Don't Read This If You Want A Boring, Low Traffic Blog

by Robb Sutton

Blogging is getting more crowded by the day. Many of the A-Lister’s that you are following now had the added advantage of being early adopters with little competition. Now…with a flood of new bloggers hitting the market on a daily basis, you have to stand up and demand attention where in the past this may have been much easier. The trick…you need to stand up above the crowd and declare your blog as something unique that is worth visiting on a regular basis. As a blogger, how can you stand up and show your uniqueness without begging for readers? How can you be seen as the go to blog in your niche by diversifying yourself from the rest of the noise? How can you be successful in today’s blogging world?

Tips For Standing Out Above the Blogging Noise

Raising Hand - Blogging - Stand Out from Crowd

No one likes a beggar. Remember that kid in your class that always begged for attention? “Oh…pick me! Pick me! I know the answer!” Almost shooting out of his chair…the rear legs tapping the ground as his forward anxious motion almost brings him to the front of the class, he just couldn’t wait to suck up to the teacher and show the rest of the class his brilliance. This came to the annoyance to the rest of the class as the same routine was carried on day in and day out. No originality…just a 1st class suck up trying to be unique and going about it all the wrong ways.

Did you know that when you start getting desperate in your blogging, you are doing the exact same thing and you don’t even know it?

The trick to standing out above the noise can be handled in several ways (I recommend all of the below). Take these tips back to your blog and find ways that you can apply them to make sure you are putting your correct foot forward to insure that your blog is not just another number…but something unique.

Quality Content

A blog is nothing without content and you have heard this point until you are blue in the face. In fact, you are a little pissed off at me right now because I mentioned quality content first. I can see you now…”here we go again”. But…you would be surprised how many bloggers I see waste so much time on every other aspect of blogging while completely neglecting the unique, quality content variable in the formula. For some reason, a lot of bloggers overlook this in favor of some of the other items on this list. I don’t know…maybe they are lazy or just unable, but the rest of this list does not mean a damn thing without the quality content as the foundation of a great blog that stands out above the crowd…regardless of niche.

Remember the kid in class? You do not want suck up, non-original content. You do not want to recycle what the teacher is saying. You need original thought…original angles…and something different than ever Joe Schmoe blogger hitting the market today. Before you concentrate on anything else, get your content so hot it is burning the place down.

Consistent, Unique Branding

How many blogs have you visited that still have the plain text title in the header? Have you ever seen any successful website or company that leaves the default text? If you haven’t…then why are you?? Consistent branding is your leverage to keep your site, blog and social media circles focused on who you are and why your blog is different. It does not have to be something complicated. Often times, the simplest logos and tag lines are the best…but you need to at least have one. This branding also needs to extend to all social media and other off-line promotion to keep your name and your branding consistent. Without consistent, unique branding…you are just noise in the crowd.

Clean, Unique Design

This will go hand in hand with your branding, but how do you honestly expect to stand out from the crowd if your standard Thesis Theme install looks just like everyone else that started up a blog that day? Premium themes are a great way to get a leg up on the design process especially if you have zero coding or design experience, but do not leave it there. If your blog looks exactly like 385 other blogs on the net in your niche…forget about standing out from the crowd because you look exactly like the crowd! Great designs portray the feeling of the site while making the content and business model easily accessible. Forget all of the fancy widgets that no one pays attention to and just clutters up your site. Get to what is important and 70% of your readers need.


Copying another bloggers winning formula is just going to leave you frustrated with zero results or not enough to make a real run at serious blogging. Look…everything has been said that is going to hit the net at this point unless it is something brand new. If everything has been said, then how can you stand out? You have your own unique opinions and delivery and you need to start using it. Have a unique voice, a unique opinion and deliver that in a way that is unique and different from the other blogs in your niche. Why is a reader going to stay at a copycat blog when they can have the real thing? They aren’t…so it is your job to make other blogs want to be “the next you”.

Attention To Details

Pay close attention to the details as those are going to be what set you apart from the noise. How can you make your content look better through the use of formatting and pictures? Are there little tweaks that you can do to make your site more engaging? Pay very close attention to your stats and continue to tweak what works and trash what doesn’t. By increasing efficiencies and capitalizing on what you are doing right…you are able to keep the success train on full throttle. The bloggers that fade back into the noise are the ones that are not paying attention to the small details that add up over time.

Strong Social Media Backing

Social media is just a part of life as a blogger. Should the worst happen…social media can keep the traffic rolling and your brand in front of the eyes of people in your niche. Social media is also an incredible outlet for personality as many of things you do on Twitter and Facebook are not site related…but personal. People want to connect with people and not machines, so the more you keep on top of your social media outlets as an extension of who you are and what your blog represents, the more viral your content will become over time. Just remember…you want that same consistent branding strategy to carry over into your Twitter profile, Facebook profile, Facebook fan page, etc. Use the same pictures and logos so your audience recognizes you where ever you go.

Use of Multiple Medias

The days of just throwing up text on the screen are long gone. Readers are now expecting more exciting ways of delivering content through the use of images and video. Not only do these increase your social media spread (ex. YouTube profiles), but they give you a leg up on the competition that is relying completely on text. A large majority of your audience is going to be visual learners and through the use of images and video, you can really connect with these people on a personal level. That connection will make you easy to remember…

Bottom Line On Standing Out

You do not want to be that kid in the class that is begging for the attention. You want to bring the attention to you through quality and originality by incorporating the items above in your blogging. Sometimes it takes an objective look at what you are doing and what you are trying to accomplish to reach your goals. If you are planning on just sliding by…be prepared for disappointment as the ones who really want it are going to take action to get here.

