Today’s Outfit Details:
The Skinny on Blogging: Building a Brand that Stands Out
Welcome back to week 4 of my series, “The Skinny on Blogging.” Last week’s topic covered growing your blog and driving traffic, and this week I’ll be talking about building a strong brand and standing out among the rest.
Over the last 2 years, the blogging market has become extremely saturated. People are starting to realize that you can make money talking about something you’re passionate about and because there are very little barriers to entry, it’s not difficult to take a risk and start a blog. The trouble is, how do you become successful doing it? It may seem simple, but in reality it’s a loaded question. You have to create a brand that’s entirely unique.
Choose a Blog Focus, Don’t Make it Too Narrow
When you first get started, you may think you have your brand figured out, but all brands evolve and develop over time. If it didn’t, your blog wouldn’t be successful for very long. The market is constantly changing, so you must change with it, and as a result your brand will, too.
For instance, when I started blogging, I thought I wanted the focus of my blog to be about fitness. I started blogging my WODs and what I was eating and I quickly determined that no one actually cared about what my workout was, they were more interested in my workout clothing and what lipgloss I was wearing. My true niche and interest of my followers was fashion, not fitness as I had originally planned. Thankfully, my blog name wasn’t too narrow so I was able to shift my focus.
My advice in forming a brand would be don’t make your focus too narrow that it doesn’t leave room for you to evolve over time. You may determine that what you thought was your expertise truly isn’t. Your followers will tell you what they’re interested in hearing from you if you just listen to them.
Over time, your blog focus should become more narrow as you determine who your target market is and what they’re interested in. If you remain too broad you will no doubt get lost in the sea of blogs and never get noticed. Once you find and understand your niche, learn everything about it, and deliver content they’re genuinely interested in.
Create Compelling Content
This is one of the most important aspects of building a brand and making your blog successful. If you don’t create compelling content, people will lose interest, quickly. Reading and keeping up with blogs is a lot of work. If you don’t give them a reason to come back, then they likely won’t.
Great content begins with fantastic imagery. I’ll cover photography and editing in a future segment, but you must have amazing images to be engaging. They shouldn’t be overexposed and every image should be representative of your brand. For me that’s bright colors, happy poses, well-lit, greenery and florals. Find what works for you, and what people engage with most often and stick to it.
In addition, cover interesting topics. People love how-tos, ranked lists, tips/tricks and blog series. Make your content valuable to your readers. Whenever I am in a creative rut, I turn to other bloggers that inspire me for fresh ideas. It may sound cheesy, but one of my favorite sources of inspiration are magazines like In-style or Cosmopolitan. That is what my target market is reading so why not use it for brainstorming as well.
Showcasing Your Brand
Now that we’ve covered the basics of deciding what your brand is, you now need to learn how to showcase that brand effectively and create a unified approach. The start of this is creating a logo with colors and fonts that represent your brand. Do you see your brand as classic black and whites, feminine blush and neutrals or eclectic brights? Whatever it is, your logo and brand colors should represent that.
Colors are a great first impressions of your brand because everyone already has a mental expectation of what color symbolizes. Yellow is happy, blue is soothing and red is bold and loud. Pick colors for your website, stationary, media kit and business cards that you feel represent your brand.
Font is another brand aspect that gives a great first impression of your blog. Are you using classic times roman or is your logo more of a whimsical hand lettering? The font used in your logo, website, and printed materials should be carefully chosen to represent your brand.
The last piece of advice I am going to give you in building a brand, which is probably the most important is BE YOURSELF! You are also your own brand. Your readers likely follow your blog because they’ve fallen in love with you. What a confidence builder that must be. I speak from experience when I say I know how difficult it can be to put yourself out there for the world to see. However, when you take that risk and receive a positive response just for being yourself it is so rewarding.
People can see through the poised five-time recorded instastory or overly edited professional imagery on your feed. Every once in a while it’s perfectly okay to talk with lipstick on your teeth or post a casual mirror selfie (heck, those are usually my most highly-engaged images). That’s real life, and people appreciate you being real. Trust me. Be yourself and it will no doubt pay off in your blog and the brand you’ve built.
Thanks for tuning in to this week’s installment of my blogger series. If you want to hear more blogging tips straight from the source, Vanessa from The Cheeky Been and I will be going live on Instastories via my channel tomorrow night (Tuesday 6/27) at 8pm EST. Send us all of your questions related to blogging in advance so we can answer them. Hope to see you then! XoXo.
Last chance to enter an amazing giveaway just in time for the Nordstrom Anniversary sale. Details on how to enter listed below:
Now…it’s time for a fabulous giveaway!
I’ve teamed up with an amazing group of bloggers
to give YOU a chance to win:
a $1,000 Nordstrom Gift Card, just in time for the Anniversary Sale!
Simply enter below by completing the rafflecopter.
You’ll receive one entry per completion.
This giveaway is open internationally and runs until 7/3.
Winner will be announced here. Good Luck!