There are way too many blogs out there. Lets rephrase that, there are way too many copycat blogs out there. John made hundreds of thousands of dollars blogging with a “Make Money Online” blog and instantly hundreds of “make money online” blogs started popping up all over the blogosphere. Some had moderate success, most failed.
What did the blogs who succeeded have over the blogs who failed? Interesting content.
There is nothing wrong with seeing someone else’s success or idea and emulating it. A great deal of the world’s most successful companies were started as emulations of their competitors. Yet these company’s didn’t simply just copy, they differentiated. They offered improved versions of their competitor’s products and thrived.
In the blogosphere there are too many bloggers who don’t differentiate, but simply copy content from other blogs and rephrase it in different words. A perfect example of this is in the gadget review sector of the blogosphere. There are a few large prominent blogs like Gizmodo and EnGadget, and thousands of copycat blogs who report the exact same stories found on the major blogs. Why would I read the copycat blog with knockoffs of the posts on Gizmodo over actually reading Gizmodo itself?
So take a look at the blogs that you run. Honestly, if you are a 3rd party would you read your blog over those of your competitors?
If not here are a few ways to differentiate.
Focus on a Specific Niche
If you are competing with the gadget blogs, don’t simply try and post on everything they post on; pick a certain niche in the industry and focus on that niche. This way, you can become an authority and delve deeper into that niche than the larger gadget blogs do giving you fresh unique content. In this example, instead of writing about all gadgets, blog only about cell phones, or only about cell phone applications. Sure you will attract a smaller audience, but this audience will be more focused and will actually care about your blog, helping you build your own community.
Share your Opinions
One of the easiest ways to provide fresh content and avoid copying is to share your opinions. YOUR opinions and feelings aren’t posted anywhere else on the web. Instead of simply reporting the news, analyze it and share what you think. Just don’t copy someone else’s analysis.
It helps to be an authority in the industry to get people to care about your opinions so be as authoritative as possible and build a name for yourself in the niche. If you have a high RSS follower count or Twitter follower count to build credibility. Sharing opinions is more effective with discussion so encourage and promote commenting on posts as well.
What would you like to see covered?
No one blog covers every topic possible related to that niche. This is why people read multiple blogs on the same general topics. Look at the major blogs in your niche and browse through their archives analyzing their content. What would you like to see covered that your competitors aren’t covering? This is what you should be blogging about. If you can’t find anything then it may be time to find a new niche.
Provide Value for your Reader
The most valuable blog posts are those that truly help the reader with problems they are having. These are the posts that keep readers coming back. Find out what information you possess that readers may possibly want to know and share it with them. Give your readers candid honest advice. A good way to find topics where you may be a helpful resource to readers are niche related forums. Find the forums that correspond to the topic you are blogging about and browse the threads seeing what questions members have. If you can help a member with his/her question blog about it and share it with that member. Chances are there are other individuals looking for that information as well.
This post was written by Aditya Mahesh, founder of AMBeat.com, a complete resource for entrepreneurs complete with advice articles, start-up profiles, interviews, news analysis, and more.