- Adapt your writing to fit a recognisable style.
This is where I think people like Karandi and Cactus Matt succeed, because they have a format that’s easy to turn the brain off to and yet you can spot their style from ages away. For those of us that never gave a hoot about a distinctive style, you have to learn to stand out in your respective niche or mix of niches (whether that be reviews, analysis, listicles or something else) with your voice, your images and your content. This is one reason why commenting is important – because then you can get feedback on how to change it.
I think some of the hallmarks of my own style are sidebar content (allowing for slight deviations in topic), using “admittedly” or “speaking of ____” a lot and explanations of Japanese language jokes…although of course depending on what you’ve experienced of my content, your opinion might vary.
Sidebar: The previous paragraph was written back in May, so “admittedly” and “speaking of…” went out of fashion pretty quickly…
- Try to have unique content people will keep coming back for.
Tying into one of the previous tips, it seems like translations are always a surefire hit for blogs because often, once a translator tackles something and it circulates enough internet circles to let other translators know to back off, there’s a sort of exclusivity around them. Similarly, interviews with creators can go a long way because no two people ask the same set of questions and sometimes answers can vary in the heat of the moment.
In my case, the Unique Award content seems to go to the Ode to Anime Studios, although “uniqueness” is a subjective thing and so your idea of what makes my content unique could be entirely different.
This rule and the “recognisable style” rule go hand in hand, though, and you can lean more heavily on one more than the other. TPAB (The Pantless Anime Blogger,
tilde optional) is probably the biggest example I can think of when it comes to coasting by on stock-standard content, and yet succeeding though sheer recognisability. (Please don’t take offence at being my example!) You could probably recognise his “Taking off the Pants” line and huge chunks of text from ages away – back when I first encountered his content which actually turned out to be around the time I was into Samurai Flamenco, so circa 2015 or 2016, I remember being shocked by such a provocative intro line. Who was this blogger who dared to go around without pants, amirite?
However, looking back at the Samurai Flamenco review I looked at back then, I don’t remember the middle of his review because it’s so detailed and yet it’s stuff I’ve seen before, because between the first and second times (May 2018) of looking at it, I’d rewatched the show, had my fan phase and then gotten over it, so I was now able to make these judgement calls myself.
Having a recognisable voice/style will inevitably bring benefits to your content and vice-versa, so work on both of them and you’ll be set.
Over to you – what does a blogger need to do to stand out? Commonly, the answer is “be yourself”, but maybe the answer should go a bit further than just that.