You don’t have to answer this if you don’t want to but… how’s your blog different than others? I mean really different.
I don’t mean the design, the content, or even the topic.
What gives it an edge over others?
Here’s the thing. As the web gets increasingly saturated with blogs – 175,000 created every day; two every second! – we have to find some angle to position your blog. Otherwise, it’s doesn’t get past the noise, right?
The first answer is… find a Niche.
But that doesn’t work anymore. Niches have become so congested that it’s hard to stand out. Niche, for most bloggers, means sub-category.
And the expert that tell you to find a niche rarely speak from experience. Why? Because most are already mainstream. Even those that are mildly ‘controversial’ do so in a half-hearted way.
The next answer is… be Epic.
I’m not sure what this means but… it seems to involve really, really long articles. Think Wikipedia x Wikipedia and you get the idea.
I’m not sure this is really impressive.
After all, Seth Godin is epic in my book and most of his riffs are super short.
A third answer is… go Social.
Now, this works. Well, up to a point.
The problem is that when you stop contributing to your social media circle, the returns start to diminish.
So, you have to find ways to share and reciprocate almost non-stop. Hard to scale, and maintain, and automate.
Here’s an alternative approach. It’s to do with good old positioning.
Before I go too far, there’s a serious difference between positioning and finding a niche.
A niche is slice of a market segment. Like segments in an orange. You choose the one you want and own it. You dominate the space, as they say.
Let’s say your blogging about personal finance. Maybe your niche is teenagers, new parents, or silver surfers.
Positioning is different.
It’s the message you use to attract these segments.
Al Ries and Jack Trout, in their book Positioning: The Battle for Your Mind, suggest: “Positioning is what you do to the mind of the prospect. That is, you position the product in the mind of the prospect.’
Looking for an example?
A few years ago, Bailey’s Irish Cream decided to lower its prices. The thinking was, ‘if we reduce the prices, make it more accessible, more will buy.’
Bailey’s Irish Cream had been positioned as an ‘exclusive’ drink.
When the price came down, it lost its caché and the appeal that goes with drinking – and to be seen drinking – something more expensive than the rest was diminished.
Bailey’s soon cottoned on and returned the price to it’s previous, i.e. higher, price.
So, how can you apply this to your blog?
There’s a few things to consider:
- What opinion do you want others to have of your blog? When someone describes your blog, they say…
- Who do want to compete against? If you’re not in competition with someone (or if you’re not aware of it, which is scarier…), then you need to firm up on what you’re offering.
- What can’t others take away from you? Most blogs are disposable. That’s why we rarely visit them twice. What angle are you offering that will make them come back?
But maybe none of this is true.
Maybe the trick is to find a niche, go epic, and get social.
What do you think?