How many blogs are there in the world? 100 million? 200 million? 500 million? I honestly don’t know, and for the first time in a long time the Internet is not providing me with a satisfying answer. My guess is there are so many new blogs are created each day that it’s impossible to keep track.
Most bloggers I know don’t like to hear those numbers since they say that what seemed impossible — to become an A-list blogger — just started sounding even more impossible. The competition is fierce; the sheer volume of information available to anyone with a computer is intense. But that doesn’t mean a blogger should give up. It doesn’t mean we should all throw in the towel. It just means we have to work harder and be more creative.
In all honesty, I am so many millions and millions of miles away from being a top blogger it makes my head swim. I have to climb so many numbers in Google Analytics to even consider myself a semi-popular blogger. When I think of how far I have to go, it makes me grimace. But I know that by focusing on a few key factors, I can make it.
Here is my list of what I think is important to making it to the next level:
An interesting and informative spin
This could really be broken down in twenty categories, but it basically boils down to creating interesting, informative, educational, and unique blog posts. It’s really the #1 way build a true and loyal following.
I know that it’s SO much easier said than done. Of course you would be putting out the most interesting and unique posts on the web if you could, but it’s just not that easy as snapping your fingers and going viral.
A good step to take toward reaching that viral status is to read other viral posts, but not just to read them, but to study them. What did the post do that worked for you? Was it on a really timely topic? Was the headline truly amazing? Did it deliver what it promised? Ask yourself the same questions for tons of viral posts, and posts on your favorite popular sites, and you’ll learn a lot. Try reading them not to learn about their content, but to learn how to make your own content better.
Easy to read format
We all know writing for the web is different than writing for anywhere else. Make sure to use a lot of white space, sub headers, lists, etc. Unless you’re a Pulitzer Prize winning author who is trying out blogging, do not write long blocks of text. You will lose readers faster than you can say, “I really should have used bullet points.”
A cool and professional design
Nobody is going to stay on your site if your site looks like 10 year-old built it and is ugly. It doesn’t matter what you write. Your header should rock, the site itself should be easy to navigate, and it should have a very unique feel to it. The design of your blog is like your web face. You wouldn’t go outside without making sure you look presentable to civilization, so make sure your blog looks presentable as well.
Social media integration
The cold, hard truth is you’re never going to get to the top without learning to use Twitter, Facebook, and even LinkedIn. Make sure you know how to draw visitors to your site using the social media applications, the icons are integrated into your site seamlessly, and people know how to follow you.
Headlines that rock
If your headlines are boring, nobody is going to read your post. Like I said at the start of this post, there are hundreds of millions of blogs, and the way people decide what to click on is the headline. Make sure your headlines entice and intrigue.
Those are just some ways to stand out from the crowd. What do you do to set yourself apart? Did I miss any big ones?