Example

The following article on building an online brand is a guest post by Vik Tantry from There Is Money Everywhere dot com. Online branding is essential to success in blogging as you strive to set yourself apart from the rest of the noise.

A few weeks ago, I received an e-mail from a fellow blogger. He was frustrated because he had been blogging for more than a year and hadn’t achieved any real traction. He wanted to understand what he could be doing better. It’s never easy to build a brand, but there are definitely things you can do to help. Here are three tips to help you on your way to a stellar online brand:

Tip #1: Be Credible

Explain why people should listen to you

A good example is Jim Cramer from Mad Money. Although he is highly entertaining, he makes sure that people know about his prestigious investment background: top of his class at Harvard, investment banker at Goldman Sachs, and manager of a profitable hedge fund. I doubt he’d be as successful if he didn’t advertise these impeccable credentials

What if you aren’t a proven expert? That’s ok, but be sure to admit that you are willing to learn. Pat from Smart Passive Income does this very effectively. He is very upfront about the fact that he is learning how to make money online, and is extremely transparent with his process. This level of honesty has taken him exceptionally far and will continue to serve him well as he builds his user base.

Demonstrate value time and again

Glen Allsopp at Viperchill has some of the most detailed, thoughtful articles on web marketing. While most content on the web is only 300-500 words, Glenn typically writes long, rich posts that are anywhere from 1500-3000 words long. In just over a year, he’s built up a tremendous following and many of his posts are seen as “authoritative guides” on various topics.

Tip #2: Be Likeable

Stay positive

S^%t happens, but people will like you all the more if you can take it in stride. An exceptional example of this is Pat Flynn over at Smart Passive Income. In 2008, Pat was laid off from his job at an architecture firm. Instead of getting down on himself, he took it as an opportunity to build his own business and grow his personal brand. Around the world, thousands of readers (including yours truly) listened to his story and took inspiration from his outlook on life. Today, Pat’s blog is a major brand in the “making money online” space.

Be Responsive

There is no bigger turn-off than apathy. If you come across like you don’t care, people won’t care about you. The opposite is also true. If you go out of your way to respond to people, they are much more likely to keep your on the radar.

Be Humble

Neil Patel from QuickSprout is one of the more successful entrepreneurs at his age. He’s accomplished more at 25 than most people do in a lifetime. And yet, he never misses an opportunity to tell people that he’s not that smart and he’s actually made a lot of mistakes. He’s always willing to learn and never comes across like he’s “above” other people. This humility is par t of the reason that he has one of the most successful blogs in the world.

Tell a story about your past

Many successful “gurus” come from humble origins. Robert Kiyosaki was homeless in 1985, living out of his car. Real estate guru Dean Graziosi was raised by a single mother who made $90 a week. These “rags to riches” stories are inspiring and contribute heavily to your personal brand.

Tip #3: Be Funny

Humor sells. It also has a lot of value in drawing in people’s attention. Ramit Sethi at I Will Teach You To Be Rich does a masterful job of integrating humor within a traditionally boring topic: personal finance. His lighthearted, witty approach brought in a younger audience that was curious about personal finance but couldn’t get through the boring material.

But be careful: being funny isn’t the same as being mean. If you constantly poke fun at others, you risk coming across like a jerk. A better approach is to poke fun at yourself; things that you do wrong, mistakes you’ve made, etc. If you are going to make fun of others, try to use fake names to protect their identity.

Have you had success using these techniques? Please share in the comments.

Vik Tantry blogs about making money online to lead a better life at theresmoneyeverywhere.com.

Image by Mike Chen aka Metalman

Example

One of the most overlooked items on a blog is the tagline. As with any great company, website or personal blog, the blog’s tagline creates an atmosphere and first impression for your readers, but most bloggers do not think about it past the time they are filling in the blank while setting up a new WordPress install.

Your blog’s tagline tells your new and existing readers where they are and what they can expect in a very few amount of words that is readily seen throughout all of your blog. That is very powerful and it should be thought of carefully as it is an essential part of your branding.

That said…I need to tell on myself a little bit.

While I have always thought about taglines in all aspects of my businesses, I always left one out. While working on a new project for Bike198, my print designer (RegularJoe) and I knew we had to come up with something because this new apparel project needed to have it included. I shot him over an email throwing some ideas on the wall, but it was during a long climb in the north Georgia mountains on a humid Saturday morning on our road bikes as the sun was breaking through the low level clouds at the top of the mountain peaks…he came up with it…

“I like what you came up with, but you know what I was thinking? How about ‘Live the Ride’?”

