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Overheard on #Blogchat: Branding (@sheilas)


Do you participate in #blogchat? Every week, this weekly discussion on Twitter focuses on a specific topic and bloggers everywhere are invited to join in. Because I often have more to say than what will fit in 140 characters, every Sunday night (or Monday morning), I post about some of the most interesting #blogchat tweets. Join the conversation by commenting below.

(Still confused? Read more about #blogchat here.)

This week’s theme: Branding and Choosing Post Topics

I didn’t make it to #blogchat this week (still recovering from the flu), but I checked out the transcript and it was as thought-provoking and educational as ever. The topic tonight was branding and choosing post topics, so there was a lot to talk about. I found the tweets about branding especially interesting. This was one of the tweets that caught my eye:

sheilas: re: blog branding. Don’t get too carried away. Can you describe what you blog about in 1-2 sentences? You’re fine.

Branding is extremely important for your blog, but I think @sheilas is right – we can get too carried away. I know some bloggers who think of little else – everything to do is about brand-building.

In my mind, it begs the question, “If you have to put so much thought and time into branding, are you being genuine and honest with your readers?”

You can, of course, create whatever kind of personal brand you want, but it is always best when your brand is just an elaborated, exaggerated, clear version of who you already are. If you’re a hometown, traditional girl, branding yourself as an edgy blogging rock star will be a stretch, for example. In other words, don’t dye your hair black for your blog if you love your flowing blond locks in every other part of your life.

If you’re new to blogging, don’t worry if it takes a little time for your brand to develop. It’s okay (good even) to have a clear picture of the brand you want to build, but stay flexible as you grow into your blogging shoes. Even if you are an experienced blogger, don’t be afraid to allow your brand to constantly evolve. You don’t want to confuse your audience by changing every few months, but blogging is not stagnant, so your brand doesn’t have to be stagnant either. Even major consumer brands (think companies like Coca-Cola or Nintendo) are evolving to keep up with growing company vision and consumer need.

So, what @sheilas is saying makes a lot of sense – branding needs to be important, but don’t get bogged down in thinking about it too much. At the end of the day, this is as much of an organic process as it is a process you can plan, so focus on being yourself and creating great content. Great branding will follow.

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  • Susie Blackmon

    Love #blogchat because there are many knowledgeable and brilliant bloggers who provide great links, feedback, etc. My blogs evolve over time, but my branding/identity have remained constant. It is so true that blogging about what you love is ‘the ticket’ as your passion comes through loud and clear.

  • Sheila Scarborough

    Thanks very much for your thoughts – the whole “branding” thing is just another word for “reputation” and it’s had the unfortunate effect of making everyone feel like a branded box of Tide.

    Who the hell are you, and what are you all about?

    Be able to answer that succinctly, in a compelling, interesting manner, and you’re ahead of most of the planet.

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