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3 Ways To Differentiate Yourself As A Blogger

differentiate yourself as a bloggerBlogging is very competitive.

Everyone fights to get heard.

They want to be the leader of the pack within their niche.

But you don’t have to be the leader in order to differentiate yourself as a blogger.

You only need to be a leader.

It’s not necessary to be the top dog, the number one, or the most popular.

Just show people that you can take them down the path that they want to go, and they will follow.

That’s how you build credibility.

And it’s the way to differentiate yourself as a blogger.

Because, let’s face it… most bloggers are not doing that.

Blogger... you don’t have to be THE leader... only A leader. Click to Tweet

Be a “Be-yourself” Blogger

One of the reasons many bloggers fail to lead is that they are too busy following.

They see what the most popular and successful bloggers in their niche are doing.

Then they try to replicate or mimic it.

Special: FREE Guide… 4 Things I Did To Build My Blog Using Only Free Traffic

I guess they just figure that if the other guy has built a great business doing something, they might as well do the same thing.

Sound good, right?

But it’s not.

Because your readers only see you as a follower of someone else.

They don’t see you as a leader, but as a follower… a “me too” voice in an over crowded arena of busy bloggers.

But it’s not hard to rise to the top in your niche.

The good news is, you don’t have to be the best or the most original.

You don’t have to have the most traffic, biggest Twitter following or most Facebook influence.

Because you have something that none of your “competitors” have.

You have yourself.

Nobody else does.

3 Ways to differentiate yourself as a blogger

Read the above article on Pro Blogger

So stop looking over your shoulder at how great everyone else is doing, and concentrate solely on what YOU are doing.

Just be yourself and others will follow you, not because you’re the best, biggest or brightest.

But because, hey, you’re the only one of you.

The “Be-Yourself” Magic

Okay, so there are problems with the “just be yourself” approach.

You actually have to be able to give people some value in order for them to want to follow you.

I mean, that should go without saying.

Nobody want to follow someone who has nothing to offer.

So, first, differentiate yourself as a blogger by getting your head straight about what you can do to help your followers.

A lot of bloggers never do this.

They think about what’s interesting, hot or trending.

Then they spin out content about those things.

But they don’t take the time to develop a strategy for actually helping their readers, subscribers and clients.

Often, it’s because they don’t really know how to.

So take out a piece of paper and write down exactly what YOU have to offer that will help people… that will improve their lives in some way.

Then, you can be yourself because YOU have your own way of getting through to folks in your own way.

Case Study

I went to a dentist once who was kind of a crazy guy.

His chair-side manner included stories of mobsters, his favorite bakery and nostalgia about the old neighborhoods in New York.

The stories were artfully accompanied by colorful charter impersonations, even 🙂

Every now and then, he’d stop to tell me what he thought would be a good way to proceed with his dental treatment.

As he continued with his bizarre but very personable antics, he worked on me in the most competent manner.

I knew, beneath the joking and fun, I was lucky to have such a talented dentist working on me.

And besides that, I hate going to the dentist, don’t you?

But he totally made me feel comfortable and at ease by just being himself.

Now, this was a very large practice.

I could have chosen to continue my work with any of the associate dentists.

But I insisted on working with this one guy.

Why?

Special: FREE Guide… 4 Things I Did To Build My Blog Using Only Free Traffic

Because I knew he was going to give expert dental care.

And I had come to trust him because he wasn’t putting on airs.

He didn’t spend time trying to convince me that he was a good dentist.

Nor did he try to impress me with his dental knowledge, which was clearly top notch.

He was just himself.

Just a guy.

A guy from the neighborhood who was comfortable being himself, and who really liked to help people.

Now, some people might have been put off by this pretty unusual sort of behavior.

But I felt right at home.

In my mind, he had become more than just another dentist.

He had differentiated himself from all the other dentists.

He had become “my” dentist.

Related: 10 Ways to differentiate yourself as a blogger (by GG Renee Hill, on Squarespace)

Stop, Look and Listen

There are lots of techniques and tactics for getting people to follow you.

