Branding You with a Blog While At The Same Time Promoting Your Business by Sue Seward

sue.sewardHere are a dozen nuggets to help you get started with your personal blog A blog is much like a personal website only its focus is more of a personal journal for anyone who chooses to read it. A blog can be a wonderful complement to your personal website, newsletters, articles, and overall building your personal brand online or in some cases people are actually using a blog to serve as their personal website.

Blog writing centers around specific topics related to a target market.

Each post contains personal thoughts, experiences, resources, training, or coaching relevant to that topic. The key is to develop a style of writing and anyone can do it. When I started online in 1996 I had no degrees or writing experience. Instead of thinking about it, I just dove in and wrote about my personal experiences, even way back in the late 90’s before blogging became popular. Today I’m a published MLM author. Who would have thought? NULL

Now there’s podcasting and video that can be added to a personal blog to make it an even more personable experience for readers who are auditory and visual learners. Much like the personal website, a blog is another tool to share who you are to begin connecting and establishing relationships with people.

However, with a blog, site visitors can leave comments and the relationship becomes a two way conversation and connects your readers to you. In other words, it puts them in the driver’s seat!

They make the decision on which blogs to read, which links to click, to share your blog with others, all depending on how content rich your blog is to them. Everyone seems to be moving in the direction of blogging online so if you have a business and would like to brand yourself and promote your business online, this might be the perfect time to learn more about blogging to accomplish both these goals. People often ask, “Sue how can I get a personalized website to promote my business and build a presence online and brand myself?” Blogging just might be a good choice. In the past we used website builders to build a personal website. Now the trend is about blogging and branding you and promoting your business at the same time because people want to know who you are first. As you connect with people and build relationships with them they may become interested in what you do which means asking about your business. They are coming to you instead of you shoving your business in their face and turning them off because they did not ask about it in the first place. Makes better sense right? This way you have people coming to you. Here are a few nuggets to getting started with your personal blog to brand you and at the same time promoting your business – 1. Who is your ideal reader? In other words, who’s your target or niche market? 2. Examine the reasons or purpose of why you want to start and publish your own personal branding blog. Is it to brand you and promote your business or are you perhaps interested in a certain subject or hobby like gluten free cooking, dog breeding, self development, gardening, home schooling, politics, spirituality, holistic healing, wellness. Whatever the subject you will be branding you as you promote your business or interest. 3. How would you like your readers to feel when they are reading your blog? What’s your writing style – coach, trainer, marketer, humorous, visionary, educator 4. What would you like your readers to do when they read your blog? – what is the call to action? Do you have a Like button on your blog? A follow my blog button? 5. How much time do you have to devote to writing for your blog each week? Start planning a schedule for writing and promoting your blog which in turn will promote you and what you do, your business and/or key interest. If you are not a writer don’t panic. I wasn’t either when I started in 1996 online. I had no degrees and no writing skills whatsoever. I just dove in and started writing about my experiences and the writing has evolved over the years.

Nothing gets done until that first step is taken!

Just like a baby learning to walk, falling down and getting back up again, getting better and better at it the more they walk. Just write about who you are,what you do and most of all be authentic. 6. Name your blog. Think in terms of keywords and your target niche market. What’s your niche? How does your niche relate to your online presence? Who is your target market? For instance, mine is coaching people to build a personal brand online. I’ve been building my own personal brand, Sue Seward, online for over thirteen years therefore the name of my blog is SueSeward.com – Branding U Online Marketing Coach. Online Marketing is my niche and my target market is anyone with a business that wants to brand themselves with a blog, and network marketers and people who are looking for a home business. 7. Sign up for a blog account. See my coaching blog for more blogging resources. 8. Be sure you register a domain name for your blog; I always recommend using your real name. Use your real name in your email and your domain name. Remember you are branding you. 9. Setting up your blog. – Choose a template that best suits your style with colors, layout, and side bar menu. Personally I uploaded my own Lake Travis photo for my header because that’s where I live and work from home. Choose colors that complement your personal website, logo/header and personal brand. – Set up your content categories and lists – Develop your “author profile” again branding you. -Just like a personal website always use your real photo to show professionalism 10. Drive traffic to your blog site: – Submit to blog directories and search engines – Submit to regular search engines like Google and Yahoo – Have a sign up form on your blog so visitors can get your posts by email. I’ve used my Aweber account for sign up forms for over ten years so just created a webform for my newsletter and placed it on my blog. – Syndicate your blog with RSS feeds. Any website you have may offer an RSS feed feature. When you set this up, this means that whenever you post something on your blog, it will show up on the website where you’ve placed the RSS feed. When writing a post to my blog I’ve added a share button with a whole list of other networks to connect my blog with such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace, Ping.fm, Yahoo, Plaxo, Linkedin, and a lot more networks that get my blog out there on the net. This creates true Viral Power! It’s really worth it to register for some of these networks if you have not already do so. For example with ping.fm you can post a message and viral it out to more than one network at a time depending on which networks you are actually registered with. For instance, this means when I post something on ping.fm it gets posted on Twitter and Facebook at the same time because I’ve registered those two with ping.fm saving me time in having to log in and post to various networks. When posting on your blog through wordpress it can also show up on your personal website if you have an RSS feed connected to your personal website. 11. Place a link to your blog – – in your email signature file – on your personal website or any profile pages within social communities – Article Resource Box – in your newsletter or ezine – on your Business Cards or in ads you place online or offline 12. Blogging is just another tool for effective online networking and branding. Comment on other blogs related to your target market, build your credibility, and drive traffic to your blog. When you post on another’s blog, your name and ID profile will be a hyperlink back to you. Hits are coming in not only on my blog, which brands me as an online marketing coach, and my networking newsletter, which I have connec
ted with the coaching blog; the blog is also attracting visitors to my primary business website as well because there’s a link for the business connected right on my blog and anyone who reads my content rich coaching blog can also visit any of the links listed if they choose to do so. If not, that’s ok too. They are still getting some valuable content to help them in their own business and the link is there for anyone who happens to be in the looking zone for a home business.

This is what makes blogging so much more effective than emailing because people choose to read your blog and then may decide to click on your links to your business, affiliates and/or resources.

When someone visits your blog and receives something of value they may also share your blog with other networkers they know so be sure to place a ‘share’ button on your blog. They may choose to follow your blog to keep up to date on your content and may also contact you about your business if it’s something of interest to them. Brand U with the viral power of a blog to boost you and your business out there at the same time!

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