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Failproof Guide to Brand Building Your Blog
Failproof Guide to Brand Building Your Blog When starting a small business, your main goal (other than making your customers very happy) should be getting your name out there and building trust. When you’re just beginning, not a lot of people know who you are, what you stand for, and what you have to offer. One way to convey all of these things and establish your brand and business is by starting a blog. The articles and blog posts you share on your blog do more than simply earn you traffic. They help people understand what you’re about and what your values are. For instance, the hugely popular Toms Shoes brand started out as a small project in 2006, but has grown into a thriving fashion mini-empire. One way they do this is through articles and blogging about charitable and giving initiatives that reflect 2 | Failproof Guide to Brand Building Your Blog
Failproof Guide to Brand Building Your Blog their worldview. One can imagine that these charitable stories are as effective in getting new customers as a billboard in a busy city, or a commercial on a relevant television show. Our eBook will lay our some guidelines to building a brand blog. If you follow these, before too long you’ll have a thriving online community that translates into sales. 3 | Failproof Guide to Brand Building Your Blog
Planning Your Brand Story Before you even sit down to write your first blog post or think about what you want your blog to look like, you need to sit down and do some soul searching about your business and figure out what you can write about that will convey both your business’s values and offering. This is essentially planning out the story of your brand. Think about what makes your business unique. What need or service are you fulfilling that few other businesses are? Are you one of the only vegan bakeries in town? Do you specialize in planning ecofriendly weddings and events? Once you’ve identified what it is about your business that makes it special and appealing, it will be easier to figure out what to write about. Remember, you can tell your brand story in two ways on your blog: through articles and interviews that you research and write, and by sharing and commenting on articles and blog posts from other blogs and publications that line up with your brand story and goals. 4 | Failproof Guide to Brand Building Your Blog
Establish Goals for Your Blog When it comes to running a blog, consistency is key. So come up with a list of goals for your blog that will keep you on track and help create a cohesive experience for visitors. You’ll want to set a few different types of goals for your blog. One goal should probably be increasing sales (an easy way to track this is by linking to an online store from you blog). You should also set editorial goals for yourself as well, such as posting four times a week, or working with a certain number guest authors each month. Once you’ve established these goals, you’ll be able to better track your success. 5 | Failproof Guide to Brand Building Your Blog
Find Other Blogs You Admire A little inspiration can go a long, long way. Once you’ve found blogs that you enjoy, take a look around and see if you can find other brand blogs that inspire you. If you like them, chances are others do as well, and there’s probably something you can learn from them. When it comes to exactly what you admire, this can be just about anything. Maybe it’s the tone they use when writing about themselves and what matters to them. Maybe they use video in a new and fascinating way. Maybe it’s the way the blog is designed. Or perhaps it’s just a really smart URL. No matter what it may be, make a list of some of your favorite blogs and what you like about them and see which of these things may translate to you own blog in an interesting and original way. 6 | Failproof Guide to Brand Building Your Blog
Design a Great Looking Blog When designing your blog, think about what will make the experience easy and pleasurable for people who visit it. Your articles should be easy to read and elegant looking. Even if you’re running your business out of your garage, your blog should feel like it came from an established, professional entity that has authoritative information on things that potential customers are interested in. Now to e it’s tim build lly actua r blog you You’ll also want to make sure your blog is responsive. That means it can tell what kind of device a visitor is using - a laptop or mobile device - and lays itself out in a way that is right for that device. 7 | Failproof Guide to Brand Building Your Blog
Design a Great Looking Blog You’ll also want to make sure your blog has the perfect amount of branding. This is a brand blog so your brand name and logo should be prominently featured - but they shouldn’t take away from the experience. If your blog feels overly branded, it may be difficult for visitors to immerse themselves in your content. They may just feel like they’re being marketed to, which will detract from the experience. 8 | Failproof Guide to Brand Building Your Blog
