Jorn Barger coined the term “weblog” in 1997 — 20 whole years ago! And while platforms have changed, and business blogging has been a buzzier topic of late, personal blogs still have major readership and influence.
We talked to a few experts about building a blog and personal brand that stands out in a sea of content. Here are their top tips:
Find Your Niche
“To build a successful personal blog and brand that stands out, you need to be genuine. You are your brand.
That doesn’t mean everything you write should be about you. The opposite is true: you need to pull people in with engaging content they want to read, and that helps them solve a problem. But, you also need to put your unique personality and style into that content.
A personal brand only succeeds when you’re committed to helping others in a niche that you’re passionate about, too. If you’re not passionate about your niche, or are just building a blog to “get rich quick,” it shows right through the screen.
A lot of people get held up from starting a blog because they can’t decide what to write or vlog about. To find your ideal niche, ask yourself 3 questions:
- What am I good at?
- What do I enjoy doing?
- What do other people always ask me about and/or have no objection to paying me for (if you already have paying clients)?
That’s your niche. Find it, then focus on building a brand that captures your unique point of view on that topic.”
– Michelle Martin, Marketing Strategist & Blogger, Nerdy Organized
“A lot of it comes from knowing who you are and focusing on being yourself. There are a million blogs out there now, but there’s only one you. No one else can be who you are, so don’t try to be anyone else.
A part of building a personal blog and brand comes from your social media presence, and that’s a really great way to show your personality and to build a following. And let your personality come through your blog posts, too. This can be through the topics of your blog posts as well as your writing style.”
– Kate Mitchell, Blogger, Kate the (Almost) Great
Put Your Readers First
“Imagine if your ideal client found your website FULL of great stuff they wanted to learn and stories that made them laugh or smile? How excited would they then be to work with you? If these posts had a little of your style and personality — whether that’s funny, or crafty, ambitious or playful — the people reading them would connect with you emotionally.
Why? Because stories make us feel connected to each other. So, harness the power of your stories, and use them on your website.
Your blog goes so much further than your brand design, and even the information that’s on your website. The blog is your brand’s voice. The blog builds that “like – know – trust” factor that gets people excited to work with you. Don’t just tell your stories on social media — tell them on your website and build up a powerful resource over time.
Blogging doesn’t have to be a big chore — you can even re-purpose your social media posts or videos to create a blog. The most important part is to start creating that content on your website, so when people look you up, they find something amazing.”
– Lindsay Carlson, Content Marketing Consultant, leapontotheweb.com
“Passion and authenticity are key to making your personal blog and brand stand out. Be 100% consistent in your messages across all platforms. People want something they can relate to or aspire to.
If you’re having issues with confidence when starting out, I highly recommend getting professional images taken. I’ve seen people completely transform after a shoot, which is why I love doing it.
Always go above and beyond. Think, if I were reading this, or searching for this content, what would I be looking for? Have I provided the reader what they need and also what they think is helpful (e.g., discount codes, best places to find things you’re talking about)? Keep investing in learning more about your niche so you have more to offer your readers.
Also, be vulnerable, be real, and engage with your audience. In a world of filters and perfect lives, realness (and humour!) are so comforting and inspiring. And don’t underestimate the power of video blogs! They’re super engaging, and they make people stay longer on your site, which ups your Google ranking.”
– Laura Bloomer, Founder, LB Creative
“Our first tip for those who are starting a personal blog and brand website is to search and use the best tools for everything, starting with the right website platform. WordPress will give you the possibilities to do basically anything you want.
It’s also important to choose a visual style and keep the whole website consistent with it. Decide if the pages will be all widescreen, if the contents will all be in boxes or blocks, if there is going to be a sidebar in every page, where and how the menus will be presented.
Finally, you have to know your customers and create good content that speaks to them. Keep testing and finding ways to improve — what’s trending today could be obsolete tomorrow, so you have to always be innovating.”
– Rubens Campo, Rakete
To learn more about branding your personal blog, check out our logo design inspiration page.