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.
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?
Advanced Blogging Tip: Have a Poor Link Memory
I create oodles of content daily. One tip to being prolific is to have a poor link memory. I forget what I published content-wise and link-wise to keep publishing content frequently. Do you know how most bloggers publish one blog post, include a link to a product and/or service, and keep checking the post again and again, to see how the link performs as far as clicks and conversions and sales and profits and money? I never do that. I have no time and energy to check how my links perform because I have a terrible link memory. I am always on to the next piece of content to create and the next link to place and the next person to help because I have a poor link memory. I forget links. This works perfectly for me; makes me super duper prolific.
Most bloggers attach to and cling to particular business links. What happens if you attach to a link? You give attention and energy to checking the link again and again instead of creating more content from a generous, prolific energy. How can you appear to be all over your niche if you check links regularly throughout the day and if you are not creating helpful, new pieces of content? You cannot be super successful if you are not prolific and you cannot be super prolific unless you have a poor link memory. Be generous, abundant and detached by forgetting links you place in posts; especially links pointing to business opportunities.
I link to my blogging course quite a bit but never get attached to any one link or blog post or guest post through which I link to it. Why? I have more fish to fry. I have more content to create and more bloggers to bond with and more folks to help and more bloggers to connect with and heck, after converting 50 more of my eBooks to paperback, I will have over 200 products about on Amazon, under the Blogging From Paradise umbrella. That is a lot of products to promote! We need to have a poor link memory to forget the prior link we promoted so we can move forward and promote more links, more content and greater blogging success. Envision yourself having an abundant mindset. What happens if you do not feel like anything seems short, scarce or running out? Being prolific is what happens. Being generous is easier if you are not burdened by any link to promote, to review and to assess regularly. I am not opposed to scanning metrics if doing so feels good and relaxing but most bloggers never take the time to assess their genuine feelings when it comes to how they feel promoting links.
I do. I am ruthless in assessing, observing, embracing and moving along my energies because watching your energy is the key to blogging success. Blogging from abundance, relaxation and trust leads to success while blogging from fear, scarcity, tension and anxiety leads to failure.
Which road do you prefer to take?
How to Get Over the Fear Nobody Will Buy Your Product
Promote the heck out of the product. Unearth fears. Feel fears. See fears come true. Release fears. Sell your product. More and more folks buy your product only if you face, feel and release fears aligned with the product. If you hold the fears ya ain’t selling the product. Even if you publish a blogging product – like my blogging course – and sell it for a little bit you will not generate big sales until you fail enough to finally feel fears triggered by failure. Feeling fears clears fears which clears resistance which helps you inspire more people to buy the product.
Getting over this fear is messy. Do you enjoy feeling like a complete loser? Nope. Do you enjoy feeling like a complete fraud, or huckster, or embarrassed or ashamed? Nope. You hate trying so hard and then, no freaking people buy the course you promoted 10,000 times but doing so and feeling fears triggered simply makes it easy to promote the product, because feeling and getting over the fear makes you promote the product like you breathe. Being in that space, plenty of people see the product and more folks buy the product.
I promoted my blogging course to the tune of 8,000 page views before someone bought it. 8000 page views was nothing. I had to clear fear-resistance during the 8,000 page views to show the world how fun, freeing and inspired this course was. Fear cleared, more people bought it at 10 times the initial price versus the initial cheapy price. Raising the price ten fold? Yep; another fear for me to conquer. But I did it, and far more people bought it at $350 than at $36. See how funny fear works? You fear something, refuse to feel the fear, and struggle. But feeling the fear and doing it anyway leads to increasing success. Buy the course for a fun, entertaining, inspired blogging guide. Tis the season for celebration and joy and love and fun, helpful blogging courses.
I have no tips for nudging into fear save meditating and doing yoga frequently. Following each habit expands your awareness which helps you become intimately aware of your fears, so you can feel fears and release fears. Feels rough but this is part of the blogging journey if you want to get over the fear of selling your stuff. Hey; do you want to hurt people, mislead people or lie to people with your blogging product? No? Then just sell the thing already. Ship it. Publish it. Fear is so insidious. Fear makes you do what you do not want to do, if you trust fear. Fear causes you to tune into an alternate, illusory universe, where nothing is true and everything is lies, smoke and mirrors. Do you really want to take that road? I did not think so.
All I can do is be a cheerleader. You need to be the athlete on the court, not the fan on the sidelines. Get on the court. Publish your product. Promote your product. You will eventually face, feel and release all the fears you need to release to become a successful blogger and to sell your product successfully, too. Get in the game. People will buy your product when you get clear on it.
Pro Blogging Tip: Release Expectations
Am I asking you to be a Blogging Buddha? Nope. Not really. No one save enlightened beings completely releases expectations but us mere mortals clinging some to a worldly life can largely release expectations, to become successful and to enjoy the blogging journey. 10 minutes ago, I checked my email. I received a few. I clearly make it difficult to get in touch with me through email because I want to give most attention and energy to building a passive income empire. Every second I spend in email, I could be spending creating content and building connections. Knowing this, it feels good to receive few emails because it helps me scale and move forward from an abundant energy.
Unfortunately, most bloggers have heavy expectations when it comes to receiving email. Bloggers expect a chock filled inbox, with all types of clients, Paypal payments and sponsored post deals. What happens if you get 3 emails daily, all responses to comments? Your expectations not being met levels you, depressing you, making you sad, sapping your energy. If you expect some sweet outcome and reality is not delivering you the outcome to fulfill the expectation, you eventually lose your blogging motivation and quit. Or you make the massive mistake of quitting after seeing your expectations fall short, then, you begin blogging again, quit again after expectations are unfulfilled, and you suffer through this vicious cycle until you fail and quit for good.
Release expectations. Begin blogging with an intent to live your dreams but let go the anchor of expectation because either you feel hopeless after not getting what you expected or you feel average when expectations line up or you feel super high and excited after exceeding expectations, leading to an imminent crash after your emotions settle down. Expectations are anchors, pulling you down, holding you back, preventing meteoric blogging growth. I expect little to nothing blogging-wise because my day is about having fun helping people to blog successfully. I cannot go wrong whether I sell a copy of my blogging course or not because I have no expectations; I just promote the course in a seeming billion places (coming soon) and leave things at that.
If anything, allow a little part of yourself to desire some expectation but make it tiny. Why? If the expectation does not come true quickly, you will keep blogging from an energetic, relaxed, abundant vibe, positioning yourself to succeed. Harboring wee expectations means you remain unstirred if the expectations do not manifest; no crushed, hopeless feeling. Meanwhile, most bloggers with grand, wild expectations often slam into tons of resistance because no spectacular dream comes through and manifest overnight. Living your dream life through blogging requires years and thousands upon thousands of hours of generous service.
Blog for an absolute love of blogging. Be passionate about the blogging process. Release largely on outcomes because weighing yourself down with expectations slows you down. Imagine desiring big blogging bucks only to see an empty inbox for the next 3 months? 90 plus days, zero dollars. After the 90th day, most bloggers quit blogging for good, because they came up so short on their expectations, being frustrated, disgusted, and tired of wasting their time.
Fall in love with the process – not outcomes – to fuel yourself for your blogging journey.
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