Do you ever find yourself admiring those YouTubers who get paid to travel around the world? Or those bloggers who seem to have an endless supply of makeup and clothing sent to them in return for their reviews and hauls? We at BLND PR often work with bloggers and influencers we are massively envious of and we put together a handy guide to successfully branding yourself so you, too, can run with the big dogs.
1. Sit Down and Plan
Before embarking on your exciting blogging journey, you must define the purpose of your blog. Ask yourself these questions:
What is your message?
What is your unique taste or style?
What field are you an expert in?
Once you decide on a specific niche, whether it is beauty, family, fashion, technology etc., brainstorm at least a dozen possible sub-topics that you plan on venturing into. You can look up sites like Niches Directory for some ideas. Keep in mind the intended audience you are trying to reach, as that will also help you develop your voice and language. Try making an editorial calendar in order to map out various ideas that you could potentially blog about for the next months or season. Choose a main platform that you will be posting on. Here are a few just to get your juices flowing!
Make sure that you are truly passionate about your chosen niche because this will be the overarching theme of your blog. You must be able to commit to this chosen topic and be able to consistently post new and original content. At this stage, it is also helpful to research your competitors or other bloggers interested in the same field. Based on your research, decide what unique features will make you stand out as a blogger.
2. Design Your Brand
Now that you have decided on a specific niche, it is time to work on the aesthetics of the brand. First, decide on a brand name, or a username. This name should be somewhat related to the niche that you have chosen, but also something that is unique and memorable to new users. Make sure that your username is available on your main chosen domain and most social media platforms such as Instagram, Youtube, Snapchat, Twitter etc. Even if your main platform is, for example, YouTube, you should be reachable on multiple social media platforms. It may also be helpful to decide on specific brand colors, fonts, and themes. If you are writing a blog, what will your welcome message or sign off be? If you are creating digital content, what will your cover photos look like? If you are creating cinematic content, what will your introductory clips be? There should also be a picture of yourself somewhere on your blog so viewers can put a friendly face to the content that they are viewing. Ultimately, uniform aesthetics indicate commitment and consistency, leading to higher brand loyalty from viewers.
3. Maintain Engagement
Viewers will subscribe to your blog because of their interest in your chosen niche and relatability to you. It is important to maintain continuous engagement with your followers or viewers in order to keep blogging a two-sided conversation. There are several ways to do this:
Instagram Live: Share a live video with your followers that they are only able to watch for the duration which you are live. Have the option to turn on or off commenting during your live videos.
YouNow: Use this live broadcasting service to stream your own live video content. You can also link your YouNow account to YouTube in order for viewers to watch your live stream after it ends.
Scheduled Q&A: Notify your readers or viewers beforehand so they can submit questions for you to answer in a later post.
Responding to comments on your Blog, YouTube, Instagram, Twitter etc. Dedicate a period of time every day to respond to and interact with comments on your posts.
In your published blog posts, make sure that you always link all your active social media accounts in order for readers to connect with you on multiple platforms. This should not be difficult, as your chosen username should be consistent across platforms. It is also helpful to have the same profile picture for different platforms in order for viewers to easily identify you and your personal brand. Also, try to post unique content on each form of social media so users have an incentive to connect on additional platforms and will not be annoyed from seeing the same content multiple times. From these platforms, you are able to build a community under your personal brand. Remember that word-of-mouth is the most successful way to gather more viewers for your brand.
Think back to the list of competitors that you researched during the early stages of creating your blog. Communicate with bloggers of similar interests and create a support system for each other. Promote your personal brand by increasing awareness for your new blog. Reach out to bloggers of similar interests for potential mutually beneficial collaboration opportunities where you can learn from each other and reach into each other’s niches for additional awareness. Be careful to not lose sight of your original goals and themes during collaborations, as you want to maintain your developed strong voice and style. Join online communities in your field to keep yourself up to date with the newest trends while making new friends. It is important to find new sources of inspiration for content, but be sure to put your unique spin on things if you plan on reposting them. Of course, these opportunities are only made possible if you make yourself easy to reach. Make sure that your contact information is easily visible on your blog and you are constantly checking your inboxes while scouting out new collaboration opportunities.
5. Be Real
Last but not least, be honest and transparent! Your readers or viewers want to get to know you on a personal level, so it is important to stay authentic to your true self and beliefs. Remember the reason why you started blogging and stick to the original themes and messages that you promised to convey. Have fun!