9 Surefire Strategies for Standing Out in a Sea of Sameness

9 Surefire Strategies for Standing Out in a Sea of Sameness

It feels just like struggling to solve a 24,000-piece jigsaw puzzle, doesn’t it?

Connecting everything you’ve heard about building a popular blog.

Advice about headlines, design, writing, promotion, outreach – the list never ends.

And all the while you feel like nobody truly cares about your blog.

The big names in your niche get hundreds of comments and shares just for hitting “Publish” (lucky ducks), but your blog struggles to make the slightest impact.

Highly annoying, isn’t it?

The problem is that people don’t remember you, and they don’t talk about you.

And trying to figure out why is giving you a migraine.

The good news?

One final puzzle piece will finally get people talking and drag your name up from obscurity.

Are you ready to discover what it is?

The Missing Puzzle Piece That’ll Make You Massively More Memorable

Growing your traffic, building an email list, and writing value-packed posts are great and all, but they don’t guarantee that you will stand out.

In real life, you may be as unique as a snowflake. Your personality may bubble over with friends.

But none of that matters in the online world unless you make a conscious choice to stand out.

You must decide to be different, larger than life, and someone worth talking about. Otherwise, you’ll remain just another Average Joe. Another ordinary, rules-following, perfectly average “Emmet” who never steps outside the box.

What you need is a standout maneuver.

It’s a bold, calculated move to attract attention, imprint yourself in the minds of your readers, and persuade them to spread the word about you.

(It’s also the missing piece of the jigsaw.)

Use the following nine standout maneuvers to stop being an ordinary, forgettable blogger and start being remarkable.

1) Craft Your Public Image

Throughout history, important figures have carefully crafted their public images to cultivate a unique, memorable impression.

Take a look at this portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte:

Napoleon Bonaparte

The royal scepter, the opulent garb, the graceful placement of the hands and foot, the majestic expression… all are designed to create the perception of power and nobility.

But these days you don’t need to commission an oil painting to control the way you’re perceived.

Check out how some seriously memorable bloggers have deliberately crafted their public images to great effect.

Derek Halpern dressed up to the nines, got a $310 haircut, donned a stately expression, and featured his imposing portrait front and center on the Social Triggers homepage.

Derek Halpern

Tara Gentile makes a conscious choice to be the biggest possible version of herself. She enlisted the help of a friend and jewelry designer, Megan Auman, who helped her cultivate the outfits she wears as her “quietly powerful” public persona.

Tara Gentile

Darren Rowse of Problogger wears the same dark-rimmed glasses in all his photos. Staring down the camera lens and using a close crop for the final image further emphasizes Rowse’s trademark accessory.

Darren Rowse

April Bowles Olin used a different type of accessory when she needed photos for her blog, Blacksburg Belle. She simply brought a giant, red balloon to the photoshoot and instantly turned an ordinary pose into a memorable one.

April Bowles Olin

So what’s your public image? Are you the brazenly done up guy, the woman with the powerful signature look, the smart guy with the nerdy glasses, or the fun-loving girl with the red balloon?

Hire a photographer to take your portrait (or shoot your own self-portrait), and carefully choose your clothing, your accessories, and your pose to form a distinct perception about yourself in people’s minds.

2) Swing Your Slingshot

If you’re looking for a sure-fire way to get people talking about you, take a shot at a piece of popular wisdom or a widely held belief.

You’ll likely receive a furious reaction from some quarters, but there’s no such thing as bad publicity, right?

Of course, if you want to become famous and not infamous, you’ll want to attract supporters as well as detractors, so the trick to pulling this off is to take advantage of a phenomenon known as the “common enemy effect.”

Creating an us versus them scenario builds solidarity and brings your tribe closer to you. And guess what? They will come to your defense and become even more invested in you than they were prior to publicly taking your side.

An example of the common enemy effect in action is the aftermath of Seth Godin’s blog post, “The problem with non” (“non” being nonprofit organizations).

Did this article make a lot of people mad? You bet it did! Some bloggers even responded with their own posts about why Seth Godin is wrong. So it definitely succeeded in getting people to talk about him.

But did people say good things about him too? In fact, yes! While some people were enraged, others came to his defense, and even a popular blog for nonprofits took kindly to the exposé.

Derek Halpern used this principle quite deliberately in his post calling “Content is King” a myth. The post identified an enemy (people who say “Content is King”), and a tribe who would agree with his particular point of view (web designers). He then promoted the post to people on both sides of the debate: the people who say that content is king, and the web designers.

The result? The comments say it all. Halpern made some people mad, but he made others love him even more.

Who (or what) is the common enemy of your audience? Expose that enemy in a blog post, and tell everyone about it (yes, even the people who will be infuriated). Then, sit back and watch the debate ensue.

3) Be a Flawed Superhero

“Even Superman has kryptonite.” Ever heard that before?

As psychologists have found, people have the strong tendency to like other people who they perceive to be similar to themselves. Well, no one is perfect, and everyone (even Superman) has a weakness. So if you want people to like you, you need to show your weaknesses.

Of course, someone who seems too flawed will struggle to be seen as credible, so you’ll need to walk a fine line between authority figure and just another regular guy or gal.

You have to become a superhero with a flaw.

A great example is Ash Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project. Ambirge is a bold blogger who’s snarky humor is more than a bit irreverent. She is popular, not because of any elegant prose, but because her uncensored writing style gives her a strong voice, paired with an uncanny ability to bond with her readers – even if that outspoken style leads her to say the wrong thing from time to time.

James Altucher’s “10 Confessions” was a hit post because a personal finance expert was admitting to being incredibly irresponsible. Altucher also lets the occasional swear word drop, and according to The Science of Swearing, such words actually play an important role in social bonding due to their cathartic effect.

