The following post was submitted by Cindy Szponder.
image by miyukiutada
What the heck does that statement have to do with making money from blogging? Loads.
Having just moved to Colorado, one of the first things I noticed is that the sky is often purple over the mountains toward evening, and in many places here the earth is red. I can honestly say that I’ve never been anyplace like this before. Can your readers say the same thing about your blog?
What Makes Your Blog Stand Out from the Crowd?
Many things can make a blog outstanding in its field: voice, content, approach, design, photos, ability to entertain, ability to inform, creativity, passion, attitude, and more. Think about the blogs that you enjoy reading. What clicks for you? What makes them unique? What keeps you coming back? If you haven’t thought of those things before, visit your favorite blogs with pen and paper in hand. Make notes, make comparisons, and keep this formula in mind:
Blog Traffic + Loyal Readers = Your Blog’s Monetization Potential
Now visit your own blog. What makes it stand out, makes it unique, makes it interesting? Well, if you can’t find anything, don’t despair–repair. Think purple skies and red dirt.
The Sky Is Purple: Find Your Own Voice
Think of the sky. It’s wide-open, it’s free, it has its own voice.
Sometimes it whispers, sometimes it howls, but it’s always itself. You’ll never see the sky trying to be like a tree, or water, or fire.
Take a lesson from the sky and just be yourself. Find your own writing voice. Face it, it’s impossible to be anyone else or to sound like them, either. Finding and using your own voice is vital for building blog traffic and maintaining loyal readers. (Remember the formula above?) After all, blogging is supposed to be a conversation. People want to converse with someone real, not pretend. Using your own voice builds trust with your readers. Your voice is what breathes life, interest, and ultimately money, into your blog. Get it right and you’ve won a major battle.
The Dirt Is Red: Create Excellent Content
This time think of the dirt. It’s solid, substantial, nourishing, nurturing. You can build on it without fear. Your content should be the same. Excellent content makes a major contribution toward blog traffic and keeps people coming back. (Remember the formula?) It’s what makes readers sign up for your feed or your e-mail. It’s what makes them purchase your products or trust your recommendations. What is your purpose for blogging? Is it to inform, entertain, campaign for a cause, express yourself? Make sure your content meshes with your purpose. Keep it focused on your niche and on the information your readers expect given the purpose of your blog. Concentrate on quality rather than quantity. Build from a foundation of excellent content, and your blog can grow and prosper to any heights you desire.
Read more of Cindy’s work at cindyszponder.com.