The internet is full of all kinds of hogwash.
Sometimes you want to cut straight through the clutter and get genuine expert advice from the masters in your field.
With this in mind, I got in touch with some of the world’s leading content marketing experts and asked them a bunch of super-important questions. Their answers will be rolled out in six epic blog posts over the next two months. Starting now.
These guys are the big fish. They really know their onions. So glue your eyes to the screen and swallow up every last drop of this expert advice. You’ll be 22 times more blog-savvy by the end of it.
So…how can you make your blog posts stand out and get noticed among all the noise?
#1. Neal schaffer
Be yourself. Be passionate about your subject. Be generous in sharing your knowledge. Align your content with your business objectives. This is a great combination for creating something which is bound to stand out.
~ Neal Schaffer is a social media strategy consultant, content marketing master and author of the awesome book Maximize Your Social.
#2. Rich brooks
Well, you can write controversial posts about politics or religion, but that won’t help grow your business.
Instead, survey your current clients and try and get them to share their biggest problem or pain point with you. Find out what they struggle with, and what would make the biggest difference to their bottom line.
Once you get those responses, create a series of blog posts that address those problems one at a time. Demonstrate how they can overcome those hurdles, whether with your help or on their own. Those are the type of posts that people read, share, and take action on.
In short, those are the posts that stand out.
~ Rich is president of flyte new media, podcasts at The Marketing Agents, and founded The Agents of Change conference. He helps turbo-charge small businesses through search, social & mobile marketing.
#3. Joe pulizzi
A blog post should answer one key question that is of critical importance to the target audience.
Most bloggers I know aren’t 100% focused on what makes the audience tick…and it’s all about the audience. To make blogging really work for you, we need to target as niche an audience as possible. The more niche, the more relevant…and the more likely your content will consistently hit the mark.
~ Joe Pulizzi is the founder of the legendary Content Marketing Institute (which produces the largest worldwide in-person content marketing event: Content Marketing World) and is the author of Epic Content Marketing.
#4. Sarah arrow
To create content that stands out, you should focus on the one thing the reader can takeaway from what she’s reading and take action on.
When you know how something impacts upon your reader you tailor everything to help her and it will stand out from the crowd. The biggest mistake any writer makes is to think they can write for everyone.
~ Sarah Arrow is the mastermind behind Birds on the Blog (listed 3 times by Forbes as a top 100 website for women), and is a kick-ass blog coach.
#5. Jason acidre
Writing about personal experiences (with results) that are useful and actionable, to me, is the best way to really come up with content that’ll really stand out these days.
Personally, I focus on writing about the new things I try to learn, so many of my blog posts’ angle are from my own perspective and on how I’ve understood it (which also involves coming up with your own data).
Another interesting method, that I also use, is using and/or consolidating other people’s data/ideas, but using or interpreting it in a different way. As this approach can allow you to build good rapport with other content publishers.
~ Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.
#6. Demian farnworth
~ Demian Farnworth is the chief copywriter for Copyblogger Media. His main gig is writing clear, concise and compelling web copy that demands attention, creates desire and compels action.
#7. Brian honigman
Use social media and your network to see what questions your particular audience asks frequently.
If you’re in the business of real estate or marketing, use a network like Twitter or Facebook to search industry related keywords to see what people are talking about most frequently. This will help direct your efforts to creating content that your audience actually finds of value.
Secondly, the headlines you’re choosing for each article need to be enticing for people to click over other content on the web. Use one of these tools to help identify informative headlines for your content like this one from HubSpot or this tool from Portner.
~ Brian Honigman is a Marketing Consultant, Speaker & Freelance Writer. He’s worked with clients like Dell, HubSpot, Citibank, Toyota and Poptip. He’s written for Forbes, The Next Web, Mashable and heaps others. Follow him on Twitter.
#8. Ian cleary
I don’t think it’s all about writing original posts.
Quite often the content I write about has been written about before but I just make sure to come up with my own angle, in my own style and I also make sure it’s much better than any other piece of content out there. So I aim for the best content but not necessarily original content all the time.
~Ian Cleary is the social media tools wizard for Social Media Examiner and founder of Razorsocial which provides expert information on the best social media tools. Download his social media tools guide.
#9. Barrie davenport
The posts that truly stand out are those where you are writing about something you feel passionate about.
