Of all the messages I receive from readers, this topic is probably the most requested. I receive hundreds of direct messages and emails from so many of you wanting advice as you start out on your blogging journey, which is incredibly touching. But to be honest, it’s also somewhat intimidating breaching the subject. Everyone’s journey is different, and what might work for me may not work for you and vice versa. But, of course there are common denominators to a successful brand or blog – and those should be shared. So I’m excited to present the things I wish I knew before starting out. And, if you’re into this type of content, you’re in luck, darlings – lots more to come in 2018. Stay tuned!
Think about your personal brand
In today’s world, everyone has a personal brand whether or not they intend to. Regardless of age, personality, and industry, you have a brand if you’re using the Internet or are on social media. That brand may or may not look the way you want it to, but it’s there – and if you want to be in business, your most important job is to be in charge of your brand. We’re living in a generation that no longer uses business cards or resumes – all of that is your online presence be it Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, or whichever platform you’re most active on. Therefore, it’s so important to create something that’s truly representative of you.
To be original, you must be self-aware
Self-awareness is essential to developing a strong and unique brand. It’s not about comparing yourself to others or lacking confidence, but more about admitting and knowing your strengths and weaknesses. Learning to better understand your choices, your feelings, and behaviors, enables you to create your ideal brand and become the person you want to be. It’s almost impossible to change without acknowledging your strengths and admitting your faults. If you can identify your weak points, you’ll be able to seek the right people and resources to improve your brand in those aspects, which in turn allows you to focus on what you do best. It’s a process that’s constantly evolving and requires ongoing evaluation in order to remain successful.
Identify what makes you unique
What do you want people to value about your brand?
What inspires and motivates you the most about what you’re doing?
How do you want your brand to look and feel?
How do you want people to feel when they enter your blog?
After taking some time to reflect on these questions, break your answers down into a few keywords, and then decide how you’re going to translate those keywords into emotions through your copy, imagery, typography, and color scheme. If the result doesn’t light up your eyes, it definitely won’t attract anyone else’s. So if you’re not happy with what you’ve created right here in this moment, repeat the exercise and take some serious effort imagining your brand.
Consistency is key!
Personal branding requires you to know the specific colors, photography styles, clothing items, and keywords you embody. And above all, you need to be consistent – not only in your program (editorial schedule), but your aesthetic and content. Really hone in on specific elements that represent you and let it inspire and be ever-flowing in the stories you create.
Create a Manifesto
It’s a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives, of its issuer. Basically, your purpose and passion. I recommend writing a manifesto because it helps you align your personal brand and content strategy. Whenever you’re confused or uninspired, you can always refer back to it to get a clear, concise understanding of what you need to create. Plus, it keeps you motivated! It also helps your readers understand what your blog is all about.
Great photography is non-negotiable
We live in such a visual world today. It’s obvious photography plays a huge part in the way brands and influencers are communicating both individually and together. A brand can’t truly be successful without a strong visual foundation to support its stories. Your images are the one thing you can control to stand out from the crowd, and most importantly, convert viewers into loyal readers because of the emotional connection and message you’re creating. There are already plenty of amazing influencers with amazing photographs out there, so you can’t fall short in this one aspect.
Now, if you have any other blogging-related questions, please leave them in a comment below or via my Instagram. I’m thrilled to finally touch more on blogging and industry discussions in 2018, so let me know what you’d like to hear!