17 Jul 2016

Blogging for Personal Branding For Success

6 Comments

How to write a blog, blogging for personal brandingThere are many choices for branding. The most important is blogging for personal branding. Sure, you have an incredible quantity of options to chose from when promoting your personal brand. In fact, it can quickly become overwhelming, with so much to do that nothing ever gets done. Even if you only concentrate on using the major social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, that’s still a lot of work on a regular basis. You have to keep up the momentum to build an audience of loyal readers and followers.

How do you organize all of this so you don’t lose control, forget where you’ve stashed your content, and become overwhelmed just trying to keep track of it all. If you host your content on a dozen or more social media sites, how do you keep track of it all? Or is there a better way to be organized and maintain some control.

Blogging for Personal Branding

I’ve found the best way to control the vast amount of content I generate is to find a center, a place I treat as “home base”, where I put the focus of my efforts. Without finding a center, your efforts will be scattered and largely uncoordinated.

My recommendation is to create a blog oriented towards your personal brand. A blog, when properly done, boosts your reputation as a professional, and gives you a place on the web to show off your brand. Some of the things you can include on a blog include:

  • Articles
  • Promotional materials
  • Pictures, audio and videos (it’s better to host audio and video elsewhere and include the links in your blog)
  • Contact information
  • Slideshows
  • Training materials
  • Landing page for subscribing to your newsletter
  • Links to your other social media profiles including LinkedIn, Facebook and so forth
  • Links to any podcasts or recorded radio and television spots

All of this content can be organized in a pleasing and professional manner. Once you have them hosted on your blog, you can link to any of this from anywhere else. For example, when I write a blog article, I link to it from Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and my other social media.

The idea is to have everything come back to your blog. Excluding videos and audio clips, which are very large and best hosted elsewhere, host everything on your blog. That way, when someone visits to read an article, they are exposed to your brand, your promotional materials, your newsletter signup page, and anything else you want them to see. This also gives your visitors, fans and follows a central place to come and check out your new materials on occasion, instead of looking all over the place for your content.

Get professional hosting

Spend the time and the money to create the most professional-looking blog possible. Begin by purchasing professional hosting from one of the larger hosting companies. I use GoDaddy, because they have a team dedicated to WordPress hosting, but there are many other web hosting companies to chose from.

Avoid the temptation to choose a free web host such as WordPress.com, blogger, weebly or any other free blog hosting services. Also, don’t use free hosts with wordpress installed.

Free hosting services are typically supported by advertising, have poor (at best) support, and limitations on types of features. For example, the wordpress.com hosted blogs do not support most themes or plugins, which severely limits what you can do with your blog.

Just as important, when you use a professional hosting company, you completely control your blog, and you can write anything you like without fear of censorship, with the minor exception being you generally cannot post hate speech, obscenity, hacking tools and so forth. Virtually all web hosts won’t allow those types of things.

You can expect to pay $50 to $250 a year for a good WordPress hosted site, depending upon your needs. I’ve used SiteGround for years and have been very happy with their services.

Use WordPress

I highly recommend the use of self-hosted WordPress for your blog. WordPress is extremely flexible, extraordinarily powerful, yet is still simple enough to use that just about anyone can make changes after some simple training and explanation. WordPress designers and implementation specialists can be easily found and hired as needed to make any sort of design you see fit. Tens of thousands of plugins allow you to add an almost unlimited number of features to your blog, and thousands of themes make the formatting easy and straightforward.

Use a professional theme

Finally, spend the time to choose a professional, well-designed theme. Generally, these will cost on the order of $50 to buy for one blog, but the added features, availability of support and clean design will be well worth the cost.

Conclusions

You will do well to make your blog the centerpiece of your personal brand. This gives you a “home” on the web and a place to centralize your efforts. Spend a little money and take the time to make it look and perform as professionally as possible.

In other words, use blogging for personal branding to promote yourself effectively.

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Juana

Thanks for these tips! I do all these except have a self-hosted site, but that’s been on my radar for a while. It’s just not financially possible yet.

Mardhavi

So much awesome advice, I will be putting these to work, THANK YOU!

Ann

Yes – a free platform like WordPress.com or Blogger doesn’t give you anywhere near the flexibility – or personal branding as using WordPress.org. And there are so many quality themes – even if you use free ones.

Jilly Prather

Great points. I’ve found that clients want to know what they will get out of your services – their ROI. Listing the benefits for them is what they like to see.

Kim Steadman

Very good points here! My only suggestion for authors would be to hone in a little more on your branding, and your offer. Don’t just offer people to ‘subscribe to my newsletter’. Really, who has time to read another newsletter? And I don’t know many authors or bloggers that have time to generate well thought out, content driven, newsletters. A tripwire, free opt in that offers your readers something of value to me is a much better investment of time both for you and your readers! Also, YES on the professionally hosted website. If you are serious about your business… Read more »

Iva

I totally agree! A blog or a more complex website is a must in every business that tries to map itself. And with a good analitycs tool it can tell you a lot about your content.

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