There are too many mundane websites. Nobody reads them; nobody even stays on them long enough to read more than four words. You can still make your WordPress site stand out from the dross, but you need to do things differently.
The software you choose to base your site on needs to be easy to customize and use. There must be free advice available for the times you break it, and it must be fast.
Most authorities, including Neil Patel, Kristi Hines, and Joost de Valk, recommend installing from WordPress.org.
Neil Patel’s How to Start a Blog post walks you through the basics of installation.
Would you trust your car with a mechanic who worked for $2 per hour? So many website owners count on a web host that charges $4 per month to provide 24/7/365 support and access to their sites.
Hosting businesses have costs including computer running costs, cooling, fast Internet connections, maintenance, replacing worn out servers and support staff. For $4 per month, you don’t get much support, maintenance or high-speed Internet access. You get what you pay for.
To stand apart, you need fast and reliable hosting designed for WordPress. Look at the number of satisfied customers and reviews for any host you are considering rather than at the companies’ marketing materials.
Everyone uses photos, but few use original ones. Free stock photos can be downloaded from sites like StockSnap.io or Pixabay, and these have their uses. Using stock photos in blog posts is the equivalent of using new computers as stands for blackboards in classrooms – They add nothing except clutter.
When you have free access to editing tools like Canva, you can produce stunning photos with the phone in your pocket. Each photo will be unique and will say something about you or your business.
Google loves unique images just as much as one-off content, so using them will help you rank higher.
Unique content is not enough. Your written content needs to stand out like a Renoir in a junk store. It must leap out at the reader, excite her senses and stimulate her mind.
Forget hiring a writer to do your blog posts at $50 each. And even paying more for a wordsmith won’t guarantee the quality you need. The only way is to write everything yourself and pay an editor to turn your original thinking into a series of masterpieces.
Your content should mix it up, with audio, video, and slide shows for best effect.
For your WordPress blog to be worth anything, it must be about the writer’s personality. You must let that personality shine through. If you delegate your blogging then give the scribe his head; don’t micro-manage.
People read blogs because of the personalities behind them. Sorry, but your business has no charisma, charm nor individuality, though the right blogger could imbue aspects of your company with those characteristics.
Every post must solve a problem for your user-base, or it’s just a waste of electrons.
Ask email subscribers about the problems they have, run surveys and ask for comments. Do whatever it takes to learn about the issues readers face. And then address them totally and without reservation. Your WordPress blog’s prime function is to serve its readers, and its lead-generation role is of secondary importance.
First impressions are 94% design related – Peep Laja on ConversionXL.com
First impressions matter and you have only 1/20 second to convince a web user to invest any more time in your website. If you get the design wrong, nobody is ever going to see your post titles, never mind read them.
There are thousands of free (and unsupported) WordPress themes. Not one of them will give you the stand out design you need. You need to choose a premium theme and will probably need to pay a designer to customize it. This Themeunk selection of themes is a good place to start.
No blog will ever succeed without links. Links are the shipping lanes that connect the worldwide archipelago of island blogs.
Never be afraid to link to authoritative sources in your niche if you can help readers by doing so. Interlink your posts to help users to learn more about a particular topic. However, build your internal links manually, rather than by trying to automate the process using a related posts WP plugin, because these plugins slow down your site to the pace of a tortoise on a bad day.
You need links in, too. And the best way to get these is to get yourself noticed in your niche by networking. Start by commenting on others’ blog posts and following them on social media. Write valuable posts that help other bloggers’ audiences, and those bloggers will link to you.
You can build a blog that stands out, as long as you avoid shortcuts and put your all into it. Running a blog is a full-time job, so consider hiring someone, just as you would for any other specialized role in your company.
Putting in the right infrastructure such as hosting and design will start you off; writing personality and helping users will set you apart.