How to Avoid Starting a “Me-Too” Blog

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Monkey-See-Monkey-Do

You have rare and valuable skills and experiences. The word “talent” is a good shorthand for these rare and valuable assets.

Your success as a content creator depends on your ability to:

  1. Recognize your talents and
  2. Use these talents to benefit your readers

Think for a moment. What unique skills do you have? What experiences have you had that give you a unique perspective?

One of my clients spent years learning how to grow a business in a very difficult niche but decided to start a blog based on some keyword research and a hunch that he could profit by tackling a new subject. It took about 6 months until he realized that:

He wrote posts he hated.
He ran webinar training that bored the heck out of him.
His ebooks and special reports were so uninspired that it was painful to read more than a few pages.

Deep down he knew that his content was boring and off-the-mark but he couldn’t put his finger on why.

I see this happen a lot.

The awesome homeschool teacher trying to sell random affiliate products
The amazing business strategist struggling to set up a blog about yoga
The inspiring teen counselor killing herself trying to teach social media

These folk dismiss their talents and start from scratch.

Make a Your Talent List

Set aside 30 minutes and write ten unique experiences you’ve had in your life.
Something that only you’ve had the opportunity to do.

If you are having trouble, think about it this way:

  • Could I do write better blog posts about your subject than you do? Why?
  • Could I service your clients better than you do? Why?
  • Could I create and build a better product for your market than you do? Why?

Here’s another way of looking at it –

What pisses you off about the so-called experts in your field? What are they missing? What are they not talking about? What are they faking?

Write down your answer because your rare and valuable experiences are buried in there.

How to Use Your Talents

Now that you know your talents it’s time to put them to work.

Get Alignment
Align your content with your talents. It’s tough to be successful doing something you hate. Your readers will feel it. Worse you’ll waste time as your slowly burn yourself out.

This might mean that you need to close down your blog. Fine. Do it. The next one will be a blast to write since it will use your talents.

Brag
Yep, it’s time to brag. I mean really brag. Tell your unique story on your About page.

Create a one-sentence mission statement that describes how your talent benefits the reader.

Reference your passion and talents in your author box at the end of each post. Use the same content for the “Bio” widget for your sidebar. See how Neil Patel promotes his talents in this sidebar Bio.

Create Talent Focused Content
Build your blog editorial calendar around topics that demonstrate your unique approach and perspective.

Eliminate content that is outside your expertise. Use the time saved to create comprehensive content aligned with your talent.

Tell Me

What are your talents? Don’t be shy consider this as a practice run.

About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

15 thoughts on “How to Avoid Starting a “Me-Too” Blog

  1. Corinne Floyd

    Yes, loved your article – it is very useful. Writing stuff that I have little interest in is like chewing stale gum over and over – the flavour is long gone. Thanks, Corinne

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  4. Konrad Sanders

    Nice, inspiring post here Stan, cheers! I myself am just at a turning point – from writing keyword-focused, generic blog posts that a whole bunch of other copywriters and bloggers are writing about – to creating awesomely unique masterpieces that are going to go down in blogging history books (watch this space!)

    I really appreciate what you said about using your unique talents and stories. Story-telling is a really powerful way to captivate your audience in copywriting, and some of the best blog posts I’ve read start off with them… So I definitely feel inspired to fish out some of my crazy traveling experiences and have a good think about what lessons my readers can learn from them.

    Thanks again Stan. This gets a big fat ‘tweet’!

  5. Stanford Smith

    Focus. You can’t do it all. It’s easy for marketers to go wide in their focus rather than deep. A deep focus on a particular area will create more value and attract more readers.

  6. miketempleton

    Even more great questions, Stan!

    There is plenty of coverage for e-commerce and popular retail categories like fashion and apparel, so I’m looking more specifically at consumer packaged goods. It’s the largest retail sector in the world, but it actually doesn’t seem to get very much attention.

    In terms of digital marketing, there are certainly areas I would like to spend more time on than others. Social media is my personal area of expertise — and maybe that is the best hook — but I don’t want to miss out on some tertiary topics like email, mobile, location-based services, etc. I work as a digital marketing for a regional convenience store chain, so all of these things are like second nature to me.

    Should I just stick with social media and leave the other topics out? Do I need to worry about scope creep now? Is it alright to branch out in the future as the blog becomes established?

    Thanks for all of your thoughts and feedback!

  7. Stanford Smith

    Hi Mike, welcome.
    Your focus is digital marketing for brick and mortar retail. That is a terrific start. I would narrow your focus even more to take full advantage of your rare and valuable skills. So…
    * Any specific category of retail?
    * National or local retails stores?
    * What type of marketing? Loyalty, Customer Acquisition?
    * What type of digital marketing? eCommerce? Social, email marketing?

    Next look at your experience and the skills you’ve acquired. What is the difference between me (as a digital marketer) and you?

    That’s where the gold is.

  8. miketempleton

    This is my No. 1 concern right now in thinking about getting back to blogging, Stan. My original unfocused personal blog hasn’t seen a new post in three years, yet I still find myself creating and sharing content daily (through Twitter and the like). Doesn’t it make more sense to own that content? Why give everything to Twitter, right?

    As a digital marketer by trade, that’s really where I want my blog (if I start a new one) to focus. However, there are thousands of blogs talking digital marketing and social media. Because I work in the retail industry and have a passion for it, that seems like a natural fit for a niche — digital marketing for brick-and-mortar retail — but is it specific enough? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  9. Gracious Store

    The secret of doing anything very well is doing that which you have inert potential for. It is true that you can always learn skills to do what you want to do, but you are better of building on your natural potentials

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