After you figure out who it is you want to reach with your blog, it’s time to figure out how to deliver valuable and unique content.
What’s the angle that will capture attention and attract regular readers who eventually become loyal fans?
The following five step guide will help you speak to your intended audience in a way that allows you to develop a distinct voice in your niche or field of expertise, and also facilitates your blogging goals.
1. Check out the Competition
It’s inevitable that you came across your competition when you were identifying your audience.
It doesn’t hurt to take another look however, to make sure you’re not missing other competitors, as well as blogs that are complementary or industry focused.
You may find that the only unique thing about the leading blog in your niche is that they started blogging before everyone else did. While being first has big advantages, a “plain vanilla” market leader should be viewed as an opportunity, not a deterrent.
2. Employ Lateral Thinking
Many people feel that the key to differentiating yourself can only come from off-the-wall creativity. And while lateral thinking is crucial to separating yourself from the norm, a logical justification is also required.
Here’s the thing about lateral thinking—it is creative thinking that also provides a logical bridge within the context of your subject matter. It does not mean coming up with some flaky idea that is divorced from both common sense and the needs of your audience.
3. Identify the Difference
What fresh angle are your competitors missing out on?
Often, you’ll have a clearer view of something that other bloggers are not capitalizing on. They’re too busy writing the blog to see it, or are locked into a certain theme, while you have the benefit of an outside view.
Another tactic is to mentally abandon the way things are currently done in your field. Just as many business innovators draw on best practices from other fields in order to shake up their own, look at other blogging approaches. Will they work in your field?
4. Maintain Your Credibility
Often the exciting new angle we discover pushes us outside our comfort zone— I’d say that’s a prerequisite even. If there’s not a nagging bit of worry that you’re out of your league, you’re likely not taking a truly unique approach.
However, there are scenarios where credibility can be strained. Writing about the intersection of the field you know inside and out with another that is brand new to you represents an opportunity, but do your homework. Blogging allows for an immense amount of leeway and “learn-as-you-go” time while ramping up, but make sure not to hide behind false confidence or arrogance.
Take people on the journey with you.
5. Communicate the Value
Time and again people drop the ball when it comes to communicating their unique benefit to readers, and that’s the whole point of blogging.
No matter how crystal clear you think it is without elaboration, you need to expressly communicate what makes you and your blog unique. More importantly, you need to make it crystal clear how that uniqueness benefits the reader, or this entire exercise has been for naught.
Remember the importance of your blog’s About page. A well conceived and executed “about” page is not really about you — it’s about why the reader should care about your blog enough to subscribe.