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Why a Powerful Brand Image Is Crucial for Successful Blogging (And 6 Ways You Can Build One)

Posted By Guest Blogger 29th of September 2016 Blog Design 0 Comments

This is a guest contribution from Jawad Khan.

Do you have a mentor, or have you ever tried looking for one?

If yes, you’d know that credibility, apart from the right expertise, is the number one quality a mentor should possess.

A person doesn’t deserve to mentor you (or anyone) if he isn’t dependable and changes views like clothes.

In other words a successful mentor needs to have a brand image that epitomizes trust, expertise and consistency.

A Powerful Brand Image Is Crucial for Successful Blogging

Successful blogging is a lot like mentoring.

Ideally, your blog readers should look up to you for advice and direction. You should be the expert that helps them solve their biggest problems and overcome the most complex mental blocks.

But that will only happen when you intentionally work on building your brand image.

Just think about it.

Why would someone purchase your coaching program or your “Epic Guide to Freelancing” or “30 Day Affiliate Marketing Course” when a million other people are selling similar products?

It’s your brand image and how you’re perceived by your readers that does the selling for you.

When people trust you, they buy from you even when your competitors have better products.

Branding is also important from an SEO perspective.

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Source: SEObook

Brands not only rank higher in search results, they’re much likelier to avoid a Google penalty even when they’ve violated its guidelines.

Not sure how to brand your blog? Let me help me break it down for you.

1. Share Your Brand’s Story and List Your Core Values

Powerful brands have powerful stories. They serve a clear purpose and do business for a reason. A brand’s story allows it to connect with its audience and help them own the brand’s experiences.

If you think your blog doesn’t have a story, think harder.

What motivates you to blog every day? What purpose are you serving? What change are you trying to make?

Most of us have a good reason for doing what we do. You just need to think harder to find it.

Darren’s keynote at the World Domination Summit is a pretty good example of a powerful story.

darren

When you have a powerful story and purpose behind your blog, it also makes it easier for you to identify your brand’s core values.

For example, some of you core values as an affiliate marketing blogger can be

  • To find the best and most useful products for my audience that can help them succeed.
  • To only endorse and promote products that I have tried myself and have full confidence in.
  • To be empathetic towards my readers, understand their needs and help them solve their problems

Many bloggers list down their core values by creating a blogging manifesto. You can even come up with a catchy brand slogan, based on your values, using this free slogan generator.

Listing down your core values and sharing them with your audience helps you build trust and immediately connect with your ideal readers.

2. Choose a Brandable Domain Name and Invest Your Blog’s Design

If you’re still looking for exact keyword match domains (EMDs), you need a change of mindset.

I can understand if you choose an EMD for a micro niche site, but if you’re thinking long-term, and want to create a blog that people remember, treat your blog’s URL as a brand name.

A brandable URL not only gives you a unique identity, while clearly representing your core offer, but also makes your brand name easier to remember.

ProBlogger, the brand name, is a great example. The same goes for Backlinko, QuickSprout, Smart Blogger and many others. They’re all very popular blogs with branded URLs. If you’re looking for ideas, you can use this business name generator by Freshbooks or visit a branded domain marketplace to find niche domain ideas.

The other aspect of a strong online brand image includes an eye-catching logo, which represents the mood of your brand, and a website design that is not only pleasing to the eye but also makes it easier for your readers to focus on your content and the actions that you want them to take.

You need to be precise about the colors you choose for both these aspects of your brand, especially the logo.

problogger

Source: The Business of Color [infographic by 99Designs]

Once again, the new clean design of ProBlogger is a pretty good example. It’s clutter free and makes the content more prominent with an easy to read font.

CopyBlogger, with lots of empty spaces, is another example of a clean design that makes reading easy.

problogger-2

You can find high quality and responsive WordPress themes on ThemeForest (recommended by Darren) or, if you like to do things yourself, follow this mammoth step by step guide for setting up a WordPress blog.

3. Solve Problems With High Quality Long-Form Content

Long vs. short posts, quantity vs. quality, users vs. Google – these are all never ending debates.

But I’ll make this easy for you.

To become an authority in your niche and establish a powerful brand image, you need to create content that solves problems of your audience so comprehensively that they become life-long fans and always seek your advice when they’re stuck.

Can you create such comprehensive content in 200 words? Can you give them step by step directions and solve their problem in 500 words?

If no, what’s the point of creating short content when it doesn’t establish you as an expert?

Don’t tell me about Seth Godin and a few other celebrity bloggers. You’re not in the same league yet and your short content won’t have the same impact, please accept that fact.

The other reason why you need to create longer content is search engine traffic. More than 75% of users click the first three results on a search page. And you’re much likelier to land a spot in the first 3 search results if you create longer content.

problogger-3

Source: Vive Health

As you can see, the average length of the top search results is well over 2000 words.

