How often do you skip over one blog for another with the same headline? Whether you notice it or not, it probably happens all the time. There’s a high likelihood the brand is what made that article stand out to you in a big way. If you’re going to create a blog for yourself, why not build a brand people want to pay attention to?

Learn by Participating

Trust me, you’re affected by blogs in more ways than you realize. Think of a few topics you search for on a daily or weekly basis. Maybe you search for recipes or movie recommendations, but for this example, think of something that triggers you to be more effective at something you do ALL the time. These are the types of blogs you’re most likely to want to use as your brand’s foundation. Now, if you’re not already doing so, try to participate in the articles you’re most interested in by socially engaging with them with a

Facebook like, Twitter retweet, 1+ on Google+, share on LinkedIn, comment at the bottom of the article or, even better, write a response on your own blog (if you have one).

Once you’re actively engaging in the articles that affect you the most, you’ll start noticing your social media has compiled a collection of brands that stand out to you. Hopefully it’s not every brand you come across, just the select few that affect you the most. For example, if you spend some time on my social media, you’ll see posts from content marketers or blogs to other software entrepreneurs I consider as my online mentors. No matter what level of influence they have on us, these brands are affecting our lives in some powerful ways.

Emulate success first

Mentors are people I want to succeed as much as my own, which is why I frequent their blogs more than others. Not only do I trust their content for references inside my own work but I truly enjoy seeing their brand and connecting with it on a personal level.

Before beginning to pick out a name, logo or domain, try to think of yourself as a reader of your own blog. Ask yourself a few questions:

  • What would you be interested in reading or have you been interested in focusing on in the past?
  • What kind of person would you want to influence the next week of your life?
  • If you were to strip away the outer layers, what’s at the core of your day-to-day life?

Chances are, software like WordPress is going to make it easier to start a blog. Make sure you’re doing all you can to keep your eyes on the prize. If your long term vision is to maintain your blog, you’re going to need to stay entertaining in the short term. Keep your readers interested and they’ll stick around to engage with what you write on a more frequent basis.

Keep it easy

Start blogging on what you are very familiar with. If you are an expert on food and if you want to brand yourself as a food expert than you should be blogging about being a foodie or restaurants in your local area.

Get engaged in the conversations that go on in the field you’re blogging about. If you’re truly interested in the topic, stand out in the crowd by providing high quality responses or even slightly controversial ones. The more unique your take is on the topic at hand, the more likely someone is to follow over to carry the conversation on your blog. This is where the hard work starts to pay off.

Even though you’ve read articles in the past as factual how-to articles you needed to help you get through a project, a blog is more than likely a place of refuge for your reader. They need to dream big as often as they drill into the topic they know they need to succeed at. Stay entertaining by offering jokes or a fun personality and your readers will read to the end of everything you write regardless of whether or not they’ll use the tips in their day-to-day life.

Creating just cause for your readers to allow you to influence them is a tricky thing to do. The secret is to help them in ways that solidify yourself as the expert. The more your perspective grows on your readers, the more likely they are to share you with their friends in daily conversations.

Conclusion

Although blogging isn’t the only way to brand yourself, it’s a cheap way to connect with your community or even networks of people you had no access to before. If you participate in the blogging world you might find yourself attracting people to your brand on a whole new level. If you have a vision for where you want to take things over the next few years, drill down into what will make you effective today. Then create an action plan and see where your efforts take you. You may find you can reach new levels of success in just a few years or you might catch fire and watch it happen sooner, however, slow and steady wins the race.

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