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Friday, August 12, 2011

Match Your Blog Style to Your Market , The Great Blog Identity Crisis

Any advertising agency, SEO content writer, or other person in the online industries will tell you that style is as important as any other factor in making your blog work.

The problem is that there are too many How To manuals about blogging, and not enough emphasis on talent, style and depth. Everyone is bombarded with dogma about how to write, how to do their SEO, and if the principles are OK, the trouble is that the in practice, everyone looks pretty much the same.

People often really suffer trying to come up with a good blog identity. The choice is being just another apple in a truckload of apples, or being the orange that stands out in the field. Do yourself a favour - Be yourself.

The Style Issues

One of the biggest issues in writing is style. A lot of blogs have a sort of default style guide, sticking to things like AP style or business writing and journalism styles. That’s not necessarily fatal for basic content, but it can read like a shopping list. Unless your content is absolutely 100% original, brand new information, its impact is likely to be minimal.

Style is character, and character is what actually sells. Marlboro and Lucky Strike, for instance, are in the same market, selling cigarette. What sells is the image, the associations and the cultural character, as much as the actual products themselves. Much the same applies to fast food and other high turnover consumables.

Note the word, "turnover". Blogs turn over a lot of materials, just like other consumer products. New content is the big driver for blogs. Blogs need this new content the way people need to breathe. That’s why establishing your own life support system for your blog is so important. People read blogs for various reasons, but they become regular readers because they like them or something about them.

The identity

The basic rules for creating an identity are:

* Don’t feel limited, or limit yourself using a specific style. There’s no compulsion to use any particular style. Do what works best.

* Be yourself. You can produce better quality and much more natural, fluent content simply by sticking to your style, not aping someone else’s.

* If you can innovate, innovate. Unique materials are the best possible character reference for any blog and a good memory aid for users. People remember the differences, not the similarities.

* Do not, under any circumstances, copy a look or a style. These are the quick ways to become anonymous.

* SEO and unique characteristics work well together. The fact is that blog ID is based on the unique features. The more, the better. This is a basic principle of search engine optimization, and it’s the only way to systematically improve your page rankings.

* If other blogs are doing something, do it better, or don’t do it at all. This is just basic marketing, but if you’re looking for results, be the best or be doing something else.

Your blog’s identity is who you are, to your market. Think of self-image, and how you want yourself and your blog to be seen. The rest is comparatively easy.

What do you think, what about your market today ?

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