A guest post by Sarah. If you wish to write one, check out the guest-posting guidelines and details
Anybody can have a blog. Anyone. Literacy, skill, insight, knowledge and humor are not pre-requisite for blogging. All you need is a computer with internet access, and bang you’re officially a blogger.
However, there are numerous factors that set the good blogs apart from the nonsense. The first step to squeezing out from the pack is to create a personal brand on your blog.
Define Your Blog Brand
Shaping a personal brand mean knowing who you are, what your style is and how you want to be perceived by the world. The perfect time to go through this thought process is before you make a domain. However if that ship has sailed, there’s no time like the present. The good news is that a lot of times an established blog is somewhat organically a reflection of yourself so translating that into a “brand” usually just requires a little analysis and fine tuning.
Look at your writing, is there a general theme? Travel, family, relationships, healthy living? You may discover that you are all over the place on subject matter, but what is your perspective are you a cynic? An optimist? Does your blog complain, observe, collect, or review? Then that voice is your theme. Learn to recognize where you are coming from, what your specialty is, runt with that and stick to it. Being consistent is the root of being a brand.
Set Your Style
Half of branding is really about image. What image is being projected to the world about who you are? Are you a clean-cut mom? A Single party-girl? Are you a tough guy with a soft side, as evidenced through your copious photographs of sunsets taken on your cross-country hikes?
It’s important to understand this aspect of yourself in order to create the right package for your blog. A brand includes not just the message but very literally colors, shapes, names and faces. Your name and your tag-line should be a reflection of your voice and your colors and logo should be consistent with your themes. The look of your brand is going to say a lot about you before anyone gets to read a post. Creating a brand means making sure that all of your choices support one central message
Claim Your Name and Introduce Yourself
Once you’ve created a blog that has a clear message, with a congruous image then it’s time to step out in public. There are a multitude of social media channels for promoting blog content, whether you plan to use them or not, claim your name. Places like twitter and Facebook are great for socializing and trying to create a community for your blog.
If you choose not to use them that’s your call, I don’t recommend it but to each his own. Just make sure that you lock down your brand name so if you get all super-famous, no one else can get to it and create trouble for you.
If you have a theme to your blog, there’s a really strong chance that there are several other blogs with similar themes that would be considered in your “niche”. Introduce yourself to these bloggers either privately, or simply by reading and commenting on their work or referencing their stuff on your own blog. But don’t be all super smarmy about it, like making really general comments that are clearly only a means for self promotion.
Treat Yourself Like a Business
The final and most challenging part of crating a personal brand is sticking it out for the long haul. Professionalism and representing your brand respectfully 100% of the time is key. Sure, it can be hard to be flawless and perpetually on your game. And you’re probably not gonna be. So get used to the idea and learn how to treat yourself like a business. Learn to apologize when you do make mistakes, and how to move forward.
Most importantly, treat your brand like your company and show integrity when it comes to all of your interactions. Becoming a self business also means creating schedules and budgets. Put time and money into marketing yourself. Travel to conferences if you can, create marketing materials, branded items and put yourself out there.
Making a living as a blogger and following your passion really can be living the dream. But if you want to strengthen your chances of reaching that level of success with your blog it is essential to polish yourself into a shiny whole package that is both consistent and relatable paired with the discipline to make it last.
The Author, Sarah writes frequently for a site specializing in logo products and branded items. She has worked as a marketer and writer for the last 6 years.