With hundreds of millions of blogs available to date on the internet (409 million on Tumblr only) one thing is sure. It’s not easy to stand out in the world of blogging. Even if you found your sweet spot, your niche the chances are that someone else found it before you. Does that mean that you should skip blogging in the process of building a personal brand? By all means not. Quite the contrary.
The world of buzz marketing
According to DemandMetric, companies with blogs produce on average 67% more leads per month than those without. But that’s just one of many interesting facts about how blogging enhances the power of brand. Believing ContentPlus, for that, matter: “60% of consumers feel engaged/positive with a brand or company after reading custom content on their blog “. Other research has shown that 43 % of people aged 15-24 recommend that a friend tries a given brand.
Those statistics only indicate how important social proof is. Or more precisely, if you like fancy words, buzz marketing. Word of mouth. People talking about you in a positive (hopefully) light. So, having high-end content on your blog not only showcases your expertise in a given field. It also provides people with value. But even without it – your blog can simply be your “face” in the mind of a reader. It helps the readers visualize, imagine or maybe even colorize the person, or a brand standing behind the content. That’s how you build a relationship with your target audience. It may pay off years later but it has to start with something.
Where and what should I write about
Key question. But easy to answer. Write about what you want to be associated with. What is your field of expertise? To start writing a blog you first need to have a very clear idea of what’s the core of your personal brand. And then you show people that you know the matter inside out. And just to make things clear. A blog can serve multiple purposes such as documenting someone’s life or expressing an opinion on a certain topic. You can also run a fashion or techy blog reviewing the newest products on the market. It all ties back to who you are as a person, what is your goal for starting a blog and lastly – who’s the target audience. Here, however, I am only touching on using a blog as a means to develop a personal brand rather than other purposes.
In regard to “where” there are many free platforms where you can create a blog literally within minutes. They are very straightforward and user-friendly. Operating them involves an absolute minimum of technical skills. The most popular hosting services are WordPress, Blogger (run by Google), TypePad or Tumblr (for rather short text forms). The options are abundant. And now you can focus on creating a killer content!
Do it well, they are looking for you
People want to have an opinion about you even before any interaction takes place. The first thing managers, head-hunters and potential clients nowadays do is googling your or your company’s name. Same if you run a company. Having a blog lets you speak for your brand and showcase it without you really speaking. It’s an automated image boost putting you in a position of an authority and an expert in the given field.
If your presence on the internet is, however, limited – you create a pressure of making a direct contact. Great strategy you would think? Well, maybe in the 90s or in the last decade. Nowadays people want it easy. If the only trace of your existence is an outdated webpage or a google maps calling card you make things very difficult for yourself.
Last but not least. If your blog is one of those where you create content and solutions for the people’s problems, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is something to remember. Reason being, if your first and last name play only a secondary role in the game, people will not be looking for your blog by those. They will search through keywords. And if your SEO is not set up well enough, you will position low in the browser search ranking. As SEO is the whole different and complex topic, I will not be delving into it here. Don’t worry though, the internet can provide you with more information than you can ever digest. And it might cause a bit of a headache for non-techy people. After all, who said that successful blogging is not an art?
Find, subscribe, talk with me – building a community
As with everything, beginnings may prove difficult. You will have to face very limited or even lack of traffic on your blog. Everyone starting out has been there. Fortunately, there are some ways to get out of this obscurity. In the first place, you need to get your blog exposed to people out there. You should link it to your website and social media channels. In the second place, start engaging with other bloggers. Find some similar topic-related blogs, start commenting on the posts or even send some off-blog “thank you e-mails”. Express gratitude for the work of an author asking for nothing in return. Over time it may result in them getting back to you and doing the same on your blog.
See the big picture, delegate small tasks
Lastly, many bloggers are not so keen on writing the content themselves. And that’s fair enough. Good writing takes certain skills and costs lots of time. You do not want that to drag you away from reaching your bigger goals. Luckily, in 2018 that’s not even a bit of an issue. With platforms like Freelance, Fiverr or Upwork you can find an affordable yet professional writer who will do the work for you. Often times you do not even have to provide them with any exhaustive instructions. They do the research by themselves. You only give it a final look and an approval.
I hope that with this post I opened your eyes a little bit. If organized well, running a blog does not have to be an effort. The pay-offs, in turn, can be quite worthwhile. In spite of the increasing popularity of that tool, only few master and harness it to the benefit of their own brand. If you also, on the top of that, back up your brand with good social media content -you need not fear about your competition not using the same tools. No one probably knows they even exist.