As a budding entrepreneur, your blog is most likely going to be the first point of reference for your potential fans, subscribers, clients and customers. People will tune in to your posts and recommend your resources to their colleagues and friends if they perceive that you have a great reputation in your niche. Being online and having a blog is just the first step, though – you want it to stand out and work for you as a promotional tool that will keep a steady stream of readers and customers coming back to your site! Here are the three most important strategies you can use now to build a strong personal brand online.
Because there are millions of blogs out there, the main competitive advantage you have online is being unique – having a memorable personality or style. Some bloggers, like Penelope Trunk, are known to be very confessional and open with their personal lives. Some are popular because of their passion about a particular topic, like Gabi Fresh. Others, like Gary Vaynerchuk garner a large following from the way they share high volumes of content and information about their industry in a unique way, often through video. Me? I tend to write how I talk to make my blogs very conversational in tone. I’ll often use slang or references to R&B or hip hop music that shows my community part of who I am as a person. What can you do to make your own blog shine?
Whenever possible, take the road less traveled online. Write about stuff that no one (or few others) are writing about yet. Be the first one to provide an in-depth look at a particular issue in your industry or niche. A great example is Chris Brogan, who wrote one of the very first (and likely most comprehensive) guides to using the new social network, Google Plus. As of today, the post has been tweeted 2,000 times. Whoa. What could that kind of exposure do for your blog and your business? What topic can you jump on before your competition beats you to it?
Bloggers who have built some of the best personal brands online are usually the ones that keep readers coming back for more because they consistently provide value in the form of great information or advice in a particular niche. This is why I wrote a free 37-page ebook on how to start a blog! So, if you find yourself wondering why your readership isn’t going up or your bounce rate is super high, it might be that you’re just not being that helpful to your readers or providing enough value to them. Whatever you do, make sure you can answer the following question in the affirmative. Are you being helpful to your readers (or your intended audience of readers)? If not, what can you do to provide more value to them?
What are some other strategies you’ve used to make your blog stand out from the crowd online?