EXciting X Factor of Your Blog

This entry is part 26 of the series Build a Better Blog

Disclosure: This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.

We’re nearing the end of the alphabet and the A to Z Challenge. We’re into the tricky letters now, but today I thought we’d look at 

X is for X Factor

How good were you at maths (or math) at school? Let’s start with a maths challenge. 

9 – X = 6

sumI’m sure you didn’t need a calculator to work out the answer.

This X stands for 3. Change the X into 3 and you have 9-3=6.

And that is correct. If you got it correct, I’m proud of you. But if you were wrong, write out X = 3 100 times before bed tonight. 🙂 

So what on earth does this have to do with blogging?

My dictionary defines X factor as

  • “an unknown or hard-to-define but important special property.”
  • Google™ describes it as “a variable in a given situation that could have the most significant impact on the outcome.”

Hmmm. What does that say about the tradition of abbreviating Christmas to Xmas? Do we really worship an “unknown or hard-to define” person at that time of year?

Let’s get back to blogging.

If you want to really build a better blog this could be key.

Does your blog have an X factor? Find out here. #atozchallenge Click To Tweet

What is your blog’s X factor?

  • What is the variable on your blog that will influence the most people and draw them to your blog?
  • If you try to imitate another blog like one you’ve seen on the Internet, you’re not likely to persuade your readers to keep coming back, and you won’t have any sense of satisfaction.


  • Because it’s missing the X factor.
  • It may contain the original blogger’s X factor but that won’t suit yours.
  • You need to produce a blog unlike any other. And the only way you’re going to do that is to use your own unique voice.

And that is what this series has been all about.

You obviously can’t implement all the suggestions at one go. So look through them and choose the one that excites you most, then work on that over the next few posts before trying another one. 

  • Go to Inviting Images and turn out the best illustrations you can.

Time to give your post a title? Don’t be satisfied with the first name that comes to mind. Study 20 Ways to Create Tempting Titles, and come up with something creative.

Wondering what to blog about? Get new ideas from Joy of Journaling and Virtue of Value.

If your blog is aimed at writers or at book-lovers, do more reviews, or interviews of the authors. After this challenge is over I’m going to be interviewing the protagonist from a novel. I’m sure many will find that intriguing.

Make sure you advertise your review or interview on Twitter, Facebook and other Social Media. Authors of the books as well as their fans will want to re-tweet or share these posts, and they will hopefully come and visit your blog.

If you’re writing a family blog, how about recommending good family-style books or including trailers for good family-appropriate films? You could also give tips on how you got your toddlers to eat their veggies, or some easy recipes the kids could try out.

It takes time to build a successful blog.

It takes time and dedication to build a better blog. #atozchallenge Click To Tweet

You may not see a huge improvement in a few days. But as you work through the suggestions in this series and personalize them to your own unique style, so your blog will start to stand out from others.

After you’ve been working on your blog for a few months, take a few hours and study your statistics.

Which blog posts drew the most visitors?

Which had the most comments?

What made the difference?

Did you promote them the same way?

Is there something you can learn from this information and put into practice on your next post?

Returning to our definition at the beginning, all the facts you collect and the information you share are likely to be available elsewhere. They are the knowns. You need to now add the unknown, the X factor that will change the presentation.

And that is totally unique.x

The X factor is you.

  • It is partly your personality. You’re unique remember.
  • It includes your voice and the way you word your points.
  • Also your attitude and how you approach your reader.
  • Your approach to the topic may be different to other posts.
  • The way you put the information together and present it to your admiring public!

Over to you:

This was more of a cheering-you-on post than providing your with more knowledge. I’m sure your brains are already spinning from all the information given during the last weeks. Hang in there.

Choose one thing out of the whole series and concentrate on that.

X factorWhat sentence stands out for you in this post? What can you do to develop your X factor within your blog?

Please share in the comment section below. I love hearing from my readers. Leave a live link in the text and I will get back to you.


  • Interesting Images
  • Joy of Journaling
  • K for Kindle and KDP
  • L is for Live and Learn
  • M is for Marketing Methods
  • N is for Nuggets and News
  • O is for Ongoing Opportunities
  • P is for Plan with Purpose
Special offer on Kindle Publishing Made Easy, a hands-on course. Expires end April. #atozchallenge Click To Tweet

Don’t miss out on this

20% discount voucher on Kindle Publishing Made Easy
– an exciting “hands-on” self-publishing course conducted by Val Waldeck which will take you through the basics of how to self-publish your Kindle book on Amazon. All you need do is comment on this post, then follow the link. When asked, use the code SCVW20-04 Note: This offer expires at midnight April 30. 


