Brand Identity – How To Perfect Yours

Not long ago I made this post about our online brand identity. I mostly covered the negative impact your actions online can have on your brand identity in that post. Today I’ll be discussing how to actually create a successful brand identity. At it’s base level, your brand identity is you and how you portray yourself online. This can be split into two key parts – your content and your image. In this post I’ll be covering content alone.

Some people will only post about certain things (technology being a good example of regular brands) and that says just as much about them as those that make highly personal posts. However, there are simple ways to establish your brand and evolve it so that it fits you better and keeps you and others more interested in your page. So lets start by creating your basic brand. To do this you’ll first have to ask yourself a question – why are you blogging? Not as easy as it looks is it? Sure, you can remember how you got involved in the first place, but have a quick look around this or any other site and you’ll soon find loads of people who started blogs and never got past their first post. So what makes you different? Why did you keep posting?

Once you’ve figured out the answer to those questions, ignore them as they wont really be helpful here. But you just learned something interesting about yourself, didn’t you? I thought so – consider it a bonus to this post. Anyway, whatever the reason you stayed blogging, you’re still here as proved by the fact that you’re reading this post.

Discovering The Core Brand

The fact that you’re still here means that you’ve probably made a few posts now. Have a look through them and look for common themes. This is your basic brand – the concept behind your blog. It’s the two or three topics that you regularly post about. The subjects that stand out from the others because you’ve spent more time on those posts or, in some cases, the only thing you’ve posted about. It doesn’t really matter what these topics are, because they’re obviously important enough to you for you to post about.

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My own basic brand is a phone blog. I create my blog on my phone and write posts about phones and software for them. Mobile technology is my passion.

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Establish The Brand Now that we’ve established what your basic brand is, embrace it. You don’t have to go quite as far as I have, so don’t worry if you’re a bit camera-shy. Just have a good look around the posts you’ve written about your particular subject (or subjects) and group them together by using a common tag (or tags) for them. People who come to your blog may be looking for posts on the particular subjects you’re passionate about, and now they’re easy to find with the tag, but let’s try making them a little more easy to find. Leave this post for a second. No seriously, trust me, you can come back in a minute by pressing the back button. But first, leave this post by following this link to my frontpage. Don’t worry, I’ll wait for you. Tum te tum…

Ah good, you’re back. Did you notice the photo of the phone on my sticky post? If you click on that image you’ll be taken to a list of my posts that are tagged with mobile technology. Clever eh? And simple to do as well. You can put a similar text link on your sidebar or your own sticky post easily enough and it’ll help target your readers towards certain content without having to constantly or exclusively post about it. Do you know of sites relevant to your brand posts? Include their links in posts and, once you’ve used them, collect the links in a section on your sidebar for easy reference. Those links are likely to show up in search engines when people look for something related to your brand, which brings in more targeted readers. Also, the miracle of trackbacks means that those sites themselves may start linking to you if they find your content adds to their message. It’s like taking out an advert in the local newspaper, but free.

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On my sticky post I let new readers immediately know the main focus of my blog and have access to those posts.

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Evolution Of Your Brand

Right, we’ve found your basic brand and we’ve started advertising it to anyone that’s interested. Now we’re going to evolve that basic brand into a brand identity and this, believe it or not, is the easy part. All you have to do to turn a brand of limited interest to other people into a successful brand identity is to post about different things. No I haven’t gone crazy, and I’m definitely not telling you to stop posting about what interests you. You probably wouldn’t stay here long if you did that. No, what I’m talking about is brand extension. You as a person have so much more to offer the online community than your basic brand. You have specific interests that you may not have posted about in any detail. You read books that we may not have read. You watch movies that we may not have seen. You eat food. You sleep and dream. You go shopping for clothes. All you need to do to turn your brand into a successful brand identity is to tell us about those things occasionally. Yes, the meal you just ate may be mundane for you, but to someone in another country (or even another part of yours) it could be the most exotic thing they’ve seen so why not include a recipe? So what if the movie you watched was really bad? Surely you should warn us about it before we waste our hard earned money to watch it. Yeah, you just spent five hours going round different shops and only came home with a pair of jeans. Tell us about the trip, how crowded the stores were and how rude the sales assistant was.

The effect this will have is to immediately increase the volume of your visitors. More posts on varied subjects will bring in more visitors looking for information on more varied subjects. More visitors will mean that your page will rise higher in search rankings, making you easier to find when people search for any subject you post about. Some of your new visitors will read your other posts or find the link to your “main” brand posts which increases your chance of interesting new people in your own passion. And isn’t finding like-minded people why we’re all really here?

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What is mundane to you is guaranteed to be exotic to someone else. On two seperate food posts I’ve had to explain what Yorkshire Pudding (a regular part of my diet) is to people who’ve never heard of it and much of the conversation in the comments was about that.

