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6 Effective Tactics to Make your Blog Stand Out

6 Effective Tactics to Make your Blog Stand Out

Several individuals are opting for blogging as a career choice. Many people prefer to leave their regular jobs and pursue a successful career choice by blogging. Blogging can look easy, but there is so much competition that it is becoming difficult to succeed in professional blogging. But do not be discouraged by the increasing competition. You can make a successful career by being creative and unique. Like any other career, blogging also requires resolve, positive attitude, and hard work.

Here are some of the important strategies that every professional blogger should be aware of. Applying these strategies can help in developing a popular blog.

  1. Know your target audience

If you want to have a group of dedicated audience, the key is to identify your target audience clearly. The audience should be set in the very beginning. The content of the blog should be according to the users. The interest of audience will be peaked with the relevant content. You can promote the blog quickly if the content is focused. You can use a variety of criteria to define the target market. You can use different demographics such as age, education, hobbies, religion, special interests, etc. Focusing the marketing efforts online will help you stand out from the competition and increase the interest of users as well.

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You can use a variety of criteria to define the target market. You can use different demographics such as age, education, hobbies, religion, special interests, etc. Focusing the marketing efforts online will help you stand out from the competition and increase the interest of users as well.

  1. Putting a unique twist on blog content

It is not possible to find an idea that is unique. Instead of wasting your energy in trying to come up with a distinct topic you should focus on putting an innovating twist to the topic that you choose. There will be other blogs on the same subject as yours but try to incorporate your individuality into the blog. It is the best way of developing a unique reputation for your blog. You can add exclusive information, latest facts, your opinions and perspectives in your blog entries to make them stand out from other blogs of the same topic.

It is important to be aware of how other bloggers are presenting their content. Knowing their style will help in developing a unique style. Stay up to date with the substance of your competition. Also, make sure that you are aware of the latest trends in blogging as well. Focus on developing content which is not readily available on other blogs or websites. The more innovation you bring to your content, the more the followers you will have.

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  1. Updating the content regularly

Adding new content on a regular basis will help in developing a steady audience. All the new entries should focus on a target audience. Staying on topic is critical for success. You should develop a good understanding of your users. Adjust the content according to the followers once you understand their needs. Always try to maintain the posting schedule. Try to keep a realistic posting schedule, one you can easily manage.

The daily articles, posts, and opinion pieces shared on the web are so many that they are overwhelming. It is the ability to stay ahead of the trends in the industry that can help blogs achieve loyal visitors. Whatever is the topic of your blog, make sure that you are always aware of the latest developments in that field. Try to be among the first to spread the latest news. Do not let the content of your blog become stale and outdated if you want to retain your visitors.

  1. Establishing an interactive online community with the blog

You can gain a lot of users by making the blog an interactive online community. Encouraging the audience to participate by adding comments is an excellent way of creating a successful blog. Provide an opportunity to the followers to share ideas and interact with other users. Make sure that there is a share button on the blog entries so that audience can share the entries easily.

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You can successfully create an interactive community with a blog by building it around a single idea which is powerful. Let the people know about your personality and your approach. You can engage more audience by choosing the right name. Pick a name that intuitively holds some meaning for the users.

Always take the opportunity to contact any potential contributors. Use social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, etc. to create fan pages of the blog. After that, you can have a targeted ad on Facebook. It will increase the subscriptions of the blog significantly.

  1. Benefits of multifaceted approach

To get hundreds of thousands of followers, you need to have an ongoing promotion. You can even make use of paid advertising. You can depend on the mainstream media to get publicity and recognition for your blog.

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A multifaceted approach is beneficial because it allows you to reach a wider audience. As the blog grows, the initial idea that it was based upon also evolves, and you get so many different opportunities. Instead of ignoring the possibilities, try to adopt a multifaceted approach and incorporate them into your evolving idea.

  1. Professional blog design

Conveying a professional image is essential for getting followers. Regardless of the subject matter of the blog, always put up a professional face with the help of your content and design. To make your blog look professional, you should always avoid using a background that is distracting. The focus should be on the content, so make sure that it always stands out.

Choose the colors of the blog very carefully. Avoid using too many fonts. It is better to choose one and also refrain from using a variety of font sizes and random colors. Make sure that the content pages and sections are clearly labeled so that users can navigate through the blog easily. Consistency in the design of the blog is the key to a professional look. Make sure the content is easy to read and comprehend. Proofread the work carefully before publishing so that there are no errors.

