Blogging is everywhere these days, and whether you’re keeping a lifestyle blog, a parenting journal, a crafting domain, or something different entirely, you’re bound to have noticed that all of the most successful sites have something in common – a strong brand identity and a sense of self.
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While you may have assumed that branding is something reserved for big businesses and corporations, establishing yourself, and your blog’s identity as early as you can will stand you in good stead for whatever the future holds; whether you’re looking to entice readers, gather followers, or attract clients and sponsors, a brand identity will be your blog’s best way to win them all over – and then some.
The importance of brand identity in the online world
Let’s start by answering those first important questions; what is brand identity, and why does it matter to a humble blogger such as you? Your blog’s brand identity is a means of easily recognizing content as yours, and the very best way for you to convey your persona across the web. In addition, brand identity will help you create, and fulfill, readers’ expectations, and forge relationships with those you’re hoping to target. In short, a brand identity is vital if you want to engage with your readership and stand out from the crowd.
Perhaps you have one nagging thought; isn’t branding something that big business should be concerning themselves with? Well, yes, but when you come to think about it, isn’t a blog a way of selling yourself, and your abilities as a writer or creative type? Regardless of your reasons for starting your blog, or deciding to rebrand an existing domain, establishing its identity is the only way of staying true to your original aims.
So, why is effective branding so integral to a blog’s success? For starters, branding can help you build a reputation, stand out from similar blogs, define and project your own values, and attract readers, clients, or sponsors. A brand is tangible, something that people can relate to, and engage with. Indeed, the right brand identity can be the difference between success and failure in the blogging world – are you ready for people to see the real you behind the blog? Because, you see, blogs are so much more than words on a page, or thumbnail images; they have the ability to inform, inspire, act as a means to let of steam, and as a tutorial on almost any subject.
A strong brand identity will help you focus on those very first, tentative paragraphs, and ensure that you remain true to yourself, as well as creating a format and style that will be recognizable no matter where and when it’s viewed. More than anything, though, your blog’s brand identity is a way for you to say so much without uttering a word; just look at the site belonging to Tommie Copper compression clothing.
While not a blog per se, the compression clothing site instantly engages its customers with bright images, consistent text and tone, and a friendly and approachable nature across platforms. Anyone shopping for such items instantly knows that they’ve checked in with this particular brand. A strong identity will enhance your professionalism, build loyalty, create an impact, and demonstrate your commitment and pride in your work. Nothing says passion like a strong brand identity.
Branding your blog: Getting started
So you’ve created your domain name, have begun to load content, and are poised to choose the direction in which your blog is going, but your new venture is missing one thing; its brand. How are you going to ensure that readers easily recognize your content, and associate those images and words with your blog’s personality? By creating a brand identity, of course. Defining, fashioning, and maintaining a brand identity is vital if you hope to make anything of your new, or waning, blog, but be warned; the journey won’t be easy. Here are some top tips to help you on your way…
Research, research, research
Before you get started it’s time to think carefully about what your blog represents, what it’s trying to say, and how you want to convey that message. Who is your potential audience? What similar blogs are out there? Ultimately, how would you like your blog to be received and remembered? The answers to these questions will help you to define your brand, and to begin its creation.
Communication and consistency
The strongest brands are the most consistent; that is, the most memorable brands are easily recognizable because they never falter from their ideal. If you want your blog to be a true success ensure that your brand identity is consistent and that it can always be traced back to your web domain. You need your readership to recognize content as yours, after all.
Explore multiple platforms
The most successful blogs don’t limit themselves to a single domain name these days; multiple platforms and cross-channel exposure are everything. Social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all frequently associated with current blogs, and are the very best way for writers to engage with their audiences. In addition, social media platforms can aid brand identity, and help you to focus on the right direction; networking is invaluable to bloggers.
Colors and images
Branding is about so much more than images and color schemes, but they are important when it comes to creating something that readers will remember, and engage with. Think carefully about your theme, your blog’s focus, and the message you’re trying to convey: what colors best suit those elements? Will you choose a logo to accompany your blog and social media accounts? Where will you source your images? Blogging is about so much more than what you say – it’s how you say it, and the other features you choose.
Don’t be afraid to involve the professionals
It’s important to know this; if you want your blog to go the distance it is sometimes essential to introduce the talents of a branding team. No one knows the process like the professionals, after all. While it’s vital that your brand reflects your blog’s persona, and your own identity, it’s sometimes impossible to recognize where those strengths lie. A branding team would be able to stand on the outside and view your blog objectively: ideal if you need your blog to pop.
It’s very easy to assume that blogging begins and ends with content; surely keeping a blog is about posting images, videos, and written content, and very little else… isn’t it? However, if you truly want your blog to go anywhere – to inform, inspire, or entertain – it is absolutely vital that you put careful thought into creating a brand identity. The benefits of such a venture far outweigh the time it will take you to carefully craft that brand, and you should soon start to see increasing engagement as casual browsers become readers, and then keen followers. When you think about it, what have you got to lose?
