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
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.
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.
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