How to Increase Views to Your Blog by Developing it as a Brand
There are millions of blogs out there. Setting yours apart from the rest and increasing views can be a challenge.
If you develop your blog as a brand, it is possible to create a relationship with readers and grow a following.
What is a brand?
The word 'branding' originally comes from livestock branding. This is a technique for marking cattle with a hot iron stamp, making them distinctive to their owner. In the world of marketing, branding is about making a company distinctive. It is about the emotional and psychological relationship a company has with its customers. People see an Apple logo or a Coca Cola logo and they feel something.
"A great brand taps into emotions," says Scott Bedbury, author of A Brand New World: Eight Principles for Achieving Brand Leadership in the 21st Century. "Emotions drive most, if not all, of our decisions. A brand reaches out with a powerful connecting experience. It's an emotional connecting point that transcends the product."
Name, logo and design are all part of branding. They are things which help make a company distinctive. When customers see the logo of a well-developed brand on a product they instantly understand something about that product.
"Branding adds spirit and a soul to what would otherwise be a robotic, automated, generic price-value proposition," says David Aaker, author of Building Strong Brands.
Developing a brand for your blog involves identifying exactly who your blog is for, deciding on a message you want to present, then consistently delivering that message in the name, design, topics, voice and style of the blog.
How to Develop a Brand For Your Blog
- Know your target audience. If you are going to develop a relationship with your customers, you need to know who your customers are. If you are going to develop your blog as a brand, you need to know who your readers are.
- Be clear about the message of your blog. Once you know what kind of person you are writing for, you need to think about what kind of message your blog will present to them. What is your blog going to be about? What kind of style will it have?
- Name your blog carefully. Choose a domain name which fits with the message and identity you have decided upon. Pick a good tagline - a short description of your blog - which also fits with the identity of your blog.
- Design a logo. If you can afford to, you might want to hire the services of a professional designer to design a logo for you. The feel of the design should match the message that you have decided on for your brand.
- Be consistent. Once you have decided on the message of your blog, stick with it. People stick with brands because they are familiar to them. Your blog is a personality. Readers will visit it because they like that personality. Be consistent with subject matter, brand name, logo, design and writing style.
- Tell your friends. Hopefully they will like it and then they will tell a friend, who will tell another friend, who will tell another friend.
- Use social media & bookmarking sites. Start a page on FaceBook for your blog. Open accounts on Twitter, Pinterest and Google+ using your brand name. Use LinkedIn too if your blog is about the professional industry you work in. Sign up for StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit, Delicious and Technorati using your blog name as a username.
- Comment on other blogs. Don't just post links to your site. Actually read the blogs you comment on and only say something if you have something insightful to add. Always use your brand/blog name when you comment. If your comments are interesting and useful, your blog will be remembered.
- Submit guest posts to other blogs. Offer to write a guest post for top quality blogs with good reputations. Include an author biography mentioning you own blog. Again, always be consistent with the style and message of your posts - they should match your blog.
- Hand out business cards. Make some business cards featuring the logo and URL of your blog. If you attend events which relate to the field which you blog about, take along a stash of those business cards to give out.
Keep on Blogging
The early stages of creating your brand require a lot of thought: creating an identity, naming your blog, designing a logo. Having devoted all that time and energy to your blog brand, it's important that you remain consistent. Above all, you should be consistent about quality.
"Your personal brand is a promise to your clients," says Jason Hartman, author of Become the Brand of Choice: How to Earn Millions Through Relationship Marketing. "A promise of quality, consistency, competency, and reliability."
People stick with a brand because they associate the brand with quality. If quality starts to slip, then your brand will be damaged. There are a lot of blogs out there, but keep up with the quality posts and yours could be distinctive enough to make its mark