The most common one, of course, is the “lead magnet” approach.

Give somebody something really cool for free (the lead magnet), and they will subscribe to your email list to get it.

Now, they are one of your “followers.”

Or, are they?

Just getting somebody to read your blog post or join your email list does NOT make them a follower.

They must do these things because they want to follow you, not because they’ve been marketed to cleverly.

When that happens…

  • they are truly interested in what you’re doing,
  • are truly getting value from you, and
  • will truly be a member of your “following.”

That means, for instance, they won’t just be on your email list.  They will…

  • open your emails,
  • look forward to your next blog post, and
  • seriously consider the products and services you promote to them.

They’ll do all those things because they know you are always going to work to improve their lives in one way or another.

But how do you bring people to this point of trust and enthusiasm?

Being a “be-yourself blogger” is a big part of that.

But there’s more.

Remember, you must reinforce their trust by giving them value.

You can do it with a very simple 3-step approach.

I call it… Stop, Look and Listen.

Special: FREE Guide… 4 Things I Did To Build My Blog Using Only Free Traffic

You can easily differentiate yourself as a blogger when you use this approach because, frankly, so few bloggers do it.

Some bloggers may do one or two of these things, but rarely do you find one who is doing all three, all the time.

But you can.

STOP

Be deliberate

Focus on the moment.

Think of all the things you do in your blogging business.

Not everything is essential.

Not everything is successful.

You need to find what things are working and what things are flopping.

Most bloggers just keep adding tricks and tactics to their arsenal.

They keep

  • attacking their market,
  • increasing their audience,
  • getting bigger,
  • getting more complicated.

Stop it!

Slow down.

Consider carefully what you’re putting into your business and more importantly what you can take out of your business.

A little story

I recently had some health issues.

I recently put myself on something called a FODMAP diet.

This is a diet where you essentially take everything out of your diet for a while.

It’s called an Elimination Diet.

Then you slowly re-introduce things over time.

The trick is that when you reintegrate something into your diet, you watch very carefully to see how it affects you.

This clues you in to foods that you should be avoiding.

Those are the things that are poisoning your system, even if to the tiniest degree.

It is a way to laser focus your eating habits so that you’re eating only the right things and avoiding the wrong ones.

It’s a way to be deliberate in your health.

To take things slowly and see what’s working and what’s not.

Special: FREE Guide… 4 Things I Did To Build My Blog Using Only Free Traffic

And to lighten up on the things that are not working, and focus on the things that are.

This is what I’m suggesting that you do with your business.

In this way, you can do less and accomplish more.

There are things in your business that are toxic.

Things that are not working.

But you keep doing them over and over, don’t you?

So stop it, now.

When you simplify your business and laser focus on delivering value to your readers… you will rise above the crowd and differentiate yourself as a blogger.

LOOK

Next, I want you to look at your audience.

That’s right.

Look ‘em straight in the eye when you talk to them.

Did you ever talk to somebody who doesn’t look at you when they talk?

You wonder if they’re really listening to you, right?

You wonder if they even care about what you think or have to say.

Your audience needs to know that you’re paying attention to them.

Related: The 7 Pillars of Connecting with Absolutely Anyone (by Scott Dinsmore, on Forbes)

So every time you talk to your readers, look them in the eye and pay careful attention to how they are responding.

That will clue you in as to what their real needs and interests are.

And that will show your readers that you really do care about them.

Talk, yes.

But pay attention as you do.

People love someone who cares.

Another little story 🙂

I remember once, consulting with a woman who couldn’t believe when her boyfriend broke up with her.

She thought everything was going great.

She especially couldn’t believe the reason he broke up.

He accused her of not really caring that much about him.

In fact, he was pretty surprised that she even cared about him breaking it off.

“Why would he say that?” she wanted to know.

Because she couldn’t show him that she cared… even though she really did!

She was very guarded and just couldn’t express, verbally or non-verbally, that she really liked this guy.