1 Mental Block that Plagued Every Blogger Who Ever Blogged
Unless you are the Dalai Lama, you, at one time or another, became highly attached to a single blog post. I do not care who you are. 8 figure bloggers allowed their fears to attach them to a blog post. 8 cent bloggers allowed fear to attach them to blog posts.
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Now, the happiest, most successful bloggers face, hug and release this fear, for sure. But every blogger allowed fear to goad them to TRY LIKE HELL to drive traffic or profits to a single blog post. Or, being human and foolish, we allow fear-attachment to goad us into thinking that publishing a guest post on a blog with a million member community instantly leads to millions of dollars in blogging profits.
I recall being featured on Virgin Dot Com. Floored and humbled, for sure, but I was kinda detached about the feature, being more grounded in love and gratitude, and less fear-attached to any single platform, post or opportunity.
Happy, successful bloggers own this fear-attachment, let it go and adopt an abundance mentality. While most bloggers publish a single post and try to SQUEEZE as much out of it as possible, due to fear and attachment, I developed an abundance mentality and published 700 posts on Blogging Tips Dot Com. Heck; I have published 70 guest posts on the blog of Enstine Muki. For most bloggers, publishing 70 guest posts in total is quite a feat. I published 770 guest posts….between 2 blogs alone.
How am I so prolific?
I have largely conquered the fear of trying to GET as much traffic and profits as possible through any single blog post. I blog from an energy of love, fun and abundance, mainly, not fear, tension and scarcity. Few bloggers have mastered this mindset; only the happiest, most detached bloggers become so prolific, it makes our heads spin.
You Are Human
Of course you become a little attached to any one blog post. This is not a problem. But you need to be honest; the attachment is fear, and as the attachment and fear grow, you move from abundance and worldly success, to scarcity and blogging struggle.
A Good Mindset for Abundance Mentality
Alonzo Pichardo wisely advises to publish content, and let it do what it does. I agree. I never check metrics. Genuinely; if blogging is energy and if I am having fun, I reached my goal. Increasing success is imminent. I trust my feelings, not inanimate numbers on a screen. This is the abundance mentality in action.
Why this Mindset Prospers
I appear to be in a million places at once because I never attachment to any one post or video. Per Alonzo, I let the content do what it does. Not being shackled by stats, I keep creating, expand my presence, appear to be all over, and see greater success. Meanwhile, most fear-scarcity bloggers write a single post and waste their time and energy:
- trying to GET as much as possible through it, promoting it in thousands of places over the next 30 days
- obsessively checking post metrics every few minutes, or, every hour, after publishing the post
- panicking and bailing on proven strategies when a single post does not meet their expectations
All while this crowd makes all these mistakes, I am publishing hundreds of pieces of content over the same month, and also, meeting tons of new bloggers through genuine blog commenting, enjoying the ride.
Publish a post, promote it in a few spots, then move on to the next post, video or blog comment.
Develop an abundance mindset.
See increased blogging success and enjoy the ride.
5 Lessons Learned from Publishing 700 Posts on Blogging Tips
We have hit 700 posts on Blogging Tips together, guys.
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Thank you for reading, commenting and sharing these posts.
I took a few mini vacations from writing but published 1 guest post daily on this rocking site for many months on end. Helping you has been fun, freeing and fulfilling. Here is to the next 700 blog posts.
I learned a few clear blogging lessons during this guest posting run. Rather than call myself “The Cal Ripken of Guest Posting” – feel free to use that – I reckon we’ll dive into the success tips.
1: Avoid Setting Goals
I never could have written 700 posts if I TRIED to write 700 posts. Sounds quite impossible. But holding an intent to help people blog goaded me to show up daily, for writing and publishing. Blogging is simple but highly uncomfortable sometimes. Focus on the process, not goals or outcomes, to have fun helping people, to detach from outcomes and to become highly prolific.
2: Follow Your Fun
I have fun blogging about blogging. I make room for fun daily. 700 posts later, I am just getting started.
Follow your fun. Make work, the reward. All else will feel like extra, meaning post frequency and traffic and profits feel like no big deal if you blog mainly to have fun helping people. Fun-loving bloggers keep on creating and connecting their way to greatness. Everybody else struggles, getting bogged down, struggling and quitting because they do not enjoy the ride.
3: Spot Reader Problems
Writing and publishing 700 posts on a single blog – I published 1,400 plus posts on Blogging From Paradise in addition to hundreds of guest posts on other blogs – requires you to be skilled at spotting reader problems. Blog post = problem solved. Expand your awareness. Instead of running around rough shod all day long, devote time and energy to identifying common problems suffered by your readers. Nailing down problems supplies you with an endless flow of blog post ideas, helping you become prolific.
