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Brand identity – 10 First steps to building a blogger brand identity

Topics on favourite blogs are cyclical, and right now, one of the hottest topics is branding.

Seems easy enough, right? Well, I have an undergraduate business degree with a Marketing emphasis, an MBA, and worked with some of the top ad companies in the US and I still can’t define branding with one broad stroke.

Table of Content 

  • 1. Buy your own domain.
  • 2. Create a bio page
  • 3. Get a Gravatar
  • 4. Open a Twitter account
  • 5. Sound human in your articles
  • 6. Add value to your articles.
  • 7. Have an idea whenever likely.
  • 8. Be consistent
  • 10. Incorporate your site’s look and feel 

What branding means to a blogger typically 

When people write “branding”, what they say is brand identity. In a nutshell, brand identity is what you want people to think of when they see your name. In this case, that would be your blog. It’s an extension of you, your personality, your knowledge, your ability to deliver a quality product or service — essentially, all the things that make you different from others in your space.
Find your edge

If you don’t know why you’re different from other bloggers in your category, then neither will your readers.

Find your edge and promote it.

Maybe you’re more knowledgeable than your peers. So tell us you are, provide supporting evidence, and remind us by sprinkling your expertise throughout your posts. Perhaps you have a great sense of humour; make sure that shines through in everything you write. Or maybe you have inside info, different advice, ridiculous analogies, or amazing visualisations. In other words, you have to provide value that people can’t get elsewhere.

Regardless of what the edge is, you entirely have one or figure it out soon. Otherwise, you really are just like everyone else.

The clue is right there in the title. If you want a brand identity, you have to first be able to be identified. Let’s start with the following basics:

1. Buy your own domain.

That means you need your own domain name. If you’re using Blogger or another free service, then you’re just trying to sell products with no real brand, almost like hawking items at a flea market. Look at your domain name as your online storefront. It says a lot about what your offerings are and tells people that you are serious about your brand.

If you need help with picking one, here’s advice on choosing a good domain name.

And if you need help starting from scratch, here’s my guide on starting a WordPress blog.

2. Create a bio page or add a short bio at the end of your posts.

It’s amazing how many blogs are missing a bio. I mean, how can you expect to build a loyal following without telling anyone about yourself? Even if you really are an authority on your subject matter, how would your readers know? How can your blog be an extension of you if people don’t know who’s behind the curtain?

I’m not saying you can’t be successful without a bio, but you’re creating an uphill battle for yourself. While you’re at it, throw in a beautiful picture of yourself. People want to know who they’re spending time with, even if it’s just a rare minute a day through a well-maintained blog site.

And don’t worry about bragging a little. If it makes you feel more satisfied, write about yourself in the third person. Oh, those of you who don’t think you have nerves related to your niche, write about your passion, the learning experience itself, or your stance toward the topic.

3. Get a Gravatar.


When you drop a comment anywhere, you want people to be able to quickly identify you.

Go to gravatar.com and use a picture that best depicts what you’re trying to represent (ideally, the same image as the one you used on your bio page). For instance, if part of your brand identity is your magnetism, then you better use a pic of you smiling.

If you previously have a brand icon or other picture, that’s fine. In most cases, I suggest using a real picture of yourself. Look at all the prime money making bloggers out there. You would recognise them if you were in an elevator with them at BlogWorld, right? None of them uses colourful logos or cartoons or pics of their pets. They use their real faces.

4. Open a Twitter account.

This is one easy way to build a following. In fact, right or wrong, some folks judge you your popularity by how many Twitter followers you have.

And don’t just open an account. Add the picture you’re using for your bio and Gravatar. Then use parts of your bio page on the Twitter bio. Ultimately, get a new background, so it looks like you really care about your Twitter account. After all, you didn’t do the WordPress default theme, did you?

Basically, handle your Twitter account as an extension of your blog.

Except for securing your own domain name, it will take you less than an hour to do the rest. That has to be the biggest bang for your buck for any blog.

Don’t spend a hundred hours writing content and not take a few minutes to create your brand identity. Even if you haven’t done all of these things, the good news is that it’s never too late to start.

5. Sound human in your articles.

There are so many blogs that resemble like they are written by bots. I know there’s apparently a human behind all of it but why can’t some people just write like they are talking to me. It’s not that hard; in fact, it’s easier!

Forget what you studied in school. You’re not writing an examination paper or a textbook. You undoubtedly shouldn’t be that formal when blogging. Just write your columns like you typically speak, and your personality will shine through.

6. Add value to your articles.

This is really what earns you stand out as an individual. You are unprecedented because you can add value — a little something extra that can’t be had wherever else.

Often times, your post points will give you a chance to act as an authority on your subject. Take the comfort of these windows of possibilities so you can stake your claim. If you don’t, you’ll look like just a messenger and pick what, there are already millions of those nearby.

7. Have an idea whenever likely.

When writing posts that allow you to communicate an opinion, pick a side and defend it. Don’t be anxious to have a stance and have others bother. I’ll argue that disagreements are healthy for blogs since they create a useful analysis. Being neutral is worse than being wrong!

This can happen in the form of your expert or personal opinion. Provide supporting evidence when possible but allow readers to share their experiences.

8. Be consistent.

Whatever you chose as your edge, you better regularly exploit it. So if your schtick is your sarcasm, maintain your eye-rolling banter throughout your posts. If your thang is being motivational, then you have to be the rah-rah utmost of the time. In other words, almost always stay “in nature”.

There may be chances you have to be pressing on a funny blog, or curious on a serious blog. However, if you’re harmonious with the way you denote yourself when it’s time to be the glaring opposite, you’ll create quite a dramatic effect — in a right way.

9. Reply to comments.

Despite where your blog is on the maturity scale, you must answer to comments. Of course, if you have a hundred comments per post like some huge names, then you can get away with just jumping in with a little insight when appropriate.

For the rest of us, there’s no incentive not to respond to a quarter (and in some cases, more than share) of the comments on your own site. You have to bake that connection into your blog whenever you can when you’re in the growth stage.

10. Incorporate as enough of your site’s look and feel in everything that you do.

I think I’ve already pounded the message of using the same actual picture of yourself whenever possible in my last post.

Now, let’s use the same brand messaging for everything else that you do. If you have a logo you want to be associated with your blog, make sure it’s on your email messages, feeds, Twitter background, etc.… The same goes for colours and fonts that are on your blog.

Brand identity long-term wrap up

So there you have it. The first steps are really just an hour of your time to set the stage. Almost everything else that you do actually requires you to think about your brand identity on a regular basis.

If you’re not a marketing pro, you might want to slap a sticky note on your monitor to remind you to always think about your brand identity. Eventually, it’ll become natural for you.

Remember, find that edge and harvest the heck out of it. If that’s how you want to be “known”, then you entirely must integrate your brand identity in almost everything you do.

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