Blog Tip Friday: Your unique angle & a must-have plugin

 

Welcome to the second edition of Blog Tip Friday on Honest Mom! I write these posts to give you writing and tech tips so you can up your blogging mojo and maximize your blog’s success.

Last time I gave you blog tip #1: the importance of knowing why you blog. This time, let’s talk about your unique angle – plus a plug-in that every blogger should have.

Blog tip #2 : Know what makes your blog unique

When I first started blogging, I got discouraged and thought that it would be impossible to make my blog stand out from all the others.

There are SO MANY mom blogs out there. Why would anyone read mine?

I realized that the answer to my question could be found in my copywriting background: I needed to find a unique angle for my blog.

In the advertising/marketing world that I live in, we call this a USP, or unique selling proposition. The theory is that your product (or in this case, your blog) doesn’t have to be completely and totally different than every other product in its space.

Your product just needs one thing about it that is unique – and will appeal to a certain segment of your intended audience.

So by this thinking, your blog needs just one thing that will appeal to a certain group of moms. There are so many mom blog readers out there, and you don’t have to appeal to every single one!

What’s my unique angle for Honest Mom? It’s my complete candidness about my battle with depression. I know that there are very few moms out there who consistently write about managing their depression. I know that writing about it is a unique way I can help others. And I know that in the end, my depression posts are what draw the majority of people to my blog.

Sure, people also read my humor and parenting posts. Some come mostly for them. And I like writing those posts, too – they give some good variety to my blog.

But my USP is and always will be my honest writing about managing depression as a mom.

So what makes you unique? Is is a certain topic you write about? A style you use when writing? The look and feel of your blog?

As you ponder, don’t be discouraged if you initially think that nothing about your blog is different than any other blog. It might not be evident to you yet.

I didn’t know what made my blog unique for months. But as I saw women’s heartfelt reactions to my depression posts, it dawned on me.

I’ll give you a few other examples. When I think about the blogs I regularly read, they all focus on the same things – moms and parenting. But each one is just a little different.

Anna from My Life and Kids writes short, snappy, funny posts, and her sponsored posts are probably the best I have ever read. She’s a storyteller, and a damn good one.

Paige at There’s More Where that Came From is a humor blogger and writes like no one else I read. She is so witty and has a style all her own.

Kathy at Kissing the Frog writes beautiful and heartfelt posts that can make me cry or laugh. Or both – in one post.

These are just three of the many blogs that I love. They’re all mom blogs – but they all have something special about them.

So think about what makes you unique. You definitely have something because each of us is different. Find your blogging niche and write great posts, and the right readers will keep coming back.

Blog tip #3 : A plugin you need: Comment Reply Notification

I love getting comments. That feeling of, Oh my God, someone read my writing and feels moved to comment! is amazing. Blogger crack, really.

And I love to reply to my commenters, too. I want them to know I’m reading their comments, and that I appreciate them. Time hasn’t been on my side lately, so I can’t reply to everything, but when I do? I want people to know I did so they can reply back and keep the conversation going if they want to.

And that, my friends, is what Comment Reply Notification does. It notifies a commenter that someone replied to their comment – whether that reply came from you or another reader.

Here’s what the plugin looks like:

When you reply to a comment, the original commenter can be automatically notified (the setting I chose above). The plugin also lets you customize your automated subject line and message. It’s simple and perfect.

Just search for “Comment Reply Notification” in plugins, and you’ll find it!

So … tell me in the comments … what’s your USP? And what plugins do you love?

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Comments

  1. says

    This is great information, thank you so much. I'm just starting, and I clearly need to give this more thought. I guess swearing and wEiRd non-complete sentences probably aren't enough to count as my unique "thing" :)
    The only plug-in I have so far is Feedburner, subscribe by email, and Blog Hop buttons for the dear, sweet bloggers that offer them.

