There is literally a sea of bloggers out there. I get all overwhelmed when I go to Passionfruit to look for new people to sponsor, and I usually end up scrolling through endless lists of similar blogs. Boring headers, cluttered sidebars, and lots and lots of dull content that they wrote just for a sponsored post.
And then there's that one blog. The one that stops my scrolling, the one that stands out from the rest; the one I want to sponsor immediately strictly based on its appearance and it's genuine content. Is it shallow of me? No, it's selective.
If I were to sponsor every Dick and Jane blog out there, I'd be a lot poorer and I'd still be in the same place I am now. Blogs that stand out obviously get more traffic, more invested community, and a more diverse following than blogs that look run-of-the-mill.
Now, I'm not bashing you for having a simple blog with a lot going on. But if you truly want to stand out, keep reading.
How to Set Your Blog Apart
- Splurge on a font that speaks to you.
Blogs that cater strictly to the author's taste tend to stick out a little more. People have a lot of individuality, so your blog should reflect that. If your favorite movie is Firefly, maybe you should incorporate something shiny. If your favorite sort of weather is rain, maybe you should name your blog something like Down Rainy Lane. But don't, because that's taken. (Ps. I love this Madina script.)
- Choose some different colors.
I chose a peachy orange for my primary color because you don't see that very often. You want to choose colors that obviously reflect who you are, but also that aren't standard blog colors. (Read: Why You Need a Brand to Be a Successful Blogger + A Free Branding Guide)
- Take attractive photos/use beautiful stock.
I love Me & Orla as a great example of taking gorgeous photos. Hello, matte; nice to meet you - I'm obsessed. If you can't take great photos, or simply aren't comfortable with it, definitely grab some stock that creates the look you want. Are you going for bright colors? Choose vivid or black and white photos. Looking for a peaceful, quiet look? Then go with a matte photo with lots of deep hues. This is a great example. You also want to make sure that your photos reflect your content. If you're a travel blogger, you want lots of landscape photos, but if you're a lifestyle blogger, you might want lots of people or details, like hands and coffee cups. Here's a great Etsy shop to check out for some quality photos to purchase.
- Use flatlays for ads + social media.
Hosting a webinar? A giveaway? Posting a quote? Not everyone is on-board with the styled photo trend, but it's a highly effective appearance for marketing your brand. (For the beginner, your brand is basically who you are online.) I recently started selling flatlays on Etsy, but you might be able to find some for free here and there. I am giving away three of them for free, so make sure to snag those. (Link in my sidebar.) Styled photos are kind of hard to come by. Again, make sure that they reflect your subject.
- Make sure your blog is optimized for mobile.
There is nothing more disappointing than visiting a site on my iPhone while I'm feeding the baby and have no access to my laptop and have to zoom in with one finger awkwardly or scroll around from side to side to find the navigation, categories, or sidebar ads. It's the literal worst.
- Come up with a sub-title to your blog.
A catch-phrase, if you will. These are important because the viewer immediately understands what you'll be writing about, or knows a little bit more about you. When people visit my site, I like to think "Because everyone needs someone in their corner" pulls them in and makes them want to know more. It's supportive and encouraging.
- Don't be like Adele.
Taking a break for a year isn't conducive to making your brand known and helping your blog stand apart. Consistency is key! Make sure that you're blogging at least a couple times a week, providing great content (please use spell-check for the love of all things readable), and offering your community something they can't get elsewhere. Don't know what that is? Just be authentic. Talk about what makes you glow.
I hope these 7 easy tips help you set your blog apart from the rest! Also, always remember that a kind heart and a sweet word can speak volumes for your blog and your brand, so be active on social media with a friendly spirit!