28 comments on “EXciting X Factor of Your Blog

    • Thanks so much, Corinne. I’ve enjoyed the challenge. Congratulations to you for finishing as well. I’ve done your questions and will send them off presently. Will continue to see you online!

  1. “You need to produce a blog unlike any other. And the only way you’re going to do that is to use your own unique voice.” – my favorite line
    Thanks for the pep talk, Shirley!

    My X factor is probably that I write about living in Ecuador, but I would like to think that my unique voice is part of the X factor, too, as you said. No one will return if my personality does not come through. It will be fun to monitor over time to see if my mom and husband are the only ones reading six months from now 🙂 If that is the case, so be it. It will be like writing home to let Mom know about life here.

    Emily | My Life In Ecuador | Xanthophobia, Xenoepist, Xyzlacatosis

    • Thanks for telling me your favourite line.
      Yes, I believe your personality shines through, and I hope you continue blogging in similar vein. Have a great weekend! Yay for Yesterday as you Build a Better Blog #atozchallenge

  2. Hi, I loved math and was good at it in school. I love your blog and thank you for visiting mine. I found the ‘Followers’ option under Blogger gadgets. I don’t know if that helps, but I hope it does!

    • Thank you for stopping by and for your great comment. I’m not with Blogger, I’m with WordPress but i’m going to look to see if I can find a similar plugin. Thank you. I enjoyed your blog. I wish I’d found it earlier in the challenge, but I’ll try and pop back and catch up. Yay for Yesterday as you Build a Better Blog #atozchallenge

  3. Shirley, I’m so glad I found your blog (through the A to Z Challenge). I’m grateful that you beat cancer and seem stronger because of it. I also wonder what it’s like to be a pastor’s wife in South Africa? What a beautiful country you live in! I agree that our writing has to have the “X” factor. I feel like some of my posts are spot on and many are not. Some are Spirit-filled and others are not. But, I love to write and keep honing my craft. I’m going to check out your books. I have not personally had cancer (yet) but my best friend did and she survived but it was the scariest thing in the world. Bless you and your ministry, Shirley. Have a great weekend! http://www.dianeweidenbenner.com

    • Diane, thank you for your visit and for a lovely comment. Being a pastor’s wife in S.Africa is, I guess, the same as being one anywhere else. It’s not easy. But we’ve met some wonderful people through our various congregation and are still in touch today. Yes, my cancer was a hard couple of years and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. For all that, it changed my life for the better, and it has certainly opened an area of ministry for me. I thought I understood cancer (through experience as an RN and as a pastor’s wife) but it took the real thing in my life to teach me I really knew nothing about what it was like! I’m coming up for 20 years clean. Thank you Lord! Blessings on you. Have a great weekend. I’m off to visit your blog now. https://shirleycorder.com/republish_old_posts/ (Yay for Yesterday!)

  4. I have not figured out the x factor for my blog. I had a number of health and family things crop up that almost caused me to pitch it. Now I am in the rebuilding phase. This month I have learned a number of things from others that I will consider as I work to move forward. I have also learned a few things about myself. Maybe I will find the secret sauce yet.

    My Fragmented Journey

  5. Tough questions I keep struggling with. Who’s my audience, what’s my niche, etc.?
    I enjoy to write, and I love to connect with those readers who are brave enough to leave a comment.

    For almost a year I almost only did writing challenges and very few “free posts”, mostly due to a lack of time and “pressure” (comitting to do a challenge forces you to come up with content until a certain date).

    Maybe you have some feedback for me?

