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FYI: Get the LD on Your UVP

No, I’m not talking about a kind of sunblock; I’m talking about a UVP, or “unique value proposition.” What’s a UVP, and why should you have one?

No, I’m not talking about a kind of sunblock; I’m talking about a UVP, or “unique value proposition.”

Does it sound kinda business-speak-esque? Okay, yes, a little — but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s the skinny on UVPs, what they do, and how having one helps your blog.

What’s a UVP?

When it comes to business, this concept is often referred to as a “unique selling proposition.” It’s the reason a manufacturer thinks you should choose its product from the lineup. It’s the promise that product makes. Kraft mac n’ cheese is the cheesiest. Gap jeans are stylish and timeless. Ford trucks are reliable and tough.

When it comes to blogging, a unique value proposition isn’t all that different: it’s the reason a reader should spend time on your blog. The Daily Post helps you blog better. BuzzFeed collects the funniest images. Cute Overload perks up your day with adorable bunnies.

Understanding and defining your UVP can have more of an impact on your audience than any one-off traffic building tactic like publicizing your posts to Twitter or writing catchy headlines (although those definitely play a role in growing a readership). It’s also something any blogger can develop — it needn’t be limited to bloggers with defined niches or who are marketing themselves via their blogs.

Having a defined UVP boosts your blog in two big ways:

  1. It quickly establishes why someone should spend the time to read you instead of one of the other millions of options, which is critical in a medium where we judge websites and click away in just a few seconds.
  2. It makes you memorable, so you become readers’ go-to source for your thing: parenting tips, beautiful landscape photography, Game of Thrones recaps, funny posts about fly fishing, whatever.

How do I figure out my UVP?

Even if you already blog about a defined topic or two, you can probably hone your UVP. After all, you’re not the only person who blogs about pottery, but you might be the only pottery blogger focused on reviving 12th century Meso-American potting traditions.

If you don’t blog with a narrow scope, you can still use these questions to figure out your own UVP. Think through how you’d respond, and be specific:

  • What can readers find here that they can’t find anywhere else?
  • What questions am I trying to answer with my blog?
  • What makes me awesome?

For  our hypothetical Meso-American pottery lover, the answers will be pretty particular. Here on The Daily Post, we’d say that the thing that makes us awesome is that readers can find advice, inspiration, and tutorials to apply to their own blogs, no matter the subject.

For others, your main answer may be something much broader, like “my unique voice” or “my ability to work a pun into any post.” For a blogger, that’s just fine — look at the Jenny Lawson at The Bloggess or Dooce’s Heather Armstrong, both of whom blog about whatever life is currently tossing their way, but with a voice and style and keeps readers clicking.

Thankfully, when I Googled "Meso-American Pottery," it was actually a thing. (Teotihuacan - Mortar and Pestle by artotem (CC BY 2.0).,

Thankfully, when I Googled “Meso-American Pottery,” it was actually a thing. (Teotihuacan – Mortar and Pestle by artotem, CC BY 2.0.)

Get as detailed as possible — what is unique about your voice? — and you’ll be on your way. We love Legal Nomads for inspiration here: she’s a soup-loving, world-traveling former lawyer. That gives her the space to write about a wide variety of things while being specific, concise, and memorable.

Once you’ve thought through your answers, put them into sentence form. Ideally, this is a single sentence. This sentence is your UVP, the essence of your blog, and the thing readers will remember about you.

What do I do with my UVP?

Once you nail down your UVP, weave it through your blog — it will become the crux of the brand you’re building for yourself as a blogger. It should be reflected in things like:

  • Your title and tagline — let us know immediately who you are and why you’re blogging.
  • Your about page — tell us the story of you and your blog and flesh your UVP our for us.
  • Your visual identity — interpret it for header images, custom widgets, backgrounds, and Gravatars/Blavatars so it’s reinforced wherever readers look.
  • Your posts and the comments you leave — whenever possible, write through the lens of your UVP.

If you find it challenging to distill your UVP into a sentence or two or you feel like it’s putting uncomfortable limits on your blogging, it’s time to re-think. A UVP is meant to help you focus and simplify, not be a hindrance.

Now let’s synergize our out-of-the-box thinking, and figure out some UVPs!

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  1. For the life of me, I can never figure out why anyone reads my blog, but I’m always grateful. However, if Kraft is looking for product placement, you can’t get any cheesier.

  2. When I started blogging, at the insistent suggestions of my younger daughter and husband, I didn’t really think about needing a blog name. Having gotten that far in setting up the blog, I cast my mind about and, since I thought I’d write about a variety of things (which I have), I chose “This, That and the Other Thing.” When I googled it once, I realized too many others had had the same idea. However, possible through non-stop blogging for over two years, I now find myself near the top of the first page when googling. I guess that’s progress. :-)

    janet

  3. Great suggestion! You can sum it up by asking yourself, “What’s the point of my blog?”

    Also it’s a great drinking game if you’re in the corporate world….Every time our President says “value proposition” on a conference call you take a shot.

    Trust me, call a cab now!

      1. You have to have fun on those boring ass conference calls or you’ll go crazy! Me and a sales guy count how many times our boss drops our CEOs name, value position, or our global business…global seems to be hot right now!