The method I personally use to build trust and relatability with my readers is allowing mistakes to happen. So instead of limiting myself to topics that I am 100% confident about, I’ll stretch myself to learn as much as I can about difficult subjects and immediately share what I am learning… which inevitably leads to mistakes.

But if you do publish something that you later discover to be incorrect, don’t sweep it under the rug. Instead, bring the mistake to your reader’s attention before they catch it. This creates a “positive trust incident,” which will actually cause your readers to like and trust you more.

So what’s your kryptonite? Can you highlight that weakness in a blog post or in your writing style?

4) Go Skinny Dipping… In a Fishbowl

OK, not literally. But being completely transparent is another way to show that you are a living, breathing human being, rather than just another cluster of pixels on your reader’s computer screen.

By giving proof that you actually “walk the walk,” transparency also serves to make you far more credible in your audience’s eyes.

Tim Ferriss became famous for performing experiments on himself and reporting his findings.

Pat Flynn became famous for his monthly income reports.

But how can you make transparency work for you? Well, you don’t need to earn six-figures each month, and you certainly don’t have to do anything crazy, like losing 30 lbs in 20 hours.

Just do your thing, and document it. Test a new theory. Learn a new skill. Publicly challenge yourself to accomplish a new goal, and let your audience hold you accountable. Keep a journal, and publish it as a weekly blog post series or an e-book.

Charlotte Hilton Andersen of The Great Fitness Experiment did exactly that: she challenged herself to try a new workout every month for one year, publicly chronicled her experience on her blog, and the finished memoir even became a published book.

Turn your blog into an online reality show. Your readers will eat it up, and they won’t be able to resist talking about it.

5) Put Yourself in a Pigeonhole

If your readers were asked to describe you in just one sentence, what would they say?

If you don’t know – or you think they’d all say something different – that’s a major obstacle to memorability.

Why? Because word of mouth is a powerful force for spreading your message, and if people talk about you in a consistent way, they’ll reinforce – instead of dilute – each other.

Also, they’re more likely to talk about you, and say the right things, if you help them to know what to say.

So whether you’re crafting some text for your About page, writing an author bio for a guest post, or introducing yourself at the start of a podcast interview, make sure you have a consistent way to talk about yourself. The more different places where you are described in the same way, the more people will remember you for it (and come to believe it).

Danny Iny of Firepole Marketing became widely known as the “Freddy Krueger of blogging” because one reader called him that in a comment (“Wherever I turn, you’re there!”), so he just ran with it.

Iny’s nickname arose by accident, but many other bloggers have purposefully crafted their own personal tagline:

Now it’s your turn: who do you want to be known as?

Shorter, snappier taglines are easier to remember, so describe your unique expertise (or your unique angle on your topic) in no more than two or three words.

Repeat those words over and over to imprint them on people’s minds, and ask everyone who features you to introduce you using your personal tagline.

6) Ditch The Diplomacy

Are you sensitive to other’s feelings, avoiding conflict at all costs? Or do you speak your mind freely and pity those who disagree?

If it’s the former, you’re missing out on a big opportunity to stand out.

Researchers have found that people who use opinionated statements are more persuasive.

An opinionated statement doesn’t just express a point of view; it also expresses disapproval of alternative views.

For example, a non-opinionated statement would be, “I can’t abide that policy.”

Whereas, an opinionated statement would be, “No self-respecting person can abide that policy.”

This persuasive effect works by inducing dread of the social consequences of nonconformity – it’s the fear of disapproval from others.

Of course, it only works if the person making the statement is deemed credible. The more credibility you have prior to making an opinionated statement, the greater the effect.

A great example of an opinionated statement is when Derek Halpern wrote, “If you’re not building an email list, you’re an idiot.”

A less overt but still poignant example is Jeff Goins’ manifesto, “Writers Don’t Write to Get Published” where he makes the case that “real writers” don’t write for recognition, fame, or accolades… they write because they cannot not write (hence, anyone who writes for the wrong reasons is not a “real” writer).

Worried that making opinionated statements will make you sound like a jerk? Sure, some people will be miffed, but if it also causes them to take positive action, you’ve done your job.

In the earlier examples, the result was that people were persuaded to build an email list, or rekindle their love of writing. That’s a great thing!

What’s a fear-inducing, opinionated statement you can make to kick your readers’ rears into gear?

7) Act Like a Fool

We know that humor helps to attract and hold people’s attention – that’s why it’s so commonly used in TV commercials.

But according to persuasion theory, humor may also have a persuasive effect. It puts the audience in a good mood (so that they are less likely to disagree with the message) and makes the person being humorous more likeable.

Irony can have an additional persuasive effect, one theory being that it distracts the brain from creating a counter-argument to an idea.

But did you also know that self-deprecating humor has a particularly persuasive effect when compared with other forms of humor?

Why might this be?

Well, people who are speaking against their own self-interest (or who at least appear to be) gain a lot of credibility with their audience for doing so. Therefore, self-deprecating humor may work to persuade by increasing trust in the speaker or writer.

James Wedmore became a celebrity on YouTube using self-deprecating humor in his videos, including this video on how to make a video:

James Wedmore

Jenny Lawson (a.k.a. “The Bloggess”) uses self-deprecating humor and ironic wisecracks in her blog posts, and she has become extremely popular for it.

So when you go to write your next blog post, poke some fun at yourself. Make a wisecrack or two. It will gain your reader’s trust, and they will be more open to believing what you want them to believe about you.

8) Be a Creature of Habitat

The saying is, “Go big, or go home.” But what if you could go home to go big?

You see, sometimes everything you need to be big and memorable is right in your backyard.

Jeff Walker constantly associates his brand with his home state: Colorado. In most every photo or video, you can’t help but draw your breath at the expansive mountain view from the deck behind his home.