Moss Clement does a sensational job in this regard, which makes him incredibly prolific.
4: Brand Yourself Clearly
Zac Johnson recently noted how much he loved my travel photos. Folks have been enjoying my eBooks and paperbacks, sales increasing no doubt because I brand my paperbacks and eBooks freely through images I use on Blogging Tips
Never ignore opportunities to brand yourself and your blog clearly.
Many years ago I rarely if ever worked my travel photos into my guest posts on this blog. These days, every featured image consists of travel photos of me, or, travel photos of my paperback, sitting in some exotic location like here in Ortahisar, Turkey.
Be you. Brand you. Brand yourself clearly to boost sales and to increase your blogging success.
5: Nudge Out of Your Comfort Zone
I do feel pretty good but tired now. At 1:45 PM Turkey time. I have worked for about 3 hours, have walked the dogs for 2 hours and feel ready for a nap, after the rare late night out, being up until 2:30 AM last night. But I nudge out of my comfort zone to write and publish this guest post. Do you believe I felt comfortable writing and publishing 700 guest posts on one blog alone over the prior 3 years? Of course not.
Success unfolds exponentially outside of your comfort zone.
All traffic, profits, comments, social shares and heck, any success, expands quickly as you nudge out of your comfort zone daily. Many days, I feared I’d not have enough time to write and publish a post on Blogging Tips. 1 short week ago I spent nearly 20 hours offline, as I traveled from Oman to Turkey during my birthday. I still managed to write a Blogging Tips post on waking the following day; all about doing fun, freeing but sometimes uncomfortable things to accelerate your blogging success.
Adopt this mindset: 1 day at a time, and 1 moment at a time. Seemingly jaw-dropping feats unfold 1 moment at a time.
3 Gateway Activities Leading to Increased Blogging Income
Most bloggers crave a blogging income boost.
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Some bloggers have yet to make a penny. Other bloggers want to take it up a few levels from their current full time income.
Foolishly, most bloggers focus their attention and energy on an income stream itself to increase blogging income. Can an advertisement make money? No. Ads are inanimate objects. Ads cannot do anything. Skilled bloggers who publish helpful content and build strong bonds make money through ads, but the ads themselves, are completely worthless.
Stop focusing on trying to make money via a specific income stream itself. People obsess over Google Adsense, affiliate marketing and other ways to make money, for increased blogging income, never realizing that the blogger makes the money, not the income stream. Stop obsessing over income and focus on simple, generous activities that lead the way to increased blogging profits. Think of a bridge, linking you to greater blogging profits. You cross the bridge through your commitment to these activities.
Specific gateway activities lead to blogging income. If you want to make more money through blogging, focus on these 3 strategies.
1: Comment Genuinely on Blogs
I commented genuinely on Blogging Tips for weeks. Zac invited me to guest post on this blog. I published nearly 700 guest posts here, boosting my blogging profits through this rocking guest posting gig. Blog commenting served as the gateway activity that bridged me to my increased blogging income. I did not get paid to comment, but genuine comments opened the door for guest posting, and guest posting increased my blogging profits.
Publish genuine, personalized comments on top blogs from your niche. Make friends. Observe how opportunities for prospering multiply around you, through both blog commenting and the bonds you build via this gateway activity.
2: Promote other Bloggers on Your Blog
Guys; this is such an easy gateway activity for boosting your blogging profits. Promote other bloggers on your blog. Look for nothing in return. Be generous. Be genuine. Be helpful.
Photo break; here I am enjoying lunch the other day in Turkey.
How it works: promote other bloggers on your blog via a link and mention. Over time, and through persistent promotion, some of these bloggers befriend you. Blogging buddies:
- promote you
- endorse you
- purchase your products
- hire you
all leading to increased blogging profits.
This is by far the easiest gateway activity for profiting IF you generously, patiently, persistently and genuinely promote other bloggers on your blog, expecting nothing in return.
If you are a travel blogger, promote The Roaming Renegades today. This duo publishes helpful content and engages freely via social media.
3: Practice Writing
Weird, right? Writing is the #1 skill for increasing your blogging income, yet few bloggers practice writing offline, only writing when publishing posts. Bad idea. Advertisers, prospective customers and potential clients need to see that you write skillfully before paying for advertising or investing in your products and services.
Write persistently offline to shine online. Write 500 to 1000 words daily in a Word document. Practice your writing to engage in a critical gateway activity guaranteed to increase your blogging income. Plus, you will stand out from the masses of bloggers who never practice writing offline.
Blogging is simple but sometimes, uncomfortable. See the journey through by focusing on these core activities. Income does not increase by trying to boost your blogging income through channels, forcing cash out of these streams. Blogging income increases for generous, skilled, committed bloggers who give much of their attention and energy to these core, gateway activities.
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