So he assumed that she didn’t.

Blogging is like dating

You have to show people that you really do care about them.

Don’t get me wrong, here.

You can’t force “caring.”

It’s either there or it’s not.

But, assuming that you really do care about your readers… let them know that.

Make it clear.

And make it the foundation of everything you do.

That’s one of the key ways you can differentiate yourself as a blogger.

Because, believe me, most bloggers really do not care about their readers.

They only care about their business, their Moz score and the size of their social media following.

So look your readers straight in the eye when you’re talking to them.

Special: FREE Guide… 4 Things I Did To Build My Blog Using Only Free Traffic

Look for their reactions.

And always look for the feedback they give you.

Blogging is like dating... You have to show people that you really do care. Click to Tweet

LISTEN

Once you get that all-valuable “feedback,” then pay attention to it.

Listen to what your audience is telling you.

Hear what their concerns are.

Get to know their dreams, passions and their fears.

You always hear that you have to “know your niche.”

Well, that’s a very impersonal way of looking at it, don’t you think?

I like to think of my readers as people, not “laser focused niche audiences.”

Here’s the thing.

You have to know the people that you connect to when you are blogging.

And that includes listening very carefully to them as they invite you to share in their journeys.

Listen when they tell you

  • what their big challenges and problems are,
  • the obstacles they encounter, and
  • their struggles to get to where they want to go.

These are the things that you have to hear.

If you don’t, then you will not be in touch with your audience.

If you’re not in touch with them, then you’ll be like most other bloggers.

You’ll only be thinking about

  • yourself,
  • your next blog post,
  • what photo you should use, and
  • how you look when you shoot a video.

Instead, just listen once in a while.

Listen carefully to your audience, and in this way, differentiate yourself as a blogger who cares and understands.

3 Ways To Differentiate Yourself as a Blogger

You can differentiate yourself as a blogger when you stop, look and listen to your audience.

Most bloggers don’t do that.

That’s why they get such huge bounce rates.

People go to their blogs looking for something that they don’t find.

Well, you can start being the kind of blogger that gives them what they are looking for.

Consider your niche carefully.

Then make sure that you are fulfilling the needs of your audience.

Don’t lecture people, help them.

Forget about telling them what to do and instead, demonstrate how it’s done.

Did you ever take a dance lesson or a yoga class?

Can you imagine if the teacher told you what to do instead of demonstrating it?

It can’t be done.

Stop, look and listen to your audience.

Then help them in any way you can.

And always let them know that you care.

Learn More About Donna’s Popular Top Tier Coaching Program for Bloggers

top tier coaching

How many of these things are you already doing?

Which ones might you start paying more careful attention to?

How do you differentiate yourself as a blogger?

Let me know in the comments below.

You know I LOVE to hear from you 🙂

-Donna

Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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40 Responses to 3 Ways To Differentiate Yourself As A Blogger

  1. Shantanu Sinha
    Twitter:
    November 22, 2017 at 5:43 am #

    Hello Donna,

    Good shout over here 🙂

    Thats a really good point you make out here, ” its not about being a leader but only being a person who can provide relevant
    information to their audiences is the main thing”
    Indeed blogging place is over crowded and people are in a race to finish first, but if one has to gain credibility then
    they need to just stay on the track target their people and help them out through their writing skill.

    There are millions and billions of people over the Internet, one can pretend to be some body else but no one can pretend to
    be ourself, just being our self is the key. Throw the exact same of us in the middle and lets people decide if we
    are worth of their time or not. No need of faking, our greatest power is being ourself

    Thats the fun thing, having a fun jolly face from the outside and making people giggle through our words is something
    different and delivering them the actual material is the main thing, that would attract them to us. They would know
    that particular human is best for that problem to be solved.

    Turning other people towards us just by having a conversation is something that needs to be done, if we can convince them through
    our words, action, the way we treat them and how confident are we, would start the things rolling in.

    Thanks for the share.

    Shantanu.

