Defining Your Brand

I was selected as one of the five #Print4BlogHer #TheUPSstore Blogger Ambassadors. Follow us each week as we share our journey to prepare for the BlogHer Conference in San Diego, California. I was thrilled to be picked because while I am good at a lot of things when it comes to blogging but there are some things I really need help with. My specific area of need is with the media kit, designing a logo that represents my brand, and learning how to get brands to recognize my value and influence.

Our group will be working with Collective Bias and Debba Haupert of Girlfriendology.com who will be teaching us all about how to prepare for conferences, market ourselves and our blogs, and how to work with brands and companies to successfully market ourselves. This training will come in handy not only for BlogHer but any tradeshow or conference.

Week One: Defining Your Brand

As a blogger you may not have considered that you even have a brand. Maybe you started out blogging about one topic and your blog has evolved into something else. Maybe you are still blogging about your original topic and it hasn’t evolved. No matter what you blog about you can have a brand but you might not even know it yet. Your family can be your brand. I like to call that Lifestyle Blogging. There are so many niches in the world of blogging that you could fit into but you have to define yourself a little to know what your brand is all about.

Ask yourself some of these questions:

  • What is the purpose of your blog?
  • Do you find yourself writing about the same things over and over?
  • Do you write with a specific tone or flair?
  • What is your tone? Are you helpful, informative, resourceful, funny, friendly or in-your-face?
  • What do your readers, fans, and followers expect to find when they read your blog?

I have multiple blogs and the reason I have them separate is because each one is based on a specific topic (niche). I found over time that while many of my readers were interested in one or more of the topics I liked to write about, not everyone was interested so separating them out allowed me to have a different audience on each site. Some of my readers have crossed over and read all of my sites. Of course, for most bloggers this could be too time consuming and many would rather stick to one blog. If you have only one blog I would suggest that it be very focused. I have learned that if you are writing about subject A that you shouldn’t change geers and write about subject B on the same blog. Not only will your readers get confused, the search engines, brands, and your potential for making money will too.

Example:

Blogger A has a blog about their everyday life, family, etc – lifestyle blogger. One day they decide they want to write about couponing because Extreme Couponing has become so popular. They start posting coupons for their readers to print out and grocery store matchups. They never wrote about couponing before. The readers will most likely be confused and some might even leave. This blogger might get a whole new following but will they continue to write about their family? What is their main focus?

Blogger A should either start a separate blog on couponing or tell his/her readership they are starting over with a whole new focus and then stick with the new niche and not change back.

Joining two very different types of niches isn’t a good idea. It causes confusion. You should be very specific in what you are writing about and to do that you need to look at what you write and figure out where you want to go with it. It will help you focus on what you really want to write about and it will help brands, and your readers, know what you are about as well.

Creating  a Tagline

It was suggested, and I do this on all of my blogs, that you come up with a tagline for your blog – one sentence that tells the public what your blog is about. Many times you only have seconds to impress a new visitor with your site and having a tagline is just one part of the overall picture. Put this tagline under your heading or logo so it is the first thing someone sees when they visit your blog. This sentence should be short and to the point, the less words the better. It should be something you could easily tell someone if you meet them for the first time in person and it would immediately tell them what your site is about.

I’m still ironing out what my tagline is for this site because it is fairly new but here are my taglines for my other 2 main sites:

  • Sweeties Sweeps: “Win what you can’t afford”™ (this one is trademarked)
  • Sweeties Freebies: Freebies, coupons, and our favorite brands

Consistent Look To Your Blogs

Another key thing to creating a brand is to be consistent. Pick the color and font you want to use and try to use it everywhere, especially if you have multi blogs. Create a Facebook fan page for your blog and use similar colors and a matching profile graphic and thumbnail if possible. Create a Twitter background that matches your site. While I use the color blue this review blog looks slightly different than my other two blogs because I chose a different them. Hopefully someone visiting any of my blogs will know I own them all because they will be able to see my personality in them. At some point I might use the same theme on all of them just to make it completely clear to the visitor or loyal reader.

Stand Out From the Crowd

personal branding stand out from the crowd

What are you doing to be different from the millions of other bloggers out there? What are you doing to be different from the other bloggers in your niche? You need to stand out from the crowd if you are really going to get noticed and be successful. If you just do what everyone else is doing you will be just like everyone else.

Think about the bloggers you follow or the bloggers in your niche topic. Why do you follow them? What is so different about them that makes you want to follow them? Take a look at what you are doing and find that one thing that you do that no one else does and do it well and incorporate it more.

You can follow the Print4BlogHer group at lovinlogistics.com as we learn more about marketing ourselves and learning to work with brands. We will be sharing what we learn each week to help you grow your blog and brand too.

Branding is not just a logo, a color scheme or template, it is everything combined that makes up who you are and how your blog represents that to others.

Take a look at the other 4 bloggers who have been hand-picked to be a part of this amazing campaign:

This project has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for #collectivebias. All opinions are my own.

Disclosure: this post may contain affiliate links. Some products may be media samples given to us to for our honest review. All opinions are our own and not that of the brand. Read our policies for more details.

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