Odds are, you are not the only blog in your niche, so standing out from the crowd is important.  That can be a hard task to accomplish, especially when there are hundreds of other blogs, all trying to get exposure and traffic.  So what can you do to rise above your competitors and make your blog stand out?

Here are 7 things you can add to your blog to blow past your competitors.

1.  Custom Design

If you are using one of the free or even premium WordPress themes that you can buy at places like WooThemes or Elegant Themes, odds are there are hundreds of other blogs out there that have the exact same look at yours.  Not really an advantage when a reader has seen the same design as other blogs they have come across.  Creating a blog design from scratch allows you to be completely unique and create a design that highlights the type of readers and industry you are catering to.

2.  Superior Content

There are many blogs that produce good to great content on a regular basis, so you need to take it one step further.  You need to create superior content!  That doesn’t necessarily mean that you publish content more often, but you need to have a unique angle on your content.  That could be creating rich media like video, podcasts or inforgraphics.  You could also try creating more in-depth or complete blog posts that involved significant research or data.  One blog that I always said did a great job of publishing posts that are longer and more in-depth is ViperChill.  All of his posts are usually between 800-1200 words long and are highly researched.

3. Offering Freebies

Offering free content like whitepapers, tools, templates, and guides are a fantastic way to earn instant credibility with your visitors.  It also will allow you to capture the users contact information, so that you can follow up with them on a regular basis.  Building regular rapport with your readers will keep them coming back regularly, position you as an expert, and earn credibility.

4.  Extreme Usability

If you can provide your users an experience that far out performs the rest of your industry, it can make your users want to stay on your site longer and keep coming back.  I am amazed how many industry leading blogs have some of the worst usability. Giving your users an easy navigation to follow, having a great layout for your content, using minimal ads, making it easy to share content socially, will help keep your readers happy.

5.  Personal Brand

Promoting your personal brand, can help your blog stand out from the crowd.  Speaking at conferences, attending networking events, launching products, writing guest posts, hosting webinars, etc..all will help build your personal brand.  If you position yourself as an authority in the space, that will naturally carry over to your blog as well.

6.  Point of Views

Some of the best blog posts that get the most attention are ones that stimulate controversy or go against the grain.  If your blog content consistently goes against “the norm” and it makes people want to participate in the discussion, it can put your blog on the radar. Take for example the recent announcement of Sphinn.com deciding to remove the voting feature on its site.  That got an amazing response from Sphinn users and made headlines in the Internet Marketing industry.  If you can create content that makes users want to debate and voice their opinion on a subject, it can grow a fan base rapidly. 

7.  Know Your Blogs Identity

If your blog is known as THE authoritative blog on a particular topic, that will make your blog stand out whenever someone is looking for a resource on your particular topic.  Especially if you are just starting out a new blog, you may want to consider trying to find a sub-niche within a particular industry, that is undeserved.  This can help you gain credibility much faster in an industry, compared to trying to be known for something that is very broad and is saturated with others trying to do the same thing.