Creating a personal brand is all based on who is who, and how prominent you are in that particular sphere of business.
A personal brand is not built because you want to feel important, but because you firmly believe in your products or services, and you want others to share that belief as well.
Naturally, this is where blogging comes into play – what is a better way of reaching your audience than trying to directly talk with them. Notice that I used the word with, instead of to – despite this being the internet, it is everything but a one-way street.
This can be achieved via the video (popularly called vlogging) or through writing, i.e. blogging, and for the purposes of this article, we will only talk about more traditional blogging (despite this, some of these suggestions are quite versatile, and can be used everywhere). So, how to get started?
Find Out What Makes You Stand Out
Writing is only a small portion of building your own brand through blogging – while this might seem counter-intuitive, it actually follows a very reasonable curve. You first need to know how you want to be known online.
Do you want to become a successful entrepreneur; do you want to be the next marketing prodigy; or do you want to share your story for a successful start-up?
Whatever you might choose, it will also help you define your audience.
Whatever you choose, it must be something you truly understand; trying to present yourself as something you’re not will be discovered in the end, so it is better to create smaller goals, so that you can achieve them more easily.
When choosing a niche, it will also prove to be a great opportunity to select the desired keywords you want to be associated with.
Use Your Own Story
The second step is connected to the being yourself part from the first step – if you want to use yourself to sell your brand, you will need to sell your best possible self, but not an imaginary self.
Think of it this way – both your successes and downfalls can be presented in a way that is meaningful to the reader.
Even your personal flaws can sometimes be used in order to depict a way in which you constantly try to overcome them.
It is also a psychological trick – people are much more likely to relate to someone who is, like them, flawed, but trying to become something better. And your brand should be the best part of you.
In the end, your audience will connect to your brand via you – and not vice versa; and being unique, and true to yourself is a really great advice.
An Approachable Expert
You cannot just say you’re an expert and expect people just to trust you. You need to earn it, and you will do so by constantly converting your knowledge into something that readers can digest and learn from it.
Doing that requires a dose of arrogance, but also modesty. It can be partly explained by the Dunning-Kruger effect, you need to be aware of how good you are at what you do, and to realize how not everyone will understand what maybe you are trying to do.
This doesn’t mean that you should underestimate people, just to try and find the most approachable way of achieving what you want, and that is to become an expert everyone can reach out to.
Once you know who you are trying to reach, you now need to consider how to reach them. Many people choose free publishing platforms to reach their audience.
A good example is LinkedIn or Medium, as you can publish there instantly, and you can share it on other social networks. It is also connected to your other info, where people can contact you, see more of what you do – and it is totally free.
On the other hand, we totally recommend WordPress as your preferred CMS (content management system).
All you need to do is buy a nice domain and a good hosting provider – getting to know WordPress is easy, and it will give you unlimited access over how you want your blog to feel, and you will be able to tweak, well, everything!
This is extremely important, as you will be solely responsible for the experience of your website, your unique personal identity, from the logo design, to the type of font used; which will be able to further convey what you want with your brand.
In a way, your publishing platform is just as important as your brand, and you will want to be able to optimize it – something that free publishing platforms simply do not allow.
Not to mention that you will have more in-depth metrics over who, when and how visits your website, something that can be used to further improve your blogging efforts, as well as your business.
Be Content with Your Content
Once you’ve established who your target audience is – as well as how you plan on reaching them – you will need to find out what you want to tell them.
Naturally, the obvious answer is – relevant, informative content. While this content can be used for your SEO (search engine optimization) efforts, first and foremost, content should be created for your readers.
You need to have actionable tips, and to talk about something that people actually want to hear. You need to cover topics that the competitors haven’t covered yet, or to try and find something new – something that will put you on the map.
Thinking about competition can be hard, but it can also be an excellent source of information and inspiration, so try to find flaws and ways of using that to your advantage.
Plan for the Future
Consistency is an extremely important part of any successful plan. While change over time is natural, and even desirable, you will need to present a consistent message over time.
Create a goal that is achievable, maybe a blog post or two per week, and stick to that schedule. It is also good to stick to that schedule, as readers will know exactly when to expect something new from you and your blog, and this will create a relationship between you, especially over time.
Having a consistent message will help you achieve your goals faster, and with less effort.
Reach Out and Experiment
A good schedule for posting is half the job done, especially if you have a lot of stuff to talk about; but the quest doesn’t end there. You will constantly need to find new things to try out in order to further promote your content, and reach out to influencers to get some more exposure.
Maybe your brand is all about photos, which is why you will need to focus more on Pinterest, and create a whole new strategy for that particular platform. Maybe you need to learn more about Instagram marketing, or you want to try guest blogging.
Guest blogging is actually a great way of expanding your audience, especially on blogs that have a much bigger audience reach than your newly founded blog.
This can not only help you reach new people, but it will also drive valuable traffic to your website – which is basically a win-win scenario for any brand out there; an SEO Christmas miracle. With guest blogging, it is important to create something valuable that you want to share, yet relevant to the website you’re posting it to.
Finding new websites where you can post is not easy, but it will come naturally over time, so keep a watchful eye.
Constantly Improve Yourself
We’ve written this guide under the impression that you are actually willing to blog. The act of writing itself is quite easy – write about what you want, in a manner that is interesting, just be passionate about it.
However, it is a never ending job – not only must you always be looking for new business opportunities; but you will need to improve your brand as well as your blogging skills, and luckily for you, there are many great courses online that will help you with content creation and how to make that task easier for you.
Once that becomes an everyday activity, and you finally start to feel relaxed, will you be able to experiment and truly engage people who are reading it; and that will come sooner than you might imagine.
The last bit of advice is simple – whatever you do, have fun doing it! No matter the money involved, or how important your brand is to you, you will need to love what you do if you want to see yourself become truly successful.
If you have fun, that will be reflected in the content you create and people will recognize that, and trust you even more.
While there is no one-size-fits-all solution, these are some of the most common steps everyone who wants to create a personal brand through blogging must go through.
And if you’ve paid attention, you now have a good idea of what you need to expect. It will involve a lot of hard work, attention to detail and just the right amount of luck!