According to the Blog Herald, there are currently around 200 million blogs worldwide! That is an extreme amount of blogs. Now, it is said that around 72 million of those blogs are in China. So a good portion isn’t even in the English niche. Let’s just say another 50 million blogs are also in other languages, so that leaves around 80 million blogs to compete against! Not that every single blog out there is in competition, but it is sure nice if you are looking to create traffic to your site, to stand out in a sea of blogs. So I have compiled a list of 10 things you can do to make your blog stand out a little more than the next. These tips are not in order of importance!
Create a favicon for your blog. In a “Blog List” or a “Bookmark,” your blog will stand out with its own “logo.” I don’t know about all of you, but the first thing I look at when I go to a website are the pictures. One of the first pictures to be shown is the Favicon. Any logo is better than the blank page that will show or the common blogger icon. This will also show up in bookmarks, RSS feeds, several gadgets and widgets by Blogger, etc.
Meta Tags are vital for search engines as well as for browsing tabs. This will let people know what they are looking at. This is the Title of your blog! I am by far an expert in SEO (Search Engine Optimization) but do know a little. If you have a self-hosted WordPress Blog, you can install widgets that will do all the tagging for you. However, some will recommend that you do this without the widget. So choose for yourself which will work best for your blog. One of the benefits of using a platform like Blogger is that they are already ranking in the search engines, thus, your blog will also if you allow it to. There is an option in the Blogger setup that allows you to choose whether or not you want your blog shown in the search engine listings. I have seen blogs show up in the search engines for my name in a matter of few weeks.
Add character to your blog with a personalized background. This is useful with blogs hosted by Blogger, WordPress.com, or hosted platforms. Since everyone is using the same templates, stick out like a sore thumb by customizing your background with either a picture or an actual template. Just type ‘Blogger Templates’ or ‘Blogger Backgrounds’ in the search bar and explore your options.
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Add a custom header to your blog. Now, when I say custom, I don’t mean just putting a picture of you and yours in there. If that is all you’ve got, then it is better than nothing. When I mean custom, I mean getting one made with a border, images, your names, the title of your blog, and so on. Make it original. Make it nice and professional. That is one of the first things your readers will look at.
Photos speak a million words! In the words of my wife, “When I get to a site, the first thing I do is scroll down the page and look at all the pictures. If I like the pictures, then I’ll go back to the top and start reading!” One cool thing you can do is add a slide show to your blog. Blogger has a gadget that can do this for you or you can create your own through Picasa or Flickr and embed it on your blog.
Music can spice up your site or bring it down! If you doing a site for business purposes, having music will decline your traffic and kill your content unless your content is about music. If you have a blog that is for personal use, your friends and family will enjoy some tunes as they check our your stuff. I have embedded music with Playlist.com before but there are many different music players you can use.
Have Catchy Post Titles! Make sure your post titles reflect what you have in the content of your post. They must be relevant to each other. The next thing that people look at after the pictures are the post titles. Have the main point of your post in the title and make it exciting, short and to the point! For example: “10 ways to make your blog stand out” works better than “A couple of ways to make your blog stand out.”
Adding video to your Blog will always spice things up a bit. It seems that people are turning away from reading to just listening and watching. So use that webcam that came with your computer or goes get one. Just a few pointers with a video: Make sure you have good lighting, people will be able to hear and understand your message, and make it short. Don’t draw out a video, usually, 1-2 minutes is plenty long. You might even go as far as using a simple movie maker software such as Windows Movie Maker to edit your video a little. If you do this, make sure to include your name in there and end it with your blogs URL. The last thing your visitors see will stick! You can then upload your video to YouTube, Google Video, or even Blogger and embed that on your blog.
Always have interesting, useful, and relevant content. I once heard that you can insult, make fun of, criticize, compliment, or tongue bathe your readers, but by all means, DO NOT BORE THEM! Get a little personal with your readers without giving out your social security number, bank accounts, and home address. The more you blog the better your writing skills will get.
Interact with your readers. Relate, give advice, ask advice, and interact. This will do a number of things for your blog, but the most important, it will bring return visits and loyal readers who feel they have somewhat of an ownership in your blog. That is the best thing that can happen. They, in turn, will recommend your blog, because they have contributed. Leave comments on other blogs, especially of those who have left comments on yours. Answer emails and comments as often as you can and Do What You Say You Are Going To Do! Meaning, if you say you are going to write a post on a certain subject, do it!