So, we haven’t talked much about branding lately, but it always seems to come up in some way or another, whether in the Facebook groups I’m in or in comments. Lots of people have questions about becoming a blogger or a small biz owner and not knowing exactly how to promote that aspect of themselves, considering it often really is just an extension of who they are and what they do. That’s why today we’re talking a bit about that package you put yourself in as a blogger. I thought about making a list of tips for you, but branding your self on a blog or social media can get a bit messy, so I thought it made more sense to share my story and talk about the options we all have as bloggers who just so happen to be trying to make a living doing what we do!
What’s the best way to brand yourself and your content?
When you’re just blogging in one spot—say, your own blog—you have two choices. Either to brand yourself based on this persona (like my blog, if found, make.) or promote your personal brand, (like Angela). A lot of times it makes more sense to do the former, and have all your websites + social media based off of whatever name and aesthetic your blog has.
Of course, that comes with some limitations. Since you’re not making it all about the “I”, you’ll probably not want to post many personal details on social media, for example. In thinking about your blog audience, you might see that those people don’t necessarily want to hear from you about other topics (it’s quite harsh but it is what it is, we’ve all seen the comments on those big blogs when they choose to “branch out”). But the big draw to branding this way is that you have a very unique, specific focus. Think of the blogs you love. When they pop up on social media or other websites, don’t you automatically think of them in terms of their blog names? Even so, that method may not work for everyone.
When is personal branding the better option?
I used to want to change all of my branding to if found, make. and operate under that umbrella, considering most of my projects had something to do with creativity, crafting, and selling. It all fit in under my blog. But then I got writing and editing jobs and my portfolio expanded to include tons of different projects (including this one), and an expanded breadth of work. I realized it wouldn’t make much sense to completely operate under that umbrella, but rather, my persona of blogger and editor. That is how I get jobs and generate income after all, not just because I blog at one website.
That doesn’t mean things I do on social media don’t need to be curated or branded—I’m still selling myself as a brand in a way—but that I don’t feel AS tied to those original topics as I would otherwise. If I were to stop freelancing and blog fulltime on my blog and The Blog Market, I might overhaul to create a more specific focus. Right now, I enjoy that my blog, while being a separate project, is really more of a home base. It’s more about being able to say I’m Angela, I’m a writer and editor, here’s my blog. Because my “package” – what I present to the world – is very diverse (my services range widely and so do the industries I serve, not to mention my interests and what I offer creatively) I usually find a way to connect at least some part of “what I do” with who I’m networking with. It’s reasonable that to talk social media strategy for small business at one event, how to stay original as a lifestyle blogger at another, or my latest craft project elsewhere – so I don’t really want one of my focuses to define my brand entirely.
Those are all things to consider in the big branding debate. If you’re not sure you’ll always blog under the same name or content, branding yourself as a whole might be more fluid. Then if you move on to new projects your followers have an easier time coming with. They don’t get as confused by all the changes and it’s a natural evolution. It’s about providing an effortless way for your audience to connect with you in addition to how you want to present yourself.
I know a few people have asked about how to translate branding to social media or how to talk about their brand in real life, so we’re definitely open to any suggestions for future posts. How do you brand yourself and your blog? What’s most important for you to get across?