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 24, 2017 at 3:39 pm #

      Hi Shantanu,

      Aha…confidence! We must be confident with what we are doing if we want people to follow us in any way. People have that “second sense” which is a kind of knowingness that someone is faking it. It is quite obvious.

      Also when we try to be anything other than ourselves, it does show. It makes me think of the famous quote “To thine own self be true” – a quote I’ve lived by since I was young and read it. When we are our true selves, people are more apt to recognize that.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How to Find Your Most Popular Pins On PinterestMy Profile

  2. T I Antor November 22, 2017 at 1:30 pm #

    Hey, Donna,
    Excellent stuff here!!

    Yes, you wrote the actual words. We must stop the wrong thing doing.Must have to take care of our audience and must listen what they are saying or want from us. Helping is the key to success in blogging world, i personally believe. We don’t need to be rush in getting result. I like your words and those examples you set. If people read your post carefully, hope they can learn too many things, as i learned a lot from your post. I always try to give the best effort to let my audience to know the actual information and try to help them if they stuck at any point. Thanks a lot for sharing your thoughts and have a great weekend.

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 24, 2017 at 3:46 pm #

      Hi T I and welcome to my blog,

      Listening is the first thing we must do to know what our audience wants from us. Then we give them the best information we can in the most simplest way so they can have a good take-away to apply.

      We can never rush to get results because this is a business, and any business offline or online does take time to get any kind of results. Trust me, I know….I’ve been running an offline business before the internet perked my interest. Patience and consistency always leads to success.

      Thanks for stopping by,

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How to Find Your Most Popular Pins On PinterestMy Profile

  3. Elvis Michael
    Twitter:
    November 22, 2017 at 1:33 pm #

    Beautifully written. And I need to find me a crazy dentist. Anyone who’s personable and passionate about their past (whether good or bad) is an instant winner for me.

    About differentiating yourself:
    I wrote a book earlier this year, basically encouraging bloggers to be known for “something they do, or something they have.” In essence, make your blog POP in some way.

    -Problogger pops partly due to their job board.

    -BeaFreelanceBlogger pops partly because of their monthly Pitchfest contest.

    -Communities like Reddit pop partly because of their “points and badges” system (gamification).

    -Other blogs are less technical, but still stick out like a sore thumb (for example, a blogger may be surprisingly hilarious or curses like a sailor).

    Find that something to make your blog stand out in some way, whether you offer a tool or service or just a heavy dose of personality.

    Enjoy the rest of your week, Donna 🙂

    Elvis
    Elvis Michael recently posted..WordPress.com vs WordPress.org: The Beginner’s Guide To Choosing The Right Blogging PlatformMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 24, 2017 at 3:56 pm #

      Hi Elvis,

      Yes, look for a dentist with confidence and personality. (I love that analogy and glad you liked it too)

      Indeed, our blogs have to “pop” weather we create it with images, points, give-aways from time to time or anything else. It must, however, reflect on our own personalities. Putting a short video in a blog post does wonders. I call it the “virtual handshake”

      At the end of the day, people buy people, so we need to express ourselves naturally. Tell some stories from time to time and just have some fun with it.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How to Find Your Most Popular Pins On PinterestMy Profile

  4. Ahmad Imran
    Twitter:
    November 22, 2017 at 6:27 pm #

    Donna, you are so right that blogosphere is full of information and there are many bloggers who are more experienced, more successful and more skilled than you.

    So how can one compete?

    By being original and play their own game.

    Loved it.

    Following someone like Neil Patel or Jon Morrow can be depressing if you are not careful. I have been there. But then I focus back and start playing my own game. One step at a time.

    Bit by bit.

    Great message, great article, thanks for sharing.
    Ahmad Imran recently posted..Create Your Ideal Blog Reader Profile [Why, How and 3 Examples]My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 25, 2017 at 8:20 am #

      Hi Ahmad,

      I really appreciate your comment.

      It really can be depressing for people to see others just keep being successful as bloggers, and all the while they can’t seem to muster any kind of the following.