Jeff Walker - Colorado
Jeff Walker - Colorado

Aussie blogger Rachel MacDonald takes advantage of the rocky beaches of Australia to create a picturesque backdrop for her photos.

Rachel Macdonald
Rachel Macdonald

Ree Drummond (a.k.a. “The Pioneer Woman”) became famous by chronicling the everyday adventures on her country ranch. From rounding up cattle, to renovating the lodge, to what she cooked for dinner last night, everything that happens around her home is an opportunity to tell a story.

Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman

Hilary Rushford’s natural habitat is New York. She sees every nook and cranny – every street corner, staircase, doorway or window pane – as a potential picture frame for her Instagram shots.

Hilary Rushford
Hilary Rushford

Where do you live? Don’t think that it has to be the exotic land of milk and honey. Simply use your own unique locale as the connecting theme in all your photos, videos, and in the stories you tell.

9) Throw Yourself to the Lions

Ever wondered why televised debates are such big news during election season?

It’s because we love seeing candidates thrown into a situation they can’t completely control, where they’re forced to go “off script.”

And the perceived winners get a big credibility (and popularity) bump because we admire people who can think on their feet and stay cool under pressure.

Want the same benefit as a blogger? Take on your audience’s questions in real time.

Chris Ducker is getting a huge boost to his authority and his likeability by being one of the early adopters of a live video broadcasting app called Periscope. Ducker calls Periscope your personal “TV show in your pocket.”

Whenever he wants to broadcast, all he has to do is pull his phone out of his pocket, and all of his “#DuckerScope” followers receive a notification– right on their phones.

Viewers have the ability to comment as well, which creates incredible interactivity and allows viewers to get instant answers to their questions while Ducker demonstrates his expertise. It’s like public speaking on steroids.

Other ways of putting yourself on the spot include hosting a Google+ hangout or a webinar. Whatever platform you use, the key is to allow people to ask you questions in real time. (And for bonus points, put your face on camera.)

Let’s Pick Up Your Missing Puzzle Piece

Implementing a standout maneuver that catapults you out of online obscurity isn’t rocket science, but it does take guts.

You have to put yourself out there, stand up for what you believe in, and be unafraid to ruffle some feathers.

“Haters gonna hate,” but being a memorable blogger is so much bigger than you: it’s about persuading other people to take positive action in their lives.

You really can make a difference, even if you’re just a small potato right now. All you need is that missing puzzle piece to make the picture you’ve been working so hard to build come to life.

To start, pick just one of the strategies above and give it a try.

Go for broke and see how your audience reacts.

When they start talking, you’ll know you’re on the right track.

It’s time to stand up, and stand out.

About the Author: Mary Fernandez is a self-proclaimed “blogoholic” on a mission to help other bloggers stop twiddling their thumbs and start getting measurable results. For more standout strategies (and other blogging tricks besides), check out her new Persuasive Bloggers Mastermind group.


  1. Benjamin
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 09:46:59

    I think you just need to be yourself and enjoy what you’re doing. Tell me if I’m wrong, but that’s how I feel. Good post.

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 10:42:32

      I completely agree with being yourself and enjoying your work, Benjamin! I also feel that, in the online world, you have to make a conscious choice to SHOW who you are as well. Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  2. Chris Hufnagel
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 10:15:23

    Great timing! I have recently been going through a re-branding and wanted to put an emphasis on standing out. Awesome tips, I think I found my missing piece!


    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 10:48:52

      Yay!!! I’m so glad this helped, Chris. Out of curiosity, which of the 9 strategies is the missing piece for you?

  3. Kevin J. Duncan
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 10:18:32

    Hi Mary,

    Kudos for writing for BBT a second time! It’s great to see you here again. Your previous article on Facebook Ads was packed with useful information, and this new one has it in spades, too. 🙂

    Standing out, getting noticed, being remembered… it’s the silent wish of every blogger. I love the examples you share in these nine strategies. There are a lot of great bloggers and entrepreneurs mentioned – several who are brand new to me. I’ll have to check them out!

    Congrats on your accomplishment, Mary. I’ll be tweeting and sharing this on Facebook very shortly. Enjoy the rush of traffic, comments, and new email subscribers. You’ve earned them. 🙂


    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 10:56:09

      Awwww thanks Kevin! I love receiving your warm welcome, for the second time around!! 🙂

      • Kevin J. Duncan
        Oct 22, 2015 @ 11:07:12

        No problem, Mary!

        I’ve also emailed your post to my email list. So, in regards to the 4 extra comments your post will now receive as a result, you’re welcome. 😉


      • Mary Fernandez
        Oct 22, 2015 @ 12:27:18

        4 extra comments is a pretty humble estimate, Kevin, considering how massive your list is! LOL. Thank you SO MUCH for doing that, that is really kind of you. I will find some way to repay you… 🙂

  4. Tim Brownson
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 10:22:25

    An and useful interesting article and one thing jumped out at me more than anything.

    The picture of Derek Halpern.

    I sometimes read his site, but I don’t think that picture works at all. He looks like he’s been asked to audition for Joe Pesci’s role in a remake of Goodfellas!

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 10:58:51


      Bahaahahaha!!! 🙂

      You will disagree with me, but I think that’s exactly why it works for him. It wouldn’t work for just anybody, mind you, but it works for him. And that’s why it helps him to stand out.

      Thanks for the comment, Tim!


  5. Kimberly
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 10:31:00

    I love this! These aren’t the usual tips we’ve all seen numerous times for standing out in a sea of sameness. (Confession: I’ve written some of those “usual tips” on my own blog, alas. 🙂 )

    I especially love “Be a Creature of Habitat.” It’s a fairly easy-to-implement way to set yourself apart online, because as you mention, “sometimes everything you need to be big and memorable is right in your backyard.”

