Welcome back to class after last week’s vacation. I hope that those of you who attended BlogHer are recovered and those of you who didn’t are recovered. I’m NOT recovered, so forgive me if my voice sounds squeeky, or at least squeekier than normal.
The focus of today’s post is your brand. How your blog looks and how you market it is your brand. Think about brands you see everyday. You can see the “golden arches” and immediately recognize McDonald’s or the red target and know Target (duh.) Your blog should have something similar that makes it easily recognizable.
Consider the following areas when developing and marketing your brand.
1. The name of your blog
Most likely if you’re reading this, your blog already has a name. If not, then try to come up with something unique and memorable. Google the name to be sure nobody else has the same or too similar blog name.
Also, since it’s very easy and FREE to set up a blog through Blogger and WordPress.com, I’d recommend setting up a blog with your blog name with those sites so that no one else can. I have blogs set up at playgroupsarenoplaceforchildren.blogspot.com, playgroups…forchildren.wordpress.com, AND I own this url. In Blogger and WordPress, there is a way to make it so that it’s not found easily by search engines so that people are not accidentally redirected to those dummy sites.
2. A visual association to your blog
My visual branding is the buckethead picture. It’s the picture I use for most everything I do related to my blog. It’s my twitter picture, my favicon, my avatar for StumbleUpon and MyBlogLog…it’s MY BRAND. People recognize the buckethead pic and immediately know it’s me. Those who don’t know the picture will see it and think, “hmm! That’s a funny picture, I’m going to click to find out who that brilliant genius is!”
In all actuality, I have no idea exactly what people really say when they see the picture, but I do get compliments on the picture choice. I purposely chose it because it was unique, funny, and easily recognizable.
3. Your personal nickname when blogging
I use the name “playgroupie” because 1) it’s easily derived from my blog name and 2) it’s unique. With a very common name like Jennifer, I like to use “playgroupie” as my email address, twitter name, etc…
Also whenever I leave comments, I say “Jennifer, Playgroups are no place for children” to distinguish me from the 2,000,000 other mommybloggers named Jennifer. I recommend that if your name is Jennifer, Heather, Deb, Amanda, or something equally as common, you choose a nickname derived from your blog name and/or use your name followed by your blog name.
4. Use your blog name or blog nickname as your email address, and put your blog url in your email signature
I mentioned this in number three, but it bears repeating. Everyday I get emails from people whose addresses I don’t recognize and without their blog url in the signature, I’m so confused as to who I’m replying to!
Also, if you’re not using Gmail, *HEAVY SIGH*, you really must get with the program. Gmail is far superior to crappy Yahoo and Hotmail email accounts. With Gmail, you even have the ability to chat with your contacts (which is a great way to be accessible to your adoring fans! )
So that’s it! Unique blog name, associated nickname, unique visual representation of your blog, and a Gmail account and you’re on your way to becoming a millionaire blogger!
Please leave your thoughts about branding in the comments section. Next week we’ll discuss RSS feeds and learn why partial feeds ARE EVIL.
To read more of my blog tips, go HERE.