When the Internet was young and few people had websites, it was easy to get your site noticed. In those days your site would have been one of only a handful of sites worldwide dedicated to your subject matter. Nowadays, there are hundreds or even thousands of quality websites dedicated to all but the most obscure topics. If you want to stand out from the crowd and get noticed by the major search engines, you need to dedicate yourself to producing quality multimedia content and developing your own voice.
Text-only blog posts are no longer enough to get noticed. Every blog and website has mountains and mountains of text. Simply creating text won’t get you noticed and won’t help your ranking with the major search engines. Images and videos are just as important as text if you want to generate a devoted following. Visual aids give your posts context and help your readers to understand your point. Videos offer an alternative way to reach your audience. A well-produced video can hold an Internet user’s interest far longer than a giant wall of text. Images also help keep your readers invested in your content and can help illustrate your posts.
It’s also important to make sure that your text is compelling and filled with interesting details. Anyone can take a picture of their dinner and talk about how delicious the food was. With the right details, however, a boring blog about dinner can become a fascinating description of an otherworldly culinary experience. Sprinkle in details to give your post context, such as interesting facts about the restaurant or the novel way your meal was presented. Give your readers reasons to care about your content.
Have an Opinion
Readers respect authors with a firm opinion. If you try to water down your opinions so that you won’t offend any potential readers, you will end up offending all of your readers with your bland content. Instead, embrace your opinions and display them proudly. Those who agree with you will continue to read eagerly, while those who disagree with your opinion will stick around to argue with you. Either way, you will increase your reader’s devotion to your website and help it to stand above the vast sea of tepid writers.
Nurture the Kingdom
An active community centered around your site will help keep longtime readers engaged and inspire new readers to join your community. Make sure that you have a section for readers to comment on your content. Respond to as many comments as you can. Invite discussion about your content, and create spaces for your readers to interact with each other in addition to your comments section. Finding and interacting with sites similar to your own is also a good way to distinguish yourself.
Make It Look GREAT
A functional, elegant and distinctive design is also important to differentiate your website. First, every advertised feature on your website must work. Broken features make your site look amateurish. You want your readers to enjoy coming to your site; if they feel like they have to battle with your site to get at the content they like, then they will be less likely to return. Second, your website should be aesthetically pleasing. Tailor the aesthetics of your website around your likely visitors. If your website is focused on the automotive aftermarket, then its design should not resemble the design for a site about orchids. If you don’t feel like you have a solid grasp on the principles of design, consider hiring a professional web designer to help you build your site.
Lastly, offer your visitors a variety of content. Don’t simply make everything a written article. Mix things up by posting videos, infographics, polls and guest posts. Not all visitors want the same thing out of a web site, so if you offer a variety of types of content you’ll have a better chance of keeping your visitors. In addition, catchy videos and interesting images have a chance to go viral, giving your website massive attention for minimal cost.
Standing out from the multitudes of identical websites takes time, effort and planning. If you want online success, you need to resonate with Internet users. Quality content, a diverse multimedia attack, and your own unique voice can all combine to help you attract and maintain a loyal online following.