The other day I got a tweet from a new reader and fellow freelancer that really got me thinking about building a blog brand and what it takes. It said:
This tweet made my day, mostly because it was out of nowhere, it was a nice compliment, and it made me realize how much Budget Blonde has transformed over the past three years.
I didn’t start this blog with a business concept or a specific idea to start building a blog brand and promote it in that way. I chose a name that was me, someone who was blonde (at the time) but also well educated, someone who likes pink websites and sparkly things but who is also serious about crunching numbers and paying back debt, and someone who is honest and goofy and enjoys calling readers “blog peeps” (hey yo!)
I really had no idea that the blog would become a business. If that was my goal, I would have definitely gone about building a blog brand in a different way. Still, I’m happy with the way the site has grown up with me and how my thoughts, ideas, and life experiences have changed me in a way that all of you can read about.
Essentially, all I was doing was just being me. I went about building a blog brand without even realizing it. Recently I was at the pool and a few med school students were talking about student loans. One said, “I just don’t know what I’m going to do,” and the other said, “Go ask Budget Blonde.” It’s become a normal thing to be referred to as this blog name. It’s now a part of me, and it’s gotten to the point where I really don’t know what I’d do without Budget Blonde and the 50 or so personal finance blogs I read every week.
That said, now that I’m somewhat of a blogging veteran, I’d probably advise anyone new to do the following few things when building a blog brand.
Building A Blog Brand 101
1. Choose An Excellent Name
You shouldn’t choose your blog name on a whim. You should carefully think about it, ask friends what they think, and process on it for a few days. Remember, this name is going to be the biggest part of building a blog brand, and it’s important that you really like it and that it encompasses you and everything you hope the business will become.
2. Choose A Logo
Most people don’t realize how important a logo or a specific image is for your blog. When you’re building your blog community and commenting on other sites, your logo or chosen picture will show up next to your name. Many people also use this picture on their social media profiles, like twitter, google +, and facebook. The longer you are on the grand ol’ interwebs, the more people will identify you with your image. It took me two years to redesign this website, and I wish I would have had my logo from the beginning.
3. Get The Goods
One of the things you can do as a blogger, just as in any other profession, is go to conferences. When you do that, you’re going to want to get business cards with your logo on them and a little bit about you. Heck you can even get fancy plastic business cards from a plastic card supplier if you want to stand out. Essentially, treating your blog as a business, just like any other business, is the best way to establish yourself as a serious professional.
4. Stay Relevant
If a brand stopped making products, they would cease to be relevant and eventually no one would be wearing that brand’s clothes or using that brand’s camera. Just like any other company, building a blog brand means staying relevant, posting every week, expanding your community, and maintaining the qualities and characteristics of the brand that you started out with.
Like I said, Budget Blonde became a brand all on its own purely by being representative of me. It was a very organic growth. However, had I decided from the beginning to make a living through this website, I would have put some of these steps into place a little bit sooner.
Do you want to start a blog, or if you have a blog already, do you consider your blog a brand? What other steps or advice would you give a new blogger who wants to build a blog brand?