You’ve either got a blog already, or you’re just about to start one. Congratulations! You are one of only 500 million. Now then, knowing that your blog is (statistically speaking) less than a needle in a haystack, how are you going to get it NOTICED and read?
In one word, the answer is BRANDING. You can either throw together a blog and hope it somehow gets found, or you can carefully craft a brand that captures readers’ attention and keeps them coming back for more.
To throw one together, just do what 99.9% of other bloggers do – wing it. Fly by the seat of your pants and hope for the best. In six months (or sooner) you’ll likely be so discouraged you’ll give up.
Building a brand is obviously the way to go. Think Google, Coke, Apple and Nike to understand the huge potential branding holds for your blog. Brands stand for something, mean something and create loyalty in their customers. They stand apart and often far, far above the competition. And best of all, really good brands get remembered and are sought out by consumers.
Here then are 10 tips for building your blogging brand:
Who are you writing to? Exactly who is your blog meant for? Create a clear picture of your ideal reader, including age, profession, family, worries, problems, hobbies, etc. You’ll be writing to this one person rather than trying to talk to everyone. Remember, when you target everyone, you interest no one. But when a certain segment of the population believes you’re writing just for them, you’ll build a loyal following.
Why are you writing to your specific readers? What is your goal? It might be to educate, to persuade, to motivate, etc. Keep your goal in mind at all times.
What are you writing about? This is your topic. It might be physical fitness, marketing, dating, etc. Decide in advance what your message is going to be.
Choose a brandable name. If you’re creating a fitness blog, for example, then you might choose a one or two word brand name that people are likely to remember, rather than a keyword laden name.
HowToGetHealthyAndLoseWeight.com isn’t really brandable – it’s too generic and too keyword rich. Think in terms of “Google” – now that’s a brand. You might try things like FitMonkey.com or SkinnyCakes.com – those are brandable and memorable.
Create a snappy tagline. A name generally isn’t enough – you also want a tagline to help brand yourself, to clarify what you do and to make your blog more memorable. If your blog is on bacon recipes, your url might be DeadPiggy.com and your tagline might be “Bacon lover’s recipes for the non-chef.” See how the tagline not only defines that the site is about bacon recipes, but also narrows the niche to those who don’t consider themselves to be good cooks? This is a prime example of using a tagline to define what you do and WHO you do it for.
Get a logo. Can you picture the Apple logo? Nike? Coke? A logo is an integral part of your brand. Make it clean, simple, eye-catching and unique. It’s worth the extra money to get your logo just right.
Adapt your logo into a favicon. Again, this is an important part of branding your blog.
Use a website design that matches your topic. A header full of balloons and clowns on a website about grieving generally isn’t going to work. Dull colors on a children’s website or a lack of photos of gardens on a gardening website won’t work. Make sure all of the visual elements of your site correspond with your topic.
Choose a writing style and stick with it. Take a lesson from McDonald’s here and give your readers what they’ve come to expect from you. Maybe you’re writing to a technical crowd – then you might write like an engineer. Or perhaps you’re taking on a persona, like the Rich Jerk. Odds are you’re going to write like yourself, which is perhaps best of all because you won’t have any trouble maintaining that style. Consistency is key because if one day you’re writing like the guy next door and the next day you’re writing like an English professor, your readers are going to get confused and likely won’t return.
Promote your blog’s name through social media. Consistently use your blog’s name everywhere. Don’t use “Law Enforcement Weight Loss” on Twitter and “Muscle Cops” on Facebook – no one will realize it’s the same blog you’re referring to. Again, this is another reason to choose a unique, short, brandable name that no one else is using anywhere.
If your blog is going to stand apart from the crowd, then you’ve got to do a little extra work, but that work will likely pay off handsomely in the end.
Not only will you stand apart from the crowd, you’ll also discover that if you ever decide to sell your blog, you’ll be able to charge a great deal more because you took the time to brand it.