The moment I heard it…I knew it fit perfectly. It spoke to the way of life, obsession with bikes/parts and the desire to get out on a ride every chance we get that encompasses everything that is Bike198. When new readers hit the page, they will get an emotional feeling (read what David Risley says about emotion and blog success) that portrays the site in a perfect manner. “Live the Ride” was born and we are now integrating it into the site and new projects.

What Should A Great Blog Tagline Do?

A great blog tagline should give your readers a quick glimpse into what your blog is about during that split second interaction with your logo. When you are developing your branding and how you want your blog to appear to outside readers, a blog tagline can go a long way in converting new readers because they will know who you are and what you are about as soon as they land on the page.

A great blog tagline should have several characteristics for success.

  • Should be short and to the point to prevent confusion (ideally no more than 5 words if you can swing it).
  • A blog tagline should be factual about your site’s content so new readers now what to expect from your blog as soon as they land on the page.
  • The tagline should have an emotional attachment to create atmosphere and community around your brand (ex. Ramped Up Pro Blogging in RobbSutton.com makes you feel like you are going to increase your success, traffic, income, etc.)
  • Your blog’s tagline should be original.
  • The tagline should not change multiple times (it is as important as not changing your logo).
  • Ideally…it should be placed with or close to your logo.

Some examples to get you off and rolling:

  • PCMech: Helping Normal People Get Their Geek On
  • TutsPlus: Power Up Your Skillset
  • Shoemoney: Skills to pay the bills.
  • YouTube: Broadcast Yourself
  • Steve Pavlina: Personal Development for Smart People
  • Apple: Think Different
  • Visa: It’s Everywhere You Want To Be

A successful blog tagline (much like logo design) is often the easiest/hard thing to come up with for your blog. When read, it looks like it was easy to formulate as it just seems to fit. When developing, it can be one of the harder aspects of your branding to brainstorm and get right.

Have you thought seriously about your blog’s tagline?

As many of you know, I do blog consulting on the side and one of the biggest problems I see with most blogs is the lack of system integration between the blog and other social media outlets. It is almost as if the blogger thought about each individual part, instead of how they affect each other as a whole. Your Twitter account, Facebook account, email newsletter and blog are all apart of a system that you, as the blogger, use to convert casual viewers into longtime readers and customers. Without this integration and planning, you create branding confusion amongst the different mediums and your conversion rates suffer. So let’s take a look deeper into how you need to treat your blogging like a system.

Video Blogging Lesson: Treating Your Blog Like A System

Discussed In This Video – Logopond.com | Aweber

Ok…so the idea here is that you want your blog and your related sites/social media to be a sum that is greater than it’s parts. With branding and design consistent across mediums, you are able to build trust in your content and brand through integration. Think of it this way…what do you think when you switch from someone’s blog to their Twitter account and finally to their Facebook account and everything matches? It helps you remember who they are and what they are about right? Well…that is the idea.

So…how do we treat our blogs like a system?

While the video goes more in-depth on the subject, here are the cliff notes.

Your Blog: On Page Optimizing

Your blog is typically your first line of attack with your readers. It is what creates that first impression and gets a new reader to start absorbing your content. On your blog you need to have some items that all look seamless within the design and compliment your goals.

  1. Unique Logo in the header.
  2. Social Media Icons that match your color scheme and design.
  3. Newsletter Opt-Ins below content and in sidebar that carry the same color scheme and design. (Preferably through Aweber)
  4. Personal photo on about page that is professional looking even if it is humorous.

From your on page blog system optimization, you are laying the foundation for your other social media and newsletter elements.

Your Social Media and Newsletter: Off Page Optimization

We carry this same theory to your off page sites using your blog as the foundation.

Facebook Fan Page
  • Professional picture – Matches the picture on your about page.
  • Matching Logo – Same as the one in the header of your blog.
  • RSS Feed – Deliver your content to your Facebook fans.
Twitter Account
  • Professional Looking Personal Avatar – Matches your Facebook fan page and blog about page.
  • Logo – Located in the background of your profile page.
Newsletter
  • Same voice and style in content as blog content.
  • Same color scheme and logo if html formatted.

