By: Marilyn L. Davis
Start Changing to Purple and Be Unique
“Be different. Be unique. Nobody will remember a specific flower in a garden filled with thousands of the same yellow flower, but they will remember the one that managed to change its color to purple.”― Suzy Kassem, Rise Up and Salute the Sun: The Writings of Suzy Kassem
Writing Forecast for 2022
If you’re not familiar with Neil Patel, I can’t stress enough that you should follow him and pay attention. Why? Because he has been my go-to for SEO advice for years. If your blog is a WordPress site, you know that you get a readability and SEO rating for each post, and these are important for how your site ranks.
Neil Patel has highlighted the biggest SEO challenge for 2022.
He says, “Take a guess… maybe links, on-page SEO, social media… seriously, take a guess…Well, here is the biggest challenge and how you can solve it.
That’s right; content is going to be the biggest challenge in 2022.”
Give Readers Something Unique in a Crowded Market
Okay, I know those statistics are discouraging. I also understand that you’re like me and wonder how you can attract an audience and following with that much competition. By writing unique posts.
Remember the Purple Flower
Suzy Kassem’s idea merits repeating. The way to attract an audience and followers is to be the purple flower in the field of yellow. How can you do that?
- Find an underdeveloped perspective.
- Don’t just go deep into the subject; go wide, also.
- Understand what problems your readers have and solve them.
- Write from your personal experience and learn to tell stories.
- Permit yourself to write about new topics.
- Update older posts with new information or experiences.
- Make sure your posts provide solutions.
1. Find an Underdeveloped Perspective
What do I mean by an underdeveloped perspective? Writing about igniting the inquisitive writer, I stated, “Viewing our topic differently, we can then capture the subject from multiple perspectives and add just the right elements to bring a fresh perspective to an old topic.”
It doesn’t matter if others share our viewpoint, either. What is distinctive and makes it unique, is how we frame our view. It’s the specific choice of words, phrases, and images that make the post unique.
2. Don’t just go deep into the subject; go wide, also.
Many writers think that going deeper into a topic will get them noticed. While that is true, deciding if your topic is more saturated from depth or breadth can help you determine your direction and how you frame your post.
In simple terms, think of all the aspects of your subject as bullet points. Within that 1000-word post, you can briefly write about each of them. An in-depth post could still be 1000-words, but only about one aspect.
3. Understand what problems your readers have and solve them.
Two Drops of Ink is a literary blog, and as such, we publish posts that appeal to bloggers and writers looking for advice and tips, readers who want to be entertained or enchanted by poetry, or we publish some prose primarily when we are running a specific contest.
In identifying our readers and their problems, we know they want help writing content, grammar, or other literary concerns. Some of our readers submit because they want to be published on a blog that promotes their books, blogs, or other writing.
My other blog, From Addict 2 Advocate, publishes posts specific to addiction and recovery. I know that people are still struggling with their addiction or don’t know where to turn to get helpful advice. Getting into recovery and remaining there are the themes on the site.
Staying true to readers’ needs means that they will revisit your site if you’ve given them helpful information in the past. That’s one way of keeping readers – solving their problems with your unique perspective.
4. Write from your personal experience and learn to tell stories.
Writing from my personal experience for From Addict 2 Advocate came easy for me. We’re so used to people telling their stories or sharing a problem in meetings that storytelling was part of my makeup.
However, when I started writing for Two Drops of Ink in 2014, I was hesitant to include personal information. That changed when then Editor-in-Chief Scott Biddulph told me to have some facts about me in my post. Like most things, I was tentative and only disclosed as much as I was comfortable with at the time. In the post, What Can I Add? It’s Already Been Written; I discussed growing up roaming the library aisles as I didn’t have the internet to search out topics and subjects that interested me. Was it necessarily unique? Perhaps not, as I’m sure others didn’t grow up with the internet, either, but it made the post specific to me.
Since that first post in 2014, I’ve gotten more comfortable discussing my writing problems, solutions, and experiences. Frequently, comments reinforce that other writers and readers can either relate or are thankful that I’ve disclosed my difficulties.
People appreciate knowing they aren’t alone in a problem. The most transparent I’ve been was in The Energy of the Personal Blog, but how could I be anything else but transparent if it’s a personal blog?
With the comments and views on that post, it taught me a valuable lesson. Never be afraid to be vulnerable in your writing and show your human side to your readers.
5. Permit yourself to write about new topics.
When I became the Editor-in-Chief at Two Drops of Ink, one of my concerns was editing Ph.D.s. Who was I to correct their grammar or syntax? Would they question my suggestions? Would they ever submit again if my edit offended them?
The entire thing felt like trial by fire. There wasn’t anyone else to turn to, so I did something new – I corrected the Ph.D.s. When they thanked me for good edits, I decided to explore writing about editing. Why? Because I genuinely like the process of editing. The second set of eyes on any writing can find flaws, move a passage to improve flow or cut unnecessary words. I genuinely like the working relationships I’ve developed with the monthly contributors, and never edit out their voice, style, or unique perspective. Equating a submission to a rose bush might seem strange, but it works for me. Think about Larry Enright’s description of editing: “Editing is like pruning the rose bush you thought was so perfect and beautiful until it overgrew the garden.”
