You ARE A Special And Unique Snowflake: Five Ways To Prove It
August 17, 2007
At the moment, Technorati is tracking 98.4 million blogs and over 250 million pieces of tagged social media, and that’s not even counting the sites that the venerable blog search engine hasn’t picked up on yet. Just thinking about differentiating your blog from the pack can be a bit daunting.
However, bloggers, take heart – many of these blogs are dead blogs that haven’t been updated in months, more of them are personal blogs only meant for the eyes of friends and family, and hey, just by reading smart, informative blogs like Pro-Blogger you’re ahead of the game.
It’s also important to remember that none of those other bloggers is you. No one else has your unique perspective, your writing voice, your photography skills, or your skill set. Focus on what makes your blog different and special, rather than lamenting the areas you’re lacking. Here’s five ways to put the spotlight firmly on your strengths:
1. Develop Your Voice. Want to be a better writer? After all, writing is usually the heart of a blog. Write something every day, even if you don’t post it. Writing is just like any other – yes, some people have more natural talent than others, but everyone requires consistent practice to develop their skills. At the same time, it’s also vital to read the work of other bloggers and writers – you’ll pick up new techniques and ideas without even realizing it, and you’ll be aware of what other bloggers are talking about.
2. Celebrate Your Quirks. Everyone has a few odd things about them (or some cases, more than a few). Your quirks are a major part of what makes you unique, so don’t be afraid to let them come through loud and clear in your blog. Be informal – write like you talk, and don’t be afraid to use clever figures of speech, witty idioms, or funny pictures (and don’t overlook the power of a perfectly placed comic – or lolcat).
3. Beg To Differ. Is your opinion on a particular topic the opposite of what the mainstream media is saying? Do you disagree with the blogging majority? For instance, I think SEO is a bit overrated and that sometimes, personal branding misses the point entirely – and those are two of my more popular posts. Write about it – but sure to back up your opinions with research and thoughtful insights. If you’re going to be a dissenter, be a reasonable one with logical arguments backing you up, because nothing is more irritating than someone who argues for the sake of the fight and engages in ad hominem attacks to get attention.
4. Tell Your Story. Post first person accounts of how a particular product, technique, or other experience affected your life. Remember that while many others may have done the same things, gone to the same places, or used the same products, no one else possesses your individual take on the situation. Besides, writing in the first person is one of the easiest ways to use the active voice, which is naturally more compelling than the passive voice.
5. Share Your Passion. When you’re passionate about something, let it show loud and clear. Passion is fascinating, inspiring, and it draws people in – and if you manage to inspire your readers, there’s a very good chance they’ll subscribe or come back for more. After all, one person’s passion can change the world.
I found that last link through the Problogger’s “31 Days To A Better Blog” Project, and since it was part of the inspiration for this post, it’s only fitting that I submit it as my own contribution.