      But you can’t beat yourself up because somebody else seems to be doing “better” than you are.

      You have to realize that the reason they are successful is always because they have created their own unique identity.

      You just have to do the same thing.

      Of course not everybody will have the same level of success.

      But everyone can have their own level of success.

      Just follow a sound process and do it consistently.

      Never panic, never over-reach and above all, never ever quit.

      That’s a formula that has worked for every successful blogger.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Get Out Of Your Blogging BubbleMy Profile

  5. Freddy G. Cabrera
    Twitter:
    November 22, 2017 at 7:43 pm #

    Hey Donna!

    What an amazing piece of valuable content you are sharing here with us! 🙂

    I really enjoyed reading it.

    The best thing that I know helps with connecting with the audience in your niche is to be yourself and speak in your own way. Put the words in the same way you would put them if people were right in front of ya!

    I understand that sometimes you could lose yourself with all the writing and blogging and end up sounding like someone you don’t even know who it is. I think keeping your own voice through the writing can be challenging for new bloggers. I know we have video now and also audio that can work well for blogging. But not everyone likes to be on video and speak on a microphone all the time. I think written words works for everyone.

    In a way, you must entertain the audience in your niche with your words while teaching them something of value. People do love entertainment because that is what seems to grab a lot of attention. Putting your unique character and personality into your blogging can help you gain a lot of readers eager to hear from you every week! 😀

    Loved this post Donna! thanks for sharing it!

    Cheers! 😀
    Freddy G. Cabrera recently posted..5 Simple Ways to Make the Most Out of Your Blog!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 25, 2017 at 8:46 am #

      Hi Freddy,

      I like the point you made about doing video and audio.

      Like you said – people don’t always like doing that.

      But even if you don’t, I suggest you do it just for yourself.

      You don’t have to share your video or your audio track with anybody.

      Just do it because it helps you get your own unique and real voice.

      Like you said – people just need to know that you are real.

      You don’t have to be the world authority or the last word on your topic.

      But you do need to be real & entertaining is a plus 🙂

      I think using audio and video is a great way to develop that “voice”… even if you do it in the closet.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..7 Secrets For Getting Traffic To Your BlogMy Profile

  6. Marquita Herald
    Twitter:
    November 23, 2017 at 6:49 am #

    Wonderful tips and stories Donna. Your story about the dentist reminded me of my OBGYN back on Maui. I’d been a patient of his so long that the original doctor retired and his son took over the practice but they were like clones in the way they looked and mannerisms! Anyway, another thing we (women) hate is hauling ourselves up to spread our legs in the stirrups for the annual checkup. My doc papered the ceiling with the most irreverent jokes and cartoons – it was so bizarre laying there laughing while he’s down at the other end doing his thing. Highly effective to be sure. 🙂
    Marquita Herald recently posted..The Gift of a Grateful HeartMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 25, 2017 at 9:10 am #

      Hi Marquita,

      You see… we always talk about how important it is to do storytelling on our blogs.

      But it’s just as important to do it in our comments isn’t it.

      Love your ceiling story.

      And isn’t that a great time and place to reflect on just being yourself… haha

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Too Busy For Personal Growth?My Profile

  7. George Caputo November 23, 2017 at 10:41 am #

    I have seen many bloggers who follow and copy the style of other bloggers. If we have a look at their blogs, we may find differences in each blog post. If I elaborate such differences, then it may be blog posts with different formats, different writing styles, copying the best practices and merging them in a single blog to make it the best, and few more.

    The point is, they are not willing to stick to their styles and want to crop the veggies before they grow. With such technique, we can notice that blogger has no patience and in a hurry to make money.

    Donna, you highlighted an excellent point “Be a Be-yourself Blogger,” and I guess this is the way that blogger can impress his/her readers and build a community of readership on blogs.

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 25, 2017 at 9:24 am #

      Hi George,

      Blogging is certainly not a place to be impatient or to look for quick rewards.

      It truly is a work of love.

