How to Start a Blog That Rocks: A New Angle, Voice, and Audience

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Picture: Your brain charged with blog power.

Your brain charged with blog power.

Unoriginal content numbs our brains.

Are you ever bored by articles in your area of interest because they repeat what has already been said? How many times can you hear the same phrase “content is king” before it makes you nauseous?

You need an approach to start you off in your individual direction, or you risk performing a blogging face-plant.

When I first started my website “ZipMinis: Science of Blogging and Writing,” I was a novice. I educated myself through websites like Copyblogger, Problogger, and BasicBlogTips. I first named my site “ZipMinis: Social Media and Blogging.” Boring and lifeless.

I floundered for a while because I hadn’t thought about angle, voice, and audience. So, my blog was mediocre and dull, but I drew a significant amount of traffic through social media. I quickly learned that I needed more research and innovation, but the developing audience gave me hope.

At this point, I brought in brain science as a unique angle to write new material on an old topic: blogging. I had studied psychology, cognitive, and neuroscience, so I drew from my background to take a fresh look at writing. Drawing on prior experience and knowledge will help you focus too.

My blog started to click with an audience that I now know well. I have struggled to develop my personal voice and made great improvements. I feel a harmony in my writing now, which gives me confidence. I am used to academic writing, which just doesn’t work for most blogs.

Content with a unique voice, angle, and audience stimulates our minds.

You read blog articles to find interesting, new, and powerful information on your favorite subject, right? Blogs fail to grab your interest when they discuss old ideas because your brain longs for new information and stimulation.

When creating or renovating your blog, you must face this problem head on by considering your angle, audience, and voice. This is a complex process involving a lot of factors, and often bloggers simply avoid it, choosing to repeat old information. These blogs fail quickly.

Blogs that rock are original and engaging in their approach to the topic with a personal voice. You can accomplish this success in your own blog if you are willing to put in the time and effort.

I’ll define the three terms we are dealing with real quick:

  • Angle - the unique point of view, approach, attitude, opinion, and direction you bring to a topic.
  • Audience - the group of people you write to. You need to know their needs, questions, and interests because they will guide your blog.
  • Voice - your personal writing touch that comes through your words as your audience reads your posts. This is similar to the differences in your spoken voice compared to others.

You must focus and work on each of these to break out of the ruts of old information. Understanding them fully requires intense labor.

But, consider the fact that you plan to blog on this topic for a long time, hoping to grow your audience and fans. This isn’t a temporary gig for you. Isn’t the hard work to build the foundation of your blog approach worth the time?

Amy Lynn Andrews discusses the thought processes bloggers go through when deciding if it’s worthwhile:

A large niche [topic] is good in the sense that you know there’s a market for it, but it’s not-so-good in the sense that it’s hard to stand out.

I think what happens for a lot of us (myself included) is that we find a blog and think, “Hey, I could do that!” Next thing we know, we’re setting up a blog just like the one we’ve seen.

This is not all bad, of course, but if your goal is to make an income from your blog, standing out is key.

I’m going to give you some powerful approaches that will help you pin down your stunning blog approach. The tasks and exercises will push your mind to learn, understand, and innovate. The process will require creativity with your topic. I outline all the steps in a checklist that you can download below, but I’ll give you a brief overview of the process now.

The process of discovery in blogging.

First, you must think and research to decide on the specific topic for your blog. You must be passionate about the topic, or you will grow bored quickly and quit. For this exercise, I am going to assume that you have found your ideal topic, so that I can guide you in the more complex steps that follow.

As you research, you need to discover what is old news in the subject area and what is trending. In discovering the old and the new, you begin to see areas where you can add something new to the conversation. These powerful ideas are key to the success of your blog.

Second, you investigate and define your audience. You are one member of that group, but you need to find  more information about the people you will write to.

The exercises push you to think deeply about the wants and needs of other people, and this requires a considerable effort. However, you can’t avoid the work because your blog will fail without it.

Third, you  consider unique angles that shed new light on the subject. This will challenge your creativity and independent thought. You can do it though because you are smart and capable.

Fourth, you begin the never-ending journey of developing your personal voice. Speaking through your writing is more difficult than you might think, and you will need time and practice.

The following checklist moves you through each stage. Once you work your way through the steps, you will be writing powerfully on your blog. Feel free to download and share with fellow bloggers.

Infographic on starting a blog with a unique voice, angle and audience.

 

I hope this checklist starts you on a journey to develop or renovate your blog, and I guarantee your approach to your audience will be stronger.

However, I know the list isn’t perfect, and I would love to hear what strategies have worked for you in finding a powerful place for your blog. Please drop me a line in the comments below and let me know. Happy blogging.

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Darin L. Hammond

Darin L. Hammond

Owner and Professional Writer at ZipMinis Freelance Writing
Say hello to Darin at his website about the science of blogging and writing: http://www.zipminis.com. He blogs there and writes and designs professionally. Darin publishes across the web on sites like Technorati, BC Blog, Blog Critics, Broowaha, Business2Community LifeHack, and Social Media Today. SteamFeed is his favorite place to write, of course.
Darin L. Hammond
Darin L. Hammond
Darin L. Hammond
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Comments

  1. Hey Darin, great post.

    Totally agree with you each bloggers needs something unique. No need to re-invent the wheel but there has to be something a bit different or unique about you if you want people to take notice.

    I've added your post to my new resource The Ultimate Guide To Blogging, it features advice from over 100 successful bloggers like yourself…
    http://www.nichehacks.com/how-to-start-a-blog-tha
    My recent post The Ultimate Guide To Blogging: How To Start A Blog That’s Epic

  2. Hey Darin

    I clicked on the link to your article accidentally while waking up. But this must be the BEST accident ever because your write-up (undoubtedly) offers the most insightful and interesting advice for any novice blogger (like me).

    Every article claims to be different – but your article actually IS different. It makes me think, makes me feel and makes me want to ACT!!

    I am in the process of re-branding myself and launching a new website. I thought I had all the answers, but your article made me realize that I haven't even dipped my toes in the murky, but exciting lake of brainstorming!

    Lots of work ahead – back to the drawing board for me :D

    Thank YOU :)

    Kit

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