  4. I really like the 3 questions to ask yourself. I’m starting to think my UVP should have something to do with humility – the whys of why I am awesome make me panic, but humble pie and cussing may not go together perfectly. lol.

  5. I agree with the reader above, I think the three questions to ask ourselves is an excellent aid in determining our UVPs. I’m not 100% sure that mine is clearly defined in my blog, but I’ve been putting a lot of thought into it lately, and since my focus has been placed on Toronto street photography and sharing photography tips/resources that I’ve used and benefited from, I think my UVP is just that… a little different view of the streets of Toronto, and information sharing.

    Loving these posts lately!

  6. Thought provoking stuff. I like the idea of weaving the UVP through the blog. I would suggest that at first, for many bloggers it might be hard to imagine how to go about doing that, but once you start to think that way making some kind of reference to, or suggestion of, a UVP will become second nature.

    1. Very true. For a lot of very new bloggers, I’d suggest just writing, then revisiting your posts after a few months — often, a UVP will reveal itself in the things you’re drawn to blogging about, and then you can just keep on trucking.

  7. I should definitely think about my UVP ! I’ve been wondering for a while now, why people would read me and how I could describe my-blogging-self… Food for thoughts, for sure ! Thanks for the tips !

    1. Which brings up another way to help refine you UVP — ask! You can poll your readers, or just reach our privately to trusted friends and readers for their perspective on your awesomeness.

  8. For me, it’s community and connection, though I don’t like to hammer on those themes. I like to write about a number of things and will often use that lens, but it’s also something I practice by participating in French Fridays on my blog – that’s become a wonderful community over the years. My struggle is having this UVP come through, while still exploring the range of things I want to write about.

  9. This is all great advice, and I love the questions to ask yourself. As well as the business-speak sign of, ha! Let’s shift our paradigms! ;) Mostly, though, I just wanted to say that I love the new layout. This place looks faaaabulous!

  10. That’s what I need – a UVP (usable video phone?? ultra-vain pest?? ugly visitor protection?? unusually vast panorama?? unqualified viewpoint presenter??). I’ll have to work on this and figure out what makes me a uniquely vivid personality.

  11. I appreciate why a blogger might comment within their UVP context. But I also think some regular readers like to see a glimpse of another side of the blogger beyond their UVP. So the blogger is multi-faceted and not as narrow as the UVP.

  12. Those were some very good questions. I can’t even answer them myself. I’ll have to think about them some more. I really have no idea why people visit my blog. I hope it’s because I have put something interesting there. I have so many things that I’m interested in, it makes my blog unfocused I guess. Maybe I should try your suggestion of a poll. :-)

    1. That’s okay, lots of us have “unfocused” blogs; my personal site definitely is. Your topics can be inconsistent as long as your voice is consistent.

  13. Well, something special (not quite a UVP but close) about my blog is that I typically title my posts with names of Greek, Roman, or Norse deities that relate to the topics of that particular post. For example, my post from 4.10.2014 (yesterday) was titled “Maniae,” which are goddesses/spirits of insanity or madness–I had a silly, mentally disjointed day yesterday, and was talking to myself while I was alone at my apartment. So of course, the title is self-explanatory!

    The titles of my posts will typically give you an idea of the mood I’m having that day! (i.e., I had a depressing day one day, so I titled that post “Nyx”, the goddess of the night and darkness, which is typically associated with melancholia.)

    My posted pictures, however, are titled words that describe how I felt that day.

    Case in point, many of my posts are about my reflections about my ridiculous joke of a life, and my experiences. I like to add reflections about my personal beliefs, advice, reminders, and encouragement for those who may stumble upon my blog, too! I’m an aspiring (and pretty underground) and budding comedy writer-slash-microbiologist, so I try to weave my own sense of humor into my blogs, as well. I’m wanting to either start a vlog or try to participate in NBC Comedy Playground, which I’ll probably end up talking about, soon, too!

  14. Interesting post. What if you don’t technically have an obvious UVP. My blog doesn’t have a set topic or even two. I just blog about whatever in that moment irks me enough to want to write about it.

  15. I so needed this post. I’m thinking of narrowing my focus since I’m all over the place with the great things we see. It’s hard to eliminate anything that makes my heart thump, but focusing might be the wave of the future if I’m going to keep blogging. You’ve inspired me! Thanks. http://ohtheplaceswesee.com

  16. Thanks for this useful article! It helped me clarify my thoughts. A major feat! And The Daily Post’s new look is really great! Looks much more smooth and modern.

  17. Hey, I think your website might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your blog in Opera, it looks fine but
    when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, very good blog!

  18. Interesting…I’m thinking I should broaden the variety on my posts a bit, but maybe I don’t have to worry about it and just keep doing what I love. Thanks for the post!

  19. I don’t know it this occurs to all first timers, but I have so many ideas to blog about but usually draw a blank once my hands hit the key board. I didn’t even know where to start but this has given me insight. This is very helpful, the detail and clarity are encouraging. Thanks

  20. Very helpful advice. I just started my blog this year and I know it will go through a few changes before it is the way I envision it to be. I will consider your advice as I make these changes, especially in revising my about page :)

  21. My UVP is about ‘design education’ in India. I started blogging recently. I have yet to learn more.May I have your feedback after you visit my blog ?