Your passion and enthusiasm will show in the way you write, and that enthusiasm is so engaging. Also, tell a personal story that readers can relate to, and allow them to see the person behind the computer.
When you share some of your own pain, difficulties, and setbacks, and then show how you recovered or learned a valuable lesson, you become more real and human to your readers. Be yourself. If you’re funny, let that show in your posts.Take a different position with your topic or write something slightly controversial. And be sure your post offers a lot of value and provides great advice, answers, or solutions that are actionable.
Make sure you put time and energy into each post to make it top notch. Be sure you proof read every post carefully.
#10. Kristi hines
In many niches, especially online marketing, it’s hard to stand out from the pack as most topics have been covered a thousand times over.
You don’t have to avoid these topics and always aim for something completely unique (although that’s always a plus). Rather, you have to find a unique perspective on the topics that have already been covered and share those with your audience. Maybe 20 people have written the ultimate guide to link building, but they’ve all left out 10 strategies that you use. So instead, you’ll write about your unique strategies.
#11. Neil patel
The best way to make your blog posts stand out is through design. Everyone can write good content, but few bloggers put money into design, such as graphics, pictures, or custom animation. This is a great way to get more social traffic.
#12. Thomas ewer
Write from the heart.
Most startup bloggers are afraid to inject their own personality into their posts — they spend hours trying to work out how to write like someone else. I suggest that people take a leap of faith, rely on their own intuition and write in a way that feels natural to them.
It’s not going to be perfect, but developing your own style and “voice” is, in my humble opinion, one of the most important facets of writing original blog posts.
#13. Scott dinsmore
The key to writing articles that stand out is lead a life worth following.
Go out and have the adventures that people love to read about. That’s the beauty of blogging. It’s just more motivation to live a story worth telling. On top of that, focus on adding as much unique value to each post as possible. Every article should help people in some specific way. Do those two things right and question #2 (how can you make your blog posts go viral?) will become a lot more attainable.
Oh and don’t do what everyone else is doing.
~Scott Dinsmore is the brains behind Live Your Legend, a coaching and digital product company which helps people find and do work they love.
#14. Dino dogan
Singlecast. Write a post for a single person. Not an avatar or a persona, or a single type of individual, but a post that is written for a single individual. This individual can be named in the post, or not.
Here’s an example:
– Close to 300 shares,
– 1000s of views,
– two write ups on Technorati (1 and 2),
– an offer to write for Technorati,
– access to people I previously couldn’t even come close to,
– and countless other benefits.
The reason singlecast works is because it’s super counterintuitive. You’re writing for one person, but who doesn’t want to hear a secret conversation between two people? Who doesn’t want to be a fly on the wall?
By writing for one, you end up attracting many.
But sometimes you can write a post for one person and that person is NOT explicitly stated in the post. Instead, that person serves as your North Star inside your mind, invisibly guiding your pen.
Here’s an example where the intended target is not named:
I wrote this post for someone who is really into Tumblr, and who didn’t quite “get” Triberr. So I wrote a post that compares the two. The result? Well, in this case I’m not so sure. I’m pretty sure my intended target has gotten the message and that the message did have some impact. But I don’t know for sure.
The bottom line is this.
Many bloggers will quickly accumulate hundreds, even thousands of blog posts. To connect deeply with one person per post is an incredibly efficient use of content.
~ Dino Dogan is the Founder of the great Triberr, writer for Technorati, super speaker and a lousy martial artist.
#15. Laura rubinstein
One easy way is to read other blog posts that stand out to you on your same area of expertise, and notice:
a. What questions come up that those articles aren’t addressing. Then write the answer to that as your blog post.
b. If you agree or disagree and write your take on the topic. Controversial angles on the topic will stand out more as well.
c. What you like about the blog post, and then write a similar style blog post but on a topic you’re passionate about.
Always remember to link back to others you quote or may have directly inspired your content.
~ Laura Rubinstein is an award winning social media and marketing strategist and co-founder of Social Buzz Club. She helps businesses optimize marketing plans to create brand visibility and profitable buzz. She is the author of Appreciation Marketing Strategies. Her articles have been featured on sites like genConnect.com, Social Media Mags LinkedIn Magazine, YourTango.com, as well as her own popular TransformToday.com blog.
