Blogging!! Very few know about it, some are unaware of it, while a majority of audience want to know about it, but are unable because of some reason. Let me give you a straight and a simple answer. A blog is an information or discussion based website where the blog owner posts his/her knowledge and/or experiences on a fairly regular basis. Normally a blog is built around your niche. You have an interest or you know more about business world, create a business blog. You know about fashion designing, go ahead built one around the fashion industry. This is how blogging goes. Very simple. Just pick your area and post good, informative content on that field.
Blogging is the most easiest method to build a bridge to get connected with the online world. Blogging can be absolutely free with WordPress and BlogSpot. Hence, it lowers the cost of marketing for business persons. One basically uses a blogging platform to showcase their field of expertise.
Blogging can really get you ahead of your pack. It can be an effective variable to differentiate you from your competitors. Use it effectively to market your opinions and thoughts in your desired market.
With high quality resourceful content, you can help others by providing them with related solutions. The more helpful your answer is to them, the more credibility you build for yourselves.In this way, you can get established as an expert/thought leader in your niche market. When you help people with good information, they recognize you. They see you as an information-provider. Well this entire process is basically a part of selling yourself.
Once you’ve established yourself as an expert, you can easily sell/promote your products and services in your market. Blogs can also be helpful when it comes to recruitment. When an employer sees the amount and the quality of information in your blogs, he/she can get impressed by your work. Your blogs will explain to your employer about the level of dedication and involvement in your market. Recruiters prefer to hire such people who already have a suffice amount of knowledge.
Personal branding with blogging can really hike the importance of your online presence. Just help others consistently and uniquely to create a space for yourself.
Before you learn how to create your blog, you should find an area in which you can write consistently. This is what we call a niche. A niche your expert area. A niche should be something like; no one can beat you in here. Your niche should perfectly reflect your branding strategy. Basically, it should be your area of interest and skills.
For job seekers, your niche should be something for which you want to get a job for. For example, I want to get a job as an automobile engineer. So my niche should be the automobile industry. I should write about every happenings of this industry. This is how you select a niche.
Now that you’ve identified your niche, it’s time to start your blog. Fortunately, the process of creating a blog is a walk in the park. You need not know any kind of web development languages to start blogging. You can easily create and manage your blog site with some easy to use features. There are 3 ways with which you can create a blog. Let’s check those out.
Free Blogging Service:
There are a number of pre-made platforms which easily help you to create a blog. Everything’s already in there. You just need to select a domain name and start adding content. That’s it. Few of such blogging services are Blogger, WordPress.com, Tumblr, LiveJournal, Blog.com.
These options are extremely popular with amateur bloggers as this is the easiest method to create a blog.
There’s a big problem when you take up these kinds of service. You do not get your personal domain name, which is highly required when it comes to personal branding. Instead of having “garysanet.com”, you will have “garysanet.blogspot.com” or “garysanet.wordpress.com”. This will cause a big problem when you decide to go for your personal domain. This is because, once you have your personal domain name, your old links won’t work. Users will encounter a “Page not found” error, when they click on your previous link. Hence, you are stuck with this abc.blogspot.com
Another problem that you encounter is that you do not have complete control over your blogs. Your servicers do. They have the complete power to destroy your blogs. Also, if blogging service went out of business, you’d lose your blog automatically.
The easy solution to the domain name problem is that you can purchase your own domain name with services like Namecheap, 1&1, Go Daddy, Name, Gandi , Zappyhost etc. Buy your domain name and then link the URL to your BlogSpot/Wordpress blog.
This is the most widely used process for most of the bloggers. This process includes signing up with a hosting provider, downloading blogging software, buying your domain name and then installing the software onto the server.
The most popular blogging software is WordPress. It is being by used by hundreds of professional bloggers. Click to here to go through a step by step process of installing and starting a WordPress blog.
Well, this technique requires no installation. A pre-hosted account is already created for your blog. There’s no need to download any blog software. Most of the web hosting sites acts as blog builder. Sites offering pre-installed features are:
Consider these last two options for creating a blog. You can control your ads. And if you decide to change your hosting providers, your previous posts will still work.
Your domain name is the face of your online personal brand. This is the first impression an employer will get when he/she wishes to see your site and I bet you don’t want to create a bad impression. When you are buying your domain name for personal branding, there are some certain pre-requisites that it needs to follow:
- Easy to remember: Your domain name should be so easy to remember that when people think of you, they should think of your domain. When they get online to search for you, they should type in your domain instead of your name.
- Self-explanatory: Your domain name should reflect your personality. People should know what they will get before they even land on your website.
- Evergreen: Your need for the words of the domain shouldn’t change. They keywords that you’ve used in your domain name should not get outdated.
