You guys are in for a double whammy today because I’ll be posting last week’s missed Biz Notes later this afternoon, but I’ve got so much to say on the blog front- I just couldn’t miss a week!
When I set out to start a blog, it really wasn’t a well thought out process. I loved to cook and wanted to share that passion online, so starting a blog made sense. It wasn’t until years into blogging that I started thinking about the brand behind my blog- the brand that encompassed my overall content. Now, though, since blogging has become such a “thing,” and there are so many in depth resources online, any newbie blogger actually has the ability to be really proactive in building their blog brand from the get go. Before getting into how to be proactive, let’s first clarify the exact meaning of a blog brand.
To me, it’s your story. It’s the story that serves as the consistent thread throughout all of your content. And establishing that thread is crucial when it comes to creating a blog that’s destined to grow. My original story was clearly very vested in the Barefoot Contessa, but it has since grown well beyond that- and that growth is specifically outlined in our About section:
“Though we do still love Ina dearly, the term ‘Contessa’ has taken on a much broader meaning around here. We believe it to be someone who exhibits a classic and sophisticated way of living, eating, cooking, and entertaining.”
That is our story, and I look to those two words- classic and sophisticated- when working to ensure all the content on CC consistently reflects our brand. Beyond that frame, I work to only include content that fits within my personal manner of cooking, eating, entertaining, and living. That signifies everything from preparing food naturally to not including any DIY or crafting posts on CC. It’s all intentional, and it’s all part of the overall brand.
So- how should you go about building your blog brand? Here are my recommended steps:
1. Solidify Your Story: And do not tell me that your story is “I love….(to cook, craft, shop, etc.)” Clearly you love it! You’re starting a blog. Get more specific, then capture it in words (i.e. your brand statement), and use it as your guiding force when it comes to your voice, style, and content.
2. Be Authentic When it Comes to Content: When you have a blog, people often have a lot of opinions about what you should cover. That’s all well and good, but you should only be posting content you truly want to write about. It’s also really easy to feel swayed by what you see online- that’s why is so important to focus on creating original content. Exploration is key though, so don’t feel as if you can’t try something and if you don’t want to go back to it, it’s in some way a failure. It’s going to take time to figure out what content is right in the long term, and more importantly, how to introduce new content in the right way so it fits within your already established brand.
3.Stay True to that Brand: Blogging is all about evolution and growth, so your content will change and your story will likely shift over time. The important thing is to be consistently conscious of that story in order to both keep content in line and identify if that story has changed. Staying true to your brand really comes into play when working with sponsors, but that will be a whole other topic for another week!
That’s my two cents. Anyone else familiar with growing a blog brand? Would love to hear your tips in the comments!
Image Source: Kate Spade Shoes via Glitter Guide