When planning out your website or blog, one of the first things you should focus on is how you’re going to be different from others in your niche. How will you distinguish yourself from your competitors?
This is an important step. If you skip it or screw it up, then you run the risk of blending in with everyone else. You’ll have a harder time building a loyal fan base with returning readers and buyers.
That said, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel to differentiate yourself site from your competitors. In fact, here are 3 rather easy things you can do.
1. Structure or Present Your Content in a Different Way
There are a lot of good examples on how to do this.
One way to do this is to niche down your content based on the type of people that will use it. For example, on my site we break some of our content down and place it under labels such as students, businesses, families and individuals. It makes that content easier to find for that type of person, and also personalizes the experience a bit.
No one else is doing this (yet). So it’s an easy way for our site to be different from everyone else.
Let’s use another example. Say you wanted to build an ereader site. One way you could take this idea and run with it is to create sections for students, businesses, families, teachers, heavy readers, travelers, etc and write articles on what makes each type of person or group different, and how that affects the types of ereaders they should own.
So many sites out there aren’t building sites this way. You should take advantage of that.
Another way to present your content differently is to use different layouts. For example, instead of having a sidebar (or 2 sidebars) next to your content, why not no sidebars at all? Just make the focus 100% about the content.
The possibilities here are truly endless.
2. Take a Different Angle
Another way to differentiate yourself from your competitors is to approach your niche from a different angle. Put a spin on it.
For example, say you wanted to create a site where you can review tablets and apps to make commissions from Amazon.com. Instead of creating a general purpose tablet site, you might create a site that focuses on businesses and entrepreneurs.
But don’t stop there.
Drill down into your target market a bit farther. What else could they use, or need help with?
How about productivity? Everyone wants to get more done, right?!?
So instead of creating a website around businesses and tablets, why not create a website around businesses and entrepreneurs and how they can be more productive using tablets. Then create content on what tablets are best for multitasking, review apps and other tools. Taking this angle you could even add content with general productivity tips that are unrelated to tablets. That would give you the opportunity to promote other products as well.
Once again, this is just one idea of many. You could apply this to virtually any niche or product out there.
3. Create Different Types of Content
This is a pretty straight forward idea.
If everyone in your niche is writing their content, then why not do something different, such as videos, podcasts or infographics?!? You don’t even have to do one type exclusively. You could make the majority of your content into podcasts, then do the occasional infographic or written blog post.
There will be some challenges of course, depending on which method you choose to use — mostly in how you generate traffic. However, once you get the ball rolling it’ll be hard to stop. On top of that, if you go a different route than traditional blog posts, then you force yourself to become less reliant on Google, and more on yourself. That’s always a good thing, too.
There Are Tons of Ways to Differentiate Yourself — How Are You Going To Do It?
These are just a handful of ideas and examples of hundreds, if not thousands that you could come up with and use today. And just that little bit of difference can be enough to ingrain your site into someone’s memory so that when they (or their friends or family) need help on that particular subject, they immediately know where to go, or who to recommend first.
About the author: This post was written by Matt, co-owner of Plug Things In. Plug Things In has written detailed internet guides that help you understand how internet service works, what your options are and how to “plug into” them.