    Happy Friday 🙂


    • First off, congratulations on achieving your weight goal. That is awesome. When I do a challenge like this I tend to guzzle – so this would never be a good goal for me. 🙂
      I think the question of who your audience is remains a problem, especially for writers / bloggers. I mean, we get people from all walks of life who happen to enjoy our writing. Re you niche, I took a brief look around your blog and I see most of your is summed up in your clever title. “Confessions of a part-time working mom.” That’s good, because your posts will appeal to people in that age bracket and niche. I’m past that now, but I know when I was a part-time working mom with three young kids, I didn’t want to always talk potty training and dietary issues. I was still a woman and a person with hangups and questions, and I would have loved to have a “friend” like you out on the cyber waves that I could talk to. So I say, keep up the good work! Write for other women who are part-timers. You know the things that bother them, or the things they will enjoy reading. So go for it. 🙂

      • Thank you for your nice words, Shirley!
        I’m actually considering to adjust my blog name to “Confessions of a part-time working HOCKEY mom” as of next month. My son was accepted to the youth team and will start to train 3x/week. Oh, and his team is almost an hours’ drive away… Let’s just hope those gyms have wifi so I can blog there!!!

    • That’s an interesting observation, Jean. I also have a writing website and write on all things writing. Perhaps I need to occasionally publish a totally different post, like card making, and see what happens. Two years back I did the A to Z with the theme, Out of Africa, and I did get some good responses – although nothing like I’ve had this year. It’s been fun.

  6. Hi Shirley – content is the X-factor for me, and I guess I’m not chasing for followers, or commenters – thankfully they arrive and now with the A-Z they just turn up .. like you. But I do give value (I think) … I use feedly to get all the posts I subscribe to through to my machine – and then I can check them through … means I keep the contact … cheers Hilary


    • I must look into feedly. I have only heard it mentioned in passing. Yes, with the A – Z we get lots of contacts, often people whose blogs are so different to ours they would never show an interest normally. That’s one of the great things with challenges like this. You get to know other people, and their blogs. Have a great weekend, our last two posts of the challenge.

    • Yes, I noticed we were both looking a the X-factor. I have enjoyed your posts too. I plan to keep in touch. (I think we’re both on Blog, Share, Learn right?) Have a great weekend, although we’ll be in touch both days I expect!

  7. Shirley, mine is a book blog and it’s mine alone. I have no idea why some of the posts got the most hits – at one time, it was just a brief post mentioning that my month as writer in residence on the State library blog was nearly over. It got thousands of hits! Another was the announcement that I was in the judging panel for the Aurealis Awards. Neither of them got any comments. In fact, the most comments I’ve ever had had been recently, in the to Z challenge, and those will mostly fizzle out when it’s over. Or maybe not. Go figure!

    You asked, on another blog, about the followers option – yes, it is a Blogger thing, pretty simple. I think you may need a Google profile to follow, but that’s simple too. Both are a single click, except the Google Profile will invite you to give your interests. Some people don’t do that.

    I have no idea what the WordPress one is, if it exists – I’ve never seen one. WordPress is more complicated than Blogger. You can follow by email if the blogger sets it up. And WordPress make you jump through a few hoops before it allows you to follow a blog! Even commenting can be complicated. The reason I comment by Twitter is because I once tried a WordPress account and now it won’t let me sign in via Google…Did I mention I HATE WordPress? 😉

    • LOL! I’m not sure if you mentioned your hate for WordPress but I respect it. Blogger has a lot going for it, but I need a full website and in fact have two. I possibly mentioned before that I had two websites which were hacked totally. My son had done the technical stuff for them, but he was no longer able to help. So I got pitched headlong into the self-hosted WP. What a nightmare! I think I turned the support guys on my server white during that month with all my questions. Also Val Waldeck, who’s offered the special deal on the Kindle course, made herself available to me on Skype to guide me. I’m glad now that I’ve done it but I so nearly threw both websites into the deep shark-infested sea!
      Thanks for telling me about followers. I think I must investigate if there’s something like that for WP. Not a full subscribe thing, but something that would be quick and easy for my visitors and little work for me. 🙂
      And yes, all the comments at the moment are nice, but I’m sure they’ll fall away after the end of the month. However, thanks to writing this series I have learned a lot about blogging so we’ll see.
      Have a great weekend.

  8. Hi Shirley!
    It’s so true, isn’t it? We can build our blog based on some predetermined formula that someone else used to build an empire, but still come up with crickets.
    The x-factor, the “secret sauce”, has to be our own. No one can, in the end, give us the solution for our own success.
    And the world would be a much poorer place if that were the case. It needs our own unique voice, it’s what we’re here for, and it’s up to us to unearth it and let it sing.

  9. This is truly an excellent post. May I reblog? I promise it’ll be the sort that gives the first few graphs and sends readers to your blog to read the rest. I’d especially like to share the excellent links you posted with my readers, and I’d like your blog to get the hits for them. 🙂

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