Isn’t An Image a Successful Brand?

According to pro bloggers an image might not be enough to make a successful brand for even a personal blog.

brand-voice“Seriously, Peter Problogger? I used Canva and designed a great image. That’s enough, right?”

“You talked to your husband about your blog, didn’t you, Amy Amateur. What did you two talk about?”

Oh yeah, hehe. You want to know about that?”

“Well, maybe not everything, Amy, but the key ideas.”

“He DID help me figure out WHY I blog.”

Why Just Write has a New Name, ALWAYS WRITE.

You go through the many of the same steps to come up with YOUR Brand as a high-powered company would. As I work at this, I’m learning that creating a brand means more than creating an image.

To unify writers’ and advertisers’ messages, a company like Apple might have their content writers brainstorm adjectives about their company. Then they would sort and discuss them. When they finished, employees would have a consistent understanding of the company image and values they should all portray as they write for the company.

First Impressions Matter

  1.  What expertise do you have that an audience needs? Brainstorm with your friends and family. My husband, Vince, and I chatted about my personal brand. “I am a teacher who loves to write,” I said. Even though I could write mostly about writing, my life takes me many directions. I could not reconcile the many facets in one blog. Janice Wald, who writes Mostly Blogging, handed me a get out of jail free card.  Since bloggers cover all topics, so could Mostly Blogging.
  2. As you brainstorm adjectives for your blog, write down snippets of the conversation. The next morning after our blog image chat, Vince stumbled out of bed, “You ARE always writing. It’s 4:39 am. What are you doing?” A light bulb went on. “I’m Always Write,” I told him. Vince broke out in his happy grin. “That’s the truth,” he said. I admit that I MAY BE a little argumentative, doggy at a bone, at times. I’m saying that is a POSSIBILITY. I prefer to think of myself as CONFIDENT, KNOWLEDGEABLE,  & WELL-RESEARCHED.

aw-do-what-you-love

Now the subtext – what values do you portray?

  1. Gather your best articles or posts. Analyze them. What makes your content unique? Do you love something enough that you exude enthusiasm? My best articles were not only about writing. One post about a business in our little town of 7,000 had 10,000 views on Facebook, and 800 on my personal blog! It was fun to interview the owner and write the post. It had nothing to do with “how to write.” A local magazine republished it. My range of topics expanded, yet I focused on my values!
  2. Find a commonality between your posts. Come up with adjectives to describe them. Marcia Riefer Johnston suggests making a chart using three adjectives based on the values you want your audience to see in your blog. Write sentence descriptions under them explaining what you mean.

How do you do that?

Use the quotes or snippets to write a tag line.

ALWAYS WRITE at home and abroad, Experiment with me – enthusiastic – persistent – encouraging

“Always Write” defines the purpose of my blog.

Writing at “home and abroad” extends my world.

“Experiment with me,” indicating my love of learning and acceptance of imperfection, defines my goal to reach an audience of like-minded new or hobby bloggers, writers, and photographers.

The Guide Chart below is how I started to define my values – confident, enthusiastic, “persistent.”

my-branding-grid2

Then what?

[ctt link=”66R2s” template=”3″]Focus on your values, not only on your topics!! http://ctt.ec/7X6m8+[/ctt]

  1. Align all your content to your guide. Weed out old content. Revamp your good content. Deactivate or privatize old posts rather than deleting them. You may have overlooked some gems.
  2. Stay consistent and true to the values in your guide as you write new content. Print out your guide and tagline as a reference. Like posts in Mostly Blogging, your topics may vary, but now you can be consistent in what matters to your audience – Values. With every post I want my readers to experience child-like enthusiasm about learning. Because of my brand, I now have a roadmap to remind me about what and why I ALWAYS WRITE. Focus on your values, not only your topics!
  3. As you develop your blog, strengthen your value statements to update and polish them. Vary these statements in your social media forwards when you publicize your content. If you use Buffer, you can’t copy and paste the hook phrases from one slot to the next.

Summary

Consistency makes your blog shine. Establishing your personal brand makes it easier to stay on track and to weave in loose threads. Your blog can look professional even if it is not.

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