4 Ways to Build Your Personal Brand Through Your Blog

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A blog is a key component of your personal branding strategy. Control how people know and recognize you through a central location on the Internet where online users can find you and interact with you. Blogs typically rank higher than static websites in search engines particularly because they have regularly updated content, so spend time optimizing it for your ideal personal brand.

Watch this short video clip of Dan Schawbel, the New York Times’ “personal branding guru,” on why everyone, not just marketers, needs to work on their personal brand, self-promote online, establish an expertise and network:

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Here are four ways to build your personal brand through your blog:

  1. Include Testimonials
  2. Mike Koenigs, a marketing expert who has worked with large companies, such as Sony and BMW, notes that testimonials function as “social proof” that you are and can do what you say, and is “an incredibly powerful way to influence people.” Include a separate page on your blog for testimonials or list the most prominent ones on the homepage of your website. Get permission to link to your references’ websites, so they can be contacted for verification.

  3. Develop Your Expertise
  4. Keep your blog focused on your expertise, which should be in line with what you’re passionate about, so you provide the most value to your audience. Yes, personal branding is about promoting yourself, but Trisha Okubo, whose fashion blog was listed as a Top 50 site by Time Magazine, reminds us that self-marketing isn’t bad if it’s not at the expense of others; in fact, it’s good if you provide value.

    Loving what you write about will ensure that you’ll make it in the long run because blogs take an effort to maintain. Research the field and observe the bloggers at the top. Plan how you can make a name for yourself. In an interview with CNN, Dan Schawbel observes that the competition is fierce in the blogging world because of the sheer number of blogs produced, so you need to strategically determine your niche.

  5. Show Respect for Your Audience
  6. A positive online reputation and personal brand depends on relationships and respect is the basis of any relationship. You can demonstrate the respect you have for the people who visit your blog with your posts, through honesty and by consistently providing value. Produce content at regular intervals on topics that are helpful to your readers using blog posts and video tutorials. Respond to comments, and take the time to edit your writing in your posts and comment replies.

    Build trust through your blog by being honest about what you do and what you sell. Make things personal and show humility by occasionally talking about your failures and what you’ve learned through them.

    When it comes to blog monetization, only include relevant ads and affiliate links that you truly feel will be beneficial for your readers. Online business and success coach, Lynn Brown taught me that ads don’t cheapen a web if they are chosen with the readers in mind.

  7. Give Beyond Expectations
  8. Establish a reputation as a giver to build a loyal community of readers. These are the people who will be more willing to recommend you, share their network or pay for your services in the future. In generously sharing information, you’ll also be establishing your expertise in your niche, which is essential for your personal brand.

    Consider these five ways you can give through your blog:

    • Provide a free downloadable eBook.
    • Host giveaways.
    • Promote others’ websites or products.
    • Share tips in blog posts and videos.
    • Thoroughly answer questions posed to you in comments.

How have you built your personal brand through your blog?

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10 Comments

  1. Posted July 6, 2011 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for this great article, Sam! I love when I read an article that gets me thinking and gives specific tips on how to boost my life potential, or in this case my career potential.

    Including testimonials is one tip you mentioned that I have not yet incorporated into my blog. I appreciate the idea!

    Have a great day!

    Chrysta

    • Posted July 6, 2011 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

      Yay! I’m so ecstatic that this article could get you exercising your brain a little bit. =) Can’t wait to see the testimonials on your blog, Chrysta! =)

      Thanks so much for your unending support, friend. =)

  2. Posted July 8, 2011 at 3:41 am | Permalink

    Thanks Samantha! I have video (vlogging) on my list of things to do. My goal is 60 days. I’m really looking forward to it. You are doing great! :)

    • Posted July 8, 2011 at 4:46 am | Permalink

      Just do the video – it gets easier when you don’t think too much. I know – my videos that are more relaxed were easier to do and better.
      Sam – useful info and a different side of you – more your writing related than reporting. :)

      • Posted July 11, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

        Thanks so much for the feedback, Roberta! =) It sure is a different style for me. I feel like I need to place myself in another world when I write here. =)

    • Posted July 11, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Permalink

      Ooh! I’m keeping you accountable on that one, Elise! You’ve said it and now you have to make vlogging happen! Can’t wait, friend! =) I hope you’ll introduce some of your art. =)

  3. Posted July 12, 2011 at 5:05 am | Permalink

    Thank you very much Samantha for your kind compliment and recognition. Personal brand is and will continue to be a very important factor in winning the success game.

    I really enjoyed you sharing Dan’s video. His message is spot on and we all need to take heed. I actually am glad that the ‘game’ has changed as it is much better for everyone… customers, clients, business owners… to become visible and interact with each other. Reputation is so important and your tips and advice are very helpful.

    • Posted July 13, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      You are so welcome, Lynn! =) You’ve really influenced a lot of what I’ve learned about blogging and business, so it was the least I could do! =)

      Thanks so much for your input! I like how you put it — now that online marketing is important for everyone, it can also benefit everyone and bring more people together through online communities. =)

  4. Posted July 13, 2011 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    I know, I know- testimonials are great. I just don’t do them. One- I hate asking for them. Always have- and, unless I am struck by lightning- I expect I always will. (Which is why it took forever for me to be named a fellow of a technical society.) And, because most of our clients do NOT want to be named. (For example- this is NOT our product- if you wanted the world to believe you just developed that brand new Kleenex, would you want to let on that you really farmed it out to us????)
    Now, when it comes to 2,3,4, – they are our full-time jobs.
    GREAT post. (See- I give testimonials; just don’t ask for them :-) )

    • Posted July 13, 2011 at 6:51 pm | Permalink

      Omigoodness, Roy! I completely relate! I hate asking people for testimonials, but you actually set a really good example. When you give testimonials, people are likely to give you testimonials in return! =) I vouch for you whenever I can through shares and comments too, Roy! =)

      Thanks so much for your feedback and for reminding me that I’m not alone in this world! =)

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