6 tips for making your blog stand out

With hundreds of thousands of blogs being created every day, yours will take a lot to stand out in the crowd. These tips have been assembled from years of experience navigating the blogosphere. Stick to these 6 principles and you’ve got a pretty decent chance of making it.

1. Use a custom design

This is less difficult or expensive as you may think. There are tons of beautiful themes and templates available for blogs. Find the one that best suits your needs (see #6) and customize it by adding a unique background, menu, icons, etc.

Using some of the online marketplaces like Graphic River, you can find new images to spice up your design that is both unique and aesthetically pleasing.

2. Give away something (quality) for free

One of my first blogs found success in giving away a premium quality CMS template for free. This helped in almost every component of my blog. It encouraged link building, increased credibility, and encouraged repeat visits.

The investment is well worth the return. Give away a quality asset like a theme, icons, or something else related to your blog topic. You will find an increase in traffic, backlinks and favorable mentions on other sites.

3. Post frequently (reference other article)

This article discusses this topic further, but you should respond to your readers and post often. Don’t flood your blog with content so that readers can’t filter through it all and quality suffers. However, posting on a regular and frequent schedule will build credibility and show readers you can be depended on for quality content.

4. Develop relationships

There’s no subsitute for pounding the internet pavement and building relationships. All relationships matter, but focus on connecting with others who share your passions and topics. I regularly reach out to other blogs that I follow.

Reaching out can be guest blogging, exchanging links or collaborating on a freebie release. (See #2)

5. Be unique

The web is full of duplicative, useless content. There is a special place in hell reserved for those who saturate the web with boring content meant only to encourage ad clicks.

Have you noticed the increase in “list” sites? Mashable.com and Tutorial9 are just some examples of websites that create helpful posts of lists like “100 of the best free WordPress themes”. Your content should be unique, informative and easy to read. If you can do this, the links and traffic will follow.

6. Leave out the excess (focus on the content)

The big content management systems (WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.) offer countless addons and plugins. These can be both helpful and harmful to your blog. Don’t think that the coolest features are necessary. Focus on quality, informative content and leave the fancy sliders and effects out.

7. Be patient

The top blogs were not made in a day. Popularity, traffic, links and credibility are earned over time. If you’re passionate about a topic, you will continue to be motivated by changes and innovations. Be patient, offer consistent quality and useful content that people can expect every time they come back.

24 thoughts on “6 tips for making your blog stand out”

  1. These are some great tips. I have tried to make my blog as nicely constructed as possible, I just worry that I am not providing enough worthwhile content. I am trying my hand at affiliate marketing so I have made my blog providing intuitive recommendations about the best digital products online. I have created a rating system based on a product refund rate, which seems like a great way to measure if a product is really worth purchasing. I hope my readers feel the same, what little readers I have that is. Thanks for providing such great tips. You will probably see me commenting on several of your other posts as I am finding this blog full of extremely useful information :).

  2. Nice list of tips. Giving away something for free. A nice idea. Now I have to figure out what I’m going to give away for free. I think patience is the key to most any success. Hard to pull off.

  3. Very nice write up. Especially #6, people sometimes forget what the web is about – not a bunch of fancy effects, it’s the content that counts.

  4. Great tips. #7 is best. Newbie bloggers think things will pop in a week.. and that’s not reality. give it 3-6 mnths let the search engines find you and start ranking and see how thing are then.

  5. Great tips. These are some of the aspects one should consider if you wanted your blog to stand out from the crowd. I actually like the idea of giving away something for free to attract more visitors to your blog.

  6. I have been trying to implement the free give away and yes, quality matters. We’re in the process of putting a bunch of images in the public domain. We’re hoping it brings the traffic.

  7. Thanks for the reminder. All very solid principles indeed. But as for custom designs, I think this has been overdone. Too slick and too simple, both are not good IMHO. No 7 is spot on – Patience is a great quality to have.

  8. Thanks for the advice. In my experience the best way to get your blog stand out is by having unique content and linking to the popular sites. Also run some kind of promotions

  9. I just sent out a social media checklist for companies to use to manage their social media activity. I posted it in my WordPress blog and it got more traffic than I expected it to. Giving out freebies is the way to go. People will remember you and more importantly will also pass it along to someone else if it is of value.

  10. Personally I use the thesis theme which allows me to make changes easily as I’m not very techy.

    Blogging and seo takes stamina and this is where most people go wrong.

    Can you point me to a part of the site that shows me how to change my header in wordpress so I can install a custom graphic?

    thanks in advance!

  11. Great post, timely too! I’m just getting ready to get our company blog up and running. I do have a question regarding referencing other blogs in your own post. Is it wise to contact the blog-owner first to get permission?

  12. It is always the best to write your own conceptually unique content not the unique text. But still there are chances that some one will copy it from your blog or website. If any one knows how to avoid this theft, please share.

  13. Nice to infoo. Giving away something for free. A nice idea. Now I have to figure out what I’m going to give away for free. I think patience is the key to most any success. Hard to pull off.

  14. Great tips I like it. Most newbies think that it’s as easy as chewing a gum. Like anything in this world, we need the #7 tip you just mentioned, gee thanks =) Well i need help I am checking Utah Homes out looking for a new house to live.

  15. It’s great to keep in mind to have quality over quantity. It is hard though, to be truly unique, but that is what is most appealing about the most popular blogs. These are helpful tips for when I want to start a blog! Thanks!

  16. Great article Dusty! You really did make good points here and it’s worth implementing in to your blogs. I highly believe that this would not only make your blog stand out but also it can make your blog generate money for you. Thank you and more power!

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