(Updated January 28th, 2022)
Do you need to build a brand as an individual blogger?
Do not make the error of feeling branding is only for large companies. Everyone knows the Apple logo and Nike swoosh. But small businesses and even individual bloggers need branding to stand out from the crowd.
I held my brand image in mind as I baby-stepped my way through building Blogging From Paradise. Branding guided me. I took steps based on my core brand message.
Far from being solely a logo, branding is a message eliciting feelings in readers, customers and clients. Brand to sear your message onto the minds of followers, not unlike branding a marker on cattle.
Branding Tips for Blogging
Building a brand requires you to get clear on a few key elements. Getting clear feels uncomfortable usually for all the mental garbage manifest as fear floating around in your mind. I simply waded through fear to get clear on my brand but feeling discomfort did not delight me. However, creating my brand definitely seems worth it.
Are you ready to brand yourself like a star?
Follow these tips.
1: Pick an Easy to Visualize Domain Name
People think in images. Pick a domain name people picture easily.
- Pick an easy to visualize domain name
- Think: the shorter the better (unless it’s a super memorable long phrase)
- Ask people if they can easily visualize your domain name before you purchase the domain name and build a brand around the name
I’ll get into the whole passionate thing later via another tip. For now I wanted you to start off on the right foot to create a memorable brand.
Picking an easy to picture domain name lets your brand become memorable. Folks usually light up at my mention of Blogging From Paradise because people easily imagine a guy blogging from paradise. Readers seamlessly see themselves blogging from paradise. Facilitating the seeing-imagining-picturing process potentially allows your brand to spread like wildfire.
2: Create a Clear and Powerful Tagline
As for your blog I suggest drilling down by dwelling on both your domain name and your brand message.
For example, if you wanted to build a brand on Christmas tree disposal services for lazy folks who can’t be bothered with burning their trees or hauling their trees to the curb you could choose the domain:
Trashing Your Tree (trashingyourtree.com though I’ve no clue if it’s taken or not)
Then you’d dwell on the tagline for a bit to drill home your branding message, a la the Man Who Brings the Thunder.
Here ya go:
Trash Your Christmas Mess without the Stress
Or pick a tagline along those lines.
How can you do it?
Once you have a domain name and brand in mind drill down a bit.
Think about what your ideal reader/customer wants to do.
They want to throw out their tree in a stress-free manner. Calling or emailing someone to trash the tree for you is about as stress-free as it gets.
So for you and your brand I’d suggest picturing that next step.
What does your ideal reader or customer want to do? Think in terms of action verbs to make your tagline pop.
Be clear. Getting clear adds power to your tagline, further enhancing your brand.
3: Brand Your Passion
Trash the brand guys IF you don’t feel fully passionate about it.
List your joys. Go ahead, do it.
List like 3 or 5 or 10 things you feel beyond passionate about and whittle that list down to 1 or 2 things.
Those 1 or 2 things are where the branding magic is.
This is where the superstars reside.
The branded superstars.
This is where Disney and Apple and Google reside because Walt and Steve and Sergei and Larry built each brand around an overpowering, passionate energy which the world just had to feel.
We really had no choice but to become rabid fans of each brand because unless you are brain dead or soulless you are prone to feeling the passionate energy of a person who’s followed their passionate calling.
Brand your passion.
Be a bright, branded light in the Universe.
Make a ton of dough if you want to.
Change a ton of lives in the process.
Entrepreneurs build brands over years, then decades. Each world famous brand grew over decades. Icons at the forefront of building brands exude immense passion for their businesses because no other way exists to see the long haul journey through.
Love your gig. Fall in love with your blog. Feel passionate about your brand. Passion fuels your long term journey. Being passionate gives you clarity to spread your message through ups, downs and everything in between.
4: Speak a Consistent Message
Each time you publish a blog post NOT relevant to your:
- Blog posts
- Blog pages
- Brand image
….your readers will say…
“Whatchou talking bout Ryan?”
If I write a post about the benefits of using sage in Mediterranean dishes my audience is going to say:
“Whatchou talking bout Ryan?”
Or if I wrote a post about how to do anything that isn’t aligned with:
Blogging from Paradise: How to Retire to a Life of Island Hopping through Smart Blogging my readers will say:
“Whatchou talking bout Ryan?”
I couldn’t publish this post without mentioning that phrase thrice.
Anyway, smart branding is consistent branding.
You program your audience to respond to your brand based on the consistency of your message.
On a subconscious level your blog readers will get to know you as “That Guy” or “That Gal” based on the consistency of your message.
People know they’re getting tips for retiring to a life of island hopping through smart blogging here.
5: Speak a Persistent Message
Have you ever noticed how some music grows on you?
You may hear a song once. Bleh. Then 2 times. Yeah it’s aight.