    I live in a historic port town on the coast of North Carolina, about 15 minutes from the beach, and I’ve often thought about using images of where I live in my blog posts and social media updates more often (still working on that!), but using those same images in a header the way Jeff Walker and Rachel Macdonald do? Never thought of that, but it is a brilliant idea!

    Since I’m planning out a website refresh for 2016, the insights in your article come in very handy. Thanks, Mary! 🙂

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 11:00:18

      Oh awesome, Kimberly! That sounds absolutely beautiful!! Please let me know when you get the pictures up… I would love to see what you create. 🙂

  6. Jesse Barnett
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 10:48:14

    Hey Mary,

    Thanks for the great tips!

    I realized as I read this that I am doing some of this subconsciously but would benefit from being more overt. I’ve written one blog for several years but I am transitioning to a new blog with a smaller niche. My new blog is going to be for married men who are trying to build their family.

    This is what I’ve got so far:

    I’m working on my persona (regular guy with a manly beard just trying to do the best he can to have a great marriage and family dynamic), my slingshot (marriages are under attack, how can we strengthen yours?), my flaws (I’m far from perfect, I fight with my teenage daughter, don’t always meet my wife’s needs, sometimes blame the dog for my flatulence, and forget to take out the trash), and my pigeonhole (“the family builder”).

    I guess I’m doing better than I thought!

    Thanks for the insightful article, now it’s off to work to capture the rest of these.

    Have a great day!

    Thanks again for the great ideas. I

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 11:06:17

      You missed one, Jesse! You’re also “acting like a fool” (i.e. using self-deprecating humor to build trust). 😉 LOVE that you blame the dog for your flatulence… I am sure I’ve been guilty of that one too! LOL

      • Jesse Barnett
        Oct 22, 2015 @ 11:09:35

        Very true. I’m not known for taking myself too seriously. I wonder if wearing a jester’s hat in my pictures would be too much…

      • Mary Fernandez
        Oct 22, 2015 @ 14:07:32

        Haha! I assume you’re joking, but that’s actually not a bad idea…

  7. Daniel Rose
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 10:59:13

    Hi Mary, love the article. It’s unusual to find so many genuinely useful points in one post, and there’s plenty here I’d never seriously thought about before. I love the idea of taking the time to crafting your literal public image; it’s a step beyond ‘Don’t use that selfie from last Friday night.’
    I also find ditching the diplomacy difficult. My nature’s always been very diplomatic, but I can definitely see the value in taking a firm stand on one side.
    You’ve given me plenty to think about, I’ll be sure to share this. Thank you.

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 11:09:41

      Thank you so much, Daniel, that means a lot to hear you say that!! I appreciate the share as well, that helps a ton. 🙂

  8. Monica Leftwich
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 11:06:07

    2,3,6 and 7 I can testify to! I’ve found when I write like how I act when no one’s looking (especially my horrible sailor-mouth habit), I created memorable material. This is very timely considering I’ve been thinking about how to rebrand myself and my blogs lately. Thanks a bunch!

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 11:10:44

      I’m glad you can testify that this stuff actually works (including the sailor-mouth habit)!! Thanks, Monica. 🙂

  9. Larry Brooks
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 11:06:46

    Love this. I’d like to add… it’s a matter of degree and consistency, as well, on all of these perfectly proven points. My website (www.storyfix.com) is six years old, and has led to three bestselling writing books (which also benefit from these principles), yet (in case you think I’m trying to pile on to these success stories) …

    … I’ve been largely stuck in terms of subscribers (4000) and page visits (roughly 700 per day) and comments (not enough) for four years now. So this post was valuable to me on many levels… thank you. Gonna ramp ’em all up.

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 11:12:08

      Great point, Larry, degree and consistency are key components to making this all work for you! I hope this helps. And congrats on the 3 bestsellers!! I’ll have to ask you for some tips when I’m ready to write a book. 🙂

  10. Greg Strandberg
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 11:07:59

    Good tips. Just know that many blogs will kick you from the comments when you take on a “challenging” demeanor.

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 11:15:23

      Hey Greg, thanks for the comment!

      My suggestion here isn’t to take your battles to the comments section on someone else’s blog, but to rather write about your strong opinions on your own home turf and let the comments come to you.

      But you bring up an interesting point… Perhaps another way to stand out is by being different in the way you handle your comments. If someone takes on a “challenging” demeanor, don’t kick them off your comments. Let them express their point of view to feed the fire a bit (although you should always be respectful, kind and polite in your responses).

  11. Andrew
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 11:11:12

    Hey Mary,

    Truly great post here.

    I really learned a lot from it. The first point about crafting your public image is correct..and all the examples you provided were true and classic examples of crafting your public image to what you want people to perceive.

    I really like points 4 and 5 through. The last thing anyone wants to do is be the same as everyone else. And if you really want to be different and hopefully memorable, you need to put yourself out there …and bring transparent is one of the ways that I’m learning works.

    Putting yourself on the spot is also a great point. It can not only improved your influence but build stronger bonds with readers and followers.

    Truly awesome post here.

    Have a great week.

    – Andrew

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 12:18:17

      Thank you so much for reading, Andrew, and I’m glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  12. Tonya
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 11:15:27

    I love, love, love this post! Thank you Mary! I’d gotten bored with blogging–with my topic, my writing style, my 4 followers (yeah, I said single digit 4), all of it. Then your article slapped me! It politely yells at me to be “be your authentic self and have fun”. Thank you for that! I was moved from the very beginning when you suggested to Craft Your Public Image. I like your pics a lot too. (Pioneer Woman is one of my favorite tv shows–probably because she is her authentic self and having fun with it), Today, I’m making changes and I’m starting by pouring a heaping load of gratitude on you for igniting my fading embers! Many, many thanks Mary.

