What Makes The Difference Between A Meh Blog and a Great One

Think of some famous, long-dead person you genuinely admire. Think of this person’s life. What made them worthy of your admiration?

Can you sum up this person’s life in one sentence?

I bet you can.

Yes, the saying is jack of all trades, master of none, but it’s better than master of one, but the truth is that we often spread our resources too thin to become successful at any one thing.

Is your blog like that?

How long does it take you to explain what your blog is about?

When most people are struggling with their blogs, they try to think of what they can do more of to improve their blogs. But what you actually need to do is think about what you can do less of to improve your blog.

To make the soup more flavorful, you don’t add more spices to it. Instead, you boil the excess water. That’s what you have to do. Not add new elements, simply subtract boring ones.

Listen to your audience. Focus only on those topics they like the most. And cut everything else out.

How?

Ask a simple question to your blog readers. Ask them to nominate their favorite post on your blog published in the past 6 months. Based on their responses, narrow down the categories you write about.

Jack of All-Trades

Think of Leonardo DaVinci. A true genius. Inventor, painter, sculptor, architect, scientist, mathematician…

He is credited as the father of paleontology, ichnology, and architecture.

And, yet, he’s mostly remembered for a painting. Granted, it’s the most famous painting in history, but this proves the following:

People will only remember you for one thing. If you try to force them to remember multiple facets, you’ll never make room for yourself in their brain (or heart).

But what if you have more than one thing to talk about? What if you solve more than one problem?

If you solve more than one problem, you’ve got to do what Apple does.

Apple sells a lot more products than just iPhones. Macbooks and iPods and iPads. But they unify all their products under one element: the user interface.

Apple does not sell computers and mp3 players and phones and tablets. They sell gadgets that work well within a certain ecosystem.

You have to figure out the core element that ties all your categories and topics together. Think of the way nutrition and working out cater to the same audience.

Your one-sentence summary (in a few sentences)

  1. By trying to do too much, you risk not doing enough.
  2. Focus your efforts on one thing. Ask your readers to let you know what you are best at. And then focus on that topic alone.
  3. If you solve a lot of problems, then you need to find one core umbrella element under which you can unify all your solutions. Otherwise you’ll never be able to create space for yourself in peoples’ minds.
  4. Be a focused sentence. Not a convoluted paragraph. Can your readers describe you in one short sentence?

Is your website attempting to do (or say) too much?

Are you confusing your readers by not being specific enough?

Let’s brainstorm in the comments …

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23 thoughts on “What Makes The Difference Between A Meh Blog and a Great One

  1. Asking your readers is all well and good, however one needs to be wary of appealing to the lowest common denominator. Merely because a post is popular does not imply that it is good. One has to ask onself, “am I interested in chasing likes, or do I wish to write the best possible content irrespective of whether it is popular or not?” Admittedly I am, as a poet not selling applease and pears (poetry is not a commodity), but I do believe that what I say has wider relevance to blogging as a whole (not merely poetry). Kevin

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Kevin,

      It’s all a balancing act. You must write what you want. for the sake of your own happiness and ability to be as productive as possible, but you must also be aware of what your target audience wants, and how to best translate your feelings and ideas into words.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Many thanks for your reply. I agree with the latter part of your comment, namely that, “and how to best translate your feelings and ideas into words”. However, as regards the first part of your comment, had Eliot been around when the internet was born (and decided to blog his poem “The Wasteland”), I am not sure that it would have been popular with many in the blogging community. That would not, however have detracted from the fact that it remains one of the greatest poems ever written. Best wishes – Kevin

        Liked by 1 person

      2. But that is an insanely popular poem. We study it here in Romania at university.

        People often think they are in these niches, that there are limited people who like something or not. They are millions and millions of people that have the exact same hobbies and passions.

        Popularity is a misused term, I am afraid. Something is popular when it goes beyond its target audience.

        For instance, imagine writing a poem that even folks who don’t read poetry would know about. Or even attempt to read. To them, yes, they wouldn’t even understand what your poem is about and why so many say it’s good.

        In other words, quality is also a matter of you being in the target audience or not.

        Like

  2. From what I see, your success comes mostly from your willingness to work harder at blogging than most people and to publish on a regular basis. Also, you write well and have interesting posts. That’s why both of your blogs–the one on blogging, and the one with varied topics–are both very successful. Am I wrong?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One of the factors, yes. It’s also about networking with other bloggers, being willing to learn on a constant basis, and the fact that I started out when there was less competition.

      Consistency is also key. Patience, especially when no one reads your stuff, is essential to being successful.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Loving One Another is my sub-title. In each of my blogs I try to inspire my readers to live in love. It may be by loving yourself first (Self-talk) or it may be by the way we reach out to others … but my premise is “What the world needs now is love, sweet ❤️ love”… I try to make that my primary focus. Thanks, Cristian, for reminding me to be singular in my approach.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Excellent advice. Love the image of boiling the excess water. Also making a common thread through every piece you write. Beautiful advice. Thank you for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Perhaps your perspective can be the unifying factor. I like to talk about independent travel without the filters of social media. My topics vary but they all stem from that perspective, an antidote to the “influencers”… Good topic – I like the soup analogy.

    Liked by 1 person

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