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?
Writing: Your Best Blogging Friend
Writing helps you succeed with blogging. Because writing gives you credibility. Credible bloggers land clients, sell eBooks, place sponsored posts and drive steady traffic, too. Write your rear end off. Write 500-1000 words daily. Write to be confident. Write to be clear. Write to gain credibility in your blogging niche. Of course, most bloggers struggle because few bloggers practice writing offline, daily. Bloggers only write when they publish a blog post or guest post. BIG mistake. Most bloggers publish posts infrequently, meaning you get in little writing practice. Not good.
Why do you believe you can just show up, write and publish a post and become successful quickly? If blogger were this easy, guys like me could have gone pro within weeks of buying my domain and hosting. Alas, it took me thousands of hours and years to go full time because I had to practice writing, creating and connecting to be REALLY good at blogging. Skills, exposure and credibility flow to bloggers who tirelessly practice all aspects of blogging. Everybody else fails and quits.
All money you make through blogging flows to you because people trust you and your blog. Writing skillfully – with confidence and clarity – is the only way people trust you and your blog. The more you write, the more skilled a writer you become. The formula is genuinely simple. But quite uncomfortable to put into action, sometimes. Few bloggers want to practice writing with nobody watching. Some bloggers foolishly skip writing practice because they believe writing offline for practice wastes their time. This is like saying you waste your time practicing shooting hoops in a lonely, empty gym if you aspire to make it to the NBA. NBA stars practiced 10,000 hours or more, often times in quiet, lonely gyms, and always *in private, out of the public eye, with nobody watching*, to become skilled enough to go pro. Expect to take a similar journey in order to become a professional blogger.
Writing is your core skill. If you write well, you make money online. If you write poorly, you do not make money online.
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Every way to profit – out of these 15 strategies – can work quite nicely if you practice writing offline daily. Practice to become confident. Practice to become clear on your writing. Confident, clear writers write with authority. Writing with authority inspires trust in your readers. Again; this is a simple process. But sometimes, this process feels uncomfortable. Nudge through discomfort. Write, write and write some more. People who trust you based on your writing skills tend to buy your eBooks, hire you to coach them, hire you to freelance write for them and buy sponsored posts on your blog. Be diligent in writing. The money flows to you based on how much you practice writing. Plus, practicing your writing makes you prolific. Being prolific increase your blog traffic and blogging profits, too. No downsides exist to writing offline daily. Only upsides. So….write!
Practice in private. Shine in public.
Any successful blogger you envy now practiced writing so diligently that you would never envy their writing practice. After having written millions of words both online and offline, nobody envies the work I put into going pro. But being free to circle the globe? Worth it!
Do You Assume too Much?
One of the biggest problems in blogging; bloggers assume too much. Perfect example is someone emails looking for your best sponsored post price. Right away, most bloggers fear losing money to a cheapie because they ASSUMED someone looking for the best price is cheap. Based on past experience. NO! Do NOT do this. Because based on NOT assuming, but being open and in the moment, more than a handful of folks looking for the best price placed orders at my full price, when I shared it was my final price. I rarely if ever assume because assuming cuts you off from traffic and money, based on past experience and future expectations.
These days, I am more in the moment. I am open. Let’s say a blogger quotes their sponsored post price as being $100. A blogger outreach service pro asks for a lower, better price. In that moment, you can do one of two thing: make a foolish assumption that the individual cannot afford $100 or simply share how $100 is your flat, final price. Assuming they cannot afford $100 INSTANTLY robs you of $100. I mean, instantly. Labeling their email as spam or being nasty with them immediately robs you of $100, based on your ignorant assumption. Choosing not to assume anything opens you up to making a quick $100. Wealthy people with large budgets sometimes seek the best price. Rockefeller would be worth $280 billion today – by estimates – and he balanced his books to the penny. He sought the best price but had billions to invest and did invest billions to be the wealthiest person the world has ever known.
This is why I wrote Creating the Mindset of a Successful Blogger for you. How you choose to think and feel dictates how you act. How you act dictates your success. Failures cling to the past and wander into the future by assuming future scenarios based on past experience. But wise bloggers remain grounded in the present, never assuming. Of course, many cheap bloggers willing to pay only $5 for a $100 sponsored post emailed you with “the best price” reply, in the past. But never rob yourself of $100 by assuming these folks do not have $100 to invest in your guest post. I leave no stones unturned. The way I see it, spending 1 second to read a “Give me a sponsored post for $5” email here and there is worth the “OK, let’s place it for $100” email I see more often these days. Assuming cuts you off from abundance. Being open-minded tunes you in to abundance. Make more money. Be open-minded. Stop assuming.
A few moments ago, our Uber driver told us he originally hailed from Jordan. He has been in the USA for 20 years. My silly mind made a quick assumption; he must live in NYC, like many folks do who immigrated to the USA over the past few decades. He still had a heavy accent. But I refused to assume this and asked him where he lived in the USA. He said in the same New Jersey suburban development where we lived. Small world! Not assuming opens you up to fun, fascinating experiences. Stop assuming online. You’ll make more money, too, and will enjoy your blogging journey.
Blogging Success Is YOUR Choice
Blogging success is your choice. Blogging failure is your choice. YOU choose. Never blame anyone or anything for your blogging failure. Everything in life begins and ends with you because life follows your thoughts and feelings. People or things may *appear* to slow you down or get in your way. But all appearances are illusions. Illusions are not real, not true. You and you alone choose to succeed based on your chosen thoughts and feelings, independent of situations or circumstances around you.
For example, I had a tough time falling to sleep last night. Didn’t pass out until after 6 AM and only slept to 9:30 AM. Tossing and turning, my mind raced with fears. I feared being exhausted and getting sick. I feared work I’d be behind on, today. I also feared simply sitting with my racing thoughts and feelings, being in bed for hours, since I lay down in bed at midnight. I could choose to lay in bed to observe the fears or I could watch Netflix. I chose to observe fears. Eventually, I chose to get up and write my first blog post of the day at 5 AM. I feared waking to work due to fatigue. But nudging into the fear allowed me to create content, positioning myself to expand my success.
I also chose to wake at 9:30 AM after limited sleep to do 20 minutes of intense Kriya yoga, to meditate for 30 minutes and to spend 30 seconds in an icy cold shower. Heck yeah I feared doing each on 3 hours of sleep. But successes CHOOSE to BE the people that succeed. Life unfolds as a series of personal choices. Either you make comfortable choices based on fear, struggle, fail and quit blogging. Or you make uncomfortable, freeing and usually fun choices based on love, leading to your blogging success. You choose. No one can choose for you. No one can wade through fear for you. No blogger can glide through the discomfort for you. This is an intimately personal experience that you need to face, embrace and live, to succeed in blogging, all based on your choices.
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I observed these cute little – actually big – guys during my 4 month trip to Savusavu, Fiji. The little dog men swooped in every night like clockwork, working the papaya trees on the front lawn on dusk. The fruit bats never missed a night; their survival depended on feasting at sundown every single evening. Develop the same attitude with your blog to guarantee success. Be like clockwork. Show up daily. Work. Shine bright in a world of blogging failures who choose to work in fits and starts before choosing to quit. Blogging feels uncomfortable but the journey gets easier success-wise by choosing to wade through scary, unpleasant periods. You have a personal choice to make: generously help people for hours daily over years to succeed online. Or choose not to, guaranteeing your failure. You choose. I believe in you. I know you can choose success. Choose not to fear burnout. Choose to be happy about your future blogging success.
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