What do YOU do to differentiate your blog from thousands of others?

There are tons of different blogs in every niche and it’s nothing but a common sense, that readers will choose only a tiny fraction of them for regular reading.

So what can you do to be one of the few?

Your writing style is unique? Come on, we’re not writing poems here. Almost everyone can say if it’s William Shakespeare or Stephen King just by reading a random page from a book.

But will you be able to tell if a randomly selected post was written by Brian Clark or Darren Rowse (or maybe it was Kristi Hines)? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think it’s super hard to do.

You’re sharing exclusive information on your blog? Well, dozens of other bloggers will repost it the same day. That’s just how internet works and readers won’t even bother tracking the original source.

I could easily go on and argue some other things that are considered to help your blog become unique. But instead I’m going to share something, that worked really well for me personally.

I’m talking about building “simple tools”. And there’s much more to it, than just differentiating yourself from others. Read along…

My own examples of “simple tools”

Before we jump into all the benefits they bring, I want to give you two examples of my own “simple tools” and what I already got from building them.

1. “Strip The Blog” tool – was released like a month ago. You feed the tool with an URL of any blog, and it creates a spreadsheet with the latest blog posts, sorted by the amount of shares they got on social networks. Nothing too fancy, right?

I’m only doing my first steps in promoting it, but this tool already landed me:

  • two interviews
  • a mention in a podcast
  • a dozen connections with popular bloggers (including Adam)
  • a dozen guest post opportunities (including this article)
  • & quite a few links

Strip The Blog Tool - Blogger Jet

2. TweetDis plugin – if you want your visitors to tweet certain quotes from your article just by clicking on them – you need TweetDis (right now everyone uses ClickToTweet for that, but I think it’s not that good looking and handy).

And again, I didn’t promote this plugin well, because its homepage is not finished yet, but it already helped me to connect with some famous marketers like:

  • Kristi Hines from Kikolani (who promised to include this plugin in her course)
  • Danny Iny from Firepole Marketing (who is about to implement the plugin on some of his blogs)

You’re probably wondering how much does it cost to build a “simple tool” like that. Well, each tool cost me $300 on average. But I was hiring very professional guys. I think I could’ve gone cheaper if I really wanted.

Yet in any case, I’m convinced that these tools are well worth their money, and here’s why.

Tweet Dis WordPress Plugin

5 reasons to be building “simple tools”

Like I said, I’ve only started exploiting my tools and there’s a long road ahead. Yet I already see the main benefits I got from building them. And I’m happy to share them with you today.

Reason #1: You solve your own problems

Yes, the actual reasoning behind building these tools in the first place was to solve the problems that I was facing myself.

Take “Strip The Blog” for example.

I like to spy on my competitors and check which of their posts go viral, because then I can write my own piece on the same topic and it might take off too.

So I used to manually check hundreds of posts on different blogs, but it was too time consuming and tiring.

And that’s when I thought that I can build a nice tool that will do it for me.

I’m sure you can easily come up with a few problems like this one that you’re regularly facing and that can be easily solved with a bit of automation.

Reason #2: You help your readers solve their problems

Take any problem you might think of and you won’t be the only guy in the world facing it. I mean the tool that you’ve built for yourself will come handy to lots of other guys.

And by solving problems of other people you get tons of cool perks: authority for yourself, word of mouth, social shares and even money.

I guess many of you know PopupDomination plugin by Michael Dunlop, OptinSkin plugin by Glen Allsop and SEO Plugin by Joost de Valk. These guys are obviously getting all of the perks I’ve just mentioned.

Reason #3: You have something cool to reach out with

Everyone knows how much connections matter in the blogging world. And that’s the exact reason, why all famous bloggers every day get bombarded with tons of emails like this:

  • Please check my post
  • Please tweet my post
  • Please give me an advice
  • Please help me with my blog

Let’s get back to that differentiation thing. By offering the big guys to take a look at your tool you pretty much stand out from the crowd. That’s a fact.

And at some point, you’re actually helping them out a little bit.

You see, the big guys should always be on top of things and it’s quite hard for them to follow everything that’s happening in their niche.

So if you’re bringing something really worthy to their attention – they might appreciate that, as now they have some interesting thing to share with their followers and get props for that.

Reason #4: You have something to talk about

On one hand, this guest post is a shameless self-promotion. But on the other hand, I’m actually bringing some value to the table by telling you my story and sharing my experience.

I mean this very guest post wouldn’t exist without those tools that I have built.

And it’s just one of the ways I can exploit my “simple tools” for guest posting. Here are a few more possible article ideas:

  • Talk 3 ways to solve some problem, where one of them is your tool
  • Talk 3 benefits of some strategy and mention your tool that simplifies it all
  • Create a list of cool tools for bloggers and add yours there
  • Share your personal story and include your tool as a part of it

So where does this post fall? I guess it’s something between #2 and #4.

And besides, you get a very cool thing to include in your author bio at the end of your guest posts, which will get you lots of clicks.

Reason #5: You have something to give away

(This of course applies to “simple tools” that you charge for)

Since I now own a premium WordPress plugin, I’m going to give it out for free at certain occasions in exchange for email signups and tweets.

I will also offer my fellow bloggers to give it away on their blogs, which will give myself and my blog some extra promotion.

Plus I may add it as a free gift to any other services that I charge for, because people love to get freebies.

Now back to you

I know I’ve mentioned the word “money” in my headline, but never talked about it later on.

Well, that’s because it’s bloody obvious, isn’t it?

By selling your “simple tools” you can bring back what you’ve initially invested and make some nice money on top of it.

This can turn into a profitable online business and that’s apart from five other benefits that I’ve just shared with you.

Not sure where to start?

Tell me in comments if that is something you’re interested in and I might write a follow up with exact steps on how to build your first “simple tool”.

See you in the comments!

Photo Credit: andrea-prieto cc