The secret to standing out as a blogger

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Blogging is probably one of the easiest ways to illustrate your personal brand, and yet it is also one of the areas where it is hardest to stand out. With thousands of bloggers out there, how do you get readers to notice you? How do you communicate who you really are in words and pictures?

Look at any successful blog and you will see that they are all uniquely personal, many times a window on the blogger’s own world. Of course, opening yourself up like this is a brave thing to do, not to mention all the other things that go with it – the eye for photos, the endless hours on social media and the conviction and confidence to keep going to gain traction with it. Fascinating!

I chatted to a number of bloggers to find out how they go about sharing their own personal brand through blogging and what their secret is to standing out online.

The Lifestyle Blogger

Laura Summer is a lifestyle blogger over at Laura’s Lovely Blog.

How do you build your personal brand through blogging?

“I think as a blogger, unless you have multiple contributors, your personality is the brand. Your audience follows you to find out what you think on certain subjects, your views, your life, your style and your honesty. Because of this your integrity is very important as is consistency. As a blogger I regularly work with brands, but whenever one approaches me I always consider if it is a brand that I would work with if I was out purchasing for myself anyway. If it’s not, more often than not I will politely turn them down. When I began to be commercially successfully, I spent time and money working with an illustrator to make sure my blog was a reflection of my personality, that the design was right and to create a Logo and branding like any company would. My blog is my brand and it is important that the look and feel as well as the content is right and this is reflected across all of the channels I am represented on. But the heart of a blogger’s personal brand is most definitely their voice.”

What is it that you do that attracts your audience? I.e., what is the X factor that makes you successful?

“The real buzz word in blogging at the moment is niche. There are thousands of blogs out there and it is hard to compete and make yourself different from the rest. There are some bloggers that come across their niche quite quickly and others that see what their readers respond to over time and reflect their content accordingly.

I have found that three years into professional blogging I am still learning about my content and adapting it. But at the same time it is important that this is in keeping with your personal brand otherwise your blog can lose its way. For me personally, I know now that people value my opinions and honesty and directly contact me on occasion before purchasing something I have reviewed. People know of my love of handbags and genuinely love items I have shared with them and have messaged me to say they have gone on to purchase bags I have put on my social media. Over the last year I have worked very hard at improving my photography and now have brands that specifically want to work with me for this reason.

But I do honestly believe that a successful blogger has to be adept and multiple skill sets. From writing, branding, social media and photography to building business relationships and contacts for work. As with branding the ‘X-factor’ is about consistently working hard and building on your content while learning and assessing it over time. As with any business success comes from hard work and you have to be prepared to put them time in.”

The Business Blogger

Judith Morgan of Judith Morgan: The Small Business Oracle is a business coach who has been blogging for over 12 years – even before WordPress started! She is the author of Your Biz Your Way, which you can find on her site.

How do you communicate your personal brand through your blog?

“I write in my own unique voice. I don’t follow any received wisdom about how blogging should be done, I just get on and do it my way. I want to showcase me, my work and my clients so that those considering working with me can get a really good sense of what it’s all about, who I am and how I work before we speak. I don’t worry about what people will think, although I believe I have a good personal filter and don’t share anything which I consider to be inappropriate, though others may disagree and that’s absolutely fine by me and one of the ways of connecting best with my ideal client.

I aim to achieve rapport by writing about topics which arise during my real work with other micro business owners, and which I know will be of value to other readers and potential clients just like them.”

What is it that you do that attracts your audience? What is the X factor that makes you successful?

“What you see is what you get. I communicate my brand values in word and deed and try to live up to those in everything I do, not just on my blog and website and social media but in the delivery of my services especially, and to get all of that to collide beautifully, honestly and truthfully and in a way which feels – and is – real.

I am razor sharp and blunt, there’s no point in pretending otherwise. I don’t do pretend. Yesterday a woman described me as having “got it right”, that to her I appear to be happy doing what I’m doing. That’s absolutely true, I am and that message is clearly getting through. That’s joyous for me, and that sort of feedback is very useful so I know what’s working and for whom.

Recently a writer I respect described me “funny, direct, straight to the point and always insightful.” Again, this is spot on. If I am communicating that and readers are getting it, I’m doing something right. My goal is to keep improving on that communication and connection, and making even more delicious Marmite-y matches.”

The Travel Blogger

Susan Schwartz is the founder of two travel blogs, Best Bits Worldwide and A Lush Life Manual.

How do you communicate your personal brand through your blog?

“Communicating who you are and what you stand for is easier than one might think. Since I write in the first person, every bite of food, every sip of champagne, every bed I sleep in and every experience I have is authentic. I am always aware of providing what is right for me and the Best Bits Worldwide and A Lush Life Manual brands. I write only about those experiences and choose them according to my personal brand, revealing who I am and what I stand for in the process. I was really one of the first Luxury travel bloggers in London. People love to dream about luxury so I have hit the sweet spot.”

What is it that you do that attracts your audience? What is the X factor that makes you successful?

“When I began blogging, I realized one important thing, Best Bits Worldwide and A Lush Life Manual had to be all about me and my personality. I had to make people fall in love with who I was, what I represented and the information I was providing. My About page and photo were the most important “Bits” of both blogs.  Writing in the first person was a must in order to connect with those who read my blogs. I am always aware of how my readers might see me. The authenticity of what I write and what I stand for is what I hope makes me successful.  I am one of the only people doing what I am doing in London. I think that’s why it is growing.”

The Parenting Blogger

Nicky Kentisbeer blogs about her family life, amongst other things over at Not Just The 3 Of Us

How do you build your personal brand through blogging?

“It takes time to build a personal brand through blogging.  Consistency, showing up and being authentic (although a slightly over used word of late) is key.  Readers have come to know what to expect from my blog, my style and my content and everything that I talk about will always link back to one of my key blogging themes.  My individual style and core values are reflected throughout all of my posts.  It is also important to remember that someone is actually reading a post and to engage with that person throughout.”

What is it that you do that attracts your audience? What is the X factor that makes you successful?

“Talking about matters that resonate and saying what others may be thinking.  Regular readers know what they are getting when they visit.  I always come from a perspective that if I am experiencing something at least one other person will be.  I always aim to bring value through my content, whether that be an experience or a situation. Any posts and reviews will always be true to my content and core values and are delivered honestly and thoroughly.  There is also a fine balance between providing a useful resource to the reader and allowing your blog to become a selling vehicle.  None of us like being sold to.  I also support business owners with their content creation and strategy and the business section of my blog is also used by these visitors as an information resource.”

And so lovely readers, the secret is revealed! You’ll probably notice that the three things that cropped up the most are authenticity, consistency and have a unique proposition, i.e. something that differentiates you from the other bloggers.  And of course all of these are core elements of successful personal branding for everyone, not just bloggers.

 

 

Lisa

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