People commit a grave mistake while choosing words for their domain name, either because of a current event in their market or because of an interest that they have now or because of job that they presently want. The worst that one can go is to select for words that has nothing in relation with what he/she does.
Given all that, the best domain name is your own name. But, sometimes these are already owned by others. You can use different permutations and combinations of your name that best relates you with your expertise area. Take up these suggestions while choosing a domain name for personal branding.
Easy to say and spell:
You will verbally tell your domain name to a lot of people. So make sure it’s just your name and not a word/s that are difficult to spell and remember. However, modify the word that is constantly being misspelled while going to your website.
Do not choose any punctuation mark:
People are less likely to remember any kind of punctuation marks, such as hyphen or dashes. So avoid including punctuation marks of any kind in your domain name.
Use your middle name/nicknames:
The best way to set yourself apart in domain name selection is to use your middle name or nickname, under which you want to get branded. Your middle name or nickname should be short and easy to remember.
Associate with your area:
If you want to be known as an expert of a field, why not select a domain name that relates you with your field. For example, Darren Rowse has a blog name problogger.net. This relates him with his area of work.
.com is the most popular extension used online. Well, choosing a different extension may get you some benefits. If you are trying to brand yourself with a specific audience such as with people in India, why not go for .co.in extension? Also, non-profit branders can use .org extension.
Don’t use the desired job or the company in which you are presently working:
This strategy only works short-term. You cannot use a domain such as “HiremeXYZ.com”, if in future you want to get hired for ABC.com. Hence, if I am trying to create a professional brand, I should use a professional name.
The most important thing to remember while choosing a domain name is to choose one that that reflects you and your brand over a long period of time. You will not change your name, but you may change your interests, jobs and even industry. Try getting a domain keeping such considerations in mind.
The next thing that we will discuss is on how to write for personal branding. Writing plays an effective role in determining your personal brand. Everybody can recognize the writing style of Neil Patel. His writing style is enough to distinguish him from his competitors. This can also happen to you too. You just need to express yourself beautifully so that you get noticed, trusted and people can give you responsibilities. Just follow these writing tips and implement them in your blogs.
Know your readers:
Blog writing is not completely about grammar or about the quality of your ideas. It majorly depends on the relevance of your content with your readers. If your readers are able to connect themselves with your post, you are sure to have an excellent personal brand. So your task is to know your intended readers and their problems so that you can provide a solution to it through your blog content. Post content that piques readers’ interest and for this, you need to identify your readers.
Plan your topics:
Planning is a crucial step if you want to publish posts regularly. With planning, your time required for each post idea (from scratch to publish), drastically decreases. Develop a process which takes in raw ideas and produces excellent and engaging post.
Finish ahead of time:
Never publish a blog post immediately after you finish it. Put it aside for at least 10 minutes and then view it from a fresh perspective. Now, you will be able to catch the grammatical errors and awkward phrases. You will be easily able to catch the simple mistakes.
Stick to a Format:
People use different types of formats for different subjects. This is a wrong strategy. Use a single format to cover all subjects. The format should make it easier from a readers’ point of view to understand and read the content.
Do not write outside your niche:
I know you would like to appeal to a wide audience, but that’s not how the process works. Always stay within your niche. Write about your niche topics so as to create a targeted audience. It is more satisfying to create an impression level of 10 with 100 readers, than a level of 2 with 500. Well, you can choose topics that affect your niche, but simply cannot jump from one circle to another.
Use images, graphics, videos, and lists:
Do not stick with only textual content. Use a considerable amount of images in your post. This increases the visual appeal of your post. You can also embed graphics and videos to make your readers understand something. People love lists. It makes it easier for them to scan the page.
Read our Web content writing guide to know every tidbit of blog post writing.
You can gain a strong and a steady customer base through effective personal branding in blogging. Here are some personal branding tips for blogging.
Trust is something which is very hard to get. A secret to gain trust from your readers is by treating them as someone whom you could help, rather than someone whom you could sell. Try to solve their problems rather than marketing yourself through your blog. Help others and in return earn trust and respect which is highly required in this competitive world.
Establish yourself as the expert and go-to person for your niche. Well, this requires a lot of time, persistent efforts and a lot of hard work. Provide some unique insights and information of your industry and by unique, I mean actually unique. Make sure to create and share that information which is not available anywhere else online.
Quality and Quantity:
As explained above, your content should be of high quality and should be in high quantity. A reader should literally get everything that he/she desires. You should provide the solution of each and every problem that they have.
Be disciplined with your blogging techniques. Always be consistent with what you post. Avoid posting random blogs for the sake of making it interesting. Maintain a focus of establishing a good relationship with your readers.
You are selling a brand “you”. So always be yourself. Never ever copy your from someone else’s blog. Your goal is to show your uniqueness which makes you stand out from your competitors.