One of the biggest challenges of running a general interest blog is finding followers who are interested in a variety of the topics that are discussed on the blog. Without a super specific niche topic, it can be difficult – but not impossible – to set yourself apart from other general interest blogs online. Throughout this semester, I hope to blog about funny and usual stories that happen to me during my time at Rutgers.
In the past, I’ve written about a lot of things that relate back to Rutgers University. Sometimes I find my posts overshadowed in search engines by blogs that Google places more trust in, such as the actual Rutgers Student Blogs. It’s hard to compete with such a massive blog when they have the advantage of an older domain and multiple authors. Years of consistent posts on their site have made their blog gain a very reliable reputation.
To distinguish myself from them, I will continue to post more personal and honest stories about my experiences at Rutgers. I want people to trust what they read on my blog because they know it’s coming directly from me. Posts on the Rutgers Student Blog may appear monitored or potentially even fake, regardless of what the truth is.
I found a blog called Funniest Stories which seems to aggregate other people’s funny stories. This site goes about blogging from a different style. Instead of posting their own original stories, something I aim to do, they collect other people’s stories and create one running list of funny stories from around the internet. On my blog, I plan on posting only original content throughout the semester. However, the idea of bringing in other people’s stories and commenting on them poses an interesting idea I’d like to consider.
Running a personal general-interest blog is tricky because your blog is one in an ocean of millions of other WordPress blogs publishing about other people’s lives and their stories. For example, a blogger named Rachel VanKoughnet started a personal blog called Rachel VanKoughnet where she posts about being a writer, director, and public activist. We found each other’s blogs through writing about similar topics with similar tags. I set my blog apart from hers by publishing my own content that differs from hers. However, finding each other’s blogs has exposed us to new ideas and viewpoints.
I think the best strategy to set yourself apart from other blogs that post about similar topics is simply to produce original content. If no one has ever talked about it before, people will come to your site if they want the information. By producing original content in the past, I’ve found people are more likely to comment and follow my blog. On the other hand, I blog for a tech company and those posts usually “report back” on information, essentially repeating/reporting information that’s already out there. Those posts seem to get less attention.