I haven’t written a blog tips/advice post in quite some time and I’m still perplexed as to why some blogs get these massive followings while others do not. And because I get so many emails about this topic I find myself thinking about it-a lot! On the surface it appears that most blogs with high follower numbers have something of quality to say or offer up great insight on a particular topic. In short they have something unique to offer the reader/follower. They take the time to conduct research and show an understanding of the article’s topic. For instance, I follow a marketing blog whose author has incredible vision and insight into helping others reach larger audiences and to grow digitally. His expertise in all things marketing make for eye-opening articles that make me want to read what he writes next. Because of his unique perspective he draws readers.
My contemplation has led to a few thoughts on how to produce powerful blog content that no one can ignore: design specific, well-researched, detailed, personal, well-written content which helps people understand how to do something better in their lives or how to be better in their lives. Remember all those times I’ve said “seek to add value to the lives of others”?
There are plenty of blogs which offer a nurturing, supporting voice. And being comforted in your time of need is nice. There are also tons of blogs which express strong, sometimes over-the-top opinions and/or criticize others in order to provoke outrage. They stand on the porch and play the role of Captain Obvious or call your dog ugly. Their opinions might provoke people, but they don’t really offer up a solution or help in any way other than to voice their opinion. But the blogs I believe will always receive the highest numbers are those which specifically help others to better themselves or help them to better understand a certain topic or help people solve problems. And I’m talking about detailed, specific help not general information they can get anywhere else.
I hope that last part sinks in.
If you create generic top-5 lists that 50 other blogs have already talked about, then your message is going to get washed out. What if you took a specific topic and then drilled-down to cover a specific point inside that topic? The problem with this is most bloggers don’t want to take the time to do the detailed research necessary to create their own original thought. And it is only by having original, solution-based thoughts that will get others to buy in to what you are doing on your page, which gives you a greater chance of growing.
Imagine for a moment that you are operating a business. If you are selling what everyone else is selling then it is going to be tough to remain viable. But if you are smart and your business solves a problem for people then it will be a must-have product, which will help create a tribe of people who will only buy from you. Such should be your mindset as it relates to your page.
I will offer up an example from my page. I often write or create YouTube videos documenting how I changed my life’s direction by implementing 14 specific habits aimed at my goals of more personal and professional success. A couple of years ago I created an entire series in which I discussed the 14 habits I implemented to help change my life. I discussed these habits one-by-one in detail with statistics and how developing those habits completely transformed my life. To date that series collectively still brings me tens of thousands of views every year via Google search. There have been plenty of people to discuss those habits individually, but I’ve not seen any other blog package them together and then go in-depth as to how they have affected their life’s direction.
I believe many bloggers fail, burn out or flounder because they don’t go deep enough. They offer up opinion, but they don’t back up their opinion with factual data or cite specific research points. Having an opinion is important, but what people are looking for are articles that help them make a decision or help them to make their lives better. When you are able to support your view with factual data, then you make a strong and convincing argument which helps to build your credibility and makes you an authority on the subject.
“Seek to add value to the lives of others.”
I have a personal mission statement that I use as the standard for any article or video I produce: “Does this content add value to the life of someone who may read or view?” And if it adds value: “How does this content add value?” Then more specifically: “Could this article cause someone to think or see life in such a new way that it would cause them to comment?” If the content does not meet these basic criteria, then I don’t hit publish. I go back to the board and rethink, edit, add, develop, etc.
Seth Godin lays this idea out in a video he produced many, many years ago-2003 I believe-in which he stated that in order for someone to take the time to remark on your content, the content must be worthy of making a remark; it must be “remarkable”. Simply stated, your content must be good enough to be worthy of someone making a comment. If people are not commenting it might be a sign that your content is too ordinary which means it is invisible.
And it is this idea that I try to convey to people when they email me asking for help growing their blog. You must take the time to prepare your content. You must pay attention to small details. You must learn to get a strong point across in a short article or video. If you are throwing together posts and saying something that others have said a thousand times, then people are going to move right past your post and move on to the next option. If your content is ordinary, then it is invisible; never forget this fact.
With all that said, maybe you need to start taking more time to produce specific, well-researched content that has some originality. Generic, ordinary content will produce generic, ordinary feedback. And if your goal is to draw more eyes to your post then it might be time for you to start putting more thought into what you publish. Develop a set of criteria, a checklist that your post must pass before hitting publish. Learn how to develop solid SEO titles, use quality pics and then publish well-planned content.
When your message is powerful there is no way people will ignore it!