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 12:21:38

      That is AWESOME, Tonya! I’m so honored to have a part in getting that spark going again! I’ve been there many times myself, with feeling bored of it all, and sometimes just a little creative inspiration is all you need. Keep on going… 4 followers is 4 followers!! If you can turn them into raving fans, maybe they’ll share you’re stuff and bring more followers into the fold. 🙂

  13. Leilani Haywood
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 12:10:18

    Love love love this. I’m discovering this after over 20 years of writing. My most popular posts were the ones I didn’t want to write – the posts that I wept through. I started as a reporter but writing has become sort of a therapy as I walk through raising a child with a disability. Thank you for laying out a road map for me to take my blog to the next level.

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 12:23:50

      Ah, that is a very interesting revelation, Leilani: the most popular posts were the ones you wept through. It’s so interesting how blogs just seem to take on a life of their own don’t they? One day, you’re a reporter, and the next day you are sharing some real deep emotions. God bless you for being a loving parent to your child and sharing your story!!

  14. Debbie Dey
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 12:23:20

    Great post, Mary. I’ve shared this on my site and will definitely be trying some of your ideas out soon. Thanks for the insight! 🙂

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 12:24:46

      Yay!! I’m glad you’ll be taking action on this, Debbie, and thanks for sharing on your site. I really appreciate that! 🙂

  15. Janice Wald
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 13:17:54

    You have reinvigorated my desire for the Welcome Email. Thanks for the spark.

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 13:36:01

      Hey Janice! I love getting a comment from you, but could you possibly have meant to leave it on this post? //smartblogger.com/welcome-email/ 🙂

  16. Jan Ramsey Brick
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 13:29:04

    Great post! I just copied and pasted most of it bit-by-bit into my To Do List and my Future Blog Posts list. Thanks for all the excellent advice Mary!

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 13:34:49

      Way to take action by putting it onto your to-do list, Jan! Very smart and organized, I love that! 🙂

  17. Rajkaran Singh
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 13:34:54

    Hey Mary
    I am really overjoyed to see your post again here on BBT. Congrats.
    Your previous post on Facebook ads helped me a lot to improve.
    I will definitely try to apply what you suggested in this amazing piece of work.

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 13:37:08

      It’s always a pleasure to hear from you, Rajkaran, and THANK YOU! I really appreciate that. 🙂

  18. Tom Southern
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 13:56:07

    Hi Mary,

    Every picture tells a story! One thing your post has highlighted for me is that these images are created to send particular messages to people. They all intend to draw in a particular audience. And turn away another.

    It’s nice to put a face to a name on blogs, rather than to put an image to a name though. I’m trying #9: Throwing myself to the lions. And hoping they’ve already eaten.

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 14:05:15

      Hey Tom,

      That is a brilliant point: if your portrait (and all your photos and images) draws the intended audience in and others away, you have done your job!

      Good luck with #9… I am working on that one myself! (I just started using Periscope.) Just curious, but what method or platform will you be using to go live with your audience?

      Thanks for the comment, Tom,


      • Tom Southern
        Oct 23, 2015 @ 07:46:27

        Hi Mary,

        Thanks for asking. I’m looking at using video and Youtube and am practising getting comfortable in front of the camera. Also, Google hangouts look an option too.

      • Mary Fernandez
        Oct 23, 2015 @ 11:01:00

        Those are all great options, Tom! 🙂

  19. gigi wolf
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 14:24:27

    While you had some really good tips, I will never be crazy enough to post pictures of Las Vegas at it’s finest.

    I hate traffic, and the population explosion here has increased DMV waits long enough to have a baby and raise it to college age. Idling at traffic lights, while the dweeb in front of you tries to figure out how to make a left turn, has caused spontaneous combustion incidences of cranky drivers a routine occurrence. I’m still trying to get rid of the soot on my face.

    North easterners, routinely buried under five feet of snow and ice, would flock here in greater numbers after every winter storm, opening restaurants I can’t afford. The last picture I posted was of our backyard dirt patch, telephone wires gracefully crisscrossing the horizon.

    As for me, I’m going to go visit the guy and the woman with the beach and mountain views. They asked for it!

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 14:40:33

      HAHAHA!!! Gigi, you crack me up.

      I haven’t lived in Las Vegas to experience all the lovely DMV lines and such, but I will say, you guys have the BEST shopping: I’ve found some really nice clothing items for really cheap there, and that got me hooked. That, and I’m rearing to go back and see Penn & Teller… 🙂

      Thanks for making me laugh, Gigi!

      • gigi wolf
        Oct 22, 2015 @ 14:45:57

        You are welcome! And, I guess I have to let you and other tourists visit; apparently it’s healthy for our economy, although I’ve never seen a dime of it. Our clothing is cheaper, really? I’ll have to get out more…

      • Mary Fernandez
        Oct 22, 2015 @ 14:52:55

        YES, really it is!! At least, I’m from San Diego, and our so-called “outlets” are really just places to sell cheaper clothing for… cheaper. Whoop de do. But– I got some brand name stuff in Las Vegas at a huge discount. Hoping it’s still the same when I go back, hopefully later this year… Maybe I’ll see you around! 😉

  20. Beat Schindler
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 14:47:06

    Hi Mary, enjoyed your post. Some wonderful pointers, real life examples in there! Busy taking note, taking action … lol
    Meet new people, the only way to grow your list – the first time to stand out from the crowd. And you rarely get a second chance to make a first impression bla-bla Hence the importance of a blogger’s greeting. There is no difference between meeting people in person or on your landing page (or in a pop-up box) – every detail counts. Some will hate you for the things others love. It explains (does it?) why I love numbers 5, 6 and 7 best, together with a comment made earlier by Benjamin, be yourself. But don’t “just” be yourself – be your best self. And the more your greeting says about what you DO the better (as opposed to who you are, even though you want them to remember that, too). Anyway, thanks for the research, documentation and excellent post!

