You start out with a blog, not really sure what you’re going to do with it, and one day you start making a little money. Now you have an online business, not just a blog. If you continue to work online long enough you’re going to develop much more than a money-making blog, you’re going to go from building your website to building your brand. And it’s up to you to sculpt that brand into a work of art that’s respected around the Web.
Most new bloggers don’t realize it but everything you do on your blog contributes to your brand, the way people perceive you, your online reputation. It starts with your blog design, of course, since that’s the first thing people see. However, it really boils down to your content.
From the very first post you publish you start building your online reputation. Your first readers might say you’re interesting or entertaining or you have a unique perspective, and that’s what they’ll tell their friends. Then one day soon you’ll post an article about some success you’ve had – maybe you discovered a new laundry detergent and you’re telling your readers about it on your mommy blog.
All of a sudden, you’re the mommy blog that has the best laundry tips. That may not have been your original intention when you started your blog but it’s as good a place as any to start. Now you have a positive reputation and people have connected your blog with an idea. It’s like Pepsi. When people hear the name Pepsi they think of great soft drinks. Now, when they hear the name of your blog, they’re going to think of great laundry detergent.
Now that you’re developing a reputation as a laundry expert, when you blog about this new floor cleaner you tried you’re going to have a little more credibility. More people will listen and share your information. And when they find out this new floor cleaner really works, your brand is going to grow. Now your blog will be recognized as the place to go for cleaning tips. Each new success you share adds to your credibility and increases the scope of your brand.
Eventually, you could have a blog like Angie’s List, one of the largest sites on the Internet, where you’re the go-to source for everything related to the home, and all because you wrote that first blog post about a new laundry detergent you’d tried.
So you see, whether you like it or not, your blog is going to develop into a brand and that brand is going to continue to grow right along with your blog. What you need to worry about is controlling the direction of that brand. Do you want to become known as a Go-To source for information or do you want to become known as one of the least reliable blogs on the Internet? Because, as I said earlier, it all comes down to your content. Provide killer content and there’s no stopping your brand.