Template Faerie

Your Blog is Unique, Just like all the Others

Published on Thursday, March 17, 2011
By Sarah Payne
You have a blog. You think it's great. After all, you put so much work into writing content regularly and promoting it on social networks, so it must be great. It probably isn't. Of the millions of blogs on the internet, there are very few great blogs. The rest are boring. Of course, that's just an opinion, but I think you probably don't regularly read a hundred blogs, simply because you don't know of that many blogs worth reading—and even if you did, a hundred is only a small fraction of the blogs on the internet.

The problem is that many blogs are about the same thing, and therefore, say just about the same thing. Unless there's something amazing that catches my eye, or unless I have a really good reason for being there, I'll close the page. I'm tired of hearing the same thing over and over again.

Writing something yourself doesn't make it unique

You've probably heard that you should never copy content, and it's true. But there's more to writing unique content than just writing it. Think of all the other bloggers who have already written about the same thing, and said the same thing, just with different wording. Why would a reader choose your blog out of so many others?

It's not necessarily the topic you choose for your blog, but the way you approach it.

Be unusual

There are too many articles about Twitter. Usually, it's not the ones on how to get more followers that catch my attention, but rather the ones on how to lose them, because those sorts of articles are uncommon... or at least they were. Try to find something to post about that isn't frequently discussed, because I'm sure you agree with me that reading the same thing on every blog gets boring fast.

Depending on what you're blogging about, you may be able to offer more than just articles. Everyone likes freebies. I'm not big on ebooks, but if you can manage to create one that's actually useful, it might be worth giving away to your readers. Eventually, I'd like to have freebies on Template Faerie, such as templates, social media buttons, and emoticons.

Be yourself

You may think it's strange that first I told you to be unusual and now I'm telling you to be yourself. But really, they're two different things. Being unusual is about publishing content you can't find anywhere else, while being yourself is about building relationships with your readers and showing them there's a real person behind your blog. Both play important roles in defining your blog.

Find your writing style and let it flow. Write and read, then rewrite and reread. Remember, bad writing has a tendency to come easier than good writing, which is why rereading and rewriting is so important. In my opinion, this article is sloppily put together, and could use some rewriting. But I figured I wouldn't keep you waiting any longer for a new post. Don't be lazy like me.

You know yourself better than anyone else does (most likely), and you can be yourself better than you can be anyone else. Use this to your advantage. Include your personal experience in your posts, and if possible, add humor. Even on business blogs, readers like to know the human who wrote the thing. Every blog should have an About page that not only tells the readers about the purpose of the blog, but also about you.

Default looks... well, default

I really wish people would stop using default templates. Ever since the Template Designer came out, many bloggers have switched to the new templates, with the Simple template being the most common. I've also noticed that many bloggers don't even bother to change the colors or add a header image.

A boring or ugly design will never do. If you're one of the people using a default template, either get a new one or customize it so that it won't resemble a default template. Or, if you're really serious about being unique, and know (or would like to know) HTML and CSS, your best bet would be to design your own template.

I hope these few suggestions have helped you come up with some ideas for how to make your blog stand out in the incredibly dull blogosphere. It may also be helpful to keep up with blogs similar to yours to see what you can do differently.

I'd love to hear what unique things you've done with your blog, or will do, or could do, or should do, or might do, or won't do. Let me know in your comment below!

Image credit: Connor Sauve

About the Author

I'm Sarah Payne, the author of this blog. I'm an amateur writer and template designer, an avid Blogger-user, and a reptile lover. One way or another, I ended up creating TF to show people that blogs don't have to be ugly and to share my unavoidably opinionated rants. You can also find me on Twitter and Google+.