What makes you unique?
Every time someone asks me that question, all the thoughts yammering around my brain go, “poof!” then nothing. I freeze. This coming from someone who was literally voted “Most Unique” in High School.
Having a high quality blog is not enough. If your blog is like every other one out there, it will be difficult to stand out. Sure, it will be successful, have a good readership, which for some is good enough. However, an IFB Poll revealed that a good portion of bloggers wish to become professional or super-famous. This requires more than just being “good” it means standing out from the crowd.
Why do you need to identify what makes your blog unique?
- To brand your blog effictively
- To have a clear mission for your editorial content
- To give your readers a reason to come back to your blog
- To explain why or how your are different for press and business opportunities
How do you identify what is unique about your blog?
Research other blogs
Look at all the other blogs out there. How do they address their niche? How do they brand themselves? What makes them different from other blogs? Is there anything from their niche that you can apply to your blog, or already applies to your blog? This is important, because rarely does someone come up with an original idea. I see it all the time, a blogger complaining that someone “copied” them when their blog was not the first to cover a particular topic or even have that particular name. Know your digital landscape before making claims!
Brainstorm a list describing your blog
Even if you just started, describe your blog in list form. Just write what comes to your mind, don't worry about making sense (yet). What type of content do you write? How do you approach your subject? How useful is the content to your readers? Is you content more of a personal journey?
Draft a mission statement
Using your list, draft up a mission statement for your blog. A mission statement is a few sentences describing the purpose and objective of your blog. In other words, what you think your blog is about.
Ask another person to describe your blog
Now that you have an idea of what your blog is about, it's time to start asking around. I was shocked last year when people started to tell me what IFB was about (a site to feature bloggers), when it was never my purpose to make this site about what they saw in IFB (a resource to help bloggers achieve their goals). To me, it became clear to shift the content to align more with my vision, but I would have never known until a few people started telling me what they saw in the site.
Poll your readers as to why they read your blog
Like point above, it's good to get a clear idea of how other people perceive your blog, and who better to ask than your readers. Your readers are making a choice to come to your blog instead of other blogs. Do a survey to see why they come to your blog. The answer might surprise you.
Identify the differences between what you think of your blog and what others think
There may be differences in self-perception and the perception of others, there may not. But this is a good time to see where your vision is, and also see why your blog is different. You can use this information to identify opportunities and hone in on your uniqueness.
Rewrite your mission statement
Now that you have identified your blog's purpose, how others perceive your blog and how it fits into the community, now is a good time to rewrite your mission statement. Are there big changes? Were you spot on from the beginning? Here you can articulate what makes you different from the rest.
Now, when people ask you what makes your blog unique, you can tell them with confidence.
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