Blogging is an action sport…so you have to get on it or you will be left in the nameless crowd without an audience…


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John Paul Aguiar February 16, 2010 - 9:03 am

Long ass But good read. Best way to stand out is be yourself and write what you know, think and believe.

Also be original. don’t wite what every other blogger is writing.

Robb Sutton February 16, 2010 - 9:10 am

LOL! Yeah…sometimes it just flows and you don’t want to stop.

Josh Katherman February 16, 2010 - 10:51 am

Wonderful post Robb. I know exactly what you’re talking about ha.. sometimes I struggle to find the next word, and sometimes I can’t stop typing =]

Robb Sutton February 16, 2010 - 6:30 pm

All depends on the day for sure. Sometimes it just flows like water.

Colby February 16, 2010 - 12:24 pm

Nice post Robb. I have to work on my unique branding and logo.

Also, I’m looking to get a new premium theme for my blog and was hoping to see a link to your recommended premium themes. I did read your review of WooThemes and I’m guessing that’s who you’d recommend.

Are there any other premium theme providers that are high on your list?

Colby February 16, 2010 - 12:35 pm

Exactly what I was looking for. By the way, I noticed one other thing after I left that last comment. In my comment “WooThemes” automatically turned into a hyperlink. Are you using a plugin that automatically creates the hyperlink for specific keywords?

Robb Sutton February 16, 2010 - 12:37 pm

MaxBlogPress Ninja Affiliate Plugin

Aaron Mielke February 16, 2010 - 4:21 pm

Branding, content, personality.

That’s what brings in loyal readers.

Getting caught up in the design and layout aspects, while important, take away valuable time and mental energy from producing that great content that your readers are looking for.

Robb Sutton February 16, 2010 - 6:34 pm

Getting caught up in the design is an easy thing to do. Time waster too…I get into it all the time!

Jewelry Secrets February 16, 2010 - 5:16 pm

Totally agree. Content! Good Content is King! Readers can deal with every other aspect as long as you deliver what they want, content!

A cool design can help you stand out, but a lot of people concentrate on that and fail to bring the good, consistent articles. Many overload their blog with plug-ins that slow everything down, freezes the page, stops scrolling, drives me crazy. It makes me want to leave, but, if they have the content, all things can be overlooked.

Robb Sutton February 16, 2010 - 6:33 pm

Content…content…content…then promote the crap out of it!

Jakob Schicht February 16, 2010 - 5:40 pm

Hi Robb,
i´m visiting your blog for the first today and simply cant stop reading. I stumbled upon this post and started to read the rest of your blog. And now i´ve got a little question: Where does the picture above (with the crowd of grey and one orange men) come from. I saw it and similiar pictures on a lot of blogs and was wondering whats the story behind those pictures. Thanks in advance and greets from Germany


Robb Sutton February 16, 2010 - 6:33 pm

Awesome Jakob! Thanks for coming to my corner of the web.

It is a stock photo actually. Look up on Google for “stock photos” and there are all sorts of places you can pick up ones like that.

I try not to use them because you see them on other blogs a lot.

Check this post out…It will help.

Nathan Hangen February 16, 2010 - 5:42 pm

This is my #1 focus at present…standing out and being original. The blogosphere is rather incestuous and it’s frustrating…however, those that stand out among the groupies are much more likely to see success…both early and often.

I think part of it lies in having a mission, which is something I wrote about today. The rest is simply being yourself.

Robb Sutton February 16, 2010 - 6:31 pm

It can be frustrating, but the more you focus on being upfront and honest with your readers…the more success you will see as you stand out for being you and not who you think you should be online.

Jt Clough February 16, 2010 - 6:06 pm

The theme of what you teach that has gotten through! Thanks.

Finding your voice, promoting your passion and finding a way to make it a business.

The major points I have learned from you. I have done really well teaching people through analogy and real life scenarios one on one. Through your writing, blogs, and marketing style I’ve applied it to my blog. It works.

I have my own style, copying someone else doesn’t work. Selling product you don’t believe in or don’t know about doesn’t work.

Get rich quick doesn’t work.

Passion, business application, finding your voice does.

Wag about what you do everyday in your own way.

Thanks Robb.

Robb Sutton February 16, 2010 - 6:34 pm

JT…glad I’ve been able to help man! That is what this thing is all about in the end.

Ben February 17, 2010 - 4:50 am

Great analogy with the kid in the class Robb!

You’re completely right – a lot of competition in every niche now and to be successful you need to stand out about the rest but do it in a way that is productive your blog and you principles

Robb Sutton February 17, 2010 - 5:30 pm

Thanks Ben! Hit me as I was writing up the article actually.

Samuel February 17, 2010 - 7:20 pm

What a visual! I remember those kids that were suck ups. Seems like bloggers will be like actors where you will only be as good as your last post.

David Siedlecki February 26, 2010 - 5:40 pm

Great Post! These are great reminders as I keep getting lost in other priorities. Quality content is what keeps me coming back to a short list of blogs each day. The only catch is that I can get to hung up on making a quality post that it consumes too much of my time. It helps to set timelines at that point.

Mo March 16, 2010 - 5:55 pm

Good advice old chap. In fact, I’m one of those suckers that hasn’t done much regarding my blog theme and suddenly people have asked why the hell I’m the last blogger not to have my own header. Procrastination is the thief of time, but I’ll try and sort it out.

Chris Guthrie April 19, 2010 - 4:41 pm

Is this the only blog you write for then or is this what you’ve learned in managing other blogs as well?

Robb Sutton April 19, 2010 - 5:05 pm

Did you read the about page on this site?

I actually write on this site about my experiences outside of the MMO/Blogging niche.


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