      It takes work to to build, and then time and patience to nurture.

      I like you your image of a garden.

      First you have to plant, then you patiently water and nurture until Harvest.

      Yes, that’s blogging, and we each need to find out the way that works best for us.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..3 Blogging Commitments Guaranteed To Boost Your BusinessMy Profile

  8. Ryan Biddulph
    Twitter:
    November 23, 2017 at 3:21 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Being yourself is so garsh darn important.

    Many bloggers fear being themselves because doing so requires them to be honest, to be vulnerable and to be authentic. Scary prospects for most because taking the genuine path opens you up to criticism, and also may reveal that you have been trying to be someone else for your entire life. Sobering thought, but when you are with the non genuine energies, and feel the fears, ya clear them out and blog from an authentic space.

    Nobody on earth designs eBook covers like me, writes like me, does videos like me, or can mimic me in any way. This is not because I am special – far from it! – but because I am being authentic, to the core, and if anybody reading this post understands that being you will make you stand out in the same way, you’ll never want to be anybody else again.

    Rocking post!

    Ryan
    Ryan Biddulph recently posted..7 Tips to Become a Professional Blogger Who Blogs from Paradise (Amazon eBook)My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 25, 2017 at 12:50 pm #

      Hi Ryan,

      You got all that right, for sure.

      And I’d even add… that you don’t have to be the best at anything.

      You just have to be good enough to be giving real value to the people who follow you.

      … and to the people who hire you or buy your products and services.

      If you can give them value and improve their lives in some little way… then you’re sure worth a whole bunch to them.

      If I want to get an e-book cover I’ll go to somebody that I think I can depend on (trust) and will give me a really good job at an affordable rate.

      I don’t have to think that he/she is the best e-book cover designer in the world.

      I just have to know that working with him / her is going to put some serious value into my business and therefore into my life.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Start Making Money With Your BlogMy Profile

  9. Lisa Sicard
    Twitter:
    November 24, 2017 at 6:57 am #

    Hi Donna, I love this post. It’s all about being REAL. It’s not about how many words we must write or how many videos we should produce. It’s about being ourselves and helping others along the way.

    I love the story about your dentist – sometimes people don’t have to appear “all professional” and “with it” to be darn good at what they do. You can see beyond that, you just listen carefully 🙂

    I continue on and hope to listen more to my readers and hope to help more people along the way. If you love what you do it shows through. If you don’t people can see right through you.

    I do hope you are feeling better Donna and hope to connect before this year is out!
    Lisa Sicard recently posted..How Important is a Thank You in Blogging Today?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 25, 2017 at 8:24 pm #

      Hi Lisa,

      It’s not always easy for people to listen to others.

      It really is sort of a learned skill.

      I’ve spent many years in private consultation with clients.

      So I’m used to listening.

      In my online business it really comes in handy because people don’t always know what they’re trying to communicate.

      By listening very carefully, I can often help them understand better how to break through the obstacles that are holding them back and preventing them from getting the results they’re shooting for.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Welcome – How Is This Blog Different?My Profile

  10. Susan Velez
    Twitter:
    November 24, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Hi Donna,

    I think it’s important to be yourself on your blog. I know how easy it is to try to be like someone else, especially, when you start looking around and comparing yourself to others.

    When I first started my blog, I spent so much time reading other people’s blogs and thought that I needed to be like that in order for people to like me. I quickly realized that was crazy.

    First of all, I couldn’t be real if I kept trying to be like someone else. It’s much easier being real when you’re just being yourself.

    Sorry to hear about your recent health issues. I hope you’re feeling a lot better.

    Thanks for sharing these tips with us and I have no doubt that they will help bloggers understand the importance of just being themselves.

    Have a great day 🙂

    Susan
    Susan Velez recently posted..I Bought a Domain Now What? 3 Things You Need To DoMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 25, 2017 at 9:33 pm #

      Hi Susan,

      As important it is to be a “be-yourself blogger,” I understand that it can also be a difficult thing to do.