There Are No Assumptions in Blogging!

The biggest excuse that I hear bloggers say as they choose to ignore this crucial part of the process is…

I don’t have to worry about that…they’ll know.

Well…guess what? They don’t. It is up to you as the blogger to operate under the assumption that there are no assumptions. You have to make your blog and your brand stand out from the competition by making everything easy to recognize and as simple as possible. Any confusion will only hurt you in the long run. It is not always about what you like or what you think looks good. It is about what converts the best while keeping within your personal voice and originality.

Next time you are jumping around blogs being a consumer of content, take a look at how the successful blogs attack this theory. Chances are…if they are seeing a lot of success…they are holding true to their branding and voice across all of their outlets.

In this guest post by Maren Kate from Escaping the 9 to 5, she explores how your personal brand online should mimic that of a rock star for guaranteed success. Personal branding is a large part of success in blogging.

Since when is the word Rock Star only synonymous with musicians? I don’t know who created this trend but I’m here to break it… I believe you can be a Rock Star blogger too! Harness the power of the rock star within you and use it to explode your blog to new success!

6 ways to apply the Rock Star mystique to your personal brand

1. Rock Star’s a made not born. Joan Jett wasn’t singing “Cherry Bomb” coming out of the womb, so if you haven’t built a rock star worthy personal brand up to this point don’t sweat it. Your inner rock star is just hibernating that’s all. So now it’s your turn to dig deep and see if you have what it takes to develop a rock star brand for your business or personal use? If so I can promise it’ll explode your success online and off and the benefits it’ll have to your blog may very well change your life.

2. Personal branding is mandatory in today’s economy. Whether you run a blog on baked goods or help mommies get out of debt, it is time to sum up your inner rock star and start getting personally branded. People love to feel connected to the blog they are reading and the business they are buying from, they want to know you are special… different, not just one of the thousands of drones out there pitching something. How can you do this? Develop a personal brand worthy of any rock star of course!

3. Rock Star’s are known for something. Whether it be Elvis’ pelvic thrust or Ozzy’s dove head decapitation thing, rock stars are usually known for a ‘signature’ thing. This can work for your personal brand as well. Look at celebrities on and off the net, they usually are known for something too. Naomi from Ittybiz is known for her potty mouth and sparkling sense of humor, Problogger is known because he was first and is biggest and iJustine is known for recording every part of her life – even the ones we don’t care about.

4. Know your Rock Star name. My full name is Maren Kate Donovan, online and on all of my social platforms I go by Maren Kate. This is because when you Google Maren Kate you find me every time… and it is unusual enough that I don’t have to worry about another Maren Kate popping up and battling for her turf. Rock Star’s go by nicknames too, sometimes these are derivations of their real names and sometimes they totally made up pseudonyms. Look at Lady Gaga, Prince and Madonna. Think about Johnny B. Truant when it comes to blogging, do you think he REAL name is John Ben Truant? It may be – I don’t know for sure – but I am 99% positive he does that so he can dominate the niche for that catchy name and image.

5. Rock Star’s have a voice. Every rock star sings or communicates in their own unique ‘voice’, for a blogger you need to do this as well. You can write a mid term type blog post or you can write something from your heart in your very own voice. Think about how you want your voice to sound? Do you want to be the funny business blogger? the overly serious clown blogger? the dynamic, eccentric financial blogger? Pick a voice and stick with it through all of the channels in which you communicate online. If you do this people will get to the place where they know your voice when they read it anywhere – just like how we can pick out a song that Elton John did from hearing just a few seconds of it.

6. Be sure to keep consistent. Though rock star’s throughout the ages have had identity crisis’ it’s best once you decide on your personal brand to stick with it, at least for a while. People will grow to trust and love you this way – they will read your blog and feel as if they really ‘know’ you. This loyalty can pay off for years down the road and your consistence will make you a pillar in your online community.

In closing, I know there is a little rock star in all of us – there sure is in me! Whether you choose to show yours through videos, the written word or another form of media be sure to let your true self out. Not only is it liberating but you’ll be amazed at how much your blog & business grows once you’ve ‘come out’ so to speak with your true, rocking self.

This guest post was written by Maren Kate. She is an entrepreneur and blogs about her journey in leading an unconventional life at Escapingthe9to5.com.