#16. Gregory ciotti
The key to having your blog post stick out is tying it in with something that creates “lift.”
The important thing is that you consider: what are you tying this topic to? Sometimes ‘Ultimate Guides’ get away without having to do this, but I’ve found that the most successful posts have that little something extra to grab attention.
#17. Aaron lee
For me there are two ways to write a blog post that stands out. The first would be to be yourself. Stop trying to write like someone Seth Godin or Chris Brogan. Many bloggers try to be someone they are not.
I learned this the hard way when I tried to be too ‘professional’ in my writing after some advice I got.
Trying to be too professional, I nearly fell asleep on my comfy Markus chair that I got from Ikea. Shheeshh! my blog posts ended so boring that it sucked the soul from my writing, it wasn’t who I am at all.
The second would be to put yourself in your posts. What is your story? Share your story and share your experience. Everyone has their own unique story. Some of the best blog posts that I still remember to date are ones that were really personal.
Tell your story and put your personality in each post and you will stand out. Why? Because there isn’t another person like you.
~ Aaron Lee is the social media manager at Binkd, blogging rockstar at AskAaronLee, and the Grand Master of Customer Delight at Post Planner: a platform that helps businesses gain the extra edge on Facebook.
#18. Andrea vahl
Think about what your customers continually ask for but make sure the headline really entices people to read more.
Emphasize the best outcome of what people will be able to do after reading your post. Instead of “How to Set Up a Facebook Ad” write “How to Target Your Perfect Customer with Facebook Ads”.
~ Andrea is the co-author of Facebook Marketing All-in-One for Dummies and was the Community Manager for Social Media Examiner, for over 2 years. She also uses her Improv comedy skills to blog as a slightly cranky character, Grandma Mary – Social Media Edutainer on her site at www.AndreaVahl.com.
#19. Stanford smith
Here are a few ways to write posts that get noticed:
1. Answer aggravating questions that are costing your reader time or money.
2. Offer comprehensive posts that offer detailed information.
3. Build marketing into your post. Put some content behind a Share wall with Social Locker plugin. Quote thought leaders with complementary audiences. Tell them that they have been mentioned.
4. Be the devil’s advocate: Be willing to voice a different opinion and back up your opinion with sound rationale.
5. Switch mediums – try a vlog, audio blog (podcast), or imagery (Slideshare decks embedded in content)
~ Stan Smith founded Pushing Social to help solopreneurs and scrappy underdogs dominate their niche with smart content marketing and publishing tactics.
#20. Henri junttila
Share your truth. Share your worldview. It’s not so much what you write about, but who you are.
I’m reminded by this quote: “Some writers confuse authenticity, which they ought always to aim at, with originality, which they should never bother about.” – W.H. AUDEN
Forget about being original, and focus on sharing what you want to share. Share who you are. Share what you know. Share your story.
When you are completely yourself, you stand out, because you are unique.
~ Henri Junttila is the founder of Wake Up Cloud, where he shows you how to turn your passion into a thriving business. Grab his free special report, and check out his book How to Write Nonfiction eBooks: A Proven 17-Step Guide.
#21. Stephanie sammons
Great blog posts are both a science and an art.
You need to deliver something of value to your target audience in your post, but also leverage stories and let your personality shine through. Help the members of your target audience get smarter, solve a specific problem, or achieve something through your blog posts.
If you want your posts to stand out, dare to be different. Take the opposite viewpoint of everyone else, make a compelling point, be the voice of reason, etc.
~ Stephanie Sammons is the founder of Build Online Influence, where she teaches professionals, business owners, and entrepreneurs practical online marketing strategies for growing a business on the social web.
#22. Carol tice
Be You. Remember that no one else can bring your unique voice to the blogosphere. Don’t copy other bloggers you admire, especially their style of writing — just be your own authentic self. People love that.
The trick is to find your slant, your position that stands out.
People are always hungry for new ideas, new voices, fresh new ideas…and sparkly new blogs. That’s why your blog can still come from nowhere and succeed in attracting an audience.
~ Carol Tice helps writers succeed at the Making a Living Writing blog, which she used to get paid blogging gigs that earn her more than $5,000 a month. Sign up for her free 20-week e-course, Marketing 101 for Freelance Writers.
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