Featured photo credit: Act-on.com via act-on.com

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Published on March 20, 2019

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

How to Write a Powerful Mission Statement for Your Business

Have you ever felt lost in the minutia of your job?

As a business owner, I can relate to getting bogged down in the day to day operations of my business. Things like inventory, payroll, scheduling, purchasing and employee management take up the bulk of my day.

While these things are important and need to get done, focusing too much on the details can make you lose sight of the big picture. This is why having a good mission statement comes in handy.

What is a Mission Statement?

Put simply, a mission statement is an internal document that provides a clear purpose for the organization. It provides a common reference point for everyone in the organization to start from.

In other words, after reading your company’s mission statement, managers and employees should be able to answer the question “What are company’s main objectives?” For example, Southwest Airlines mission statement reads:[1]

“Southwest Airlines is dedication to the highest quality of Customer Service delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, individual pride, and Company Spirit. We are committed to provide our Employees a stable work environment with equal opportunity for learning and personal growth.”

In this single statement, Southwest conveys the company’s goals of providing the highest level of customer service as well as providing a good working environment for their employees.

Mission Statement VS. Vision Statement

While the mission and vision statements are related, there are subtle but distinct differences the you should be aware of.

First of all, a mission statement is designed primarily as an internal company document. It provides clarity and direction for managers and employees.

While there’s nothing wrong with sharing your company’s mission statement with the outside world, its intended audience is within the company.

While a mission statement provides a general framework for the organization, the vision statement is usually a more inspirational statement designed to motivate employees and inspire customers. Going back to Southwest Airlines, their vision statement reads:[2]

“To become the world’s most loved, most flown, and most profitable airline.”

This statement inspires good feeling from the customer while motivating the employees to achieve that vision.

What Does a Good Mission Statement Look Like?

When coming up with a mission statement, it’s important to take your time and do it right. Too often, people (especially entrepreneurs) just write down the first thing that comes to mind and they end up with worthless or (worse yet) a generic mission statement that is utterly useless.

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Remember, a mission statement should provide a common framework for everyone in your organization.

When writing a mission statement, you should always try to incorporate the following;

  • What we do?
  • How we do it?
  • Whom do we do it for?
  • What value are we bringing?

Now, you can see how tempting it is to just come up with something generic that ticks off those four boxes. Something like “We provide the best widgets available online for the consumer.”

After all, that did check off all the boxes:

What we do? Provide widgets.

How we do it? Online.

Who do we do it for? The consumer.

What value we bring? The best widgets.

The problem with this mission statement is that it could apply to any number of companies producing the same widget. There is nothing to distinguish your company or its widgets from any of your competitors widgets.

Compare that mission statement to this one:

“We provide the highest quality widgets directly to the consumer at an affordable price backed up with a 100% satisfaction guarantee. If our clients aren’t 100% satisfied, we’ll make it right.”

What’s the difference?

Both mission statements answer all the same questions of what, how, whom and value. But in the second statement, they are differentiating their company from all other competitors by answering the question “what makes us unique”.

Another way to read that is, “Why you should buy from us.” In this example, it’s because our widgets are of the highest quality and we stand behind them 100%.

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You might have noticed the statement didn’t say that we sell widgets at the lowest possible price. That’s because we are emphasizing quality and satisfaction over price.

A different company’s mission statement may emphasize selling widgets at the lowest possible price with little to no mention of a guarantee.

Hallmarks of a Good Mission Statement

1. Keep It Brief

Your mission statement should be no longer than three sentences. This is not your company’s magnum opus.

You should be able to distill the what, how, who and why questions into a succinct message.

2. Have a Purpose

A company’s missions statement should include the reason it even exists.

Make clear exactly what the company does with statements like “We strive to provide our customers with …….”

3. Include a “How”

Take this as an opportunity to differentiate your company from its competitors.

How do you provide a product or service that’s different or better than how your competitor provides it?

4. Talk About the Value You Bring to the Table

This is where you can really set yourself apart from the competition. This is the “why” customers should buy from you.

Do you offer the lowest prices? Fastest delivery? Exceptional customer service? Whatever it is that sets you apart and gives your particular products, services or company an advantage talk about it in the mission statement.

5. Make Sure It’s Plausible

It’s okay to shoot for the stars just to settle for the moon, but not in a mission statement.

