Breaking the Bell Curve: Standing Out in a Sea of Same


As you know that we are attending BlogWorld Expo East in New York City. We had a pleasure of attending Tamsen McMahon’s (@tamadear) session in which she shared how to break the bell curve and stand out. Here is a summary of her presentation:

The blogosphere is a fantastically large space, and the sheer number of blogs can make it hard to stand out. The culprit for this is the bell curve. This little piece of statistical information explains why so many of us end up in the center of the blogging pack instead of out in front. The so called “magic middle” is not so magical when success is pulling out ahead of you. at the same time, we don’t want to be an outlier, resting so far off the curve that no one knows where we are, we instead want to strive to be both unique and in context.

So what is a blogger to do? Above all, avoid being a copy. Too many bloggers start out copying another blogger only to end up washed out because they are no longer making a unique contribution to the web. Others try to be so different that they disrupt everyones attention.

Tamsen shares with us three simple steps to push your blog out of the middle and into a unique space. First, ignore the normal. Think about your elevator pitch, the 30 second speech you use to tell others about you. Is your pitch meaningful? Is it interesting? Can people understand your “industry speak?” If not, or if you are vague and general, you will only create noise, not buzz. Avoid using tired descriptors (mogul, guru, ninja, or expert) and instead customize your pitch to you and your meaning.

Second, differentiate yourself. Don’t try to assume someone else’s niche because it works for them. Stand out for what you do, what you offer, how you do it, who you are, where you are, or who your customer is. Chances are, one of these things is already different about you, you just need to identify it and use it to your advantage. Find your quirks, your “brand Judo” and use them as a jumping off point.

Finally, learn to be present. Find where your interest and your audiences interest overlap and be present in that space. Be a chameleon that can shift focus but never lose sight of that overarching theme.


Standard theme is recognized as one of the 8 best premium WordPress themes by Mashable, TheNextWeb called it the slickest WordPress theme ever, and it was also nominated as one of the 25 Best Commercial WordPress themes of 2010 by WPBeginner. With their recent update, Standard Theme now fully supports post formats. Get 15% OFF if you use the coupon “WPBEGIN15“.

BuySellAds is a huge marketplace to buy/sell advertising spots on your site. Over 750 successful bloggers use them to power their online ad sales. WPBeginner is also using BSA to maintain our ads. It is also a great place for advertisers. Over 1,000 quality advertisers use BSA to target the audiences that are right for their brand. If you are interested, apply to be in their marketplace now.


Open Source Training teaches people how to use Joomla, Drupal and WordPress.