  2. says

    This is where I struggle. I honestly don’t know yet what makes me -or my blog – unique. I like to think I just tell stories. Sometimes funny, sometimes poignant, sometimes poking fun at me. I like to think I’m posting relatable things. But unique? No.
    Meredith recently posted… Cabin FeverMy Profile

  3. says

    Awesome, JD. Thanks for the pointers.

    My USP… I’ve struggled with this since starting my blog. Here’s where I’ve netted out:

    I am a mom and a wife who also struggles with anxiety. My blog chronicles my journey towards being a better parent and partner, staying healthy and calm, finding the positives in tough situations and laughing at life’s little comedies.
    Steph at I’m Still Learning recently posted… Valentine’s Day – Love it/Hate itMy Profile

  4. says

    This is great advice JD. I need to check on that plug-in asap. I don’t even know if I have it or not!

    My USP? Humor I suppose. Motherhood with a dash of humor and sarcasm? Some days I’m not sure I know, but I think I will put some more thought into it. Thank you!!
    Tara at YKIHAYHT recently posted… Do You Have Facebook Herpes?My Profile

  5. says

    You’ve created something great here, and yet again, I love your post. My USP is “emotional storytelling”. I write about experiences I’ve had with all sorts of things in my life. I am such an emotional person so this style of writing is home for me. Also, I’m still figuring out all the plug-in options for my blog; however, I cannot express how honestly thrilled and honored I am when someone comments on my blog. I’ve also really enjoyed commenting more and more on other blogs because it has connected me with so many incredible bloggers. Thank you!
    Nikki | Days With Us recently posted… SOMETHING ON HER MINDMy Profile

  6. says

    I am really struggling right now with my blogging path. I’ve made a commitment to myself to blog every day for the year and finding it very interesting which posts of mine are more popular than others, and it is sort of discouraging to see that my personal posts are far less popular than my fictional ones. Also, though I signed up with WordPress.com for the community aspect of it, I am really disliking the functionality and want to move back over to Squarespace. Rambling comment. Point is, I have not found my place in the blog world yet and that causes me some anxiety and it’s crappy. You’re a real inspiration, the way you’ve grown this blog so big so quickly!
    Cheney recently posted… Day 44 – A Writer UnblockedMy Profile

  7. says

    Comments ARE like blogger crack. Nice post. Keep sharing the plug-ins.
    Our USP (unique selling proposition) is our conversational posts which are kind of like TV scripts. Our blog was born out of the conversations that Erin and I have. We do mix it up – sometimes we skip the script style and just collaborate, sometimes we write posts as individuals, but our foundation is the advice and humor that comes out of two friends talking honestly with one another. Ellen

  8. says

    Really loving the questions you are asking! As a new blogger, I am feeling my way and trying to figure out answers to them. I think what makes my blog unique is my focus on my passions (music, education, nature and travel) and how following them helps me and my children learn about the world. My blog focuses on the inspirational parts of my life. I love writing about the good stuff and it motivates me to create more good experiences. I really don’t know anything about plug ins. I am thinking about switching from the free wordpress to the self hosted.
    Rose recently posted… Bar Harbor, MaineMy Profile

  9. says

    My USP is the same as yours, which means i need to figure out how to distinguish my blog from yours. I primarily write about parenting my 3 and 6 year-old kids while dealing with my depression and anxiety. There have been two suicides in my family (my father and his brother), and my father was in trouble with the law most of my life. There will likely be posts about those things, but I’m not sure whether they’ll become part of my USP.

    I’m starting my trek into using plug-ins with the one you suggested above. It’s not going well yet, but hopefully soon.

    Thank you for these tips!
    Frankie Lawson recently posted… When a Dead End Is a Good ThingMy Profile

  10. says

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  11. says

    Hi there– I just stumbled upon your blog as I was writing mine. Your tips are very helpful. I started my blog last March. My USP is how I deal with corporate America while coping with depression. Originally, I thought only people who worked at my company would understand, but it seems the problems are consistent across corporate America.

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