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Overheard on #Blogchat: Being Unique (@YesVictory)

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Do you participate in #blogchat? Every week, this weekly discussion on Twitter focuses on a specific topic and bloggers everywhere are invited to join in. Because I often have more to say than what will fit in 140 characters, every Sunday night (or Monday morning), I post about some of the most interesting #blogchat tweets. Join the conversation by commenting below.

(Still confused? Read more about #blogchat here.)

This week’s theme: Open Mic! (any topic goes)

Because #blogchat was “open mic” tonight, it was a bit like organized chaos, with a number of different conversations happening throughout the evening. One of the tweets that stood out to me was about the content of your blog:

@YesVictory: Be unique. There are too many copy cats in the world already

I don’t think there’s a single person out there who raises their hand and says, “Yes! I would like you to be a boring copy of a blog I already read! Sign me up for your mailing list while you’re at it!”

So why is it such a problem?

We all want to be successful, so it makes sense to learn from those who already are successful. And when we do learn from the already-successful bloggers, what do they tell us? Generally, tips and techniques that have worked for them. Write titles this way like I do. Structure your posts this way like I do. Design your blog this way like I do…

Here’s the challenge I have for you, though: Describe your blog to me in one to two sentences. Good. Now, could that short description be used to describe any other blog out there? If so, you’re doing it wrong.

But in an overcrowded niche, how is that possible without getting so specific that your blog doesn’t have potential for a huge audience? One word: YOU.

People come to your blog to see you. If your topic has been done before, that’s okay. You have opinions that another blogger doesn’t have. You have stories about your life to tell, and these aren’t stories that any other bloggers have. It doesn’t matter if you use every single technique that another blogger uses. That isn’t what makes you a copy cat. What makes you a copy cat is the fear to be yourself – the idea that you have to be someone else to succeed.

Go back to the exercise I suggested earlier – describing your blog on a sentence or two. Now add yourself to the equation, if you haven’t already. That’s what makes you unique. That’s how you work into a niche, elbowing your way through the crowds to find your readers. It takes work and dedication. If you want to make money, it takes a good business plan and market research. But mostly, it takes you. You-nique. You don’t need to copy someone else if you aren’t afraid to be yourself.

Allison Boyer freelance writer and content marketing consultant. She also runs the food blog The PinterTest Kitchen with her mom and sister. You can follow her shenanigans on Twitter (@allison_boyer) or contact her at allisonmboyer@gmail.com.


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