As of 2012, there was an estimated 31 million bloggers in the United States alone. I admit, that number seems pretty intimidating and it could make you want to hide your laptop in your closet and never pull it out again. But there are actually so many ways to set your blog apart from the rest — even if it’s an ever-popular lifestyle blog.
What Do You Like to Read?
The first question you should ask yourself is “what do you like to read?” If you’re not reading any blogs and you want to start writing one, you may be a tad ill-prepared. Don’t become the Andrea Sachs of blogging — you know, the girl who thought she was going to work for a major fashion magazine having never read one in “The Devil Wears Prada.” Although she did end up succeeding, it was much more difficult a task.
If you already have some blogs that you worship, start asking yourself what you love about them. Is it their brilliant photography, their topics or their names? Whatever it is that draws you to those blogs, think about how you can make that part of your own blog just as enthralling. This may involve some research and time, but don’t be discouraged.
Choosing the Perfect Name
Before you start writing, you need to decide on the name of your blog. This is important — if your readers can’t see the main point of what you’re getting at, they probably won’t stay for long. You don’t want your name to be so broad that it holds too many ideas without a core focus. But you also don’t want to limit yourself. If you want to talk about food, relationships and DIY projects, don’t pick a name that sounds like you’re only speaking to foodies.
When thinking about the name for my blog, I knew that my ultimate goal was to make a connection with my readers. I couldn’t think of anything more intimate and personal than a letter, so I decided that each post I wrote would be in the format of a letter from me to my readers. From there, SincerelySavannah was born. The name you choose should be short and sweet but also original. After all, you’re looking to stand out, right?
Picking your name shouldn’t be difficult as long as you’re writing about what interests you. This could be the most vital part: passion. If you’re not utterly in love with the subjects you’re choosing to write about, it’s going to seep through and show in your writing. Besides the fact that passion makes for a more successful post, it also makes your job much easier and more fun. Don’t write about fashion if you loathe choosing your outfit in the morning.
But what if you have three thousand passions? Having a range of topics to write about doesn’t have to be a bad thing, but don’t overdo it. Too many bloggers try to stick their hands in so many pots that it becomes overwhelming to read or navigate. Keep your blog clean and organized, no matter how many pieces you want to pull in.
It may even help to add as you go. A blogging site for cool college creatives called “the Lala” has been around for under two years, and it started with less categories than it has now. You can always focus on gaining your readership following first, and then add on topics later.
Almost anyone you ask will stress the fact that photography is key. How is your blog going to stand out if you’re using the same images that everyone has access to on Google? The answer is, it’s not. Creating your own original photography along with your writing could feel like extra work, but it’s pivotal in setting your blog apart.
If someone stumbles upon your site and sees unique pictures that they have never seen before, it could stop them dead in their Internet tracks. If you’re not a Photoshop junkie, Picmonkey.com is a great place to edit your images and add unique words to them for free. It’s simple but could make all of the difference.
Writing Smart and Being Realistic
Be realistic and always, always proofread. Proofreading is unbelievably important because if you start getting sloppy, your professionalism will never shine through the way you want it to — and getting noticed will be that much more difficult.
You should also never start a blog if you’re not ready to commit to it 100 percent at the very moment you’re beginning it. Don’t start by posting every day and then lose touch for seven weeks. And don’t give up faith if you’re not seeing any real following when you’re just starting out. Being realistic means understanding that your blog probably won’t be insta-famous right away. Remember why you wanted to start one to begin with — it’s most likely because you enjoy expressing yourself.
Be yourself in your writing, your pictures and your brand. That uniqueness will be the key to developing your theme and it’ll help you go far.
Author: Savannah Hemmings