So when your objective is brand building, focus on creating detailed and in-depth content that solves problems of your readers. Don’t blog about your products all time, focus on your customers. You can do that no matter what industry you’re in.

Here’s a really good example of a conventional business blog focusing on the problems of its ideal customers. This is the kind of content that builds your image as an expert brand.

Here’s another good example of a business blog providing solutions to its readers. Most people visit coupon sites because they’re looking to save money and find discounts. So this particular site created a several thousand word guide to help its readers.

problogger-5

Source: Crowd Savers

eCommerce giants, Shopify have taken this to a completely different level. Instead of creating content only about their product, they regularly publish detailed eCommerce case studies, how-to articles and step by step guidelines that help their customers succeed in their businesses. They’ve even created an eCommerce encyclopedia for small businesses with in-depth articles and resources for their customers.

In short, when you create content that solves the problems of your audience, you eventually become their go-to source for everything related to your industry.

4. Add Snapshots, Data References and Infographics To Your Blog Posts

Publishing 2000+ word blog posts is great. But when you’re putting so much effort in creating blog content, why not make it truly epic by backing your arguments with data references and explaining your tips with snapshots.

Doing this will not only add more weight to your content, but will also make it look better than your competitors. Most bloggers take the easy route by just telling people what to do.

By using snapshots, you can raise the bar and show your audience exactly how to do something.

You can use Evernote Web Clipper, a free browser extension for Windows and Mac, to quickly create snapshots and add annotations to explain your points.

problogger-6

Images and snapshots immediately make your content more consumable and keep the readers engaged.

In fact, visual content is so useful for branding, that I strongly recommend making infographics a key part of your content strategy.

This has two advantages.

Infographics are not only among the most frequently shared content types, which results in more traffic and backlinks, but also help you stand out from your competition and strengthen your brand image.

There are dozens of free tools like Canva and Visme that can be used to create infographics. As an added resource, keep these infographic design tips in mind.

However, if you really want your content to stand out, try making short screencasts, webinars and explainer videos a part of your content strategy as well. It’s much easier to create video content because of the different screencast tools and explainer video apps like PowToon.

problogger-7

Source: Content Marketing Institute

A joint study by MarketingProfs and Content Marketing Institute found that 66% marketers consider webinars and videos the most effective forms of content for branding and lead generation.

In short, your content becomes much more powerful when you don’t just tell readers what to do, you show them how it’s done using visual content.

5. Feature in Other High Authority Publications to Borrow Credibility

Guest blogging may not be the best SEO strategy anymore, but it’s still one of the most effective ways to build your brand image by borrowing credibility from other authority publications.

When people see your name on websites like The Huffington Post, The New York Times or CopyBlogger and Hubspot (for marketers) they immediately start considering you someone worthy of their attention.

Forget guest blogging for backlinks. Brand building is the real benefit of featuring on other authority sites.

You’ll see this in action on almost every influencer’s website.

problogger-8

Simply identify the top blogs and publications in your niche, and contact them with a well-researched guest post. Most blogs and websites would be happy to publish your piece as long as it follows their editorial guidelines and offers quality information.

6. Start a Facebook Group and Host Facebook Live Sessions

There are hundreds of social networks on the web with billions of combined users. But Facebook is still by far the most effective platform to build your audience from the scratch.

Facebook Groups in particular are engagement powerhouses that can be leveraged for community building and lead generation.

problogger-9

If you’re looking to strengthen your brand image and connect with your target audience, I strongly recommend starting a Facebook group of your own.

Promote your group using Facebook ads and try building a community around your brand. Engage with them regularly, share your knowledge and answer their questions.

In addition, start weekly Facebook Live sessions on different topics and invite people to ask questions. Give them live demonstration of your expertise.

For example, if you’re a copywriter, perform live copy audits of different websites. If you’re a designer, offer live design critique and share your feedback with your audience.

This strategy not only boosts engagement with your audience but also turns them into brand advocates and word of mouth marketers for you.

Wrapping Up

It doesn’t matter if you’re an affiliate marketer, a business coach or a product seller, the strength of your brand image will always have a direct impact on your sales and revenue numbers. The stronger the brand, the better the results. Which is why branding should be one of your primary concerns while starting a new blog or online business.

How much time and money have you invested in building your brand image?

I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Jawad Khan is a content marketing consultant and a freelance blogger for hire. Follow him on his blog Writing My Destiny, Twitter, and Google+.

About Guest Blogger
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.
  • You really are a pro. Thanks so much for your effort and all that you share.

  • My main focus is on branding myself, helping and serving my audience and this will never change. Thank you for sharing some tips that I have not heard about before, for example how infographics can boost the quality of your content by a bunch!

    Was great to read :)

  • Hi Jawad,

    Sensational read and fab points all together. I built my blog on a brand before all else, allowing my brand to bleed completely through my blog and all I do online. From my blog, to eBooks to courses to audio books the Blogging From Paradise logo and story graces everything and colors all I do to send out a clear, consistent, persistent message to people who’d like to get smart blogging tips. Really no other way to do it if you want to make your blogging brand REALLY pop!