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 14:58:08

      I agree, that first impression when someone lands on your site really matters, and that’s where you’ve got to be memorable. I like what you said about being your BEST self… For me, as an introverted person by nature, I think of it as putting on a character. That character is still me, but a bigger version of me. Thanks for the comment!

  21. Rachael Ann Mare
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 15:09:41

    I want to be known as the Spunky Misfit Girl. 😉 More seriously, love this post. Lots of great ideas here—I definitely need to work on ditching diplomacy. Isn’t it interesting how our fears of standing out actually keep us from being successful?

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 15:18:41

      I agree, it is rather ironic… Those fears of being disliked, or being misunderstood, are the same things that hold us back from being liked and understood. Thanks, Spunky Misfit Girl! 😉

  22. Luke Fitzpatrick
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 16:05:18

    Great tips Mary! Classic picture of Derek.

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 16:43:09

      I agree, a very statuesque picture of Derek! 🙂 Thanks for the comment, Luke!

  23. Cathy Goodwin
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 16:27:00

    Great pot – some new ideas I haven’t seen. I especially resonated with the notion of pigeonholing – or actually labeling, since some of those examples don’t fit in any holes! -and I love being opinionated. That comes easily for me!

    I hadn’t considered leveraging my location. On my first website I was living in a small town in New Mexico and that was a focal point for me. Now I live in Philadelphia and love the city … hadn’t thought of using it as a point of standing out.

    Seems like standing out is a natural form of branding … and it helps to be attractive and to be a misfit in a way that appeals to the mainstream. For instance, I’ve emphasized my love for sneakers (I dress like I’m on my way to or from the gym) but can’t shake the mainstream admiration for stilettos. I’ve tested this! So sneakers will remain on my feet but not on my brand.

    Again, very nice post.

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 16:49:43

      Hey there, Cathy! Glad you found a few fresh ideas. I would love to see what you’d do using Philadelphia as a part of your personal brand. And good point: you don’t have to be ENTIRELY yourself as your public persona… Some things are better left private. To add my own example, I am super casual in my t-shirt and yoga pants when I write, but the image I put out there is more polished and preppy. Thanks for the comment, Cathy! 🙂

  24. hannah
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 17:06:20

    Hi Mary,

    Love, love this post!

    And, oh my, now I have to check out a lot of this bloggers you mentioned 🙂

    You put a lot of thought into this and the strategy that stood out for me was “Be a Creature of Habitat.” There are so many awesome ways to express my home (Nigeria) and I think I need to put some efforts there to stand out in the sea of sameness.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 17:15:13

      Hey Hannah! Oooooh I would love to see how you will incorporate Nigeria. Have fun with it!!

  25. Marcus
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 17:16:13

    Great post Mary! I especially enjoyed #3 and #6.

    Many people think they need to put on a face and try to please everyone (FOMO), when really we should be taking a stand and be willing to accept criticism.

    I know you put a lot of effort into this and it really paid off 🙂

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 22, 2015 @ 17:20:48

      Thank you, Marcus, I appreciate that! And you had a hand in this post as well, so thank you for helping me brainstorm, and giving me the idea which became strategy #9!!! 🙂

  26. Trina Lynne
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 21:15:47

    Awesome post Mary. My shy side can play a massive part in hiding out on the web. However, in public I am a natural people person. I love talking, answering question, being super silly and whatnot, but it doesn’t translate online because I second guess myself. Most, if not all, your suggestions are things I struggle with, worrying what others will think. But after reading this post I feel I’m ready to come out of the online shadows and stand out.

    Thanks for sharing!!!

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 23, 2015 @ 00:39:04

      Yes!! Come out into the light, Trina!! 😉

      What helps me when I’m feeling scared of taking that next step is to think of what’s the worst thing that could happen. And then, I think of what’s the best thing that could happen…

  27. Troy
    Oct 22, 2015 @ 21:53:53

    Great post Mary,

    Particularly love maneuver’s 4 and 5, something I need to work on.


    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 23, 2015 @ 00:39:32

      Awesome, Troy! Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  28. Roxanna Aliba Kazibwe
    Oct 23, 2015 @ 00:14:27

    Oh mehn! This is just what I needed, thanks Mary. I’ve really been feeling like a snowflake. I’ll contact a photographer (to implement number 1) right after sharing this post. God bless and thanks again.

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 23, 2015 @ 00:40:43

      Wuhoo!! I love your get-up-and-go, Roxanna! Let me know when you get your pics… I’d love to see them! 🙂

  29. James Langley
    Oct 23, 2015 @ 01:00:23

    Thankyouthankyouthankyou! ?

    I’m slowly putting all the pieces together (I think I have all the edges sorted, just need the rest of it) but this has been some much needed, much appreciated advice.

    Will get onto it all right away!

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 23, 2015 @ 10:52:26

      Yay!!! Just curious, but which strategy are you going to try first, James?

  30. Alexander Meneikis
    Oct 23, 2015 @ 04:20:06

    Hi Mary,

    all true.

    Unfortunately, people are impressed by an “emperor” image. Still, after 6,000 years of experience as to where that always leads…

    For myself, I had been thinking of a blue wig and orange oversize sunglasses, but for controlling that might be an overshot…

    Being different can be more important than being better. Look at the band KISS. Listen to Brian May’s QUEEN guitar. Definetly different. (And better, too…)

    Yet, especially when you are different, you need to be at least pretty good, otherwise you fall by the wayside.

    KISS or Mötley Crüe would be nowhere without great songs. They would be in Wyoming, doing controlling in a blue wig maybe…

    I will think about this and use it.

    Thanks again

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 23, 2015 @ 10:57:33

      Hey Alexander,

      I can think of quite a few examples of “different” working really well, even with a complete lack of talent or skill… but I do agree with you, it’s so much better to be actually good. 🙂

      Thanks for the comment!

