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In every business, there are competitors embattled in a constant rivalry to achieve the most sales, customers, or whatever variable is used to measure success. In blogging, that variable is a blog’s number of daily visitors. For a blog to achieve a constantly rising stream of visitors, it’s very important for that blog to stand apart from its competitors. How can a blog individualize itself? There are a few methodologies all bloggers should try, all being useful ways to separate from the pack:
Update Frequently and Consistently
The number one way to attract and keep visitors is to provide engaging content that is updated frequently and consistently. No matter your content type, design, or approach, the quantity of updates does matter. The top blog in your niche, no matter what that niche is, updates very frequently. You don’t want to fall behind. Quality must be upheld, obviously, but no blog will maintain a reader base with a skittish update schedule. Not every blog post has to win the Pulitzer. Turn in something fun and engaging; it’s better to turn in a so-so blog post than none at all.
Guest Post on Other Blogs
Guest posting on other blogs may seem counterintuitive since you’ll be sharing your content and voice with a potential competitor. In the long run, though, guest posts can provide very positive results for separating from competitors. Not only will placing a convenient link to your blog at the end of the guest post encourage others to read your blog, but it will also increase your blog’s SEO strength, since links in guest posts generally have a positive impact on the site being linked to.
Feature a Unique Design
Along with writing tone, design is one of the areas of your blog where you can be experimental. Readers are used to the conventional ‘Home’, ‘Archives’, ‘Contact’, series of links along the header, so try to spice up your various pages and their names. Also, seek out interesting widgets and plugins that will help immerse readers, such as a contact box on your blog’s sidebar or an easy way to connect with the blog on social media. Just make sure to keep the design looking clean. A messy home page will turn readers off immediately.
Host Contests on Social Media
A great way for your blog to gain followers, and in result gain a leg up on competitors, is by hosting contests on social media. When hosting giveaways and requiring entrants to follow your blog on Facebook or Twitter, both parties win. Readers get a chance at winning something cool and your blog gains followers – likely permanently since, if they are entering the contest, they are interested in your blog’s niche in the first place. The newly available Scheduled Tweets function on Twitter makes hosting a contest on social media easier than ever.
Show Personality in Your Writing
Whether you’re humorous, sarcastic, smug, or energetic, make sure that your writing style shows. Bloggers have full poetic license to write any way they’d like, whether it’s witty and humorous or very straight-to-the-point and technical. Most major blogs in their niche have a great layout, consistent updates, and a SEO presence, so separating from competitors is often reliant on quality content, originality, and voice.
Network with Tactfulness and Precision
Networking isn’t simply connecting to bloggers on LinkedIn that you never even spoke to before. Develop actual relationships with bloggers in your niche, not simply by adding them on social media. Instead, send them an e-mail, engage in smart conversation on a mutually interested topic, or compliment their blog without asking for any favors in return. Network without any desperation, and after months of chit-chatting it won’t be out of the question to swap links.
Offer Readers Every Possible Way to Be Updated
Whether it’s via Facebook, Twitter, RSS feeds, or a mailing list, it’s wise to give your blog’s readers every possible method to receive updates from your blog. Everyone has a unique preference for how they’d like blogs to update them, so it’s best to accommodate every available platform. Place RSS, mailing list, and social media widgets visibly on your site’s sidebar, and new readers may gradually become loyal readers.