So many times, even when you don’t realize it, someone somewhere is branding you.
Someone somewhere is measuring your credibility based on the information you’re sending across to them both consciously and unconsciously.
To be on the safe side and send the correct message across, you’ll have to create a brand that cannot be misread.
This is exactly what we’ll be doing on today’s Smart Blogging Tutorial.
I’ll be discussing with you the benefits of creating a unique brand for your blog and the steps by step process you can use to do this.
Before we begin, I want you to know that the number one thing outstanding bloggers like Heather B Armstrong of Dooce.com, Linda Ikeji, Paris Hilton have in common is that from an unknown personal journal, they have evolved blogs that are now household names both nationally and internationally.
And you can do this too if you’re going to take these steps we’ll be talking about in today’s episode of the smart blogging tutorial.
Ok. So the popularity of these bloggers I mentioned is not really unusual.
It’s been stirred by one big factor; their exceptional brand which has come to be recognized over time for one spectacular feature or the other.
These guys were each known for one thing. Either their style of writing, the consistency of their blog post or their ability to meet the needs of a peculiar audience.
Someone like Heather for instance became known for the honest and down to earth real life stories shared on her blog.
These stories inspired her millions of readers to get back to her blog, over and again.
Linda Ikeji and Paris Hilton both brought an amazing new dimension to gossip and entertainment blogging.
They told their story in such personal and informal way that made their readers who enjoyed their story style come back again and again to read their blog.
Talking about the benefits of creating an exceptional brand for your blog, I want to really emphasize on the fact that these benefits are extremely huge.
Imagine getting paid speaking engagements because of your huge brand on the internet. I’ve had a handful myself.
Most strong blogging brands have not been able to keep up with the numerous speaking engagements they’ve had overtime.
Also in the area of thought leadership, you can gain a lot based on the brand you create for yourself.
Then there are issues of freebies from reviews and recommendation and so on. I’ve personally enjoyed lots of these too.
OK. So I have just discussed with you a few of the benefits of creating a unique brand for your blog…
Without wasting time, I will list below a step by step plan you should use to create an exceptional brand for your blog..
1. Create your blog persona: A blog persona is the ideal reader of your blog. You will have to research this. (Don’t worry it’s not a difficult thing to do).
Get to work and begin to imagine your target audience.
Ask yourself, will my blog be mostly read by teenagers, youths, Adults or… Whoever you can imagine.
When you find out who your readers are, try to picturize one of your readers… You can use an imagery of someone you already know in that group.
Get into their head. Find out what exactly interests them. What they’d really enjoy reading about.
What language is mostly relevant to their age or occupational group and what colors or design will suit them.
2. Choose your blog personality. Armed with your idea of the perfect blog reader now, the next thing you’ll want to do is create a personality for your blog.
By personality, I mean how you want your blog to be perceived.
So do you want to be seen as a smart brand?
Do you want your readers to perceive you as a friendly down to earth kind of blog,
or do you want to be seen as a vibrant, innovative and controversial blog?
Your brand personality will not only be dependent on what you want, you will be influenced by the persona you created in step one.
Because whatever brand personality you decide on must reflect the interest and personality preferences of your target audience.
So if your blog is targeting a tech community for instance you must create a personality that reflects that community.
3. Decide on a stunning domain name. A domain name is the URL of your blog on the internet. Something like www.victorwinners.com.
At this stage, you’ll sit down to decide on a domain name that will not only reflect your brand definition in step one and two, but something that is both remarkable and memorable.
So instead of going for some abstract name, you’ll want to look for something related to the purpose of your blog.
With that, people will easily understand what your blog is about without much guess.
Also you can choose your name as the domain name depending still on the purpose of your blog.
4. Choose the blog name to match the domain name. A blog doesn’t just have a domain name. It also has a blog name.
This is what most people get to recognize the brand for.
So for instance this blog has Victor Winners Dot Com! As the blog name.
And then victorwinners.com still goes for the domain name.
Instead of going for different domain and blog name, which will cause confusion in most cases, using your domain name as blog name helps a lot in making the name stick.
This is one of the simplest and most effective ways to name a blog.
5. Get a tagline for your blog. A tagline is a small line of what your brand represents.
It is normally shown on the upper part of your blog, below the blog name. And it has to indicate in a few catchy words, details about your blog.
So on this blog for instance, what we have there is “Giving you smart internet strategies”.
You can also decide to use your mission as your brand tagline.
Just make sure that it captures what you want to represent as a brand.
6. Select a blog theme design to match. The next step towards creating an exceptional brand for your blog is to choose a blog design layout that will match the personality you created in step one and two.
7. Choose your content format. Here you’ll select your content format.
How do you want to reach out to your audience? Is it by written content alone or both written, and visual content.
Or are you going to include video and audio as part of your content?
8. Pick your blog keywords. So here we go. Keywords are those popular words that people will type into Google when they search for anything.
So if you’re going to be mostly writing about blogging for beginners for instance you’ll have consider, what will a person looking for the topic “blogging for beginners” type into Google?
Tools like Serps can help you find the relevant keywords.
When you find the keywords, think about how you can make it a part and parcel of your blog post, repeating the variations of those keywords as much as reasonable so it reflects what your target audience will be searching for.
9. Decide on your blogging language. Depending on your research in step one and two, decide your blogging language.
If you’re targeting a corporate audience for instance, you’ll want to make your blog posts come off a bit more formal than if you were targeting a set of university students under 25 years.
So based on the persona you made earlier, choose a blogging language that will communicate in a way your audience communicates.
10. Specify post length and publishing schedule. Choose the length of your posts.
Will it be long and deep posts or sprints and easy to read up in a few minutes posts, decide on this.
Your audience and their lifestyle habits will really help you in settling for posts length.
After that you will decide on how often you will be posting on the blog.
For a new blog I will recommend at writing at least 3-4 good length blog post per week.
But you can do more than this. Remember that the frequency, depth and relevance of your posts will also help in the traffic growth of your blog.
11. Choose a voice. Choose a voice that will suit your personality and that of your brand.
You can decide to sound like a funny guy passing out great stuff in a comical way, a teacher speaking with an intimidating authority or a friendly Joe who is so empathetic to his audience.
Choose a voice and be sure it represents the personality you’re creating for your blog.
12. Choose a uniform brand color for all branding purposes.
Make your brand color noticeable from your display pictures to your logo and all over the blog.
13. Pick a Picture for profile and display pictures. Unless it’s a company brand, be sure to add a touch of your personality to your blog.
Make people see the person behind the blog. It boosts your credibility.
If it’s a company blog, be sure to use the company logo and branding as the display picture.
This Smart Blogging Tutorial was brought to you in conjunction with Smart Blogging College.
I hope you did learned a lot? Drop any question you have in the comment section. And I’ll answer each of them.
See you in our next class.