A great blog really isn’t that great unless it has a strong brand behind it
This doesn’t mean you have to be the Coca-Cola of blogging. What it does mean is that if you want your blog to be successful, attracting traffic that will buy what you’re selling, then it’s not enough for you to view your blog as a simple website. Instead, you need to think about your blog as a movement. You need to think about your blog as the place where people are excited to be a part of it.
People are looking for 2 things from a great blog:
- A place they belong
- A place where they feel as though they’re involved in something bigger than themselves.
This is why you’ll often see bloggers refer to their followers as a Tribe, with a name.
If you had a website called Online Earning, for instance, you might speak to your audience as ‘E-Earners’. Throughout your posts, you would refer to them and suddenly, they feel as though they are a part of something much bigger and more important and they will enjoy the community feeling that comes from that. This makes them much more likely to want to visit your site more in the future, to take part in conversations and to try and ‘recruit’ more people to the cause.
How do they recruit? They share your posts with their social media friends and networks.
That’s just a blog. What if you were to expand your products to include a custom t-shirt with your branding and community name on it? Now people will feel like they are a part of your brand whenever they wear your t-shirt and they can proudly show their allegiance. It’s not just about the free marketing that you get from someone walking around with your logo!
So how do you get to this point? How do you ensure that people really believe in what you’re doing and feel passionate about it?
Choose a Mission Statement
It doesn’t start with your logo.
It doesn’t start with your colors.
It doesn’t start with your layout or any other design.
In fact, a strong brand begins with a mission statement.
This is essentially a promise to your audience and a goal that you will set for yourself. If you look at the mission statements of other blogs and channels, you’ll see that they are clear and have a purposeful intention and are often supported by clearly defined values:
“To help people get stronger in body and mind, day by day, through the teaching of physical training and mental agility”
or like this…
“To encourage and help people to live more harmoniously in nature while enjoying all the luxuries of the modern world through the use of eco-friendly and sustainable products”
These are statements that have nothing to do with profit or trying to reach targets. They go beyond the basics of “getting the 6 pack abs” or “living green”. These are visions that have the potential to inspire. And with inspiration comes motivation to participate in the cause.
When you do this well, you’ll find that some of your existing followers and audience are immediately alienated by your statement because it doesn’t appeal to them. This is okay! And, it’s important – the best blogs won’t appeal to everyone but will instead have only a limited appeal…to those who care enough to visit it, participate in the community, and spread the word.
Which means that for those people who are interested in the ideas you’re putting forward, your blog is extremely appealing and they will become loyal followers.
Now you can move forward with creating a logo, determining a color palette, designing your website and the graphics to support your mission statement.
Chances are good you’re not a designer. If you’re limited on funds at the moment, I recommend that you hire someone to design your logo so it is unique to you and your brand. From there, you can do a simple design for your site using those colors and as you begin to make money you can hire someone to create graphics and images and then have a new website designed.
The key here is to let your community guide you. And they will after they’re on board with your mission. They’ll tell you when you’ve gone astray with your message, with your choice of images, with the products you try to sell them. If you listen to them you will end up with a solid brand that can last as long as you need it to.
Written by Guest Contributor, Charlene Burke, of IM For Me blog.