Do your readers have a clear idea of where you stand? Does any philosophy or approach come through your writing?
Making your blog opinionated could be a way you can make your blog stand out and gather an audience.
Gather Your Community Around an Idea
Consider what a community is. Would you agree that a community is a group of people unified by having something in common? What if that “something” was an approach, an idea or a philosophy?
When I launched this blog I outlined a key part of my philosophy in my free ebook. I also defined what I call Authority Blogging, that is blogging your expertise and experience in order to grow your profile, credibility, audience loyalty and trust.
BoingBoing seems light-hearted and fun, and the posts are rarely what you would call “in depth” but in fact there is a continuing thread taking a stand against DRM, supporting internet freedoms and fair IP laws. Strobist has a philosophy that you do not need to spend thousands and thousands on photographic lighting equipment to light your photographs well. Mark shows how business can make profit without losing heart. One of the successes I believe with Threadwatch was the humorously anti-establishment stance, the cynical view of the major search engines and the suspicion of the concepts of white hat vs black hat.
I am sure you can think of more examples.
From Consumer to Advocate
We see it in all kinds of brand allegiance, from music fans to sports team supporters. When a member of a group becomes exposed to certain messages over time, understands, considers and agrees with them, they integrate them into their own working models of the world.
The ideas become less provider to consumer and more part of a shared experience. Membership becomes part of their identity and the connection to the blog community becomes stronger and deeper.
While a blog is unlikely to grow the sort of fanatic support of a political ideology, similar psychological factors, such as cognitive dissonance, can come into play.
What do You Stand For?
Step one is to determine what your philosophy, concept or modus operandi is.
- What are you for or against?
- What is your winning strategy?
- How do you think differently?
- What elements do your audience wholeheartedly agree with?
- Is there any common thinking between people who connect with your writing?
Once you have an idea that will work, consider how best to communicate it.
When I talk about this sometimes people become frightened that they have to have all their thinking clearly laid out before they start their blog. Fortunately this is not the case.
While many of my ideas were formulated before launching this blog, they are plastic and not concrete. Your ideas do not need to be completely fixed and set in stone. My Authority Blogger concept is always evolving as I understand what works best. For example there was a time where I dismissed adsense completely while now I can see how it can work in some cases.
You can change and evolve your ideas, take your audience along with your thinking. Providing it does not come with too much of a jolt your audience will go along with you.
Could this work for you? What could be the unifying idea behind your blog?