    I’m huge on #5. I guest post 2-3 times weekly on both Blogging Tips Dot Com and the Huffington Post to build my brand, to serve, and to branch out into exciting, new, targeted audiences who dig what I’m serving up through each blog.

    Thanks for sharing Jawad :)

    Ryan

    • Guest blogging is the key for me Ryan.

      That is why I write such detailed posts here and many other sites.

      It has worked wonders for me.

      And I can see it works pretty well for you as well :)

  • Great Post, thanks for sharing helpful post like this!

  • Hey Jawad,

    Building an online brand takes the time and efforts. People can share their brand’s story to attract more readers.

    It’s human nature that people like to know personal things. Buying a domain with the name related to the niche is a good idea.

    The above-mentioned points can be really helpful.
    Thanks for sharing with us.
    ~Ravi

  • Hey Stacey,

    Most entrepreneurs know that creating a strong brand image or identity is one of the most important components in creating and branding a company. For the many people who have and manage their own blogs, they may not realize how important it is to create the same type of brand image for their blog.

    Blogging has become one of the most powerful communication tools in recent years. Bloggers have become their own unique type of entrepreneur, solidifying themselves as Internet celebrities and finding ways to earn a great deal of money in selling ad space. Success in blogging is all about the type of attention that we get from our audience.

    A brand represents the sum of people’s perception of a company’s customer service, reputation, advertising, and logo. When all of these parts of the business are working well, the overall brand tends to be healthy. On the flip side, we all probably know a company that offers excellent products or services, but has a tarnished brand due to poor customer service. Advertising is another component of our brand. Both the medium chosen and demographic targeted for advertisements builds a brand. Thanks for sharing your thought with us.

    With best regards,

    Amar kumar

  • Really very helpful for new comers like us. Please post about how to increase the domain authority.

    Thanks

  • I have conflicting feelings about the advice to build and promote a Facebook Group.

    I am lucky enough to have a huge growing/thriving Facebook group that I launched on a whim to experiment. In 2 years it’s grown to 20K active members and is growing by 1-2K a month at this point. All great stuff.

    It’s also a huge time suck. I now have 12 active moderators including myself. There is no reporting on FB groups so it’s hard to know how many people are active or see any posts/content. I’ve tried to leverage the group cover photo to establish brand but only a tiny % of it shows up on mobile view.

    Essentially from a reporting/tracking perspective it’s all but impossible to know how much the FB group helps relative to the time and effort it takes to keep it thriving. I have a book launch coming up and am hopeful that the group tribe will be really helpful in spreading the word. But with a lack of reporting, that’s just a guess.

    • I agree that its quite challenging to manage a large group.

      But the real benefit, IMO, is the tribe that you’re able to build.

      And I’m sure your tribe will play a key role in your up coming book launch

      all the best

  • Hello Jawad Khan,

    Thanks for sharing this useful article. Branding is most important factor to make a successful blogging business. You have shared all the possible ways to create a brand. Thanks again.

    Best wishes,

    Moumita Ghosh

  • I’ve had success with keyword match domains in the recent past- more specifically bing really seems to still like them. They definitely don’t hurt, by any means. So if you can get away with using one, I’d recommend it.

  • Thanks Stacey Roberts for posting a excellent post. Really branding is too important to every web-based business. By the way you have shown true positive ways to create or promote a brand easily. Read more related article here : http://tinyurl.com/zby6l3v

  • Blogging is a fantastic way to reach a vast amount of people. It can be used to help drive traffic towards your site, then help you to convert this traffic in to leads. It is also a way of building authority and showing how much you know about a particular topic/subject. It is important to create a calendar and schedule blogs – this means you will know when they are going out and be able to share them across your social sites too in order to attract as many readers as possible.

  • Great posts, hope this will help me to grow in my blog. I liked the idea of creating a group of my own in facebook.I used to write shorter articles in my blog thinking that it would not make readers bored but now I think to get traffic from search engines, it`s better to write longer posts. Thanks for your posts.
    Keep on writing such articles, these helps us a lot.
    Thanks again.

  • Jawad,
    I’m so happy to read this article. I’m a ‘PERSONAL BRANDING’ believer. So being a branding advocate, I built my personal brand as a blogger and used my personal blog as a leverage. It did work very well. The reason I believe in branding so much is that when you develop a personal brand, you’re being original and you have nothing to fabricate because a personal brand is being built on helping others, solving issues, and contributing to the community. I did learn so many lessons along the way and I’m still learning every single day.

    THANK YOU so much for this post!

    • That’s the key Hassan – solving problems and helping your audience

      Glad you liked the post :)

  • Brad Hanks

    Another great way that I just thought of would be to build useful tools and give them away for free. In my opinion software / tools probably belong in a different bucket than “content”.