      • Alexander
        Oct 23, 2015 @ 16:19:56

        Yes, they exist, alright. Usually not for long…

  31. Jonathan Seet
    Oct 23, 2015 @ 07:31:16

    An excellent post Mary.

    The best part is that most of them are such simple tactics anyone can easily pull off to create something memorable. I would think that at the end of the day, it is about letting your personality shine and being consistent while you build up your personal branding.

    And here are 9 simple ways to do exactly that. I’m definitely going to start trying the first 2.

    Thanks and do keep these wonderful posts coming.

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 23, 2015 @ 10:58:58

      Awesome!! I’m so glad it feels do-able, Jonathan. 🙂

  32. Yusuff Busayo
    Oct 23, 2015 @ 14:18:39

    Hi, Mary,

    You did great with this piece. The tips are pretty unconventional and breathtaking. It took me some moments to believe I wasn’t reading a fictional work.

    First time commenter here and yours is the post I’ll be starting with. It’s great. This is a great piece as I made sure to read it to the end.

    You know, these are boatloads of puzzle menders here and picking just one is a good way to start. But to archive this masterpiece for future nudges would be great.

    Putting myself in the pigeonhole, I’ll rather don the “Web’s Nerdiest Rantmare”. How’s that for a weird nickname?

    I hope to cut out an intense persona for my blog and using tips five, seven and eight would just cut it for me. The “Derek Halpern” expensive dashing look can come later, but trust me, it’s tempting to want to try that too. But I posit that would work when my blog is blowing over with traffic, terrific comments and immense social media shares on blog posts.

    Susannah Breslin is another example of a blogger who went skinny dipping, publishing thirty days of flash fiction on her blog. That’s an example I hope to replicate hugely.

    I’ll be tweeting this in a moment but just want to congratulate you on being published twice on Boost Blog Traffic. And with such a terrific post? You rock!

    Hope to read more from ya! Have fun.

    ~ Yusuff Busayo

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 23, 2015 @ 17:38:26

      Wow, thank you so much, Yusuff! I am honored to get the first comment from you! Great example of Susannah Breslin, I’ll look her up.

      Hope to see you around Boost Blog Traffic more in the future! 🙂


      • Yusuff Busayo
        Oct 24, 2015 @ 05:05:25

        You’ll definitely be seeing me hanging around here often, Mary.

        Boost Blog Traffic is my one-stop place for kicking myself into being a serious blogger.

        Enjoy the weekend, Mary.

        ~ Yusuff Busayo

  33. Steph Caswell
    Oct 23, 2015 @ 14:24:18

    A fantastic article – I am always thinking of ways to attract a wider audience. I want to be myself, but this post has made me think how I can be a ‘bigger version’ of me. Lots of things to work on! Thanks so much.

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 23, 2015 @ 17:41:43

      Thank you, Steph! I also find it interesting how people who attract more people to them also REPEL more people… So to attract a wider audience, you actually have to appeal to a smaller one. Have fun blossoming into the bigger version of you!!

  34. Lisa Jackson
    Oct 23, 2015 @ 14:30:24

    Really loved this post! Some great ideas and examples to really make you stand out. I am definitely going to start writing more personal posts about how I am building my business. I think it will be a unique spin on my website. Thanks again!

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 23, 2015 @ 17:42:42

      Oooooo, I love those kind of posts. When you write one, Lisa, please share! I’d love to read it. 🙂

  35. Aderemi Dare
    Oct 25, 2015 @ 13:52:14

    Hi Mary,

    There is only one thing to say on this very topic, It Wonderful. Creating a special memory in readers mind and head is surefire way to get stable traffic and become a highly known blogger from less inspiring blogger.

    I believe the main target here is not just to get traffic but to strike a chord in readers to become highly know and gain readers trust.

    Thank you for your wonderful post,
    Aderemi Dare

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 26, 2015 @ 13:20:45

      I completely agree, Aderemi. Well said!

  36. Kim Willis
    Oct 26, 2015 @ 00:06:32

    Hi Mary

    A beautifully crafted blog post – you should get an award for it!

    Standing in out in a ‘sea of sameness’ is freaking hard, but your tips will give many people more clarity, including me.

    All of the tips are excellent but for me the three standouts are location leveraging (I’m a digital nomad so my location changes every 6-12 months), being controversial, and acting the fool (I am good at that!)

    BTW, I LOVE the Napoleon pic – so gay!

    Thanks Mary


    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 26, 2015 @ 13:22:27

      Haha, thanks Kim, I appreciate the high praise!

  37. Chelsea Baldwin
    Oct 26, 2015 @ 09:18:32

    LOVED the “go skinny dipping in a fish bowl” line.

    Plus, that advice is totally on-point. I’ve started being more vulnerable and transparent with my writing lately, and it’s working wonders. Not only am I more human, but my writing naturally becomes more funny, more relatable, and my readers are much more engaged with me.

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 26, 2015 @ 13:25:16

      I’m glad that it is working so well for you, that’s awesome!!

      (Re the fish bowl line: I nearly chickened out and used something more mild there. Glad I kept that line now! Lol)

  38. Anna
    Oct 26, 2015 @ 11:17:46

    This is a really great post Mary. There are some ideas here that I’ve made a note of to adopt and test, specifically “Be a creature of habit” and “Go skinny dipping in a fish bowl”.
    Thanks for a super detailed and inspiring post 🙂


    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 26, 2015 @ 13:26:16

      Awesome, Anna! Do you have an idea of how you will use those 2 strategies?

