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branding 5 Simple But Powerful Tips For Building Your Blog’s Brand : Blog Promotion

Does your blog need a brand?

Yes it does.  Here’s why.  Your readers need to know who you are and if they can rely on you.  Wait, let me take a step back and give you a quick explanation of why brands exist.

Basically, brands help you from going crazy when selecting a product from a shelf with hundreds of alternatives.  P&Gs branding efforts reminds you that Crest is uniquely suited for your family’s dental needs.  P&G’s competitors work equally hard to convince you to try an alternative.  Essentially, smart marketers create brands to attract specific customers and entice them to be loyal repeat purchasers.

Successful businesses understand that a good brand is an emotional promise.  A brand says “I promise that you will feel this way if you buy this product.”  The best brands reliably deliver on this promise.  Think about Red Bull, Disney, Pixar and Southwest Airlines for excellent examples of successful branding.  These brand’s customers and prospects understand what their purchase means and they are confident that the brand will deliver.

Your blog also makes brand promise.  It let’s your readers know how they will feel when they are finished reading a post.  You can promise happiness, contentment, wonder, irritation, even anger.  Whatever you choose, your blog has to deliver.

Unfortunately most blogs have zero brand presence.  They use cookie-cutter templates, generic headlines, and a presentation style that fails to fascinate or motivate.  To be fair, these blogs are following a popular model which says that emotion and personality are risky marketing tools.  So the blogger opts for being safe, intelligent, and non-controversial.  This would make sense if the web was packed with fire breathing provocateurs, but the opposite exists, everyone is competing for the title of “most cautious.”

You, my friend need to follow a different path and establish a brand that speaks, at an emotional level, to your readers.

Here’s what I suggest:

1. Champion an Emotion:  Pushing Social champions ambition.  Each post is tailored to plant the seed of ambition in your heart.  I want you to say “hell yes” I can do this.  What emotion does your blog sponsor?

2. Achieve Alignment:  Your blog’s brand should tease, inspire, and support your adopted emotion.  The layout, fonts, headline titles, sidebar color scheme, even link color scheme should serve the goal of creating a specific emotional experience for your readers.

Aside:  Simply adding a cute logo to your theme won’t achieve this alignment.  You need to start with a clear vision of your brand and carefully choose each element of your theme to match.

3. Chart a Unique Course:  I made a big mistake when I first launched Pushing Social.  I tried to be Chris Brogan.  The effort almost killed me.  Not because Chris Brogan isn’t a crazy talented business thinker, but because I needed to compete through innovation not duplication.  Fortunately I shifted my strategy to embrace my ambition-focused strategy.   You need to do the same.  Find your own course, and use your brand to communicate your vision to your readers.

Aside:  Feel free to model and adopt ideas from other innovators.  Be careful to adapt and align the idea to your brand.

4.  Say “No”:  There’s many things that you could add to your blog’s design, hundreds of topics you can tackle, dozens of products you can offer.  I’m convinced that 99% of those things are absolutely wrong for your blog’s brand and your business.  Get in the habit of saying no to options that don’t clearly articulate your brand.

5. Dream for your readers:  I admire Marie Forleo, Danielle Laporte, Chris Guillbeau, and Tim Ferriss because they dream on my behalf.  That means, they seem to have a clear destination of where they want to take me as a reader.  Their brand is a vehicle for getting me there.  I’m a happy passenger.

Do the same for your readers.

It’s Easy to Ignore Blog Branding

If your blog’s design and marketing is off track it’s because you’re brand is still buried.  Instead of finding “Brand You”, you are searching for a magic system or tool.  The best thing to do is to stop and get serious about the 5 points we just discussed.  Let me know if you are stuck.  I can help.


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  • http://seflame.com Emilio Ramirez

    Thanks for your point of view Stan.

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  • http://www.gemwriting.co.uk Georgina @GemWriting

    Hi Stan, I love the idea of a blog having an emotion – and I totally get how Pushing Social pushes the ambition. I feel that when I read your posts. They inspire me to want to take action and make improvements to my blog. Even though I don’t get to do everything, I can always rely on PS to always challenge me and throw up something new. I guess your brand’s voice is also tied up in that, and it’s important that as a blog owner you also walk your talk as that in itself is inspiring. PS has stepped up a few gears just recently and seems to have a more serious business edge which I love. :-) It’s really cool to see how your most recent posts are reflecting the changes that you have made to your own blog.

    • Stanford

      It’s all about alignment. That’s why I only write 3-month content calendars. I know that my brand will continue to evolve so I want to be able to align my content with where the brand is at.

  • http://www.authorcynthiaherron.com Cynthia Herron

    Hello Stanford,

    My “brand” is heartfelt, homespun fiction. I would hope when folks chat with me/visit my blog they associate warmth, humility, and Christian values.

    Fantastic post and tips!

    • Stanford

      Thank you. Can’t go wrong with warmth, humility and Christian values.

  • http://www.tinyandmighty.com Russ Henneberry

    Hi Stanford,
    In many cases (including mine) a blogger develops an audience despite the fact that they gave little consideration to branding. In this case, a brand has developed but the blogger may not even know what it is.

    To use your definition, the readers feel the blogger is promising something but the blogger may not be aware of what that promise is.

    How do you suggest a blogger determines the brand they have [accidentally] built so they can avoid doing any repositioning that would be damaging to the brand?

    • Stanford

      I call this “branding by default.” If you start with the promise your brand makes then you can build on that. In Tiny & Mighty’s case you make the case that Small businesses are powerful businesses. Moving forward you should build on this. That’s what your reader’s expect and that’s what you believe! :) By the way, I don’t think you can damage to a default brand. People don’t buy into default brands so they aren’t coming with any expectations.

  • http://www.jeremyfloyd.com Jeremy Floyd

    You really hit the nail on the head with “alignment.” I’ve been on a big Simon Sinek kick lately. The “why” of the blog must match the “what” of the content. That alignment is the core of the brand of the blog.

    It’s all too easy to get off on divergent interests that belong somewhere other than your blog…

    • Stanford

      I love Simon’s work. Excellent point about the Why aligning with the What.

  • http://www.CritterWisdom.com Carmelo

    Hey Stan,

    Really well said. Patience is another key. It takes time to establish your brand. But, first it takes all the points you listed. You have to stay true to your vision, keep on track and the brand will build. They unique symbols or logos will help identify you but the message those symbols (and your words) convey are the brand!

    This is a great reminder to me as I’m launching my new vision. Thanks!

    • Stanford

      Love to hear about your new vision Carmelo. Send me an email via my contact form.

  • http://www.missionplr.com Jeff @ MissionPLR

    Wow – truly awesome post! Dreaming for your readers is something I had never really thought about before but it very much applies to what I do.

    Looks like I’ve got some brainstorming to do. I just found your blog and I’m looking forward to learning a lot from you.

    • Stanford

      Glad you stopped by!

  • http://www.yourbrandpartner.com Crystal Wiebe

    Blogging is branding, whether the blogger realizes it or not. Thanks for the insights. I think saying no and not duplicating someone else are the toughest.

    • Stanford

      Absolutely. It’s hard to prioritize what is essential and what is “nice to have”