In the (relatively short) time that I’ve been blogging I’ve done heaps of research and learnt lots about developing image, expanding content, using social media, building an audience and keeping track of it all.
This is part of a five-section ‘how-to’ for writer/bloggers. Each article will be published at the start of the week for the next five weeks. The aim is to help bloggers to conduct a self-review.
This series came about through my own experience in self-reviewing, and questions I have had about being a writer and blogger.
What is your ‘brand?
It’s your image: it’s how your blog – and YOU – are perceived by the public. It’s dynamic: it doesn’t stay the same, especially when you’re new to the game.
How is it developed?
Your brand is based on how people perceive you, so you don’t have full control over it. However, you can push things in the right direction.
It’s built through everything on your site: your blog title, your blog’s URL, your style of writing, your content, your About Me page, the theme and colours you choose, comments from readers, activity on other sites & social media. Your brand takes time to build, which is good as it allows you a small period of experimentation at the beginning.
Whew, that’s a lot to think about! Where to start?
I started with a brainstorm about how I wanted to be perceived as a writer, without thinking about what my blog or readers are currently. I included all the words that I wanted to be associated with, established authors whose work shares similarities with my own, how I wanted to be seen as a person, how I wanted my writing to be seen, formatting, and topics I enjoy writing & reading about. Looking for common themes, I used highlighter to categorise these. I ended up with four over-arching themes I wanted my blog to reflect: quirky but deep writer, an honest blogger, well-crafted writing, and overall professionalism.
It is important that you let these themes occur naturally. If you force them, you will not allow your true brand to come through, and this will be perceived in your writing.
- Decide on your author brand by brainstorming all the ideas, words, authors, styles, topics etc that you want to be associated with. Remember, this is a brainstorm, so there are no right or wrong answers. You can always cross things out or add things in if you change your mind.
- Get 4-5 highlighters, and look for common themes. They will be there. Make sure you think about broad categories, and limit yourself to FIVE. It’s too hard to build a brand around 20 different topics.
- Look at these themes. Does your design and content reflect these categories? What can you do to better create the image you want to build for yourself? Think about different topics you can post on, new sites to visit, personal vs. writing posts, your tagline and the colours / theme of your site. List the things you can do to build your brand and ACT on them!
- Share your thoughts, ideas, changes and questions with me. You can comment below, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to hear from you!