As of January 2021, there are more than 1.1 billion websites on the world wide web. Sure, not all of those specialize in content publication, but business owners have to understand that there’s a tremendous amount of competition for grabbing reader attention. They simply have to make conscious strategic choices to allow their content site to stand out from the pack.
Whether you’ve been on the block for years or you’re just getting started with building a content website, these are the top tips for ensuring your domain stands out in a sea of sameness.
1. Invest in Superior Design & Breathtaking Photography
It’s no secret that aesthetics play an important role in attracting website visitors. In fact, in 59% of cases, users will choose beautifully designed sites over plain ones. With that in mind, you need to make sure that you provide a visually stunning user experience.
There are several ways to achieve this.
For example, going in a minimalistic direction, like the one used for the Hint of Vanilla blog, is an excellent choice. This site uses a combination of negative space and sophisticated typography to achieve a look of cohesion. Thanks to these understated elements, the content is given a chance to shine, ensuring that the readers feel compelled to click on each of the recipes and stick around.
Or, if going all-white is not your thing, you can look up to Paddleboards. This review site uses a more traditional blog design but manages to grab user attention thanks to a stunning header image. The best thing about this type of approach is that it’s available to absolutely everyone. Moreover, changing up your content site’s header image is something you can do in a matter of minutes, and it can significantly increase the visual impact you will make on your readers.
Now, if you can’t afford to invest in custom professionally-made visuals for your site, don’t despair. There’s plenty that you can do for yourself. In addition to a wide variety of sites like Unsplash, where you can download free images for all of your projects, you can also check out these blog image tools that’ll help you take your visuals to the next level (and add a touch of your brand’s personality).
2. Build Authority
The second most impactful thing you can do to help your content site stand out is to make it an authority in your niche.
You see, consumer trust is at an all-time low in 2021. And while governments and NGOs were hit the hardest when it comes to losing credibility, businesses should also be careful. According to the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer, journalists have lost some influence. Moreover, people are more likely to invest in increasing their media and information literacy. And, they are more prepared to do science research before believing a presented piece of information.
Considering this data, content sites have to invest in building authority.
And, ways to do this don’t just involve backing up information with well-researched (preferably science-backed) data. It also means practicing transparency when posting product reviews. Furthermore, it requires continuously investing in SEO to secure the coveted top SERP positions.
3. Explore Different Content Formats
Not only are there more than a billion websites online in 2021, but there are more than 500 million blogs on the world wide web. With this info in mind, anyone can understand that that’s a lot of competition when trying to stand out.
Fortunately, however, that doesn’t mean that content websites don’t have many options when trying to attract attention.
One great way to do just that is to move away from the most-used format – text.
In 2021, try investing in content that’s more likely to emerge. Podcasting, for example, is an excellent choice because it’s growing in popularity but there are still plenty of underrepresented industry niches.
Or, if you’ve got the resources, cover more than a single front, as The Adventure Junkies does. This brand has a rich library of written and video content, and it also invests in community-building through its adventure-oriented Summit app.
4. Show Off Your Values
One of the easiest ways to get people to love your content (and seek it out on the regular) is to get them to develop a strong connection to your brand. And, the best way to do that is by showing that you have the same values.
So, consider the following: what is it that will help your target audience trust you, identify with you, and give you their attention?
To get some ideas, you can seek inspiration from existing content sites that do this well.
For example, Medical Alert Buyers Guide has a transparency disclosure statement linked in the top section of its website.
Similarly, James Hoffmann (the authority on everything coffee-related) has the following sentence in his YouTube About section.
Both of these examples go to show how easy it can be to communicate your values and help readers/viewers connect to your brand.
5. Prioritize Uniqueness & Authenticity
The thing about successfully running a content site when over 500 million other ones are competing for consumer attention is that it’s easy to fall into the trap of sameness. Do a quick Google search for any topic of your choosing, and you’re likely to be presented with at least 20 results that are pretty much the same.
So, when coming up with a strategy for your content site, take uniqueness into consideration.
For example, if you’re searching for search terms to target, why not go a bit further than seed keywords and “how-to” posts? Any solid keyword research tool could help you identify opportunities none of your competitors have covered yet. Or, if you insist on covering popular topics, do your best to give them your own twist.
For inspiration, check out Accidental Icon. This is a fashion blog that’s everything a typical fashion blog is not. It believes in not being consumed by garments, being original without being eccentric, and, most importantly, finding the interesting in ordinary lives.
6. Build Partnerships
Last but not least, if you’re looking to make your content site stand out, why not invest in connections? Be it with brands or readers, there’s absolutely nothing more unifying than creating a space that opens up room for communication and collaboration.
In addition to the standard guest posts, why not do interviews with interesting people from your industry, as done by Dax Shepard in The Armchair Expert? Alternatively, organize a giveaway or contest. You can achieve a lot even through something as simple as reposting user-generated content.
Ultimately, all of these strategies contribute to building relationships. And, when trying to stand out, that goes a long way.
Over to You
There you have it – six tips you can start implementing right away to help your content site stand out. The great thing about them is that they don’t take too much investment. But, do them right, and you’re 100% sure to reap the benefits.