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:
- 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.
- 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.
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!