I also have great respect for the second set of eyes and used two editors for my books, Finding North: A Journey from Addict to Advocate and Memories into Memoir: The Mindsets and Mechanics Workbook. Why? Because I know that editors are viewing the words in a more dispassionate light.
Since then, I’ve taken the plunge and written about how to edit. Helping people unpack their writing, learn to revise, and refine their writing means I’m staying true to one of the missions at Two Drops of Ink – providing suggestions and directions for writers and bloggers.
6. Update older posts with new information or experiences.
In my post about updating, I gave the example of tree trimming, which I have no experience doing. So, why would I choose that topic if I had never done it? To be candid, I decided on that example because I liked the image of the man cutting off the tree branch at the wrong place, meaning that if he continued, he’d fall.
Then I elaborated on how trimming trees wasn’t a new topic but that tools for cutting trees have changed. Now it’s more than a simple saw, and those recent advances in tree trimming are where a writer can give readers information about the newest improvements in tree trimming. And anytime we help people do things more efficiently or quickly, they’ll return to us when we update our information.
Specific to updating information, most bloggers have ever-green content, meaning that the topic is not new, trendy, or time-sensitive. But with any advance in your subject, see if you can’t write about the improvements and make your ever-green content more unique and relative to today’s readers.
7. Make sure your posts provide solutions.
We all know that COVID-19 changed the way we live, socialize, and work. Any post that provides your readers with solutions for problems associated with the pandemic could get you new readers and potential followers.
For many writers, having their children and spouses at home meant that they didn’t have the luxury of quiet time to write. Or they had to share the home office. The demands on writers during the pandemic meant that all of us had to find creative ways to get our writing done.
I’m fortunate, I only had a demanding cat to contend with, but if you’ve ever tried to write with paws on the keyboard, you’ll sympathize. My solution? Feed him first. Then take 10 minutes and brush him. That combination means he’s ready for a nap, and I’ve got my uninterrupted time to write. While it may not seem like negotiating, it is. I satisfy his needs to allow me to fulfill mine. You can negotiate with children and spouses, too for some alone time to write.
Heads Up – 2022 is Just Around the Corner
We’re already making menus for Thanksgiving and counting down to Christmas. Today, it’s 49 days until Santa makes his appearance.
2022 is 57 days away, and I want you to start thinking about how you can implement these six tips into your blogging and be unique next year.
Bio: Marilyn L. Davis
Marilyn recently published her memoir, Finding North: A Journey from Addict to Advocate, available on Amazon. To help others write an excellent memoir, she published, Memories into Memoir: The Mindsets and Mechanics Workbook, also available on Amazon.
Her Job at Two Drops of Ink: Editor-in-Chief and Cheerleader
As the editor-in-chief at Two Drops of Ink, Marilyn encourages other writers to share their creativity and talents. She believes in the power of words, also understanding that how something is said is as important as what is said.
Her focus at Two Drops of Ink is to provide readers with posts that entertain, educate, and enchant them. These posts are poetry, prose, and problem-solving for the writer and blogger.
Editing, revising, finding the bones, and taking the time to develop posts with writers is something she enjoys. She understands writers’ fears in submitting and takes the time to encourage new and seasoned writers to submit.
Her recovery curriculum, Therapeutic Integrated Educational Recovery System (TIERS), offers time-tested exercises for healing. This curriculum was used in the award-winning recovery home she opened for women in 1990. It is still used in Accountability Courts and other recovery homes.
Closing the house in 2011 allowed her to spread the message that recovery works to a larger audience through her blog, From Addict 2 Advocate. She and her guest writers explore addiction, recovery, making positive changes, and codependency.
Her primary focus is writing so that more addicts and their families can end their struggles with addiction. She does this through reflective writing, memoir, and sharing her darkest moments so that those still suffering from addictions can know a person who got out of the vicious cycle, just as she did 33 years ago.
She hopes to encourage the addicted population to make changes and become the best person they can be through her writing.
Marilyn is a regular guest writer at Keys to Recovery Newspaper.
Marilyn was given the Hero Award in 2017-18 for her writing on Facebook pages about addiction and recovery. Her passion for writing, recovery, and helping others means that collaboration works for any blog type.
In 2016, the Friends of Recovery Book Reviewers group awarded her “Best Addiction Writer” of the year. She is excited that her words may help another recover.
In 2010, she was awarded the Liberty Bell Award by the Northeastern Judicial Circuit, given to non-attorneys for contributions to the criminal justice system and communities.
In 2008, Brenau University created the Marilyn Davis Community Service-Learning Award: an ongoing award for individuals advocating for mental health, wellness, and recovery.
Two Drops of Ink: The Literary Home for Collaborative Writing
We’re Taking Submissions
- How can you help the writer and blogger improve their writing?
- Would you like to see your poetry, prose, or problem-solving post for writers and bloggers published?
- Do you need an additional platform for your writing?
Then consider a guest post today. Here are the guidelines.