Beyond blogging: Branding yourself
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Are you blogging for fun? Are you blogging for income? Or do you have goals of something bigger?Are you growing a business? Are you thinking beyond just writing a day to day post?
The real question is,how are you branding yourself?
This month marks my 7 year Blogiversary. 7 years. That’s longer than I’ve had a real job. ANYWHERE. 7 years ago, I started typing those first few words that gave me a rapid heart rate and the sweats. I was just a stay at home mom with 3 kids under the age of 5 and I worked a part time dental assistant job and never got enough sleep.
In my head I had dreams of writing a book, maybe having a TV show. I wanted to make things and sell them in stores. I wanted to design things for companies an have my own product line. I had all of this creativity bursting inside of me and I felt the compulsion to share it. I had really big, crazy dreams between numerous loads of laundry.
Blogging back then was this nice little social platform where you could post some really crappy pictures taken with a flash at nice and have perfect strangers tell you how amazing you were.You in turn would do the same thing. There were only about 15-20 home decor blogs at the time. We would comment, pop by each others blogs to say hi. We would all join in each others linky party’s and $100 giveaways were huge, you could get 500+ comments. It was almost like this nice little nest to hang out in,
Slowly things began to change. Blogger’s started putting advertising on their sidebars and suddenly it could be some pocket money. Companies and brands suddenly saw that’s bloggers had influence and about 2-2 1/2 years ago SEO became a buzzword and we were off and running.
Suddenly everything was just a bit different and blogging has shifted. There is money to be made if you want to work hard for it, but now there is something more. Every one is talking about branding and you should brand yourself and it seems confusing for a lot of people.
So what does that mean?What is Branding?
The answer is simple. It’s a fancy word for….
Who are you and where do you see yourself in 5 years?
That’s what branding is.
It’s about being able to tell some one on a 10 second elevator ride what you are all about and sell them on it. What is your sales pitch? Because if you are blogging for money, you are selling something, and you want to sell it every time.
If you feel confused about who you are as a blog,Think about 5 word you think describe you. Then ask your friends how they see your blog. Ask them for their 5 words to describe what they feel it’s about.
See how they mesh. See what works and what doesn’t.
Think about 5 words you would use to describe my blog. I’ll put what I think at the bottom of the post and we can see if we match up.
How do you want to be seen?What do you represent? What can readers get from you they can’t get anywhere else? What services or products can you offer besides just information?
Ask yourself, where do you want to go?
As blogging changes even more, it’s going to be about multitasking and giving more. What else can you offer?
And, if blogging tanked tomorrow, what else can you rely on for income? And if you have other opportunities come up, do they fit your brand or are you just taking them for the cash?
Think about your blog as a tool. How can you use that tool to get to where you need to go?
And how are you representing yourself, is it true to who you are?
We are not inventing the wheel here. It’s all been done.But it’s all about how YOU do it.
That is your brand.
Think about some of the popular brands you know and what they represent.
Martha Stewart. Kate Spade. Rifle Paper Company.
Isaac Mizrahi. Oh Joy. Young House Love.
Does something immediately come to mind? Can you picture their logo and their style? When you see something that is by them, do you recognize it even before you see who made it?
While many bloggers hire branding companies to get them going, it’s a really great idea to go into it already knowing who you are and what you are about. Real branding can take years as you change and develop and discover your style and grow into who you are, because once you reach a point where you are confident about being you,
then you are ready to soar.
P.S. My 5 words for are: Cottage, bohemian, creative, insightful,eclectic,fun. Did we match?
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Great post and so much of what I need to learn and do. Thanks.
Awesome ideas Jen…..my brain is pondering my 5 words!
I would definitely add artistic to your 5. There are many bloggers, but when I think of yours, you are one of the few artists. Also, your philosophy seems to be that of a mentor. Very endearing reading your posts to help other bloggers and inspire all of us.
Great ideas Jen! We focus on the same things!
About 6 or 7 years ago living overseas in aan arid place with a need for a pretty magazine or some thing beautiful to look at I typed in the search words “beautiful things” and WOW! I started a little blog mostly about my family for a creative outlet then. I am still learning technical stuff, about branding and business. Still have my blog, still little but hey, a gal can dream. Thanks for this post!
Well now you’ve got me thinking. Seems like a simple concept – branding – when encapsulated into 5 descriptive words. Sometimes simple is better and more straightforward.
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