By Alana Brooks It seems like everyone and their great grandmother is blogging these days, so how the heck are you supposed to stand out? While I'm no scientist or math genius, I do have a few tips to share with you.
Disclaimer: These are my personal opinions and are in no way meant to criticize others.
- Come Up with a Killer Name - Your blog title is probably the first thing a reader sees when he or she goes to your site. They type it into their browser and it (should) appear loud and clear at the top of your page. Make sure it's unique enough to make it stand out, without it being too strange and hard to remember. Length is important as well, as a 15 word blog name doesn't exactly roll easily off the tongue. One additional thing to keep in mind, avoid common blog title terms; musings, random, thoughts, etc. may seem to describe your blog, but they also describe everyone else's blog. Looking back at the first stab I took at my blog, The Good Girl Gone Blog, my original tagline was "the life and times of a college co-ed", which is pretty cliche and embarrassing!
- Step Away from the Template- While the standard Blogger or Wordpress templates may seem like the way to go in the beginning (content is the most important part, right?), you'll want to think outside the box in terms of your blog design. Sure, a template is a great start, but make sure you add your own flavor to your blog's design. Try a customized header, or unique social media buttons. Not a designer? No worries, neither am I! If you're not lucky enough to be dating your web designer like me, ask around. There are TONS of freelancers out there looking to make a little bit of cash on a quick project like a blog header.
- Utilize Media and Make it Look Good- Whether you're an avid photographer, videographer or just good with photoshop, a strong media component can definitely make your blog stand out. While you don't need to have expensive equipment, you can definitely tell when someone takes a photo on an iPhone vs. a DSLR camera. If your blog has a heavy photography focus (fashion and food related blogs especially), I recommend investing in a decent camera. With the current popularity of YouTube, why not try your hand at vlogging? Adding non-text content to your blog can only make it more interesting.
- Create Original Content- Even with a great name and design, the basis of your blog is still the content. While re-blogging or tumbling others' content is often easier, it doesn't help you stand out. Even if you do a lot of re-blogging, make sure to add in some of your own original content, whether it be entire blog posts or even catchy post titles or captions.
- Use a Series or Meme of your Own- Looking to take it to the next level? Why not create your own weekly series or Meme? One of my favorites, Awkward and Awesome Thursday, is so simple and catchy that it's gotten pretty big. Design a badge to go with your Meme, ask others to add it to their own blogs and link up with their own submissions. It's a fun way to get your name out to other blogs while creating original content and staying true to your own voice.
These are just my tips for standing out. I'm sure you have TONS of your own.
How do you make your blog stand out in the crowd? What are some blogs that you think do a good job standing out?