The Key to Blogging Success Can Be Going against the Grain
When it comes to blogging, sometimes, doing everything wrong is exactly the right thing to do. That’s because, with a little creativity and foresight, going against the grain can actually work to your advantage—setting you apart from all the other blogs playing by the rules.
What do you think? Are you ready to color outside the lines and see your blog grow?
Consider these five contrarian approaches to blogging that just might work for you!
1. Write When You Want to
When you first start a blog, everyone tells you to establish a regular blogging schedule—posting every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, for example—in order to attract readers. But the truth is, you could see better results by focusing on quality instead of quantity. I mean, think about it: would you rather be the blog with 53 different posts on leather safety gloves or the one whose thought-provoking article on “What happens when companies overlook safety equipment” draws active discussion and responses?
Having regular posts is good, but having truly interesting posts is better: it means readers will come to know you not just as a consistent source of information but also as a valued one.
2. Forget Being Scannable
Readers on the Web have short attention spans, right? If you don’t break down your content into short, easily digestible chunks, you’ll lose them? Well, that depends. When your goal is communicating simple facts like golf online tee times or when you’re covering a dry B2B topic like the manufacturing of sweat-resistant clothing, using bold, italics, headers and bullets can be necessary for getting your info across in the clearest possible way. But when you’re sharing a personal story or writing about an issue you feel passionate about, say your loved one’s battle with breast cancer or what happened when you lost your job last month, making your content scannable could detract from your message.
Remember this: It’s not that Web users will never read a long, word-heavy post—it’s just that they have to want to. You can forget making your content scannable if you find another way to pull them in.
3. Go Off Topic
Traditional blogging wisdom says you must stay on topic: If you write about fashion, don’t post a recipe. If you blog on social media, don’t discuss Web design. But sometimes, going off topic can be exactly the right thing to do. A strong blogging voice requires consistency, but it also requires personality—and no human being always talks about the same thing all the time.
Whether you’re in a blogging rut or just feeling tapped for ideas, consider posting about a topic outside your immediate subject matter, but in a way that’s still relevant to your audience. You know what your audience likes and is talking about—why not enter into that discussion with them?
4. Show Your Weakness
Is blogging about establishing yourself as a thought leader, or is it about connecting with your audience? Too many companies make the mistake of overselling their services in a mistaken attempt to build credibility and a sense of strength. In the Internet world, readers want authenticity—they want to see what’s true.
When you have the courage to go against the grain and reveal some vulnerability, sharing stories of failed ideas or new approaches based on past mistakes, you may actually turn the tables in favor of your brand. Users are likely to respond to your humanness and forge real connections in the process.
5. Stay Simple
Sure, tricked-out blog layouts can be eye-catching and cool, but they don’t equal blogging success. Some of the most popular blogs of all time stick to simple layouts, so why shouldn’t you? As long as your layout matches your brand and your style, don’t waste time obsessing over changes: focus on building your audience, one post at a time.
Image by SallyPics – thanks Sally!