One of the common mistakes I see in many blogs is that they are just bland.
We’ve all seen these blogs (and most of us, if we’re honest, will admit to writing them at some point), they’re the blogs you stare at for a few seconds without seeing anything before you navigate. some other place.
Blog readers only stay on any post for an average of 96 seconds. It’s not long! So you only have a little over a minute and a half to make a good impression, to do something remarkable that will rock the world of your readers, grab their attention, and stop them from surfing the web like a zombie.
Two great books that I think all ProBloggers should read are Purple Cow and Free Prize Inside (affiliate links). Both are by author Seth Godin. There are a lot of good things to discuss in these blog-related books, but one of the main take-home lessons is about being remarkable, about being a ‘purple cow’.
We live in a world where we’re bombarded with messages throughout the day from a variety of media (including the web) – to break the noise with your blog, it’s going to take something extraordinary.
How to be a purple cow
How does one become a Purple Cow blogger? It is not an answer that I can give you, there is no formula for it, if there was, everyone would be remarkable in the same way and in the process they would be one of the crowd again. However, there are a few things you might want to consider in your search for the Purple Cow:
One way to capture the attention of readers is with images. Seth himself does this quite well in his books and blog with that bald head of his. I bet it’s one of the first things people look at when they come to his blog every time. He catches you, stays in your mind: the blog suddenly becomes ‘that blog with the bald head’. Good branding will stand out, whether it’s an image of you, his logo, strong brand colors, or a stylish look for his blog.
Have you ever been looking through your news feed or search engine results and got totally caught up in the headline someone wrote for your post? I know I have many times. Your blog title and blog posts are crucial to grab attention. Consider using them to do just that. Of course, your titles should match the content you write, but experiment with your titles a bit. You may also be interested in reading this post: How to Write Good Blog Post Titles.
Images definitely capture the attention of your readers and draw them to your blog. You have to be careful about its placement, but an image has the ability to totally grab your readers, just like logos. I don’t know about you, but blogs that are just blocks of text turn me off faster than a cold shower! Break up your page a bit. At ProBlogger we use Unsplash for images and Canva to create our graphics.
‘Content is everything’ is the cry that often goes up about blogs. I disagree, it’s not everything, but it IS pretty important. If you’re not writing compelling, intriguing, insightful, witty, humorous, or helpful content (or some combination of the above), then you might as well give up now. I highly recommend that you also consider original content, although I have more “similar news” blogs, it is the original content I write that almost always gets attention. Quotes and links are ten cents a dozen. Do something original and you will stand out from the crowd. Here are some tips to add originality to your content.
give something away
I’m not talking here about offering prizes (although they could work if they’re the right ones) but to consider giving your readers a gift. Seth’s book Free Prize Inside takes readers back to the days when we were kids and used to get those free little plastic toys in our cereal boxes and writes about how we should consider what the ‘free prize’ we give away with our products. . or services to surprise and delight your readers. What can you give away with your blog? If you’re like me, you remember when someone gives you something for free, it impresses you. Think a little outside the box with your free prizes, it doesn’t have to be an actual physical gift, maybe it’s a prize, maybe it’s some information that others charge for, it could be a newsletter, it could be personal attention to readers, you could be linking to your readers’ blogs.
There are many ways to make your blog remarkable. Probably the best thing to do is browse the sites and blogs in your favorites and start wondering what other people are doing to stand out. Why do you keep coming back to your favorite blogs? What hooks you? How could you be more like them?
Be original, be amazing, be remarkable, be a Purple Cow!
Get more blogging tips from our Blogging Tips for Beginners series.
This post was first published on March 19, 2005 and was updated on June 23, 2022