How to Crush Blogging for Personal Brand Growth Everything you do online shapes your personal brand. And most, if not all, of your online communications, connect back to your blog. When we wrote The Road to Recognition, we covered all of the tactics and strategies necessary for building a recognized personal brand. And, when you read it, you’re going to have a lot of tools in your personal branding arsenal. Some more important than others. Some may even be optional. Blogging is not. Blogging is an imperative discipline of the personal brander. If you haven’t begun blogging, you’ll gain some useful starting points here. If you are blogging, use the tips here to improve your blogging. Take that tip to heart. You should strive to become a better blogger each and every time you go into your content management system and click “new post.” What’s the point? As a business blogger, you’re bound to have a number of objectives. How you choose to prioritize them will inform your publishing strategy. Let’s examine some of your most important goals. Connect with readers—Making connections is all-important. By sharing useful, relevant information, you’ll connect with customers, partners, other bloggers, and every conceivable constituent in your social and business circles. Establish authority—Your blog is the hub of your personal branding efforts, where you share your expertise to establish authority in your niche. You might say making deposits in your authority bank is the very definition of personal branding. Win business—The majority of brands that blog acquire more customers. Customer acquisition is a smart goal for any business blog. Inspire your social media—You’ll promote your blog posts regularly and take advantage of the magical amplification of social networks. Increase reach—Your blog will be shared and find new eyeballs daily. Grow your email database—Your blog should inspire people to opt into your email newsletter list, which, in turn, feeds traffic to your blog. Generate publicity—As previously mentioned, business bloggers establish authority. Demonstrate you know your niche and you’ll get asked for interviews frequently. Give your brand a voice—A blog is your pulpit, your publication, your journal—the place where you talk about whatever you choose, however you choose. Exchange ideas—Blogs obliterate the wall that once stood between a brand and its customers. Encourage interaction, comments, and feedback. Get (and stay) customer focused—By blogging, you’ll learn how to speak in your customers’ terms and grow more in touch with your audience’s wants and needs. Increase focus—A subtle addendum to the point above, blogging consistently forces you to define who you are trying to reach and why. Discover—You are going to learn a lot about yourself and the world around you. It comes with being a writer. Tips to help you succeed We can’t tell you what to write, but we can share some tips to help you create better content and turn your blog into a personal branding machine. Teach, don’t preach—Avoid making your blog a heavy-handed attempt to advertise your products. Adopt an educator’s mentality and you’ll win your readers’ trust. Use images—Take advantage of the appeal of photos, illustrations, screen shots, charts, and infographics to increase your stopping power and make the posts more attractive. Make it easy on the eyes—Use short paragraphs, line breaks, white space, subheads, and lists to make your posts look inviting. Don’t back down—Are you concerned some readers won’t love what you have to say? Say it anyway. It’s not a popularity contest. Stay tuned—Follow your industry daily and stay on top of what your peers are saying. Write passionately—Make your passion pulse through your prose. Tap into your readers’ emotions. Tell stories—Storytelling gets people engaged with you and your brand. Learn how to become a master storyteller. Observe how the best bloggers unravel plots and develop characters. Answer questions—Your blog is the perfect channel to put helpfulness at the center of your narrative. Listen closely to questions prospects and customers ask, and answer them in your posts. Converse—Ask questions of your readers and encourage feedback, counterpoints, and criticism. Respond to comments as promptly as possible. Be transparent—Write with uncompromising integrity and don’t be afraid to address real issues, problems, and challenges. Don’t avoid the tough questions. Tackle them. Recognize others—Congratulate, write about, and recognize customers, employees, partners, industry influencers, and even competitors. Being generous increases goodwill and engagement. You’ll also inspire reciprocity. (More to come on this subject in chapters H and R.) Have fun—Your blog is your stage. Relax. Be entertaining. Allow yourself to have fun with the writing. Images courtesy of Ignite Spot Seth Price I’m on a mission to transform the way you think about personal branding to empower your life’s work. My keynote speeches connect me with audiences all over the world. Join me in creating ideas for bringing your brand to market.