      As you point out, you always tend to look at what other people are doing.

      It’s easy to be tempted to try to do some of the things that other successful bloggers are doing.

      And that’s okay as long as you keep it to strategy and tactics.

      But when you try to take on a persona that’s not your own, then you get into trouble.

      You can quickly lose your own direction when you walk in someone else’s path.

      So yeah, just stick to being yourself.

      It’s one of the best things you can do to be a successful blogger.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Be A Genuine Blogger Who People LoveMy Profile

  11. Taiwo
    Twitter:
    November 24, 2017 at 6:06 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    Thanks for this highly informative post.
    It is easy to fall into the temptation of imitating others, and caring only for what one can get out of blogging.
    The stop, look, and listen paradigm is a powerful strategy that could really make one stand out, and profit from blogging.
    Thanks.
    Taiwo recently posted..Overcoming the Nice Guy SyndromeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 25, 2017 at 9:59 pm #

      Hi Taiwo,

      Oh yes it is tempting to imitate others, isn’t it?

      But that’s just a quick way to try to get your bearings..

      When it comes time to really build out a successful business – you’ve got to start being yourself and differentiate yourself from all the others.

      Doesn’t have to be anything big, but it does have to be something real … and something that is just you and nobody else.

      Happy to hear you like the “stop, look and listen” strategy.

      It sounds simple, but the implementation is not so easy.

      It’s certainly no “cookie cutter” solution.

      On the upside, it really does work.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How To Connect With Your Blog AudienceMy Profile

  12. Mitch Mitchell
    Twitter:
    November 24, 2017 at 8:05 pm #

    This is the kind of thing I advocate all the time. People have to be original and be themselves; cloning their content to read like other people’s content is never a good idea… as well as being boring. It’s always my goal to be “me” and not anyone else.

    The stories you told today are intriguing, especially that Elimination Diet thing. It’ll never be me! lol However, you made an interesting point by using it; that’s the importance of storytelling. 🙂
    Mitch Mitchell recently posted..Black Web Friday… On A Monday… After 5 1/2 YearsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 26, 2017 at 1:16 pm #

      Hi Mitch,

      If there is one goal you have achieved so perfectly it is being you. That is why I enjoy reading your blog.

      Oh that darn elimination diet thing… Although I’m feeling much better, I still drool over the foods I cannot eat lol. But yes, there is the importance of storytelling.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How to Find Your Most Popular Pins On PinterestMy Profile

  13. Sonal Talwar
    Twitter:
    November 25, 2017 at 3:48 am #

    Hi Donna

    A very informative post. at the beginning of blogging, there are so many people who just want to copy others and earn big. But this is a wrong approach and this does not really happen. if you want to make a place and name for yourself in blogging you need to be yourself.

    The strategy of stop, look, and listen that you mentioned is great. It is something we all need to follow not only in blogging but also in life.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Sonal Talwar recently posted..7 Essential Winter Skin Care TipsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 26, 2017 at 1:23 pm #

      Hi Sonal,

      Playing follow the leader in the blogging world never works. Sure we can get an idea or two, but when it comes down to it all, we need to be ourselves. Especially if we want to monetize our blogs, we have to be unique and differentiate ourselves from others. It comes down to people buying people. We will attract those that we will enjoy working with.

      Indeed, stop, look and listen is a way of life!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How to Find Your Most Popular Pins On PinterestMy Profile

  14. Sam Nathaniel
    Twitter:
    November 25, 2017 at 9:04 am #

    Beautifully crafted information for all those who are looking for understanding how to be a better blogger. Everyone has a story to share and stamp themselves as different. We have to be true of ourself writing blogging contents and it will work.

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 26, 2017 at 1:24 pm #

      Hi Sam,

      Well said! We all have our own story to share and our own unique way of telling it. Writing, vlogging…the list goes on and on.

      Being true to ourselves is where it starts. Once we are comfortable with that, blogging becomes easy and fun to do.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..How to Find Your Most Popular Pins On PinterestMy Profile

  15. Joy Healey
    Twitter:
    November 25, 2017 at 6:25 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    A great post about being yourself as a blogger.

