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Brand identity – 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 agencies in the US and I still can’t define branding with one broad stroke.

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, individual 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 better have one or figure it out soon. Unless 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.


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 few minutes a day through a well-maintained blog site.

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

3. Get a Gravatar.

When you leave 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 charisma, then you better use a pic of you smiling.

If you already have a brand icon or other picture, that’s fine. In most cases, I recommend using a real photograph of yourself. Look at all the top 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. Lastly, get a new background, so it looks like you actually care about your Twitter account. After all, you didn’t use the WordPress default theme, did you?

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


Except 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.


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