There are hundreds of thousands of blog posts published every day.
Cutting through the noise isn’t optional, it’s the only way to make your blog successful.
It’s the only way people will care about what you write.
How To Cut Through The Noise
I’ve read lots of books on this topic and the short answer is there isn’t a perfect 10-step process.
Making your voice heard is both an art and a craft. Following some predetermined roadmap simply won’t work.
Above all else, to be heard you have to create something worth hearing.
Although you will have to learn exactly what that means for you and your blog, I think I can guide you with a few foundational principles.
How to Build A Thriving Website
Your blog must involve three critical parts.
- Something you care about
- Something other people care about
- You must use your blog to serve those people
So how do you get there? You need to start thinking less about yourself and start thinking more about other people and how you can serve them with your content. Then, work on the other details.
My blogging epiphany
It took me a long time to understand this simple principle. In fact, I believe I’m still learning it.
When I started working on websites with a vision of turning them into something I was proud of, I was asking these same questions.
How can I be heard?
How can I cut through the noise?
How can I get people to care about what I am creating?
The problem is, these questions are fundamentally flawed. You can’t answer them.
If you want to be heard, you must quit thinking about yourself and instead ask:
How can I serve somebody else?
If you focus on helping other people first, you will have purpose and mission behind your content.
Something you care about
Once you’ve shifted your focus from yourself to someone else, you must still care about what it is you’re creating. This is an essential part of making your blog work.
You might care about a lot of things, but you’re going to really need to care about this to make it work in a meaningful way. Being passionate about it isn’t enough. Passion is great when you’re starting out, but when the butterflies fade, you’re still going to need to hustle – and that takes heart.
Really caring about what you’re creating will help you have both long-term focus for your content and the grit required to keep showing up.
Something other people care about
If you’re the only person who cares about what you are creating, you can’t create a tribe around it. Thankfully, the internet is a big place and there are likely lots of people who care about things you care about.
I know there are successful “lifestyle” blogs out there documenting what they eat and their daily doings, but we can go ahead and assume that it’s going to be really difficult for you to try and convince people to care about what you are eating for dinner.
If the focus of your website is “what I eat,” why should anybody else care?
Not that your dinner choices are unimportant. It’s just that if this is your focus, you’re going to be fighting for a long time to make it work.
Flip this idea around: What would other people like to eat? What is something you care about that they would also care about?
Some of this is trial and error. It’s hard to know what other people will care about. And it’s even more difficult to actually connect those people to your site.
Think about the one person that might visit your site and say “Yes, this is exactly what I need.” That person would love your site forever. If you can learn to be that answer for someone else, you will find your knife to cut through the noise.
You may think it’s easy for your blog to serve other people as long as you are providing content they care about. But I would suggest you have to serve others’ interests in a unique and meaningful way. It’s not enough to just blog about breakfast recipes.
Your recipes need to be truly adding value to your readers’ lives.
You can invite your readers to submit ideas. You can find unique solutions to the problems of your tribe. To really serve your readers though, you will have to develop your craft and create remarkable content.
Keep asking “How can I serve other people with my blog?”
Readers versus traffic
It’s important to discuss traffic versus readers on the topic of “being heard” because being heard is about building and serving an engaged audience.
Traffic can be helpful for food bloggers because they can place ads on their site and make a little money. (This is currently a small part of our strategy for Minimalist Baker, but really, it’s not our bigger picture in making our blog sustainable).
But if you want to build a blog that lasts, something that sticks around and can outlive the ups and downs of trends, you don’t really want to build traffic.
You want readers. You want a tribe.
You want people who care about what you are writing, not just checking out your photos and leaving.
How do you get readers instead of traffic? You offer them value instead of just talking about yourself. You create something they want and that helps them with their life.
A really great blog is one that serves other people.
People Want to Listen To You
Don’t take it hard if you think people don’t want to listen to you right now. In fact, I think people actually do care about what you have to say, and your voice is unique in the world.
However, they are never going to listen if you aren’t offering them something meaningful.
So, quit trying to be heard. Start trying to listen.
Serve others and the other things will follow.