Personal branding is the way you market yourself to the world. It is what people think of you, and obviously you have some influence over it. As Steve Pavlina suggests, personal branding is unavoidable. As people are interacting with you and reading your blog posts, they connect you with labels within the first few seconds. Roger Parker states that an effective blogging strategy operates behind the scenes, with its influences being felt instead of directly seen. Personal branding requires the author to follow these steps:
1. What are your objectives for your blog?
2. What do you have to offer to your audience?
3. Who is your audience?
4. What kind of content does your audience want?
5. How are you going to manage your time to regularly post content?
Personal branding does have its advantages, with many articles and blogs supporting personal branding. Kimberly Bordonaro suggests that blogs with a personal strategy tend to succeed more then a blog with no strategy due to the author being focused on writing about one particular topic and targeting a niche market. An author who targets a particular market with something they are passionate about will succeed if they have a drive or a vision for what they want to achieve. Those who do not have a specific vision or goal they want to achieve do not need to create their own personal brand – however it is inevitably developed.
Creating a personal brand has a lot of emphasis placed upon it, with bloggers having to decide what their image will be and what their blog’s objective will be before writing their first blog post. This results in an author selecting only a handful of topics to blog about, and therefore only targeting a niche market. The blogger than writes less personally, and as Olivier Blanchard states, the person becomes a character or a product rather than being themselves. Personal branding is not for everyone. An author with no drive or vision will not gain many benefits from creating their personal brand, as their personal brand is being controlled from their target audience. Kimberly Bordonaro states that your personal brand should communicate various dimensions of your personality, and grow with you as you evolve. If a blogger is struggling to create a personal brand Sacha Chua recommends to not focus on a niche and avoid writing like a magazine, as there is plenty of material to share.
So where do I stand on this topic? Personal branding does have it’s advantages to both individuals and businesses; however there is no need to put an emphasis on creating and controlling a personal brand. Creating a personal brand is great for those who wish to be professional and for companies wanting to write to their target audience, however it is not for everyone.
This brings me to discuss my blogging strategy. In respect to this blog, I have developed a personal brand due to the professional nature of the topics discussed. My personal brand and blogging strategy is about the impact of web 2.0 on enterprises; as I have a goal of educating fellow future professionals and current organizations the importance of social media tools for reaching their target audience. I aim to educate and inform readers; however I encourage arguments and discussions on the topics I post. My blog posts will be shared through Twitter to encourage fellow web 2.0 enthusiasts to read the blog, and encourage others to voice their opinion on my posts.
A great example of a blog site is Em&Lo. The topics discussed are raunchy, however I believe this blog is excellent as it generates so much discussion amongst it’s readers. Readers are able to send the authors questions, which are then published the following week and answered – which of course generate a lot of discussion from other readers. Em&Lo also allow readers to share their posts on social media sites such as Facebook and Google +; which in turn attracts more traffic to their blog.