Create an Editorial Calendar We’ve talked about how consistency is key when running a blog, and this line of thinking is why you need to have an editorial calendar. An editorial calendar allows you to plan out your content far in advance so you can use your articles and blog posts to craft a cohesive message. When planning your editorial calendar, think about what cadence works best for you and your brand. Posting every day might not be necessary if you can’t think of enough solid topics to write about every day. In this case, you may want to post two or three times a week. No matter what you decide, just make sure to maintain that cadence so your blog appears lively. There’s nothing worse than going to a brand blog and seeing that it hasn’t been updated in months. Also, be sure to take note of upcoming holidays and events. Chances are you’ll be able to leverage these through the lens of your business, and maybe even drum up some extra sales. For instance, if Thanksgiving or Christmas are coming up, what can you add to the conversation? You can also think about more serious holidays like Black History Month, Veteran’s Day, or National Women’s Day. It’s all about being part of the relevant conversation and helping people understand your brand’s perspective. 9 | Failproof Guide to Brand Building Your Blog
Use Guest Bloggers No matter what your business or industry, chances are there are other people out there that share the same audience, values, and purpose. If any of these people happen to have a blog, why not invite them to guest blog on your site? Asking someone to write guest articles and blog posts for your brand has a wide range of benefits. First off, it gives your audience a fresh voice and perspective. Think about your favorite blogs, magazines, and newspapers very few of them use only one writer. Having guest bloggers also conveys a sense of professionalism and community. Very few successful business owners and entrepreneurs exist in a bubble. They go out, meet people, and trade ideas. By inviting guest bloggers to participate on your site, you’re showing your community that you’re looking to expand and learn. 10 | Failproof Guide to Brand Building Your Blog Lastly, guest bloggers will help you get exposure all over the web. If someone notable guest blogs for you often enough, they’ll start to be a popular search term that leads to your blog. Chances are that most of the people you invite to put guest posts on your blog will share their link on their own blog and social networks, exposing you to a whole new audience.
Get the Word Out About Your Blog Through Social The quality of your blog is only part of the equation when it comes to getting noticed online. You also need to have a smart strategy for sharing your articles and blog posts with your community. If you have a small business and are running a blog, you should definitely also have a presence on social media. Platforms like Facebook and Twitter are perfect for linking to your blog, and also sharing content and commentary 11 | Failproof Guide to Brand Building Your Blog
Get the Word Out About Your Blog Through Social on things related to your industry. Depending on your line of work, Instagram can also be helpful. For instance, if you’re a baker looking to share a link to a frosting tutorial, you can put up a picture of a frosted cake and include a link to your blog in your bio (right now that’s the only place you can put a clickable link on the 12 | Failproof Guide to Brand Building Your Blog platform, but hopefully they’ll soon allow it in captions and comments. Also, don’t forget that using social media in general is always great for search. This is extra true for Google+ since it’s a social network that is owned by the search giant.
Look at Analytics Let’s face it: some of us aren’t numbers people. But numbers are the best way to see which of your content is performing the strongest. Check your blog to see which pages are getting the most hits and being shared with others. Also, be sure to monitor the comments on your site so you can see what people think about your content. Are they loving it? Finding it boring? Offering lots of opinions about it? Once you’ve examined your analytics, think about how you can tweak your strategy to increase engagement. For instance, if you find that blog posts and articles that show how to do something are performing well, you might want to post more of them since they clearly resonate with your audience. 13 | Failproof Guide to Brand Building Your Blog
Don’t Be Afraid To Tweak Your Strategy Building a successful brand blog takes time, so don’t be discouraged if you don’t garner a lot of interest and followers at first. If you think your blog could be better, try new tactics. Post more, or post less. Change up your design. Think of up new topics, or figure out a different way to talk about your subject. Then, track your analytics again and see how much interest your getting. Whatever you do, don’t give up! Before long you’ll have a great blog that builds your brand and connects you with the right customer. All images are subject to copyright. 14 | Failproof Guide to Brand Building Your Blog