    When I started out blogging I very quickly realised that there was no way I could be a “great” blogger because I knew SO little about blogging. It was all I could do to put a post together in a day!

    So, I decided to “be myself” and tell people the mistakes i had made, in the hopes that they wouldn’t make them too. I hope it has helped some people.

    Now, having blogged for a few years, I’m still nowhere being a great blogger, but I do know enough to spot a few mistakes that other people are making, so at least I’ve learned from my own mistakes.

    I used to dream about being a a full-time professional blogger making a full-time living from my blog. It would be great – but I’m not LOL – and now it doesn’t worry me that I’m not.

    I just try to show people that you can use a blog part-time (after dark!) as a promotional tool for your own branding and offline businesses.

    Thanks for a thought-provoking article.

    Joy Healey – Blogging After Dark
    Joy Healey recently posted..Discount Travel From GSR – Now I Get Paid To SleepMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 28, 2017 at 10:21 am #

      Hi Joy,

      When it comes to blogging, “Blogging After Dark” says it all to part time bloggers. Everything you share does keep those part time bloggers that visit you inspiration to carry on. What you are doing is so important!

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..5 Reasons Why Your Blog Is Not Making MoneyMy Profile

  16. Kathryn Maclean
    Twitter:
    November 26, 2017 at 7:43 am #

    Hi Donna,
    What I got from your excellent post.

    Listen carefully to your audience. This differentiates you as a blogger who understands and who cares.

    Don’t tell them what to do, show them how to do it.

    Always show that you care.

    Great post!

    • Donna Merrill
      Twitter:
      November 28, 2017 at 10:23 am #

      Hi Kathryn,

      You hit the nail on the head. Always show them how to do things instead of telling them what to do. And of course, we always have to be listening to our audience in order to provide the information they are looking for.

      -Donna
      Donna Merrill recently posted..5 Reasons Why Your Blog Is Not Making MoneyMy Profile

  17. Elise Cohen Ho
    Twitter:
    November 26, 2017 at 2:05 pm #

    Another excellent post. We, as bloggers and business people, need to figure out our messaging and how that aligns with our audience. Then within that really evaluate what they are looking for. This is where the magic is.
    Elise Cohen Ho recently posted..8 Elements Of A Great Call to ActionMy Profile

  18. Janice Wald
    Twitter:
    November 26, 2017 at 2:08 pm #

    Hi,
    I got concerned once I wasn’t being true to myself. I don’t remember why. Ryan Biddulph assured me I shouldn’t change anything.
    Janice

  19. Chery Schmidt
    Twitter:
    November 26, 2017 at 8:18 pm #

    Hey Donna! Wowsy Girlfriend! You did an AMAZING job with this post on how to differentiate yourself as a blogger. Yeppers STOP LOOK LISTEN! Seems way to easy HUH? Just show people that you can take them down the path that they want to go, and they will follow.

    I really enjoyed your stories to.. Great Share! Thnka Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..Is It Truly Possible To Become Successful Online?My Profile

  20. Erika Mohssen-Beyk
    Twitter:
    November 26, 2017 at 10:40 pm #

    Hi Donna ,

    you give like always great suggestion. Being yourself is important, everybody is unique and the stories are you as well.
    Comparision and competition are out, everybody can have his own tribe by being original and authentic.
    As we all know there are more and more people using the internet. There will be no shortage.
    Good is to follow your other tips as well.
    Thank you
    Erika
    Erika Mohssen-Beyk recently posted..How To Be Successful By Taking Responsibility For Your LifeMy Profile

  21. Neil Agarwal November 28, 2017 at 3:49 am #

    Hi Donna Merrill,

    Nice & Great article made by you. I am a new blogger to the blog industry and have too much fear of posting articles and sharing my items. Reading this I feel like a pro blogger with the confidence of sharing any topics over the world. Thanks for sharing!

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