      • Anna
        Oct 26, 2015 @ 14:27:55

        I live in the Caribbean (Jamaica) so I’m thinking to include more of my location (think beaches, rivers etc) instead of shying away from talking about the fact that I’m not US-based. I’ve avoided it because all my clients are international but I’m beginning to think it won’t hurt.
        Also, re: “Go skinny dipping…in the fish bowl” (absoluetly love that btw :-)), I’m planning on using my new craft business as a case study for my main business which is branding, copywriting and digital marketing. I figure it’s a great way to prove I know what I’m talking about (lead by example).
        Again, fabulous post! Thanks for taking the time to write and share it 🙂

        Oh, also signed up for the blog and requested to join your FB group.

      • Mary Fernandez
        Oct 26, 2015 @ 16:16:47

        Oooooooo, I’ve always dreamt of visiting the Caribbean!! That is a huge opportunity to snap some beautiful shots. Love your case study idea too… Perfect!!

  39. Nitin Tiwari
    Oct 27, 2015 @ 01:12:06

    After reading blog and also comments, I found that you have to read you readers before you can write anything for them. Its about finding people whom you can give knowledge or you can have something from them. I also saw that the writer has replied every comments. So this shows that kindness does matter.

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 27, 2015 @ 12:47:02

      I completely agree, Nitin. The very first thing is to understand your audience before you write anything for them. Thanks for the comment! 🙂

  40. Jonathan Lenahan
    Oct 27, 2015 @ 11:32:49

    I like the idea of turning yourself into a reality show! We all make so many incredibly dumb mistakes over the course of our lives – half of which most people won’t even notice – it makes us people you can identify with. Like, “Oh, I did that same thing the other day!” Makes me smile to know I’m not the only person doing stupid shit, occasionally.


    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 27, 2015 @ 12:50:35

      I know, right?! If someone can make me chuckle that I’m not the only one who does stupid stuff, that makes me feel better about myself, and that person scores a whole lot of points in my book! Thanks for the comment, Jonathan. 🙂

  41. Sarah Gotheridge
    Oct 29, 2015 @ 07:19:52

    One thing that I’ve seen in the industry is that you have to be ridiculously weird or different to stand out from Blue haired Kimra Luna to Rand Fishkin’s infamous moustache or getting a crazy title like you mentioned the Suitcase Entrepreneur to Communication Stylist.

    It is all about being memorable. Derek Halpern got a $310 haircut because he knew it would help him stand out be remembered for it.

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 29, 2015 @ 09:56:58

      I agree, Sarah, it takes going to greater lengths to get noticed online these days. I think everyone has something about them that is different… you just have to find it and amplify it!

      Thanks for the comment! 🙂

  42. Vasile Balaj
    Oct 29, 2015 @ 13:46:04

    Hello Mary,

    You have written a very inspiring article. I read it several times. And I savored every word. You are fantastic. But there is one thing that I don’t understand.

    If I choose one of your strategies, how will my blog get noticed? I mean… if it’s just a brand new blog, and I share on it some very shocking things, people will miraculously come to my blog, after sharing on social media?

    Can you please share with me some tips on how to get many people to read that blog post?

    Congratulations for being able to write such a remarkable article.

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 29, 2015 @ 15:22:27

      Hi Vasile,

      Thank you so much!! I am so flattered that you read it several times.

      Back to your point, which is a really good one: yes, you are quite right, no one will miraculously come to your blog. These strategies will get you absolutely no where unless you have a way to get traffic to your site.

      Once you have people coming to your blog, THEN these standout strategies will help you to get more engagement on your posts (comments, shares, etc.), which will in turn lead to more traffic and more people talking about you.

      So how do you get people to come to your blog in the first place?

      First, read Jon Morrow’s post on 11 Traffic Techniques That Are a Waste of Time for Beginners: //smartblogger.com/traffic-techniques/

      (This will tell you what you should and shouldn’t be focusing on when growing your blog traffic from scratch.)

      Then, pick up my Blog Growth Blueprint, which gives you the step-by-step of what to do and when in order to grow your blog audience: http://persuasiveblog.com/blueprint/

      Hope that helps!


  43. Shane
    Oct 31, 2015 @ 05:40:14

    Love the examples you provided of the way different personalities present themselves in pictures.

    This is something I realize I’ve never given enough thought to. Missed opportunity, for sure!

    Thanks for this post!

    • Mary Fernandez
      Oct 31, 2015 @ 12:45:22

      I’m so glad this post got you thinking, Shane! Thanks so much for the comment! 🙂

  44. Roma Downey
    Nov 05, 2015 @ 07:34:09

    Very well written Mary. Superb tips!! Thank you for sharing.

    • Mary Fernandez
      Nov 08, 2015 @ 12:32:23

      Thank you so much, Roma!!

  45. Mikhail
    Nov 08, 2015 @ 11:27:51

    As so many others have said, these are all great tips. Though I’m particularly fond of #2 – but I suppose that’s just because I enjoy being a contrarian 😉

    • Mary Fernandez
      Nov 08, 2015 @ 12:33:04

      Hey Mikhail, it’s nice to meet a fellow contrarian! Ha ha! 🙂

  46. solanki kajal
    Nov 09, 2015 @ 00:28:24

    Great timing! I have recently been going through a re-branding and wanted to put an emphasis on standing out. Awesome tips, I think I found my missing piece!


  47. AmitTeli
    Nov 17, 2015 @ 10:04:41

    Hey Mary
    Your post is awesome. Liked the way you think:)

  48. Jennifer Nini
    Nov 28, 2015 @ 08:54:26

    What a fabulous post – you are absolutely spot on! The “build it and they will come” mentality doesn’t translate into the digital world. Branding yourself is important! Work it, work it, work it! Glad to have stumbled across Boost Blog Traffic. I’ve just subscribed and I rarely give my email address away so easily. Well done 🙂

  49. تزئینات تولد
    Dec 05, 2015 @ 07:45:35

    this post is very useful for me thanks for share this useful and informative post