"Required reading" for today's smart writer.

"Required reading" for today's smart writer.
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Monday, November 16, 2015

5 Mistakes Most Bloggers Make Branding Their Blogs!

 
Though there are many reasons people decide to launch a blog, there are typically three main objectives for most of us on the scene.

A). To build our platforms
B). To build online relationships
C). To build our "bottom line"

And yet with these common goals, it's important for us to be as individualistic and "uncommon" to stand out in a sea of many, and to be "heard" above all the chatter.

That's why Branding your blog successfully is crucial.  
Think of it this way: Branding is to blogging what commercials are to many of the household products you enjoy today.
  • It helps you to be recognized and remembered in a mass market. 
  • It helps to establish a cohesive image.
  • When executed properly, it allows you to "work smarter, not harder."

With this in mind, here are a few ways bloggers unknowingly sabotage their success, when it comes to branding their blogs.

Are you guilty of any...?

1. They lack the basic components of branding.
 At a very minimum, blog branding should include: a simple logo, a tagline or slogan, a personal photo, and an "About Me" page that addresses who you are, your intended readership, and what you hope to achieve at your site.

2. They Blog sporadically.
In other words, they publish posts whenever "the mood hits them." The result?  For readers, it's difficult to determine when and what to expect. Consequently, they're often perceived as less serious and less committed to their audience than their blogging peers. Remember, "Out of sight, out of mind."

3. They keep changing their blog.
Okay, I'm the first to admit that in the infancy of my blogging career, I made more revisions to this site than an overzealous editor! I changed the colors, the template, and even my strategy. I think we all must do this until we find a "place of comfort." But doing so every few months, can be confusing, and "dilute" your marketing/branding message, more than enhance it. For example, wouldn't you be confused if "Tony The Tiger" (on your cereal)  was replaced with Kevin the Clown? Or if your can of Coke were changed to pink and yellow, instead of the traditional red? 

4. They try to blog about too many unrelated topics simultaneously.
Sure, "variety is the spice of life." But when it comes to blog branding, sticking to a specific theme,  topic, or approach is best. It also increases the likelihood that advertisers will know what your site is about, for potential partnerships. Unless it's a lifestyle blog, a commentary blog, or one that is recreational in nature. For example, most folks that follow this blog know that aside from writing, I have a passion for cooking. As such, from time to time, I pen posts that show the correlation between cooking and writing, to stay on point. Another alternative here, (if you want to mix things up a bit), is to designate a specific day of the week or month to go "off topic" and label it accordingly.

5. They make their blogs more about them than their readers.
There's no doubt about it: Blogs should be somewhat "promotional" in nature. Still, in order for readers to keep coming back, there has to be take-away value for them as well. Hello? Sure, if you are a "celebrity blogger" people may want to know about what you ate for breakfast, where you shop, your successes, and the intimate details of your love life; but those of us that are "mere mortals" have to do much more to merit their time and readership. Are you with me? :-)


In conclusion here, blog branding is a great way to establish your expertise, stand out in your niche area, and stay relevant. Keep these five timely tips in mind, to make fewer mstakes and greater progress, moving forward. 

Thoughts? Agree or disagree?


Image courtsey of: Freedigitalphotos.net

12 comments:

  1. All valid points, and although it is good to mix it up, you are right, branding is important. I wish I could settle. :)

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    1. Thanks, Lin. Always love to hear from you. :-)

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  2. I hope I have developed a good brand. But I do need to be more consistent in my writing.

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  3. Good points, Jennifer. I guess most anything, including our blogs, will benefit from being focused and consistent. What better time than now, heading up to a new year, to reassess our blog's direction. Thank you for your insight.

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    1. Karen,

      You're quite welcome! I value your feedback and input. :-)

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  4. Melanie,

    Don't despair; it takes time. Wishing you continued success!
    Thanks for your thoughts today. :-)

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  5. My topics are a bit scattered sometimes, but I'm guilty of writing more about me than my readers (I think I have four). But as always, you make excellent points and stay focused!

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    1. Sue,

      I think your blog may be a different type of animal here. Though you do share your "adventures" often, your blog provides great entertainment value. And that, my dear, is needed in the blogging community too. :-)

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  6. Hi Jennifer - It's nice to know I'm doing something right. :) Unfortunately, even following these guidelines doesn't guarantee success. A lot of my blog readers stopped blogging, got published and ceased visiting blogs, or simply disappeared. Any tips on how to bring readers to your blog? Thanks, Susan

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    1. Susan,

      My advice? Stay focused on the many readers that keep coming back each week. Keep giving your best. The others will come around. I have found that blog readership can be cyclical in nature too. For example, it lessens during the summer and around the holidays. Though a decline in traffic numbers can be a real "bummer" many times it's just temporary. Thanks for chiming in here today. I really appreciate it. :-)

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  7. As a blogger who has gone through many transitions and blogs, I have done and probably still do some of these things.

    I think a lot of bloggers lack the basic components of branding because they don't really think of branding in the beginning. Many people start blogging because they want to do it or are trying something different. It takes a minute to determine your brand. Even when people start blogging with a certain idea in mind; it may change as they evolve personally and professionally.

    I think this is also true for people who change their blog often. Until they determine a direction, they will be going through changes.

    As for the last one, I know I've been promoting my stuff a lot lately but I've been doing more, too. However, I will be adding more lessons and stuff next year. I did fall off on that one.

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    1. Marcie,

      You make some valid points here. Thanks so much for your time and perspective. :-)

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