We live in a world awash with blogs. Everyone has one or has had one at some point. Whether they’re used to simply detail a person’s day-to-day life, or to anonymously snipe at politicians, we’re aren’t exactly starved for choice. So, when you want to start your own, how do you make it stand out against the crowd? It isn’t easy, and it takes work, but here’s how to get on your way.
First of all, uniqueness is key. This doesn’t necessarily mean writing about things no one else is. The reason a subject isn’t covered very much is probably because it doesn’t have broad appeal. For example, a blog about wheelchair curling is unique, but unlikely to draw huge swarms of visitors. It is possibly to have a unique blog that isn’t about a niche subject.
The best way to start to attract attention is all about putting your character into your tone of voice. This is where your uniqueness can shine through in your writing. If you’re writing about science, business, music or whatever else, chances are you’ll cover similar stories. You need a reason for people to come and hear your view on the latest news. A big part of this is how you tell the story.
This is another reason to do away with a boring, neutral way of writing. This kind of thing works on news sites where the reason for the article is facts alone. With a blog you have more freedom. You don’t need to be restricted by what seems like the ‘right’ way to talk about something. Give your writing some colour even if you’re writing about the latest tax regulations. It doesn’t matter. Put your personality into it. You can still be serious while being interesting.
Also beware of ripping off other people’s styles. The web is filled with writers who have their idols and take a bit too much influence from them (Charlie Brooker seemed to have this effect as his Guardian column became popular). There’s nothing wrong with being inspired by other writers, but again, this is about being unique. Find your voice.
As previously mentioned, you might end up not only sharing an area of interest with a lot of other writers, but also sharing the same stories (how could you not?). To make yourself stand out, you need to find an angle on something that other people are missing. A great example of a person highly adept at this is Ed Yong.
Yong is a science writer. He receives the same studies and press releases as all the other science writers, yet he is one of the most popular and most interesting. How does he manage it? Well, he takes an interesting approach to studies by framing them in ways that resonate with people in general. A perfect example is this article on the ability for germs to communicate with each other chemically. Depending on your bent, that may or may not seem interesting, but here’s how Yong titled the piece:
“When Our Microbes Chat, Dangerous Germs Are Eavesdropping”
Instantly it seems more interesting. It seems relevant to us; the subjects of the piece have been anthropomorphised. We can suddenly relate as the story seems more human and therefore we care more. While you don’t have to use the same technique, it’s simply a matter of talking about something in a way no one else is. Do it in the right way, and people will come to you for the story.