic photos
Of course you have to stay focus on your strengths, but it doesn’t mean you can abandon the rest of the blogging job, including the design of your site, the photos, the UX/UI stuff, etc.
If you want a blog that stands out from the rest, high-quality photography is crucial. Either learn how to take beautiful images, or you can simply invest in some stock photos subscription and save yourself time to do other thing (read: to really focus on your strengths)!
11. Maintain a steady source of income
Starting a blog doesn’t mean you have to ditch your 9-to-5 job immediately, unless you already have a very concrete plan in your head, which can help you earn a full income from blogging after one month.
Well, I don’t think so!
So, it’s important to keep a steady source of income in the beginning, either from your current job or your freelancing gigs, until you can see your blog’s income becomes a real thing.
By this, you will not have the pressure of blogging for earning (money) and let your creativity, your writing, your content, flow more naturally.
Better content = more readers = more traffic = more chances to make money blogging!
12. Know what other people are doing
Actually, it’s just another way of saying, “you must understand your competitors!”
Understanding your competitors knowing what your fellow bloggers are up to is the best way to keep updated with the latest trend in your field, find inspiration, and also to network with other bloggers in the same niche.
Not because you are blogging about the same topic means you guys are competitors, to be honest.
It can be a benefit for both sides, since you’ll know all the ins and outs, who to work with and who not, and even how much you should charge a brand for collaboration if you have somebody else to refer to.
13. Have time for yourself
Burnout is real. Been there, done that!
Since I have three blogs for myself and around 30 (thirty) other blogs as my side business, I sometimes spread myself too thin.
The result? It’s not easy to make anything remarkably creative when you are burnout. At some point, my content became so bland and boring that it couldn’t help make my blog stand out from the crowd, aka the competitive travel blogging business!
Get offline. Do things for yourself. Find other hobbies that have nothing to do with your blog or the internet (mine is gardening, fyi). Learn to cook a new dish. Mow your lawn, even. Just get off your computer and come back refreshed!