Blogging Angle: How to Find Yours
In marketing, there’s a commonly used term – USP, or “Unique Selling Proposition”. This term simply means the quality or qualities that separate you (or your product) from everyone else in your niche. This is especially important in crowded markets – like, oh, say, blogging?
If you have a hard time using the term USP, try thinking of it as your angle. All of the best stories have an angle – it turns a cliche into an interesting twist, it captures the attention of readers and makes them want to know more. Darren Rowse’s angle is that he’s a nice family guy – he regularly mentions his children and wife on his blog and in his Twitter stream. A good angle can mean the difference between success and failure.
Having a good angle/USP isn’t necessarily about being the best. Trying to be the best is a trap that many bloggers get caught in, understandably so. However, it’s much easier to differentiate yourself than to become the best in your given niche, and it requires less work. Obviously, you still want to be producing great quality content – but you don’t have to try to be the best in the world.
Instead of trying to be the best, think of what you do differently. You need to answer the question that readers will ask – “Why should I read your blog?” – in a way that they haven’t heard over and over again. You want to pique their curiosity and make them say “Wait, what? That sounds interesting…”.
Here’s a few tips to get you started on figuring out what your USP is:
- Your personality. What do people comment on about you? Do they say you’re funny? Laid back? Sarcastic? Pick a few of your key personality traits and emphasize those things on your blog. If you’re branding your site with your personality, you’re difficult to replace.
- Specify your target audience. Who do you want to talk to? Your niche can be as much about your audience as it is about your topic. Instead of just blogging about making money, you could blog about how stay at home moms can make money, or how artists can make more money from their work.
- Combine two unrelated things. This is a great idea for coming up with compelling blog posts, and it works just as well for coming up with a compelling angle. If you combine two things that people haven’t seen together before, you’ll pique their curiosity and make them want to read more. An example is Groupon, which combines the idea of getting a good deal with social media and group buying power.
- Specify your topic. You probably already have a niche, but see if you’d like to narrow it down more. Don’t be worried about excluding people – being too vague is likely to hurt you just as much as being too specific would. non-blogging example of a very specific niche would be a car mechanic who only worked on American made cars.
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