Personal Brand Blogging: Have something to say?
‘Blogging’ is the act of creating content and regularly posting and updating it either on a website(s), or social media – usually allowing for reader engagement and interaction. Blogging using video is also often referred to as ‘vlogging.’
Due to the unending growth of the online world, managing your online identity and protecting your personal brand has become an imperative – as well as a part-time job with no pay. In a nutshell, a blog is a hub for people to keep tabs on you and your fabulous life and your advice!
This is the part where I tell you that blogging is not about your personal ego, but in fact, a way to generate more opportunities, jobs, revenue, connections, gigs, etc…
But.. you’re not going to listen to that part because frankly, neither do I. Go ahead and make it about feeding your ego, but do us both a favor and follow some tried and true tenets of personal branding and blogging and you’ll tickle two birds with one tongue.
Back to learning: In 2016, the total number of sites on the World Wide Web reached over one billion and 12 million people were blogging via social media networks, while 6.7 million people were doing the same on blogging websites of one or another.
The personal brand is huge when it comes to being a business online, and I’m sure someone already told you that if you are an entertainer, salesperson, in the service industry, an artist or just about any sort of entrepreneur, you’re in fact a business. People don’t want to read a corporate website with no face, no personality, no pimples on their butts – they want a personal touch.
Your blog can be the foundation of your personal branding efforts – but this comes after you’ve defined, developed and are in the act of promoting your personal brand. Then, you will want to produce content that works for and expands your personal brand – and answers the following questions in full:
- Who am I?
- What I want to achieve?
- What are my strengths?
Field of Dreams: If you build it, they will come.
No they won’t. In high school, if you wanted to go to the prom with a complete stranger from another town in another State, who had no idea who or where you were – and you did not even contact them – what are the odds you’re wish would come true? Nada. Lotta websites out there is what I’m sayin’.
I cannot tell you how many people I’ve known since 1994 who thought they could just put up a cool website with their cool idea and cool pics and sit back and watch the cash roll in…. sorry, chief – it do not work like that, except in the movie; “Field of Dreams.” I repeat, this is not “Field of Dreams” – and you are not Kevin Costner. I am.
You have to work work work on this stuff, kiddo and when you’re done, work on it some more because true entrepreneurs don’t sleep or run fast, but damn it feels good to be a gangster, friendo – and blogging like a boss to the point where people think you’re the boss is better than working nine to five for some prick who never knew the thrill of going for it in life. This isn’t a dress rehearsal, so just work hard and you won’t get the dreaded “Field of Dreams” syndrome.
Anywhoozer, to build your online reputation and your personal brand, you need to present yourself as an expert online, someone people will want to hire, or buy some cool stuff from. There are many ways you can achieve this status, and all of them can be summed up in one word: content.
- When you’re starting in the blogging world, you have to have your own brand voice.
- This means infusing bits and pieces of your personality into your writing.
- Understand people are coming to your brand because of you.
- If they wanted any old fart, they’d go to any old fart.
Blogging also has the benefit of helping you rank higher on search engines like Bing and Google. Of course, that’s possible only when you reach the point where people see you as a true expert in your field. And getting there is not easy. You must work hard to get people to trust you and reach out to you when they have questions. You need to be a reliable partner to everyone in your target group so you can grow as that group grows.
Listen up again:
When building your own brand voice, use your own personality
If you don’t have a personality, ask your friend to give you theirs
Maybe speak more casually to your readers, kind of like I do, beyatch.
Get emotional – this creates a bond between you and those people out there in the dark hanging on your every word
Use the method of storytelling if you’re so inclined. You’d think TV writers would make good bloggers, but they kind of suck. Don’t know why…
Talk with your readers, not at them
Don’t be arrogant unless you’re Donald Trump or Lance Armstrong. Works for those guys, but it can backfire. I’m not getting political or facetious. Arrogance works for a small amount of the populace, but chances are, you’re not Alec Baldwin.
Don’t know who your audience is? Try one or all of these:
- Conduct a competitor analysis: Have you spotted a few individuals from your industry who are rocking their blogging and already managed to build a name for themselves? Go through their past posts and see what topics are the most popular and start brainstorming.
- Understand what your audience is interested in: Valuable content is the one that’s both intriguing and provides concrete answers. Position yourself as a knowledge-leader by investigating what are those frequently asked questions in the community and then invest time in creating blog posts that provide consumable answers. You can use forums like Quora and Reddit, or snoop around Facebook groups.
- When all fails, ask directly: Being active in communities is great for keeping up with the trends, but it also enables you to make new connections. Ask people directly to share what they would love to read about or conduct a survey to get to know their profiles better.
This doesn’t mean you’re compromising your ideas for the sake of career progress, but just bending them to meet the needs of your target audience. Knowing what type of content is on the list of the most wanted, means staying relevant and eventually will generate word of mouth for you.