Plenty of business owners use blogging as a way to build their company’s brand. But what not everyone realizes is that a successful blog requires brand-building of its own. You can’t expect your audience to simply happen upon you by chance. You have to demonstrate that your blog is valuable by demonstrating authority and building valuable connections.
Here are six simple techniques you can use to create a powerful brand for your blog.
Update frequently with useful content
Naturally, the most important thing you can do to build a strong blog brand is to create strong content. Remember that when it comes to blogging, quality is much more important than quantity. It’s best to write articles that are fully researched with very little fluff. Use images wherever possible to illustrate your points.
Constantly coming up with new ideas can be challenging. If you’ve come down with writer’s block, look for inspiration externally. Ask your readers what they’d like to see, or consult with fellow bloggers.
Be consistent, not only with how often you update but with the types of content you post. There’s nothing wrong with incorporating a little variety, but if there’s no rhyme or reason to the subject matter you write about, readers won’t get a very cogent sense of who you are as a blogger.
Request (and write) guest posts
Requesting guest posts from other bloggers you respect helps you achieve multiple goals at once. On top of getting free content from an authoritative source, you also build goodwill with your fellow bloggers, who will be more likely to allow you to write a guest post for them in return, earning extra exposure.
Once you identify the influential bloggers from whom you want to request a guest post, reach out to them. Point out the benefits of writing for your blog and make it clear that you’ll make the process as simple and easy as possible. Be clear about what you’d like the blogger to write about; an eloquent, well-written post won’t do you any good if it isn’t remotely relevant to your blog’s brand.
When pitching a guest post for publication on someone else’s blog, be sure to do your research. Look at the type of content they publish and the voice they use to convey it. Provide several possible titles for your article along with a summary or outline of the points you plan to cover.
Stay active on social media
Chances are that your blog’s audience is active on at least one social network. You don’t necessarily need to join all of them in order to engage with your readers, but it’s not a bad idea to identify the ones that are most relevant to your brand and create a presence there.
Sharing your blog posts on social media is a great way to start, but don’t feel like that’s all you should do. Social media also presents a great opportunity for networking with other bloggers and engaging directly with your audience. Identify the most important influencers in your niche and reach out to them. Make sure to approach this in a way that benefits them, too; focusing only on what others can do for you will turn them off right away.
Again, consistency is key. Make sure your social media pages are branded similarly to your blog, both in terms of visual design and the content you post.
Set up an email list
Social media is fresh and exciting, but many people get so absorbed in it that they lose touch with the basic meat-and-potatoes of internet promotion—setting up an email list. Mailing lists are absolutely vital for building and maintaining a blog audience because they’re a more personal form of interaction that appeals to them directly.
Make sure your email list is as easy as possible to find and sign up for. Create the lowest entry barrier that you reasonably can; don’t ask for a lot of extra personal information if you can help it.
Setting up a mailing list might seem like an intimidating process, but there are many services available that will make it much easier. MailChimp is a popular one that you’re probably familiar with if you listen to many podcasts.
Network at conferences and other events
Meeting influencers in person helps you build a stronger, more personal connection, which can be very beneficial to your brand. Seek out events where bloggers get together; this could be a convention, seminar, meetup, or other get-together. Do plenty of research before attending; find out who’s going to be at the event and what sort of common ground you have with them.
Anytime you go to a networking event, you’re going to want to bring plenty of business cards. These do more than just give potential colleagues a way to contact you; they’re the first impression many people will get of your brand. That means their design shouldn’t be taken lightly. Take a look at these business card design examples and notice the ones that stand out most. Bright colors, illustrations, and unusual shapes tend to attract much more attention than a simple black-and-white rectangle.
Don’t be afraid to step a bit outside of your niche. Speaking with bloggers who specialize in subject matter you’re not as familiar with can help you broaden your horizons and gain new inspiration.
Run a contest
Running a contest on your blog is often about more than just increasing your readership (though it is an excellent way to do that). You can also use this technique to increase social engagement, or simply build a closer connection with your audience.
After you identify your specific goal for your contest, you’ll have to decide precisely how you want to run it. Certain companies (like Wishpond) offer a wide range of services that make contests easier to facilitate.
The prize you give away doesn’t need to be anything extreme or extravagant. People are often willing to enter contests if there’s a chance to win something for free (even something small). A prize closely related to your brand typically works best, especially if brand-building is your primary goal.
Attracting an audience requires a unique personality and strong connections with others in your niche. With these techniques, building a strong brand for your blog will be a much easier process.