Should You Brand Your Blog – The Letter B ?
Branding has a lot in common with authority when it comes to blogging. If you brand your blog or yourself as the individual behind the blog you are trying to be recognized in your industry. So for instance, when people think of Dog training they think or your blog name or you as an indidivual if you happen to be in that industry. Successful branding establishes you as an authority and gives you influence in your industry.
Another example is Google. I don’t know when the word Google became a verb to search for a piece of information but pretty much everyone has heard someone say “Oh, I Googled it”. Google have become such a powerful brand in the search engine industry that their name is used in everyday conversations.
That’s extremely powerful and despite the love hate relationship that internet marketers have with Google, it continues to be the powerhouse in the Search Engine business. I can’t see anyone saying “Oh, I binged it” any time soon.
A bit closer to the blogging world is Problogger. Problogger has become a strong brand as far as blogging goes…it’s also happens to say what it is in the name which always helps. The Problogger website sells stuff about blogging – how to create a blog, how to improve blog traffic, how to be more productive as a blogger. Attaching the Problogger name and logo to these products gives it instant credibility.
John Chow is another type of branding in the blogging world. He is using his name as the domain name and branding himself as an expert in the blogging for a living niche. When John Chow speaks about blogging (usually on his blog) people listen or read what he has to say.
So the aim of bloggers is to try to brand your blog or yourself in the industry of your choice.
Branding is a strategic decision that you make when you first start a blog and consequently it informs your decisions and helps you set goals for the future.
Possibly the first decision you can make in terms of branding is the name of the blog. Are you going to call it a name that relates to the industry or simply your real name name (Problogger vs John Chow).
In terms of internet marketing and making money online, many people advise that you go with your real name. The strategy being to brand yourself as an expert in the niche. This is fairly sound advice as there seems to be a “guru” culture in the industry. People want someone to follow because it is such a new industry and there are no rules.
But it can also be a huge responsibility and pressure on the individual. People that lead an industry are open to criticism…sometimes referred to as “guru bashing”…. which might not suit some people. Also, if you want to lead, you have to stay at the front. You have to try new things. You have to keep up to date with all the new changes in your industry. Some people might not want to make this commitment.
If you go down the personal branding route, you also potentially limit how the blog can develop. It effectively has to speak with your own voice so it’s pretty hard to outsource content (although I guess you could allow guest blogging)
And if you want to sell the blog in the future, it’s pretty hard to sell a personalized name blog.