4 Ways To Make Your Blog Stand Out Against Competitors
Blogging is one of the most misunderstood phenomenons of the internet age.
To some business owners, it’s a dead concept that should be resigned to the early 2000s along with MySpace and Flash Player. To others, it’s simply a way of improving your SEO through content oversaturation. However, the truth is somewhere in the middle. Taking blogging seriously can still improve the reach and reputation of businesses of all sizes in 2021.
Blogging is still important because it:
l Improves organic growth
l Allows you to build customer relationships through content
l Doubles as a brand-building tool
l Gives your flat website life
Despite the importance of blogging, many websites are still getting it wrong. For those who want to do something more with their blog, there’s a real chance small changes can help you immediately stand out against your competitors. Here are our four tips for getting started:
Offer genuine advice and expertise
Contrary to popular belief (and what your Google results might tell you), a lot of blogs out there today don’t offer much of anything.
No unique insights. No expert advice. No creative expression to inspire readers.
They’re simply content farms to boost sales. Of course, that’s totally fine when you’re trying to run a business. But if you want to craft a blog people genuinely enjoy and share with their friends, family, and social media followers, you need to do something a little more interesting.
Don’t shy away from the details. Writing long-form pieces full of genuine, actionable advice and expertise is a brilliant way to make sure your blog stands out amongst a sea of churn. A thriving blog can help you develop a knowledgeable brand people trust and keep coming back to for the hot topics of the day.
You don’t even need to be high concept. Take veteran medical consultancy firm VA Claim Pros who use their blog as a hub for information regarding not just their services, but health and legal complications veterans face every day. The blogs are simple, written for less online-savvy audiences, and to the point. The writers understand their audience and offer them something competitors may not.
Never underestimate the power of simple information. The present online zeitgeist might suggest dressing up your content with graphics, quick camera cuts, and influencer endorsements is the way to go, but there’s something to be said for pure advice and expertise.
Image: VA Claim Pros
Challenge your audience
It’s easy to find yourself pandering to the crowd.
You don’t want to upset your base, offering opinions, content, and products that could lead to a negative backlash. However, refusing to challenge them at all can leave users uninterested and looking elsewhere for their content.
Your blog isn’t always a customer-winning exercise, but part of a grander mission to develop a brand. Challenging your audience to consider alternative answers and not being afraid to talk about pressing issues tells them you take them seriously and value their readership.
This kind of content will particularly stand out when read in comparison to competing blogs. A series of articles covering (potentially difficult) industry topics and new innovations within the said industry can help people think differently. General Electrics stands out from its competitors by using its blog as a space to tell the story of how its business model is changing in response to cultural shifts and topicals issues, such as climate change.
Image General Electrics
Unleash the key people within your business
All over the world, businesses are sitting on an up-tapped source of great content that could be the key to outclassing their competition.
Their people. Although it might be hard to get hold of them, the leaders within your company can be a brilliant catalyst for a new kind of blog that won’t just improve your position on Google but offer more opportunities for your business.
Encouraging CEOs, managers, and leading creatives within your business to take the lead on content and put their name and face to it will immediately give your blog more prestige and authority.
There are so many nameless blogs out there written by less-informed content writers that it’s no wonder they don’t stand out. Those people might be talented writers, but can they really offer more insight on how to run a business than a CEO or match the technical knowledge of a top developer?
By having authoritative guest writers or a weekly column from a business leader, your blog becomes a trustworthy brand-building tool. This can lead to public speaking options and develop key people within your company as thought leaders, earning you clients, customers, and cross-promotional opportunities.
SEO enterprise Moz is particularly good at this, using the Whiteboard Friday blog as a place to not just share SEO lessons and industry news, but grow the personal brand and customer relationships of its top team members.
Focus entirely on the visuals
Want to do something different? Trade-in your words for striking visuals.
A well-written blog can be a brilliant way to learn about a new topic or explore a contrarian idea, but we’re increasingly seeing a shift towards visual content from online audiences.
Facebook’s pivot to video ended up being mocked in some circles, but personal experience tells us online audiences still consume video and imagery content on a regular basis. Whether it’s an educational YouTube vlog or a surprisingly insightful meme.
If your strengths lie in creating arresting visuals and telling stories through video, don’t feel pressured to compromise with a written blog. As long as you’re optimizing these pages and promoting them on the right platforms, you’ll still see a traffic benefit. For a great example of this, look at how Behind The Brand built a thriving audience through video and audio content.
This is a great way to appeal to the image-biased audience of the modern internet, who would prefer to be confronted with new ideas through a jazzy infographic than a paragraph.
There are lots of other ways you can make your blog stand out and improve engagement with your content.
On top of these methods, consider:
l Making your content exclusive to members
l Using it as a home for original data
l Developing interactive content such as games and quizzes
The modern blog is a malleable, exciting concept that can be altered to fit your brand, tone of voice, and aims. If you’re worried about being left behind by competitors, make some small changes and start to stand out.