Then you hear the song 5 times and it sounds pretty darn good actually.
After 10 plays you’re hooked.
This is branding at its finest. The message is:
…and when the message/song is distributed through the proper channels you better believe the right listeners/rabid fans will fall in love with the song, the performer and the brand.
What’s more, when a performer builds a brand around a distinct persona (se Lady Gaga, Miley Cyrus, Nicky Manaj) the brand becomes more powerful, more memorable, and with persistence and consistency a super star is born.
- Speak your brand message daily
- Speak your brand message by sharing something valuable and inspirational daily
- Use tools to publish social media updates daily
- Know why you want to build your brand and tie that reason to being free to persistently speak your brand message
On to the next tip.
6: Use Video to Prove that Your Human
Human brands rock.
Human brands make a lasting impression.
Words on a screen/robotic brands/cyborg-like presentations suck.
You’ll see images, words on a screen, and all that stuff but since I’m not sitting in a room with you while I’m conveying my message it may take 2 or 3 visits to my blog for me to be human to you.
Even though you know I’m human on a rational level – I am, I promise, even though I write insanely thorough long posts and pet tigers and feed monkeys and do all that stuff – on an emotional level it takes a few visits to my blog to make me FEEL human to you.
If you want to accelerate that human feeling deal and if you want to make your brand more human and more prospering and more inspiring and more influential…..shoot videos.
I often film selfie-style videos from various travel locations to add a human element to my brand.
Video continues to be consumed voraciously by users.
Watch this video as I explain 2 reasons for retiring to a life of travel:
- find the proper lighting for your video
- practice often to gain confidence on camera
- share practical tips to solve your reader’s problems
7: Invest Financially in Your Brand
Invest money in:
- a domain and hosting
- a premium theme
at a minimum to build a professional-looking brand.
Unless you boast serious web design skills simply pay a professional to design your blog or buy a premium theme. Earn credibility by emitting a pro brand image through your blog design.
Buy your domain and hosting to influence readers to take your blog seriously. Trusted bloggers own their domain. Investing money in hosting allows you to customize your brand effectively.
Never make the calamitous blogging mistake of using a free platform. Free platform owners are in the business of branding their free platform; not you. Cheap-looking, free themes emit an unprofessional brand image not to be trusted.
Invest financially to gain brand credibility.
8: Do Off the Wall Stuff and Take Pictures of You Doing Off the Wall Stuff
Be loosey goosey guys.
Have fun branding yourself.
Be silly, be whacky, be funny, be creative.
Stop taking yourself and your brand so seriously.
Grumpy Cat and her owner grossed $100 million in revenue by being less than serious or outright silly.
Let that one stew in your mind as you contemplate building a super star brand.
9: Make Personal Development A1
I recall seeing a few stunningly large mansions in the little Southern Indian jungle town. My jaw dropped. These cats were some serious high rollers.
My friend Santos told us about one local who ran a prospering business back in the USA. He traveled back and forth throughout the year.
The locals called him America Joe because he was a celebrity in the area. An Indian who made a bundle load of dough in the USA yet he traveled back and forth to spend time both in his home town of Muhamma.
I think of millionaire America Joe then I think about some struggling folks living in India.
What was the difference? You can dissect and debate and talk about all types of outside influences yet at the end of the day: as within, so without.
Or more appropriately, America Joe thought, felt and acted like a wealthy person so he naturally manifested wealth in his life.
How you choose to think, feel and act is dictated by how diligently you stick to your personal development routine.
Develop a strong mind to build a strong blogging brand.
A few ideas for strengthening your mind:
- do yoga
- observe your thoughts in quiet
10: Do an Honest Assessment of Your Blog Brand-Wise
Ultimately this tip’s up to you.
You know deep down whether you’re branding yourself like a superstar or if you’re not branding yourself like a superstar.
Your intuition will tell you whether it’s time to completely trash your blog or brand or your intuition will tell you where and how you need to ramp up your branding efforts.
Honesty slapped me right upside the head when I was forced to reassess my blog AND to let go my old blog to make room for this tasty little “blogging from paradise” niche.
Branding is critical for newbie bloggers in particular.
Readers seek that X factor that makes you stand out from the blogging crowd. Either you find it through branding or you ignore branding and struggle to become memorable.
Following these 10 branding tips makes you and your blog memorable but choosing to build a brand seems to be step one for standing out in reader’s minds.
Pay particularly close attention to being passionate about brand-building and blogging. Passionate bloggers hold that *it* energy readers crave. Tap into that irresistible vibe to build your brand generously, patiently and persistently over years.
What branding tips can you add to this list?
Do you have a tough time branding yourself through your blog?
Have you resisted building a blogging brand because you do not see the need?