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And there you have it. Simple steps to turn your blog concept into a successful brand identity. Most bloggers follow these steps naturally but there are a few who get so wrapped up in delivering their message that they only post about that and tend to isolate readers by coming across as obsessive or preaching. Try this different approach for a while and you’ll find your visitors increase, you’ll meet new people who share your interests and you’ll get your message out to a much higher amount of people. In the next part of this mini series on brand identity I’ll be covering how to maximise the effect of a post so that all your new readers can each take away something different from it, and later I’ll be talking about the image portion of brand identity.

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54 thoughts on “Brand Identity – How To Perfect Yours

  1. Wow, this one is a result of thorough thinking about a subject and certainly requires a considerable amount of blogging experience. Very nice, it touches a very center of internet marketing :up:*thinking that one pair of jeans is enough…. one pair of shoes too*

  2. Your sore thumbs was all worth it, Mik. It was great reading, and I agree with you. (Enjoy that moment – I am not sure when that will happen again! 😆 )Originally posted by Darko:

    *thinking that one pair of jeans is enough…. one pair of shoes too*

    Only a man has that simple a way of thinking! 🙄

  3. Very well put together. For me, however, it's not about marketing myself, bringing new visitors in, et cetera. I'm not one for marketing myself… It is interesting to think about why I blog and establish the main theme of my blog, though.

  4. Well yes, it's important that you have people who are interested in your opinions but I'd die happy knowing just a handful of my friends were interested. I don't like promoting myself at all, I find it egotistic and rather shameless, to be honest.

  5. It's all about marketing ourselves to an audience to an extent. If no-one visited we wouldn't bother posting at all. We make posts for ourselves, but we also make them for other people. Granted this is a bit of a cynical look at it, but it's mainly aimed at those who have a message and want to increase their readership.It's also how I live my life Darko. You play by your strengths in life and gain friends that way, but it's your quirks that make you interesting and cement a friendship. Together they can give the whole experience of you, yet online people try to hide those quirks and only play to one or two strengths. If you've ever read my "write a bad blog" post, you know I don't believe in that.I think I do a damn good job of marketing myself on here, and I've built a sturdy reader base both here and through RSS. If I had a message to put out (not counting telling countries that they've been conquered) I'd get it to far more people than comment here regularly.

  6. Excellent post,Mik!:up: I have some questions for you about blogging and time management.How do you manage your time?I mean when I add a person into my friends list I find it's unfair to not to comment at least once on his/her posts.I do like to read posts and comment on them,but I am finding myself always logged in.You must be having a job and other tasks to do.How do you manage to post every day and keep track of the comments on your blog and on the posts of your friends.Have you assigned a purticular time of every day to log into Opera to 1>read the comments on your and your friend's blogs.2>to research and post new entries on your blog.3>to read the new entries on your friends blogs?

  7. I make several posts at once. Something interests me and I'll start a post about it. Just a framework of quick notes and links to references and images. When I've got a spare moment I work on the posts a bit more, fleshing out the bones bit by bit. If I've not got something specific to post about, or I have something interesting happens to me I'll make a What Am I Doing Right Now post without any preparation. At the moment I've got two posts being prepared and fifteen complete. None of the complete ones are anything like this level of complexity though.I read comments regularly, but also clear my watch list and leave if it's a hectic day. I don't always comment everywhere I go and I regularly unsubscribe from older posts which frees more time. Learnt not to watch many blogs when the watch list kept putting every post up as new.I'm not subscribed to many blogs at all. Just my really close friends. When I find a quiet day I visit the people I'm not subscribed to and see what they're posting, sometimes making a quick post pointing it out to other people.The fact that this is one of my interests/hobbies cuts down the time I need to take out of my interests.

  8. Thank you so much,Mik.:up:No wonder you have 195 IQ.A few more questions please,how much time do you spend online everyday?And how do you keep track of the latest information online on the subjects that interest you? One way that I know is Google Alert,what are the other ways that you can suggest?Sorry,I know I am being annoyingly inquisitive.But I am a novice in the world of internet,I really find myself spending overwhelming time online.

  9. It was that PM conversation we had a while back that inspired this series of posts, Kiran, plus some posts I saw on the forums.

  10. I'm usually online somewhere most of the day even if I'm not actually there. I've recently set up my feeds (the OM feed reader finally works) to save time trawling sites though, and moved my Widsets widgets over to that too.

  11. Your posts are really helpful,Mik.How do you do other tasks when you're online most of the day?Do you have time to exercise,reading books?Do you use the To-Do List app in your phone?:D

  12. Time is relative. My day to day is private, but can be found in small parts throughout my page. But I have no special time management apps.

  13. Tilla is a guy????? But she said… errrr….. he said….. I don`t know :cry:*runs away on her/his blog to check*

  14. Thank you for the warning,Cois.:D:lol: @ Gdare and Atilla:in opera mini the cat looks like it's spreading its legs right before Gdare's wide eyed smily.

  15. Bear in mind not everyone uses or even needs a brand. Some of us naturally have one to start with, some evolve one from their interests, some have a text limited version of themselves as their brand, and some get one from running jokes. But it's not necessary to have a brand to get a popular page.

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