In the age when everyone has a blog, it can be hard to make your online musings stand out. Our own Blake Clerke Smith recently found out that with the right angle and content, a blog can open up a whole new set of possibilities.

After seeing that the annual Umbraco advent calendar was looking for submissions, Blake put together a guide for new developers who are just getting started with Umbraco. After being published, the blog was noticed by Umbraco founders who invited her to Denmark to speak at their annual conference for developers.

Some lessons to take away from Blake’s experience, if you’re looking to get your blog content noticed:

Blog about what you know. The guide to Umbraco that Blake wrote was inspired by her own experiences as a designer and developer. Though she isn’t a professional writer, she knew enough about the topic to craft a post filled with valuable information. Having an experienced perspective on the subject allowed her to create content that offers the reader unique value. Even more experienced users, like North American Umbraco lead Paul Sterling, commented on the quality of the post.


Make your content a reference point for other users. With her guide to getting started in Umbraco, Blake created a resource that new designers are likely to bookmark and revisit again and again. The engagement metrics for these types of content are also high, as most users will spend more time on the page as they follow the steps she has laid out.

Choose a niche that isn’t too big, or too small. With users all over the globe, Umbraco has a sizeable following, but hasn’t reached full market saturation. As a result, blogs about how to use Umbraco are more unique and easier to make stand out than blogs about HTML coding. Readers who are interested in the topic are more likely to take notice of the author and use social media channels to follow that person.

Incorporate design elements. Scroll through Blake’s post and you’ll see that she has used screengrabs, graphics and different fonts to make the whole thing easy on the eyes. This helps to make the content easily shareable across platforms and easy for visual learners to follow.

Submit to an authoritative site with active social media accounts. By submitting to a site run by the founders of Umbraco, Blake eliminated the need to do any promotional work herself. Umbraco founder Niels Hartvig has nearly 6000 Twitter followers, many of whom are popular designers, well known developers and social media influencers.

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