Being overly ambitious will only set you and your employees up for failure, hurt morale and make you lose credibility. You will also scare away potential investors if they think that you are not being realistic in your mission statement.

6. Make It Unique and Distinctive

Imagine if someone who knew nothing about your business walked in and saw how it was operating, then they read your mission statement. Would they be able to recognize that mission statement was attached to that business? If not re-work it.

7. Think Long Term

A mission statement should be narrow enough so that it provides a common framework for the existing business, but open enough to allow for longer term goals. It should be able to grow as the business grows.

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8. Get Feedback

This is very important, especially from managers and employees.

Getting their input can clarify how they currently see the company and their role within the organization. It’s also a good way to get people “on-board,” as studies show that people are more likely to go along with an idea if they feel included in the decision making process beforehand.

9. Review Often and Revise as Necessary

You should review the missions statement often for two reasons.

First, as a reminder of what the essence of the company is. It’s easy to forget when you are in the day to day grind of the business.

And two, to make sure that the mission statement is still relevant. Things change, and not everything can be anticipated at the time a mission statement was written.

For example, if a mission statement was written before the advent of the internet, a company that use to sell things door to door now probably has a website that people order from. You should always update the mission statement to reflect these changes.

The Value of Mission Statements: Why Go Through All of These in the First Place?

It may seem like a lot of work just for a few sentences that describe a company, but the value of a well written mission statement should not be discounted.

First of all, if you are an entrepreneur, crystallizing the what, how, whom and value questions will keep you focused on the core business and its values.

If you are a manager or other employee, knowing the company’s basic tenants will help inform your interactions with both customers and colleagues alike.

Strategic Planning

A relevant mission statement acts as a framework for strategic planning. It provides guidance and parameters for making strategic decisions for the future of the company.

Measuring Performance

By having the company’s mission in a concrete form, it also allows for an objective measurement of how well the organization is meeting its stated goals at any one time.

Management can identify strengths and weaknesses in the organization based on the criteria set forth in the mission statement and make decisions accordingly.

Solidifying the Company’s Goals and Values for Employees

Part of a well run organization is nurturing happy and productive employees.

As humans, we all have an innate need for both purpose and to be part of something larger than ourselves. Providing employees with a clearly defined mission statement helps to define their role in the larger organization. Thus, fulfilling both of these needs.

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Now I’m not saying that a mission statement can overcome low pay and poor working conditions, but with everything else being equal, it can contribute to a happier and more productive workforce.

To Hold Management Accountable

By creating a mission statement, a company is publicly stating its highest values and goals for the world to see. By doing so, you are inviting both the public and your employees to to scrutinize how well the company lives up to its ideals.

So if you state that you only provide the highest quality products, and then offer something less, it’s fair for both the public and the employees to question, and even call for a change in management.

If management doesn’t take the mission statement seriously, no one else will either; and the legitimate authority that management rely’s on will be diminished.

To Serve as an Example

This is the opposite side of the coin from the previous statement. If the highest levels of management are seen taking the mission statement seriously and actively managing within the framework of the statement, that attitude filters down throughout the organization.

After all, a good employee knows what’s important to their boss and will take the steps necessary to curry favor with them.

Finally, use the company’s mission statement as a way to define roles within the company. You can do this by giving each division in the company a copy of the mission statement and challenge the head of each division to create a mission statement for their respective departments.

Their individual mission statements should focus on how each department fits in and ultimately contributes to the success of the company’s overall mission statement. This serves as both a clarifying and a team building exercise for all parts of the organization.

Final Thoughts

Developing a mission statement is too often just an after-thought, especially for entrepreneurs. We tend to prioritize things that we perceive will give us the biggest “bang for our buck.”

Somehow, taking the time and effort to sit down and think seriously about the what, whom, how and value of our business seems like a waste of time. After all, we got in the business to make money and become successful, isn’t that all we need to know?

That mindset will probably get you started okay, but if you find yourself having any success at all, you’ll find that there really is such a thing as growing pains.

By putting in the time and effort to create a mission statement, you are laying the groundwork that will give you a path to follow in your growth. And isn’t building long term success what we are really after?

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Featured photo credit: Fab Lentz via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Southwest Airlines: About Page
[2] Fit Small Business: 10 Vision Statement Examples To Spark Your Imagination

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